Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Optimist and Pessimist
I'm a steadfast believer in the almost perfect political counterbalance of mutual assured destruction--or what is effectively the Nash equilibrium (yes, that Nash from A Beautiful Mind). Anti raises the scenario that N. Korea, might at some undetermined time, commence ground attacks on South Korea which "would lead to the deaths of thousands". However, KJI aka Kimmy and his minions are practicing classic brinksmanship and no more. No intentions of attacking, or real practical shows of force.
As a result of this equilibrium I tend to blindly think that the world is safe from full scale war. Thus, the devolution of historical warfare into a series of low-intensity conflicts between and against rogue states (see Derrida, Rogues for a more eloquent argument). However, my pessimism kicks in when I think that this quiet reign of terror is the most peaceful situation we can possibly achieve.
Here's David Sanger's take in last Sunday's Grey Lady [nyt]