14 August 2006

Outcomes trump ideology

Negotiating with rogue regimes may not be pretty, but the evidence shows that it works far better than tooth-gnashing. Nicholas Kristof, International Herald Tribune (subscription only), 14 August
I read this column in a cafe's issue of today's IHT, and don't have a subscription, but my recollection is that, unusually, the writer compares the outcomes of two different policy approaches. He looks at former US President Clinton's policy of talking with North Korea, and contrasts that with President Bush's approach: no engagement with rogue states. Mr Kristof, I'm pleased to say, looks not at the principles, the politics, or the morality of the two styles, but at their results. And on that basis, the Clinton approach is the clear winner. Under Clinton, no nukes manufactured in North Korea. Under Bush, ten - with more to come. I'm pleased that somebody else cares more about policy outcomes in this critical subject than they do about ideology, image or anything else.

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