Cambria Press Publication Excerpt from “North Korea Demystified”

Cambria Press publication

Given the recent events, it would be timely to revisit North Korea Demystified. The book was published in at the end of 2012, but the advice of expert Professor Bruce Cumings in his chapter “North Korea––Dealing with Irrationality” still resonates with most, especially given the precarious state of world politics and the reputation of the leaders in place. Professor Cumings urges that we “finally to shed the anachronistic polarized positions and mindset of the Cold War and to move in the direction of a calm, steady, nuanced, and persistent process of rapprochement with Pyongyang.” He explains why in the publication excerpt below:

How do psychiatrists deal with an angry, violent, insulting, aggravating, recalcitrant, prideful, self-defeating patient? With concern, empathy, understanding, deflection, subtle advice (usually suggesting alternative behavior), the setting of limits on the one hand and the opening of avenues toward change on the other. Think of Tony Soprano and Jennifer Melfi: did she call him a fat, slovenly, self-indulgent, and self-regarding Mafia thug? No, she treated him like a human being in pain who needed help. China has long used a concept, zixiao, which is usually translated “cherishing friends from afar” (or “cherishing the lesser”), but it really means not sweating the small stuff when it comes to relations with allied or tributary states, or enemies who are not really threatening. It is a classic hegemonic device to show that the power that everyone recognizes as superior nonetheless shows concern and regard for the smaller or lesser party. English does not have a good equivalent to this (although magnanimity comes close), so its speakers use foreign phrases, like noblesse oblige.

North Korea

North Korea Demystified (Cambria Press, 2012)

Buy this book from Cambria Press today and use coupon code AAS2017 to save 30% on the hardcover version.

See also A New Strategy for Complex Warfare: Combined Effects in East Asia by Thomas A. Drohan

Asia Warfare

A New Strategy for Complex Warfare

As proactive competitors evolve techniques to circumvent US strengths, it is clear that the profession of arms needs to become a profession of effects. This study by Colonel Thomas Drohan intends to overcome three American weaknesses of strategy making.

A New Strategy for Complex Warfare: Combined Effects in East Asia develops new theory for superior strategy in complex warfare. The approach is comprehensive and practical, and it is applied to three contemporary security crises involving the United States, China, the Koreas, and Japan.

See this new book at The Scholar’s Choice booth at the #ISA2016 conference in Atlanta and at the Cambria Press booth at the AAS 2016 conference in Seattle. This book will also be at the Cambria Press booth at #APSA2016 conference in Philadelphia and at ISSS at the University of Notre Dame.East Asia Warfare Strategy

The following quotes are excerpts from the book.

Why look to East Asia?

“East Asian strategists have adopted holistic approaches to countering threats for over two thousand years. Confrontation and cooperation in China, the Koreas, and Japan coexist as a way of warfare—such as coercion and persuasion. In today’s globalized security environment where weapons of influence are diverse and accessible, strategists need to consider more than precision-guided lethality.”

What can we apply from Sun Zi to modern warfare?

“Ideas from Sun Zi and Carl von Clausewitz continue to be relevant because they deal with human aspects of war, such as deception and uncertainty. … Sun Zi advocated a way of warfare that conserved resources. The pinnacle of generalship, the “army attack plan” (shang bing fa muo 上兵伐謀), was breaking an opponent’s will without fighting. Attacking the enemy’s strategy was best; the next attack priority, alliances; then fielded armies; and walled cities as a last resort. These do not have to be carried out in a sequence; they can be applied simultaneously as multiple lines of effect with variable speed, direction, and duration.”

What sort of tactics can we expect from North Korea?

“Kim Jong-un appears intent on managing external relationships with byeongjin (parallel progress)—nuclear weapons and economic growth. We can expect to see confrontation and cooperation to Defend and Deter threats to the hereditary regime, nuclear status, and, problematically, economic independence. Pyongyang’s cyber attacks on South Korean banks in March 2013, Sony Pictures Entertainment USA in November 2014, and landmine, rocket, and artillery attacks against South Korea in August 2015 reflect the regime’s aggressive-dependent security culture. Attempts to Coerce and Compel main power behavior are likely to continue as a compatible complement to Pyongyang’s combined-effects strategy.”

On inferior allied strategy toward North Korea

“The efforts did Compel limited inspections of North Korean nuclear sites and Persuade Pyongyang to participate in talks with South Korea. However all of this operational-level activity fell rather nicely  within the enabling conditions of Pyongyang’s strategic lines of effect.”

