Donald Trumpは大統領であることが何を意味するのかわかっていない。 180度の意見の変更、自己肯定、曖昧な言い方は必要な資質ではない。

Donald Trump has no grasp of what it means to be president
U-turns, self-regard and equivocation are not what it takes
Aug 19th 2017

Donald Trumpは大統領であることが何を意味するのかわかっていない。

DEFENDERS of President Donald Trump offer two arguments in his favour—that he is a businessman who will curb the excesses of the state; and that he will help America stand tall again by demolishing the politically correct taboos of left-leaning, establishment elites. From the start, these arguments looked like wishful thinking. After Mr Trump’s press conference in New York on August 15th they lie in ruins. 

lie in ruins:完全にダメになる

The unscripted remarks were his third attempt to deal with violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend (see article). In them the president stepped back from Monday’s—scripted—condemnation of the white supremacists who had marched to protest against the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, a Confederate general, and fought with counter-demonstrators, including some from the left. In New York, as his new chief of staff looked on dejected, Mr Trump let rip, stressing once again that there was blame “on both sides”. He left no doubt which of those sides lies closer to his heart. 


Mr Trump is not a white supremacist. He repeated his criticism of neo-Nazis and spoke out against the murder of Heather Heyer (see our Obituary). Even so, his unsteady response contains a terrible message for Americans. Far from being the saviour of the Republic, their president is politically inept, morally barren and temperamentally unfit for office.

saviour :救済者
barren :欠けた

Start with the ineptness. In last year’s presidential election Mr Trump campaigned against the political class to devastating effect. Yet this week he has bungled the simplest of political tests: finding a way to condemn Nazis. Having equivocated at his first press conference on Saturday, Mr Trump said what was needed on Monday and then undid all his good work on Tuesday—briefly uniting Fox News and Mother Jones in their criticism, surely a first. As business leaders started to resign en masse from his advisory panels (see article), the White House disbanded them. Mr Trump did, however, earn the endorsement of David Duke, a former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

condemn :非難する
en masse:全体として

The extreme right will stage more protests across America. Mr Trump has complicated the task of containing their marches and keeping the peace. The harm will spill over into the rest of his agenda, too. His latest press conference was supposed to be about his plans to improve America’s infrastructure, which will require the support of Democrats. He needlessly set back those efforts, as he has so often in the past. “Infrastructure week” in June was drowned out by an investigation into Russian meddling in the election—an investigation Mr Trump helped bring about by firing the director of the FBI in a fit of pique. Likewise, repealing Obamacare collapsed partly because he lacked the knowledge and charisma to win over rebel Republicans. He reacted to that setback by belittling the leader of the Senate Republicans, whose help he needs to pass legislation. So much for getting things done. 

set back:進行を遅らせる
rebel :反抗する

Mr Trump’s inept politics stem from a moral failure. Some counter-demonstrators were indeed violent, and Mr Trump could have included harsh words against them somewhere in his remarks. But to equate the protest and the counter-protest reveals his shallowness. Video footage shows marchers carrying fascist banners, waving torches, brandishing sticks and shields, chanting “Jews will not replace us”. Footage of the counter-demonstration mostly shows average citizens shouting down their opponents. And they were right to do so: white supremacists and neo-Nazis yearn for a society based on race, which America fought a world war to prevent. Mr Trump’s seemingly heartfelt defence of those marching to defend Confederate statues spoke to the degree to which white grievance and angry, sour nostalgia is part of his world view. 


At the root of it all is Mr Trump’s temperament. In difficult times a president has a duty to unite the nation. Mr Trump tried in Monday’s press conference, but could not sustain the effort for even 24 hours because he cannot get beyond himself. A president needs to rise above the point-scoring and to act in the national interest. Mr Trump cannot see beyond the latest slight. Instead of grasping that his job is to honour the office he inherited, Mr Trump is bothered only about honouring himself and taking credit for his supposed achievements. 

At the root of it :その根本において
get beyond:彼自身を超える

Presidents have come in many forms and still commanded the office. Ronald Reagan had a moral compass and the self-knowledge to delegate political tactics. LBJ was a difficult man but had the skill to accomplish much that was good. Mr Trump has neither skill nor self-knowledge, and this week showed that he does not have the character to change. 


This is a dangerous moment. America is cleft in two. After threatening nuclear war with North Korea, musing about invading Venezuela and equivocating over Charlottesville, Mr Trump still has the support of four-fifths of Republican voters. Such popularity makes it all the harder for the country to unite. 


This leads to the question of how Republicans in public life should treat Mr Trump. Those in the administration face a hard choice. Some will feel tempted to resign. But his advisers, particularly the three generals sitting at the top of the Pentagon, the National Security Council and as Mr Trump’s chief of staff, are better placed than anyone to curb the worst instincts of their commander-in-chief. 


