Guest Blog

The college atop a hill overlooking the Bosque River recently added two luminaries to its galaxy of stars. One of whom, "Jerry Vorhees," at my request, offers this insightful analysis of the US dilemma in re the Korean peninsula. Let's make him feel welcome. Hopefully, we can prevail on him to provide more on this subject and other IR matters in the future:

North Korea has become a "covert province" of the People's Republic of China. We now have evidence of a connection between the AQ Kahn's nuclear network, China, North Korea, and of course Iran. China is playing a delicate game with the United States via their North Korean proxies.

The trick for China is to push the United States to the point of desperation in our desire for Chinese cooperation without actually triggering a war in the region and losing access to lucrative American markets.

What am I getting at? Taiwan. From the first announcement by North Korea that they indeed possessed nuclear weapons, I had my eye on Taiwan. The main obstacle standing in the way of the mainland's desire to intimidate the Taiwanese into a more conciliatory position toward reconciliation is the wide spread belief that if China attacks Taiwan as its government recently voted to authorize, the Americans would feel obligated to intervene.

Indeed the China lobby in Congress would be hysterical if the United States allowed an attack on the Taiwanese to go unchecked. The ultimate objective of this latest Chinese-North Korean gambit could be a softening of the American stance on Taiwan in exchange for real Chinese cooperation on the North Korean issue, an issue they are themselves behind.