On North Korea’s superior strategy

“Pyongyang repeatedly turned American concessions into baselines for further demands. Creating divisive, therefore negotiable, issues strengthened the power of the nuclear option. […] Focused on Deterring, Coercing and Defending, American tough-talk ignored Dissuading and Inducing as compatible elements of a grand strategy. In Pyongyang, however, arguments for nuclear development, and against inspections and negotiations, fit in as the dispensable Persuasion-Inducement piece of its broader combined effect. […]  Thus, escalation favored Pyongyang’s asymmetric, two-track envelopment strategy, as long as it could intimidate and punish American will to stop the nuclear program… The United States set itself on an incremental path of escalatory options subsumed by Pyongyang’s broader strategy. […]  Pyongyang would engage SK on eventual reunification to Deter the nuclear compliance demanded by the United States, and engage the United States on denuclearization to Deter the independent political-economic role that South Korea sought. Pyongyang basked in Seoul’s Sunshine Policy that assured access to separated families and government ministries, and shaded itself from UN demands of special inspections that assured access to stored fuel rods. […]As American officials sparred over whether to cooperate or whether to confront, North Korea Deterred and Defended the viability of its nuclear weapons development program. Demonstrations of will and capability Coerced allied acquiescence.”

When did China’s Coercive presence in the Paracels begin?

“In 1974 China preempted Vietnamese control of the Paracels by dispatching fishermen to occupy them. The PLA Navy defeated arriving South Vietnamese naval forces, establishing administrative control. Against Hanoi’s claim in the Spratlys, China followed its punitive invasion of Vietnam (1979) with drilling operations contracted through international energy corporations. Through the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Beijing established a survey outpost in 1987. This drew Vietnamese countersurveys and more naval engagements. The PLA Navy won its Coercive presence.”

How did China and Taiwan strategies interact?

“The broad features of Chinese security culture can help us understand sovereignty issues, particularly in the Taiwan Strait. … To anticipate how China and Taiwan strategies interacted, we examine the logic of the two strategies and then derive key linkages going into the 1995 crisis. Beijing fashioned a dilemma of Persuasion and Deterrence, aggravated by Inducement. China Persuaded unification through assurances of economic benefits, while Deterring independence with intimidating costs. If Taiwan sovereignty leaned toward declaring independence, a demonstration of force sought to Induce the dilemma. Beijing had to sustain this effect to integrate Taiwan into China economically.”

How do China and Taiwan strategies interact now?

“In 2015, a militarily confident China began constructing and militarizing islands in the South China Sea, a new reality with which prospective borrowers can align. Across the Strait, China’s broadened bullying polarized politics in Taiwan again, increasing support for the Democratic Progressive Party now led by Tsai Ing-wen. Like her predecessors who opposed Kuomintang coziness with authoritarian China, she is proindependent democracy and pro-cross-Strait status quo.”

On China’s superior strategy toward Taiwan

“China vied for more advantages than just improving military operations to Coerce Taiwan. China seeks to contain Taiwan through regional control…In contrast, Taiwan military exercises focused narrowly on how better to Defend against PLA operations.”

On China’s domestic problem with waging complex warfare

“The downside for Beijing is that the new tools may threaten as well as strengthen party control in different areas of China. To deal with this, General Secretary and President Xi Jinping consolidated power through reforms that institutionalize national development under party leadership, in populist terms. […] Chinese leaders need to retain popular support of this vision to justify complex warfare against Japan and the United States…four possibilities illustrate how Beijing’s proactive strategy seeks to exploit Tokyo’s separated lines of effect…All of these scenarios could be conducted by distributed cyber operations that inflame flash-mob opposition to Japanese claims.”

What about Japan and its security culture?

“With regard to the military and other tools used to achieve desired effects, Japanese security culture contains significant challenges. Retooling to confront threats has been technically successful, but engagement according to Japanese norms has met external resistance and proven to be unsustainable. Japan’s employment of national power after periods of isolation has not produced success. Yet in the ongoing Senkaku crisis, reintroducing the military tool is regarded domestically as a balanced response to Chinese aggression.”

On Japan’s controversial security options

“In all domains including cyber, preventative effects are unlikely to be credible unless accompanied by causative options. Japan’s sensible alternatives to manage threats include more offensive combined-arms capabilities in the U.S.-Japan alliance, not less. […] The situation demands leaders who can create cooperative effects, or at least restrain the scope of confrontational operations. Someone has to plan for peace. For Japan, enforcing discipline in the face of Chinese baiting is needed to prevent and contain conflict. For China, knowing how far to push territorial claims without provoking sustainable Japanese rearmament is necessary to shape a future that does not include a permanently hostile Japan.”

What can the U.S. learn from East Asian security cultures?

“The three East Asian security cultures and crises featured in this book offer a profound lesson for US policy makers, strategists, and operators: The ability to orchestrate combined effects creates strategic advantages in cooperative-confrontational interactions. This critical will and capability can be used to establish priorities that connect operational missions to national success.”

A New Strategy for Complex Warfare: Combined Effects in East Asia
Thomas A. Drohan
9781604979206  ·  326pp.  ·  Paperback $29.95  ·  Order now from Amazon

Conflict Security
A New Strategy for Complex Warfare is part of the Rapid Communications in Conflict and Security (RCCS) Series (General Editor: Geoffrey R.H. Burn).