An Oval Office-shaped hole
For Republicans in Congress the choice should be clearer. Many held their noses and backed Mr Trump because they thought he would advance their agenda. That deal has not paid off. Mr Trump is not a Republican, but the solo star of his own drama. By tying their fate to his, they are harming their country and their party. His boorish attempts at plain speaking serve only to poison national life. Any gains from economic reform—and the booming stockmarket and low unemployment owe more to the global economy, tech firms and dollar weakness than to him—will come at an unacceptable price. 

paid off:うまくいく

Republicans can curb Mr Trump if they choose to. Rather than indulging his outrages in the hope that something good will come of it, they must condemn them. The best of them did so this week. Others should follow. 



swingby_blog at 22:46コメント(0) 


ベルルスコーニは復帰できたのか。 80代のイタリアのリーダーは来年の選挙で黒幕となるのかもしれない。

Could Silvio Berlusconi stage a comeback?
The octogenarian Italian leader may play kingmaker in next year’s election
Aug 16th 2017by J.H. | ROME


SILVIO BERLUSCONI’S position in Italian politics has been enfeebled since the ignominious end of his fourth government in 2011. He remains the leader of Forza Italia, the movement that was his springboard into politics 23 years ago. But the party currently polls less than half the 30% it mustered at the height of its popularity in the early 2000s. Mr Berlusconi himself has a criminal record: he was convicted of tax fraud in 2013. And in September, he will be 81 years old. Yet pundits increasingly see the ageing TV-and-property magnate re-emerging as a force in the country’s politics. Could Italian voters really hand power back to a man widely viewed in the rest of Europe as either a buffoon or a crook? 


Because of his conviction, Mr Berlusconi cannot stand for parliament until 2019. He has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights, but the judges may not rule on his case before Italy's next general election, which has to be held by next May. So the chances of Mr Berlusconi returning to parliament, let alone government, are slim. But the law cannot prevent him from campaigning for his party, and in any case the real power in Italy often rests with party leaders who do not necessarily sit in the legislature or the cabinet. The current speculation over Mr Berlusconi centres on the likelihood of his playing the kingmaker—and true arbiter of his country’s fortunes—after the next election. 


Though it still lags the more radical Northern League, its rival for the right-wing vote, Forza Italia’s showing in the polls has improved. The centre-left Democratic Party (PD) is floundering and the Five Star Movement (M5S) is feeling the effects of a Europe-wide disenchantment with populism. But the real reason for Mr Berlusconi’s renewed strength is the failure of parliament to agree on a new electoral law. After modification by the constitutional court, the existing laws would allot seats to the main parties in almost exact proportion to their share of the vote. A recent projection suggested the M5S, which refuses to join a coalition with any of the mainstream parties, could occupy 185 of the 630 seats in the lower house. In such circumstances, a government of any kind would be hard to form. The most plausible outcome would be a coalition between the PD and Forza Italia, if Mr Berlusconi agreed. 


The prospect of Forza Italia’s founder returning to a position of authority is not the only sign that Italy risks slipping backwards. A fragmented parliament would lead to the sort of unstable, ideologically heterogeneous coalition governments that bedevilled Italian politics until the early 1990s. Some Italians, particularly older ones, might welcome their return: the country’s “revolving-door” governments, in which ministers often left only to reappear in the next administration in a different job, coincided with a period of healthy economic growth. But times have changed, and what the economy needs today is radical, structural reform. It will not get it from coalitions of diverse parties, especially if they are guided behind the scenes by an octogenarian who, despite his claims to be a liberal, never dared introduce liberal reforms when in office. 




swingby_blog at 20:47コメント(0) 


フィリピンの大統領の滑稽なアイデアは経済に害を与えていない。 雇用と投資ではRodrigo Duterteは破壊者というよりかは改革者だ。

The Philippine president’s zany ideas have not hurt the economy
When it comes to jobs and investment, Rodrigo Duterte is more reformer than wrecker
Aug 16th 2017 | MANILA

雇用と投資ではRodrigo Duterteは破壊者というよりかは改革者だ。


IN MATTERS of economics, as in other realms, Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, is more than capable of flamboyant, populist gestures. Earlier this month, to the astonishment and consternation of much of his cabinet, he signed a law abolishing tuition fees for students in state universities. When asked how the government would pay for the new policy, he replied “I don’t know, we’ll have to see.” By the same token, he has promised to restrict severely the sorts of temporary contracts under which around 30% of Filipinos are employed; he has pledged allegiance to China in exchange for investment in infrastructure; and, in April, he announced a plan to suspend imports of rice to help local farmers. 


Economists point out that abolishing university tuition will be more of a subsidy for the rich than the poor, since just 12% of students come from the poorest 20% of families. It could also cost anywhere between 30bn pesos ($588m) and 100bn pesos a year, according to different politicians. And it is causing alarm at private institutions, which fear a sudden slump in enrolment. But most of Mr Duterte’s radical economic policies get watered down or shelved by his underlings before they cause such upheaval, explains Filomeno Santa Ana of Action for Economic Reforms, a think-tank: “The economic managers usually neutralise the president’s populism.” For all the big talk, economic policy during Mr Duterte’s first year in office has been surprisingly sober. 


