Friday, August 25, 2017

A Stick By Any Other Name

Is this a carrot or a case of whittling the stick to a sharper point?

Strategic assets of the U.S. military, including an aircraft carrier and a nuclear-powered submarine, may not be deployed during the upcoming joint exercises on the Korean peninsula.

South Korean television network SBS reported Friday the United States canceled plans to deploy the strategic assets during the drill set to begin next week, and the move is taking place a week after tensions spiked between Washington and Pyongyang.

On the one hand, it looks like we are deliberately trying to be less threatening to North Korea. Which is good if we want to appear reasonable to the rest of the world and if we hope China can strong-arm North Korea into a real deal to end the nuclear threat.

On the other hand, if you want to maximize availability, you stand down from routine operations in order to get maintenance and air crew rest. So it is a quiet stick as well that provides a more effective stick if the carrot is not accepted.

Once more the healing power of "and" is evident.