Title:Dancing with the Devil: The Perils of Engaging Rogue Regimes
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The world has never been as dangerous as it is now. Rogue regimes—governments and groups that eschew diplomatic normality, sponsor terrorism, and proliferate nuclear weapons—threaten the United States around the globe. Because sanctions and military action are so costly, the American strategy of first resort is dialogue, on the theory that “it never hurts to talk to enemies.” Seldom is conventional wisdom so wrong.
Engagement with rogue regimes is not cost free, as Michael Rubin demonstrates by tracing the history of American diplomacy with North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya, the Taliban’s Afghanistan, and Pakistan.
Rubin’s analysis finds that rogue regimes all have one thing in common: they pretend to be aggrieved in order to put Western diplomats on the defensive. Whether in Pyongyang, Tehran, or Islamabad, rogue leaders understand that the West rewards bluster with incentives and that the US State Department too often values process more than results.