The Philippine economy is one of the peppiest in South-East Asia. Last year it expanded by 6.8%, overtaking those of Singapore and Malaysia in size. The World Bank expects it to grow at a similar pace this year and next. A large, youthful population at ease with the English language—a legacy, in part, of American colonialism—is a spur to growth. Filipinos working abroad as maids, nurses and waiters, among many other jobs, send back about $31bn a year—equivalent to more than 10% of GDP. Manila’s skyline, daubed with shiny new apartment buildings, shows where much of the money goes. 

at ease:気楽で

Western firms also outsource vast amounts of office drudgery to the Philippines. The country is a bigger player than India in call centres; its largest private employer, Convergys, an American telecoms firm, has 63,000 Filipinos on its lines. Others elsewhere have the unpleasant task of checking sites such as YouTube and Facebook for vile content, flagging videos of beheadings and orgies. In the past 15 years the industry of “business process outsourcing” has grown from nothing to about 9% of GDP. 


The cabinet and bureaucracy have so far dissuaded Mr Duterte from rocking the boat too much. When he said he would suspend imports of rice, officials at the National Food Authority, which is charged with ensuring an adequate supply of staples and with keeping prices stable, pointed out that all Filipinos eat rice, but relatively few grow it, so curbs on imports would hurt more people than they helped. In the end, Mr Duterte simply changed the rules on imports to reduce the role of the state. Similarly, the government’s labour-market reforms have been much less radical than originally promised, targeting only the most blatant abuses of short-term contracts. And the talk of aligning the Philippines with China has produced little tangible change so far—as well as little of the promised investment, alas. 

rocking the boat:事を荒立てる 

The goal on which the president and his more level-headed lieutenants seem to agree is tax reform, to pay for investment in infrastructure. Many businessmen and workers spend hours sitting in Manila’s traffic jams each day instead of making money. One banker says that when foreign investors come to town, she parks them in posh hotels and has local bosses visit in carousel to prevent the visitors squandering time and goodwill in traffic. Poor roads and rundown airports elsewhere in the archipelago present similar problems. Mr Duterte wants to increase spending on infrastructure from 5.2% of GDP last year to 7.4% of GDP in 2022 to sort things out. His plans include a new railway in Mindanao, a troubled southern island blighted by insurgencies, and the revamping of Clark airport, to the north of Manila. 

parks :一時的に預ける
carousel:荷物引き渡し場のコンベア 飛行場のホテルに泊まらせるという意味

Carlos Dominguez, the finance minister, has already raised the budget deficit from 2% of GDP to 3%, to support such investments. In the longer run, extra funds will come from a package of tax-reform bills, which is supposed to raise 375bn pesos a year by 2020. The first bill was passed by the lower house of Congress in May; the upper house is expected to follow suit by the end of the year. It raises the threshold at which Filipinos will have to pay income tax to 250,000 pesos a year, letting four-fifths of them off the hook altogether. 

follow suit:先例に倣う
off the hook :大目に見てやる

But the rate for those earning 5m pesos or more will rise from 30% to 35%. Taxes on vehicles and fuel are to rise too—a squeeze on richer Filipinos, given that fewer than one in ten owns a car. Taxes may also go up on alcohol, cigarettes and sugary drinks. The second bill would shrink the corporate-tax rate from 30% (high for the region) to 25%, while closing expensive loopholes. The third will focus on property taxes and the fourth on capital income, mining and perhaps junk food. 


Mr Duterte’s political star power should speed the passage of these reforms. But his unpredictability makes politicians, executives and investors wary. The peso is among the few currencies in the region to have weakened since the beginning of the year, partly because of the growing budget deficit and weakening current-account balance. Neither an ardent reformer nor a populist lunatic economically, the president inherited a prospering country. Almost a year later, the Philippines is still one. This suggests that for all his damn-the-torpedoes rhetoric, Mr Duterte occasionally also listens. 




swingby_blog at 21:12コメント(0) 



5 Reasons Why Venezuela's Nicolas Maduro Won't Last Much Longer
Ian Bremmer
Aug 11, 2017 Time


The writing’s on the wall, and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is nearing the end of his four-year rule. Here, five reasons why:

1. He presides over an economy in the doldrums
Venezuela’s problems begin and end with its shambolic economy. As the possessor of the world’s largest oil reserves, Venezuela’s economy is disproportionately reliant on oil—95 percent of its export earnings are derived from oil; 25 percent of its GDP comes from oil and gas. Instead of developing its own industries and sectors, the country had been relying for decades on its natural wealth to import goods and services. Now it can’t afford them—800 percent inflation will do that. Since reaching a 5-year high in the summer of 2014, oil prices have tumbled more than 55 percent. Egregious macroeconomic management that included foreign exchange and price controls have made a lower-price oil environment that much worse.


Today, 82 percent of Venezuelan households live in poverty, 85 percent of medicine is nowhere to be found, and 87 percent of Venezuelans say they don’t have the money to buy enough food. 74 percent of Venezuelans have lost an average of 19 pounds in weight since last year.

2. He is no Chavez
Maduro isn’t helped by the fact that he succeeded the wildly popular Hugo Chavez as president of Venezuela, a politician so talented and successful that he championed his own unique strain of leftist politics we now know as Chavismo. All you have to watch is a video of Maduro speaking to crowds to see he has virtually none of the charisma of his predecessor (a fact he sometimes tries to hide by salsa dancing. Seriously).