 

 

Cambria Press Author Ivan Sascha Sheehan is the Recipient of the 2015 President’s Faculty Award

Cambria Press Publication Author Review political science terrorism terrorist Ivan Sascha Sheehan #ISA #APSA

Cambria Press is proud and pleased to congratulate author Ivan Sascha Sheehan, Associate Professor of Public and International Affairs at the University of Baltimore, was honored today for being selected by President Kurt Schmoke to receive the 2015 President’s Faculty Award for outstanding contributions related to teaching, research, and service in support of the university’s mission. The award is the highest honor bestowed on a faculty member annually. Recipients of the award are required to have a record of excellence in teaching, research, scholarly activity, and service.

Dr. Sheehan’s book, When Terrorism and Counterterrorism Clash: The War on Terror and the Transformation of Terrorist Activity, has won the praise of scholars and practitioners.

Alireza Jafarzadeh, author of The Iran Threat: President Ahmadinejad and the Coming Nuclear Crisis and FOX News Channel Foreign Affairs Analyst, has commended it, stating “This is exactly what we need to make informed policy decisions.” 

Quote from the book:

“If the United States wants to undo the damage it has done through an excess of reliance on hard power, it needs to reach out to and listen to needs and concerns within moderate Islamist political communities.”

Follow Dr. Sheehan on Twitter at @profsheehan.

From now until Oct 13 (1st Democratic Presidential Debate), there is a 30% discount off the hardback version of this book + free shipping. Use coupon code APSA2015.

Like us on Facebook, subscribe to the Cambria Press Youtube channel, follow us on Twitter, and Google+1 Cambria Press .

See the Cambria Press website for more books.

Cambria Press Countdown to the 2012 International Studies Association Annual Conference has begun!

The countdown to the International Studies Association (ISA) annual conference in San Diego has begun!

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To kick things off, Cambria Press is proud to announce that North Korea Demystified is scheduled for publication this year.

The editor of this forthcoming book by Cambria Press is Han S. Park with Regan Damron and Jonathan Polk .

Watch an interview with Dr. Park on the book. Below is a transcript of the interview:

Question: Why did you decide to write this book?

RESPONSE: We decided to write North Korea Demystified because there is a paucity of authoritative firsthand information on North Korea available to the citizens of the world’s democracies. This limits discourse on the subject, and creates a distortion between the national policies the public would choose if it had all the pertinent information and the policies governments actually pursue. More directly, public policy must itself be based upon credible and accurate information if it is to be effective. Indeed, at no other time has the need for this information been more acute. The six-party talks regarding the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula made plain the DPRK’s ambition (and ability) to play a larger role in world affairs, and its formal nuclear tests have exacerbated the tension and urgency of the situation. The death of Kim Jong-il and succession of his son Kim Jong-un, and recent reopening of bilateral discussions with the United States further increase the necessity of a nuanced understanding of contemporary society within the DPRK. If the world is to effectively deal with the reality of North Korea, reliable information is critical.

Question: What do you hope your readers take away from your book?

RESPONSE: We hope readers take away from our book an understanding that no matter how odd or dysfunctional North Korea’s behavior may seem, it acts in a fundamentally rational matter—but that this rationality must be put into context in order to be properly understood. That is, their rationality is not independent of their historical experience, their culture, their value structure, or their institutional constraints, and all of these things must be considered in order to discover the rationality behind the decision making that appears on its surface to be so ‘irrational’ and/or ‘dangerous.’ We also hope to supply the reader with much needed factual information garnered through firsthand experience by those who have actually visited and done research in North Korea, to provide a comprehensive overview of North Korean society rather than an in-depth treatment of any single characteristic of it.

Question: What other research do you believe is needed on this topic?

RESPONSE: In light of North Korea’s recent statement that it intends to launch a satellite on 15 April 2012 in order to commemorate the 100th birthday of Kim Il-sung, it has become even more apparent that what is needed is a more nuanced understanding of the domestic underpinnings of North Korea’s foreign policy. The goal of North Korea Demystified was to lift the veil on a society that remains opaque and resistant to outside scrutiny. It is imperative that future scholarship on the DPRK proceed from a position of empathy, one focused on understanding the unique worldview that originates from the particular circumstances of North Korean history, culture, and political institutions. Although the idea of North Korean government as representing the interests of members of the society is unpalatable to most scholars, no political system exists without meeting the needs of some sub-section of society. With respect to North Korea, we still do not know nearly enough about how the interests of society are aggregated by the institutions of the state, which groups of society’s interests are being articulated, and what political needs are and are not being addressed within the current political system.

Another forthcoming title that is a must for all political scientist is Doing Archival Research in Political Science edited by Scott A. Frisch, Douglas B. Harris, Sean Q. Kelly, and David C.W. Parker, which has already won the praise of noted experts.

There are also many other timely works that have been just published, including these which have already garnered excellent reviews by noted experts in the field:

Other important titles include:

Please visit our booth (#203) at the ISA book exhibit to see even more titles!

*If you would like to review any of these books for an academic journal, please e-mail Cambria Press at reviews[at]cambriapress.com or use the Cambria Press contact form.

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