Art of Brinkmanship

Brinkmanship is best avoided unless you are prepared to go all the way.

A small event can lead lead to a chain of larger consequences.

A small event can lead to a chain of larger consequences.

The thing about nature is that it displays all the warning signals to tell you to keep away as an energy conservation strategy, but will use the nuclear option of biting or stinging you if you ignore the signals.  Human beings however play to different rules, often based on the idea of playing chicken, as in two cars speeding towards each other, who will chicken out and leave the road first?

I play a different game to humanity, I will play the way nature plays, I will bite or sting if the warning signals are ignored, it makes me a dangerous opponent to play chicken with.  A council played chicken with a disabled person who it discriminated against a few years ago, they miscalculated thinking the disabled person had no funds to finance the court case, their brinkmanship backfired when I secretly underwrote the court case for the disabled person in which the council humiliatingly lost.

North Korea is in recent weeks playing chicken.  For many North Korea is like the boy who cries wolf, many, especially in South Korea ignore the daily threats of North Korea with indifference, a boy who cried wolf too many times.  I am unsure at this moment which direction the events in North Korea are turning.  In political terms the ruler of North Korea is an impulsive boy who recently it is claimed survived an assassination attempt.  South Korea makes it clear they will hit back if North Korea hits them.  USA supports South Korea with a tough in your face display of political rhetoric and military power.  China is now on high alert with their military massing on the Korean borders.  North Korea have in two weeks played a fast and high stakes game that has caught the world’s attention.  On the back of this North Korea is playing a high stakes game in a time critical window with planting season about to start when their soldiers need to return to the fields or risk starvation, with 30 days of fuel for a war, and a no-win situation in a might-is-right fight with USA and allies.

A hundred years ago a Serbian activist assassinated a nation’s leader, a supposedly small event that resulted in an equally insignificant invasion of Serbia.  These small events triggered the First World War that killed millions and destroyed five empires.  North Korea in world terms is insignificant, its posturings eccentric political tantrums, however lurking in the shadows is a larger potential to draw in USA and China into direct conflict with each other, which would have implications for everyone.

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10 responses to “Art of Brinkmanship

  1. firstly I love your new look..
    secondly a USA China conflict would have more than an effect on us all.. it would bring the world to a stand still, with recovery being a long extended drawn out process… God forbid…

    • Considering how fragile the global economic and political systems are such a conflict as you predict would hit everyone hard.

      Thanks for your feedback on the new blog theme.

  2. In a way the truth seems to be worse than this – some journalists claim they are just trying to get the US ot help them. So, is this more a cry for help than an act of war? Will it make any difference?

    • You make a good observation Barb, North Korea works in a paradigm of utopia, a class struggle against capitalist corruption. North Korea has got itself into a hole, its utopian dream is one of oppression and poverty which is slowly killing it, to survive it has to approach the outside world in a manner that won’t undermine its delusional paradigm. USA is in no mood to humour North Korea, it is in there with a big stick to beat North Korea with, in other words North Korea is moving towards a point of humiliation it cannot disentangle itself from, leaving only the option to unleash its military into battle. If North Korea burn it may be in the minds of its decision makers the better option than humiliation to those it has indoctrinated its people to hate.

  3. When I read your post title, I immediately thought of North Korea. And there it is. Indeed, brinkmanship IS an art, and North Korea is finger painting. However, we can’t dismiss the threat, of course, as there is always the option of North Korea pouring paint down our throats, so to speak. Sickening.
    The need to grow food to survive may wash away any brinkmanship which exists at this moment. Unless, of course, Mao Zedong is reincarnated…

  4. It’s a little scary that an overgrown brat has control of a nation and serious weapons. North Korea is a mess.

  5. Alex, I can see exactly why this situation with North Korea intrigues you. My son is also a huge history buff and is watching this with interest and concern. The biggest problem comes from the fact that we know so little about how far this young ruler will take things. Having family and friends who served in the military near the North Korean border I can tell you they are very concerned with the threats.

    • This issue has such huge ramifications, the incredible threats being made by North Korea, so many unknown variables, yes, this is an intriguing situation.

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