Say what you will about Chavez, but he delivered results for the Venezuelan people. He was able to cut the number of Venezuelan households living in poverty from 55 percent in 1995 to 26.4 percent in 2009. When Chavez assumed office in 1999, unemployment was at 15 percent; by June 2009, it was at 7.8 percent. Of course, it helped that Chavez’s tenure coincided with a commodities supercycle that propelled the price of oil to never-before-seen heights during the mid-2000s. When Chavez passed away in March 2013, oil was selling at about $110 a barrel; today it’s selling at about $50. Charisma and talent are obviously important to political success, but so is timing. Maduro has none of the three.

3. His bumbling attempts at authoritarianism
In addition to presiding over an oil-rich economy at a time when oil is nowhere near the profitable commodity it once was, Maduro has also compounded his problems with a series of ham-fisted attempts to shore up his power base. To be fair, when you have an approval rating hovering around 20 percent, drastic measures probably need to be taken.


Maduro’s unpopularity resulted in his political opposition winning control of parliament in 2015, the first time in nearly two decades the institution wasn’t controlled by Chavistas in one form or another. Using judges that remain loyal to him, Maduro has spent the last months trying to dissolve the legislature and sideline his opponents. The ensuing uproar and protests led to his latest gambit—holding elections for a “Constituent Assembly” to rewrite the country’s constitution, with vast powers that include postponing presidential elections and extending a sitting president’s mandate indefinitely.

Chavistas:A follower of Hugo Chavez. 
Constituent :憲法改正会議

Elections for the Constituent Assembly were held last week, and surprising absolutely no one, the results delivered Maduro the decisive victory he desperately needed. Maduro’s government maintains nearly 8 million Venezuelans turned out to vote, though international observers peg the number closer to 3 million and assume that many of those who turned up were the 2.6 million government employees who weren’t given much choice to abstain. In addition to the U.S. and E.U., more than 17 countries in Latin America have decried the election as undemocratic.


4. He and his government are all alone
The international furor over the Constituent Assembly is just the latest sign of Venezuela’s increasing isolation; this past December, Venezuela was temporarily suspended by Mercosur, the Latin American trade bloc comprising Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay. Last weekend, it was suspended indefinitely. You know your politics are dysfunctional when even Brazil thinks you’ve gone too far off the rails.

all alone:ひとりぼっち

Most worrying for Venezuela though is China, which Maduro has counted on as being its lender of last resort, come what may. Between 2007 and 2014, Beijing lent Venezuela $65 billion—Beijing’s #1 destination for development loans during that period. For China—the world’s 2nd-largest economy with a GDP valued at $11 trillion (2015 figures)—$65 billion is a statistical rounding error. But now even China is refusing to rollover or extend new debt to Venezuela, a sign that Beijing has grown tired of throwing good money after bad in Venezuela, especially to prop up a weak government as universally unpopular as Maduro’s.

 come what may:何が起ころうと

5. The country's elite is losing faith in him
And if the Chinese have noticed Maduro’s unpopularity, you better believe those charged with shielding him from that unpopularity have too. So far daily rolling protests have claimed the lives of more than 120 protestors and at least 8 officers, often putting the security apparatus in the difficult position of following orders from their superiors or cracking down on desperate Venezuelans with whom they share plenty in common. But it’s getting harder to keep security forces in line—on Aug. 6, a group of former and active mid-ranking military officials took over a major military base near Valencia and declared themselves in active rebellion, with additional uprisings possible. 

shielding :保護する
share plenty in common:多くを共有している

The attack was put down by government forces.Maduro has already detained more than 120 military personnel since the latest round of protests began in April, 30 of those for desertion and 40 for rebellion and/or treason. True, Maduro has gone to great pains to keep the military leadership on his side, personally promoting hundreds of Venezuela’s more than 2,000 generals and granting them special privileges. That includes handing many of them political careers; some 11 of the country’s 30 government ministers are current or former military officers. Unfortunately for Maduro, there aren’t near enough political posts in the country he can dole out to ensure his political survival. Watch this space.




swingby_blog at 21:44コメント(0) 



Aug 10, 2017 | 21:10 GMT
North Korea Gets Specific With Its Guam Threat


The city of Tamuning is on the island of Guam, a U.S. territory in the Western Pacific.
The city of Tamuning is on the island of Guam, a U.S. territory in the Western Pacific.(ROBERT TENORIO/AFP/Getty Images)

Besides North Korea and the United States, the country to watch for developments in this developing situation is South Korea, which finds the prospect of war unacceptable. The threats made by North Korea are conditional, emphasizing that the United States should avoid any military provocation. It still isn't clear that the Hwasong-12, the missile listed in the announcement, is reliable enough for such a demonstration.

North Korea has released specific details of its plan to strike the U.S. territory of Guam. According to comments attributed to Gen. Kim Rak Gyom, commander of the Strategic Force of the Korean People's Army, the military is drawing up plans for a four-missile salvo of Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missiles to fly over Japan and land about 17 minutes later 30-40 kilometers (18-25 miles) from the island of Guam. Once prepared, the plan will be presented to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by mid-August, after which Pyongyang will "keep closely watching the speech and behavior of the U.S." 


