Every week, tensions grow concerning North Korea’s nuclear program, and the danger of war seems to increase. The Trump administration both warns it may attack North Korea and holds out the promise of talks. For all the rhetoric, however, a U.S.-initiated preventive war runs dangerous risks and a negotiated settlement acceptable to all parties concerned is like a mirage in the desert. North Korea’s drive to acquire the ability to hit the United States with nuclear weapons will continue to completion and only two options remain for the United States and its allies and partners: appeasement and containment.
About the Speaker:
Richard Bush is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Co-Director of its Center for Northeast Asian Policy Studies, and holder of the Chen-Fu and Cecilia Yen Koo Chair in Taiwan Studies.
Richard Bush came to Brookings in July 2002, after serving almost five years as the Chairman and Managing Director of the American Institute in Taiwan, the mechanism through which the United States Government conducts substantive relations with Taiwan in the absence of diplomatic relations.
Richard Bush began his professional career in 1977 with the China Council of The Asia Society. From July 1983 to June 1995, he worked on the staff of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, first on the Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs (chair, Steve Solarz), and then the full committee (chair, Lee Hamilton). In July 1995, he became National Intelligence Officer for East Asia and a member of the National Intelligence Council, which coordinates the analytic work of the intelligence committee. He left the NIC in September 1997 to become head of AIT.
Richard Bush received his undergraduate education at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin. He did his graduate work in political science at Columbia University, getting an M.A. in 1973 and his Ph.D. in 1978. He is the author of a number of articles on U.S. relations with China and Taiwan, and of At Cross Purposes, a book of essays on the history of America’s relations with Taiwan (M. E. Sharpe, 2004). In July 2005, Brookings published Untying the Knot: Making Peace in the Taiwan Strait. In March 2007, through Wylie Publishers, Richard Bush and his Brookings colleague Michael O’Hanlon released A War Like No Other: The Truth About China’s Challenge to America. In 2010, Brookings published his Perils of Proximity: China-Japan Security Relations, which focused on growing tensions in the East China Sea. In January 2013, Brookings published his Uncharted Strait: The Future of China-Taiwan Relations. In August 2016, Brookings released his Hong Kong in the Shadow of China: Living with the Leviathan.