Dealing with Despots

The New York Times picks up this exchange between Matthew Lee and I from our last UN Plaza segment.

The idea that there is a one-sized fits all approach to rogue states I think is wrong-headed. Just because a particular policy worked for North Korea it does not necessarily follow that such an approach will work for, say, Sudan. I think, however, there is a tendency among hardliners to think that only a hard line approach will work in any given situation. Perhaps the apotheosis of this approach–which I reference in the segment above — is John Bolton’s dictate in Surrender is not an Option that he “doesn’t do carrots.” Full stop.

I would argue, however, that in some specific cases carrots work and in some they do not. American concessions clearly helped convince North Korea to destroy its nuclear reactor at Yongbyon two weeks ago. Yet, at the same time I do not think that the international community has done enough to pressure Khartoum into lifting its obstruction of the joint AU-UN peacekeeping mission in Darfur. Different situations call for different approaches.