The specificity of the North Korean threat has raised concerns, and it follows a statement by the Strategic Force a day earlier by that they were "carefully examining the operational plan for making an enveloping fire at the areas around Guam" as a response to the frequent flights of U.S. strategic bombers from Andersen Air Force Base on Guam to the Korean Peninsula. The statement said North Korea would consider a launch of missiles as "a serious warning signal to the U.S." Both statements — and the purported preparation of the new operational plan — come shortly ahead of the annual large-scale Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises between South Korea and the United States, which begin at the end of August. 

enveloping fire:包囲射撃

A few things are important to note about the series of North Korean comments. First is that many countries draw up operational plans — it is a standard and necessary practice for militaries, and these are frequently reviewed and updated during times of heightened tensions. Second is that the current comments are clearly conditional threats — something emphasized by Pyongyang's assertion that the United States "should immediately stop its reckless military provocation against (North Korea) so that the latter would not be forced to make an unavoidable military choice." 

Finally, while Pyongyang is very specific in its numbers ("They will fly 3 356.7 km for 1,065 seconds and hit the waters 30 to 40 km away from Guam"), the Hwasong-12 has had only a single successful launch after a series of back-to-back tests earlier this year. It is not clear that this missile is reliable enough for such a demonstration, even if the North felt it was necessary. 

back-to-back test:相次ぐ

There are several additional questions to assess and potential signals to watch as we monitor the escalating rhetorical and military tensions between North Korea and the United States. 

1. Why make the threat? North Korea's revelation of its operational plan for Guam could simply be a rhetorical response to U.S. talk about preventive action, fire and fury, or "separating" Kim Jong Un from the North's nuclear weapons. However, we cannot simply assume the North is only about bluster. Pyongyang may be signaling to the United States that it does have realistic options and capabilities that would increase the likelihood and cost of conflict. Such warnings of expanding missile launches may also enhance the drive by Seoul, Beijing and Moscow to stem any U.S. move toward war and instead push for dialogue with the North. 


Beijing has suggested several times a dual freeze plan to ease tensions: The United States would temporarily halt major military exercises in South Korea and in return the North would stop its missile tests. While the United States does not appear amenable to such a temporary suspension, South Korea may be tempted to explore such an option, if it can reduce the likelihood of conflict on the peninsula. 


2. What are the risks to such a launch for Pyongyang? 
Were Pyongyang to launch a salvo of four missiles toward Guam (with the intent of landing near, not hitting, the island), there are several possible risks. Given the track record of the Hwasong-12, one or more of the missiles could fail, demonstrating the weakness of the North's claimed deterrent. A failed missile could fall on Japan during overflight, though Pyongyang may have intentionally listed the single-stage Hwasong-12 as opposed to a dual-stage missile to reduce the likelihood of debris falling on Japan during a successful launch. 


The U.S. and/or Japan could decide to engage the missiles with their missile defense system and, if fully successful, demonstrate the weakness of the north's deterrent. The North's missiles could overfly their targeted water and actually strike Guam, triggering a military response from the United States. While a completely successful launch could alter the perception of Pyongyang's capability and seriousness, any of the failure scenarios not only could set back Pyongyang's deterrence but also trigger the conflict that Pyongyang is seeking to avoid. 


3. What would be the risks of the United States and/or Japan attempting to intercept a North Korea launch? 
The United States and Japan would first consider which flight path would constitute a threat requiring a missile defense response. This may be a 12-nautical-mile ring around Guam, or certain flight paths over heavily populated parts of Japan. Once a "must intercept" locus is identified, it would be a matter of estimating the likely flight paths from North Korea, and ensuring sea- and land-based assets are positioned and prepared. Should the United States choose not to intercept the missiles (assuming they are determined NOT likely to hit Guam), it could then make an even stronger case to China and the international community that Pyongyang is an active threat and needs to be reined in immediately. 


Pyongyang would clearly be seen as the aggressor and escalator. Shooting down the missiles if they are not headed directly for Guam poses a risk to the United States. While U.S. missile defense systems have improved in recent years, there is still concern that, in a live fire scenario, they will not be 100 percent effective. If the defense system fails to take out all targets, it weakens the perception of U.S. strength and deterrence. 

aggressor :攻撃者

If they succeed when the missiles are not aimed directly for Guam or heading off course toward U.S. or Japanese territory, it could trigger a further escalation by the North, moving from a tense situation to the escalation toward war. While the most likely course is to only attempt an intercept if the missiles are headed toward specific, designated areas, there is the longer-term political risk of being seen as weak and as unwilling to defend regional allies. 

4. How do the neighboring countries view the escalating tensions, and what steps may they take? 
Although North Korea's threat is clearly aimed at the United States, the neighboring countries are also acutely aware of the risks of rising military tensions. Japan does not want to see Pyongyang break its self-imposed moratorium of flying missiles over Japanese islands. The potential for an accident, particularly given the uneven track record of North Korean missiles, is fairly high. China has long seen a destabilized North Korea, or a North Korea moving toward unification with the South, as a higher risk than a North pursuing nuclear weapons and missile technology. 


