Colucci published opinion piece about handling North Korean regime

Associate Professor of Politics and Government Lamont Colucci discussed America’s handling of North Korea in an opinion piece published in The Washington Times. In “Forcing a Strategy for North Korea,” Colucci writes, “The United States has lacked a clear grand strategy regarding North Korea since 1953, and the current crises illustrate this exponentially.”

Despite experts studying many facets of the despotic regime, there is a marked lack of strategy, Colucci writes. Before such strategy can be discussed, the United States must decide on a clear objective. He examines two possible objectives: slowing North Korea’s growth and the elimination of the regime altogether.

A strategy of prevention is short-sighted, Colucci writes. “We will eventually wake up one day to a fully nuclearized Korean peninsula, but we will have assuaged our guilt long enough to get through two or three of presidential administrations,” he writes.

Thus, the United States’s objective should be the elimination of North Korea’s regime and reunification with South Korea. “To achieve it, one must involve a methodical approach that integrates diplomacy, military precision, covert operations, sanctions, and a clear understanding that removal of the dynasty is merely one of the beginning acts (though not the first) in a drama that will ensure the least American casualties and burden as well as the health and transition for the Korean people.”

Colucci argues that swift action should be taken, even at the cost of diplomacy. “The issue must be taken out of the hands of technocrats or those who view the idea of diplomacy as more important than the objective,” he writes. “North Korea requires strategists, who, like President Reagan, knew that the only solution to the Soviet problem was the ending of the Soviet regime.”

Colucci details a strategy that the United States and other world powers could implement to swiftly end the Kim regime. There should be a swift, specialized attack on the dictatorship and a a seizure of control of North Korea’s many concentration camps. Stabilization should be a joint effort between the United States, China, South Korea and the United Nations along with others, he says.

“Ultimately, North Korea will evaporate as did East Germany and slowly be integrated into the Republic of Korea, though the process will make the German experience look easy,” Colucci says. “Throughout this process, counter-insurgency, PSYOP, counter-terrorism will be significant.”

Although the process of dissolving the regime will be a long one, Colucci says, it is an important and necessary one. “We have been there for 64 years enforcing an unworkable status quo; we can be there for a few decades more to bring an end to the worst regime on earth and solve our national security problem at the same time.”


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Lamont Colucci