Korean Conundrum: America's Troubled Relations with North and South Korea / Edition 1

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The US seems to be heading directly toward a confrontation with North Korea as Koreans in the south, and nations around the world, anxiously witness mounting tension. Carpenter and Bandow take a look at the twin crises now afflicting US policy in East Asia: the reemergence of North Korea's nuclear weapons program and the growing anti-American sentiment in South Korea. They question whether Washington's East Asia security strategy makes sense with the looming prospect of US troops stationed in South Korea becoming nuclear hostages. Carpenter and Bandow put forth the most provocative solution yet to this gnarled and dangerous situation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This superb, well-researched and timely book is about much more than the title implies. The authors go beyond appropriate indictment of U.S. policies toward the two Koreas in recent years to make a reasoned (debatable) case for substantial reductions of U.S. military commitments in the East Asia/Pacific region. Policy makers, scholars and students who analyze American security policy toward the region will need this book close at hand."

—William J. Taylor, former director of national security studies at West Point and distinguished alumnus of The Center for Strategic and International Studies.

"Korean Conundrum makes a powerful, well-argued solidly-documented case for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from South Korea. This is an important book with a grim warning: that South Korea and the U.S. are headed for a "nasty divorce" as the strains in their half-century alliance steadily grow. It presents incontestable evidence that the alliance is no longer necessary in the context of South Korea's rising economic strength and North Korea's continuing economic paralysis. Written in a lively, lucid style, it offers a stimulating antidote to the conventional wisdom, easily accessible to the general reader and the foreign policy specialist alike."

— Selig Harrison, senior fellow at the Center for International Policy and author of Korean Endgame

"In The Korean Conundrum Ted Carpenter and Doug Bandow present an innovatively provocative analysis of U.S. policy toward the two Koreas, drawing on thorough research of a broad spectrum of academic and journalistic views of Korean affairs. All those interested in U.S. policy toward Asia will benefit from reading their call for an "amicable divorce" predicated on ROK self-reliance and the end of the U.S. defensive commitment to Korea."

— Edward A. Olsen, Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School and author of Normalizing U.S.-Korea Relations: In Due Course?

"...we have spent over three billion dollars a year to "defend" South Korea, one of the most advanced and prosperous countries in Asia. In spite of this, anti-American demonstrations in Seoul have drawn hundreds of thousands, and a recent front-page story in the Washington Post had a headline saying anti-Americanism there 'Deepens.' Doug Bandow and Ted Carpenter have written an important book that will hopefully lead to better relations with both Koreas and encourage less intervention in the affairs of other nations. I hope many people with influence over U.S. on foreign policy will follow the advice given on Korea and even others area of concern put forth by these to outstanding authors."

— Rep. John Duncan, R-Tenn. (2nd district, elected in 1988)

Praise for Ted Galen Carpenter's last book, Bad Neighbor Policy:

"This is a solid, sober, soundly written indictment of America's most self-destructive policy of the last 100 years. Unlike many critics of the disastrous drug war, Carpenter allows his masterful factual presentation to reach its logical conclusion: legalization, not decriminalization or some other partial measure. He has done a great service to the cause of common sense in American public policy. A superb and courageous contribution to a vital debate."—Arnold S. Trebach, President, International Antiprohibitionist League, author of The Great Drug War

"Carpenter does a fine job of detailing the stupidity and destructiveness of U.S. government drug policies in Latin America. The more widely this book is read, the more quickly future generations will look back in shame and disgust at the crimes perpetrated by U.S. drug policies abroad."—Ethan Nadelmann, Executive Director, Drug Policy Alliance

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403965455
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 12/17/2004
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.64 (w) x 9.35 (h) x 0.73 (d)

Meet the Author

Ted Galen Carpenter is Vice President for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies at the Cato Institute in Washington, DC. He is the author of The Captive Press, among other titles.

Doug Bandow is senior fellow at the Cato Institute.

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Table of Contents

Growing Tensions with both North and South Korea
• The North Korean Nuclear Crisis: Then and Now
• Options for Dealing with North Korea
• South Korea as a Security Free Rider
• Time for an Amicable Divorce
• Forging a New U.S. Strategy in East Asia

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