But if the tit-for-tat threats and hyperbolic statements move from rhetoric to reality, that standing calculus shifts rapidly. Worse than the status quo or even a nuclear armed North Korea is military action on the Korean Peninsula. China's attention is on trying to ease back the U.S. threats and actions, pushing its double freeze plan, and calling on Washington to refrain from escalation. The double freeze not only would serve to at least delay an immediate crisis, but it could also fit with China's longer-term goal of easing back the U.S. military presence in Asia, where China is asserting its right to be the central power. But China's options with Washington and Pyongyang are limited, and it may be that Beijing's primary action outside calls for talks is to beef up its defense forces along the North Korean border and prepare for the worst. 

calculus :微積分

Russia has played a bit of a spoiler role of late in North Korea by selling fuel, hiring North Korean labor and buying up North Korean fishing rights to ease the impact of sanctions. And Moscow is in talks with the United States over numerous global and regional issues. But it is unclear whether Moscow has much positive leverage to exert on Pyongyang. Perhaps the most important country to watch, aside from the United States and North Korea, is South Korea. Seoul has made it clear it cannot tolerate another war on the Korean Peninsula. But neither is Seoul ready or capable of simply cutting off its defense ties with the United States or undermining its strategic relationship with Washington. 


South Korea is trying to balance its national security through its military alliance and through engagement with the North. Pyongyang is playing hard to get, putting more pressure on the South to take actions to soften its active defense exercises and displays with the United States in order to open dialogue. For South Korea, there are few good options, and the debate in Seoul is intense over just how to avoid a war without undermining South Korea's security. 

5. What are the options to ease tensions? 
At this point, the heightened situation is more rhetorical than physical. Revelations of U.S. assessments of North Korean nuclear and missile capabilities are acknowledgements of past realities, not immediate breakthroughs by North Korea that have suddenly changed the status quo. There is always room for both sides to ease their rhetoric. But the core issue is that the U.S. intent and the North Korean intent still appear incompatible. Pyongyang has no intention of giving up its nuclear and missile program, and the United States still asserts that Pyongyang cannot be allowed to achieve its final demonstrable long-range nuclear-tipped missile. 


There is no middle ground. Barring a change in political position by one or the other side, there is little space for compromise. It may be that the United States ultimately determines that management of a nuclear North Korea is the more realistic and less costly option than military action, but this is a political decision that has yet to be made. 

6. What should we watch for to understand the direction of the crisis? 
Although both North Korea and the United States are always prepared for war, the United States does not currently appear fully prepared for a preventive strike against the North. During the upcoming Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises, we need to watch what additional hardware and forces simple remain in Korea or in the theater after the exercise is over. While the United States has said it is not building up forces in Korea, there are ways to slowly and quietly add assets. One of the final triggers would be a drawdown of nonessential personnel in Korea, a fairly sure sign that conflict was on the horizon. 


North Korea's testing cycle has been intense in recent months, but Pyongyang still has a few critical tests to conduct to finalize its nuclear deterrent. The North may no longer be able to rely on tests launched at steep angles to avoid overflying neighboring territory, and it may need to test its guidance system and re-entry capability over true distances. While Pyongyang has developed a flight path for its space launch vehicles that pursues a more southward trajectory, it has yet to test its strategic missiles along this path. We need to monitor Pyongyang's next series of tests to see how much closer the North is to finalizing its program, from ruggedization of the warhead to the program's targeting capabilities. 


China is preparing for the upcoming party congress, an important moment for Xi Jinping, and is already engaged in a low-level military standoff with India. Beijing will be working studiously to ease frictions at least until November. China has been relatively cooperative in the United Nations, but it has had limited intent or success in applying sanctions and pressure on North Korea. Beijing has also had very limited communications with Pyongyang, and we should watch closely for any high-level delegation between the two capitals, as well as Chinese dialogue with South Korea to urge Seoul to accede to the double-freeze proposal. 


South Korea will be particularly important to watch because it is caught between the risk of war and the risk of angering its strategic ally — that choice could not only have defensive consequences but could also play into the renegotiations of their free trade agreement. Seoul has walked a careful path under Moon Jae In, calling for dialogue with the North and easing restrictions on exchanges while also allowing an expansion of U.S. missile defense systems in South Korea and emphasizing the security relationship. The political direction of Seoul will be critical for any short-term easing of the current crisis. While it does not appear that Seoul will ease off the upcoming military exercises with the United States, any adjustment will be critical to watch for. 

今日も北朝鮮の話で、いろいろな関係者との動きによって今後どう変わるかということを説明している。とりあえずは北朝鮮はミサイルをグアムに発射するのを思いとどまった。韓国の大統領のMoon Jae Inはなんとしてもアメリカとの戦争を避けようとしている。北との対話が何も変化がないが、それでもその努力は必要だろう。中国は11月の全人代の結果までは動けない。北朝鮮が挑発してこなければ、このままのアメリカとの対峙の状態が続くだろう。中国は裏でどう動いているのか見えないが、必死に北朝鮮に行動を取らないように圧力をかけているに違いない。


swingby_blog at 21:44コメント(0) 



Jan 5, 2017 | 09:16 GMT
How North Korea Would Retaliate


Handling a Nuclear North Korea: How North Korea Would Retaliate

This is the fourth installment of a five-part series that originally ran in May 2016 examining the measures that could be taken to inhibit North Korea's nuclear weapons program. The purpose of this series is not to consider political rhetoric or noninvasive means of coercion, such as sanctions. Rather, we are exploring the military options, however remote, that are open to the United States and its allies, and the expected response from Pyongyang. Part five can be found here.


North Korea is powerless to prevent a U.S. strike on its nuclear program, but retaliation is well within its means. The significant military capability that North Korea has built up against South Korea is not advanced by Western standards, but there are practical ways Pyongyang could respond to aggression. 


The North Korean military's most powerful tool is artillery. It cannot level Seoul as some reports have claimed, but it could do significant damage. Pyongyang risks deteriorating its forces by exposing them to return fire, however, which significantly restricts their use. Less conventional methods of retaliation, such as sabotage or cyber warfare, are less risky but also limit the shock that North Korea would desire. 


After a strike, North Korea's most immediate and expected method of retaliation would center around conventional artillery. Many of the North's indirect fire systems are already located on or near the border with South Korea. By virtue of proximity and simplicity, these systems have a lower preparatory and response times than air assets, larger ballistic missiles or naval assets. Nevertheless, there are several critical limitations to their effectiveness. 

indirect fire:間接照明射撃
By virtue of :のお陰で

Tube and Rocket Artillery
The biggest anticipated cost of a North Korean artillery barrage in response to an attack would be the at least partial destruction of Seoul. But the volume of fire that the North can direct against the South Korean capital is limited by some important factors. Of the vast artillery force deployed by the North along the border, only a small portion — Koksan 170-mm self-propelled guns, as well as 240-mm and 300-mm multiple launch rocket systems — are capable of actually reaching Seoul. Broadly speaking, the bulk of Pyongyang's artillery can reach only into the northern border area of South Korea or the northern outskirts of Seoul. 


All forms of North Korean artillery have problems with volume and effectiveness of fire, but those issues are often more pronounced for the longer-range systems. Problems include the high malfunction rate of indigenous ammunition, poorly trained artillery crews, and a reluctance to expend critical artillery assets by exposing their positions. 

exposing their positions:彼らの立場を無防備にする

Based on the few artillery skirmishes that have occurred, roughly 25 percent of North Korean shells and rockets fail to detonate on target. Even allowing for improvements and assuming a massive counterstrike artillery volley would be more successful, a failure rate as high as 15 percent would take a significant bite out of the actual explosive power on target. The rate of fire and accuracy of North Korean artillery systems is also expected to be subpar. This belief is founded on the observably poor performance of North Korean artillery crews during past skirmishes and exercises. Though inaccuracy is less noticeable in a tactical sense — especially as part of a "countervalue attack," where civilian areas are targeted — at the higher level an artillery retaliation rapidly becomes a numbers game.

numbers game:数あて賭博

Ineffective crews also rapidly curtail the potential for severe damage. Rate of fire is crucial to the survivability of artillery systems — the name of the game is to get the most rounds on target in the shortest period of time, lest your position be identified and destroyed before the fire mission is complete. Poor training translates to a greatly reduced volume of fire and a painfully limited duration of effectiveness.

name of the game:重要なこと
get the most rounds on target:ほとんどの弾が当たること

The Barrage Principle
Although North Korea could technically open fire on South Korea with all of its artillery systems at once, this would open Pyongyang up to significant counter-battery fire and airstrikes that could rapidly reduce the artillery force it has so painstakingly built up. Instead, as other studies have shown, only a portion of North Korean artillery would be used at a time. This is particularly true for the advanced systems that are most important to Pyongyang: long-range artillery that is able to strike at Seoul. The heavier, more advanced systems are not only difficult to replace, but they are also priority targets for counter-battery fire and airstrikes. Even when firing, artillery systems would be able to do so only temporarily before relocating or otherwise trying to hide the system's firing location to avoid destruction. 


Aside from constraints on range and volume of fire, North Korea has to decide what targets to hit in South Korea. There are two realistic options: a counterforce attack or a countervalue attack. In a counterforce attack, North Korea would target South Korean and possibly even U.S. military facilities near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) and north of Seoul. A countervalue attack, on the other hand, is intended to shock South Korea by causing significant civilian casualties and damage to economically critical infrastructure. If North Korea opted for a countervalue attack, the lack of focus on South Korean and U.S. military targets would reduce Pyongyang's ability to limit any response. (Typically, the easiest way to counteract enemy artillery is to destroy it in place.) 

Engaging civilian targets and infrastructure would not only limit the effectiveness and sustainability of the North Korean artillery volley itself, but it would also open up Pyongyang to more significant counteraction targeting. A mix of both counterforce and countervalue responses may mitigate this risk but would in turn lower the overall effectiveness of the mission compared to full commitment. 

counteraction :阻止・相殺

Regardless of these considerations and constraints on the North Korean side, if Pyongyang embraces the worst-case scenario for Seoul — the indiscriminate targeting of the capital and its suburbs — the damage would still be significant. Some research claims that overall damage and casualties in Seoul would be minimal, but those studies have relied on very conservative data, especially regarding the effective range of North Korean artillery systems. 


Many findings do not take into account newly deployed, modernized 122-mm multiple launch rocket systems with extended range, or the much more capable 300-mm multiple rocket launchers. If projectile flight distances reach proven ranges (or commonly accepted ones) and involve these new systems, then the northern portion of Seoul could be saturated with fire. 

projectile :自動推進体

Even areas south of the Han River could be within range of 170-mm self-propelled guns, 240-mm multiple rocket launchers or 300-mm multiple rocket launchers, depending on their position on the North Korean side of the DMZ. If every one of Pyongyang's 300-mm multiple rocket launcher systems were directed against Seoul, their range would be sufficient to rain fire across the city and beyond. A single volley could deliver more than 350 metric tons of explosives across the South Korean capital, roughly the same amount of ordnance dropped by 11 B-52 bombers. 


North Korea's Artillery Concentration
This is an extreme scenario, however, and one in which North Korea chooses to expose all of its most advanced rocket artillery systems simultaneously, suffers no failures, and chooses to direct all of them against Seoul itself. Yet in northern parts of Seoul, well within range of Koksan 170-mm self-propelled guns and 240-mm multiple rocket launchers, a more intense volume of fire could be achieved even if North Korea is prudent enough not to expose all of its capable artillery pieces. Infrastructure damage in Seoul, particularly its northwestern areas, would be difficult to prevent in the event of an immediate saturation of artillery fire. 


That said, underground shelters and concerted evacuation efforts, which would be initiated immediately in the event of an attack, could greatly reduce civilian casualties. It is also unlikely that North Korean artillery fire would be sustained at great volume. Even an initial mass volley imposes great risk to the artillery systems themselves, making them vulnerable to counter-battery fire. This means casualty rates would drop significantly after the initial barrage, limiting potential civilian casualties to thousands of dead rather than tens of thousands, as has been speculated in some instances. 



Ballistic Missiles
In addition to its conventional artillery capabilities, North Korea also has a large stockpile of ballistic missiles with much greater ranges. These missiles vary from older Scud variants to North Korean versions of the Russian-designed system. There are also a number of self-developed longer-range missiles in the North Korean arsenal. Even the lowest-range Scud ballistic missiles would be capable of striking anywhere in South Korea. The main factors constraining the use of these systems, therefore, are volume of fire, equipment failures and depletion of stockpiles. 


Even subtracting the most dated portions of the North Korean stockpile — which may not be in operational condition — it still has more than 1,000 ballistic missiles that could strike across South Korea. These range from Scud-based Hwasong missiles to Nodong and Taepodong projectiles. The Hwasong and Nodong missiles are the most important for achieving volume of fire, especially considering North Korea's limited ability to launch Taepodong missiles. The Taepodong is restrained by Pyongyang's dependence on large surface infrastructure, found in only two locations in North Korea. The long preparation times before launch make the larger missiles extremely vulnerable to counterstrikes, and the Taepodong does not deliver significant advantages over the Nodong missiles. 


When assessing the damage that could be done by North Korean ballistic missile strikes, much depends on how they would be used. In conjunction with conventional artillery strikes, ballistic missiles could provide significant extra firepower directed at Seoul and surrounding areas. North Korea could also use these weapons to expand the indirect fire threat to the entirety of South Korea. This means that there would be less concentration of firepower as a whole but that a diverse spread of locations throughout the country would be subject to infrastructure damage or casualties. 

Estimated Range of Selected North Korean Missiles
Moreover, ballistic missiles could strike U.S. military positions beyond the Korean Peninsula, specifically in Japan. Whatever the targets, Pyongyang's existing ballistic missile stockpile could easily deliver approximately 1 kiloton (1,000 metric tons) of high explosives, as well as other nonconventional munitions — chemical, biological or even nuclear. Because of the inaccuracy of different North Korean missile systems, these strikes would most appropriately be used against urban centers or other wide-area targets. If employed against specific military facilities at longer ranges, a significant amount of misses would occur. 

munitions :武器弾薬

As with conventional artillery, North Korea will also be forced to show restraint in the use of these systems. Survivability may be less of a challenge because of the predominance of mobile launcher systems, but unlike conventional artillery munitions, ballistic stockpiles are limited — as is the ability to replenish them, which would draw on significant resources. Every missile spent by North Korea in an immediate retaliation scenario will diminish the leverage it maintains immediately after the retaliation. Furthermore, the high potential for failed launches, as demonstrated by frequent unsuccessful missile tests across a variety of platforms, could further damage Pyongyang's ability to influence through its ballistic missile stockpile. 


The most significant threat from North Korea's ballistic missile stockpile is the potential for a nuclear strike. Some estimates indicate North Korea may have between two and five nuclear warheads at its disposal already, at least some of which could be made to fit on a Nodong missile. Even a single nuclear strike against a South Korean population center would result in catastrophic shock and incur an immense cost. Though a nuclear strike would not automatically guarantee Seoul's capitulation, South Korea and the United States factor the possibility of such a strike heavily into their considerations of a strike on the North's nuclear program. 

at its disposal :自由になる

In the final installment of this series, we will explore other, unconventional retaliatory options open to North Korea and conclude with an assessment of the likelihood and severity of military action against Pyongyang. 




swingby_blog at 21:48コメント(0) 
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