Fukuyama and Corincione on the future of the Bush Doctrine
MR. FUKUYAMA: Look, I absolutely believe that we should do whatever we can to keep the club from expanding. But it does seem to me that the problem we're facing in Iran and North Korea is that the methods that we have for preventing that from happening, we're beginning to -- that string is beginning to run out. And if someone is really determined to do it, I don't think that it's a, you know, it's a realistic policy to preempt --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Is the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty wrong, that there should be no permission, no grant under the terms of the treaty, to have -- to develop the peaceful uses of nuclear energy?
MR. FUKUYAMA: Well, this was one of the basic problems with that agreement was that there was this fiction that you had these peaceful -- important peaceful uses --
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: You want to modify the treaty?
MR. FUKUYAMA: Well, I don't think you're -- politically you're not going to be able to do it.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: But do you --
MR. FUKUYAMA: But that's been the biggest loophole is that, you know -- and you see this in Iran right now.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Joe, what about that? What about permitting the civilian uses of nuclear energy? And that means that you need a level of enrichment -- some level of enrichment -- to make the centrifuges run to produce your electricity, but you don't need weapons-grade uranium.
MR. CIRINCIONE: It's not the nuclear reactors that are the problem -- there are about 40 countries with nuclear reactors -- but it's the ability to make the fuel, because the same factories that can enrich uranium to low levels for fuel can enrich it to high levels for bombs. MR.
MCLAUGHLIN: Right. How do you lick the problem?
MR. CIRINCIONE: So you've got to do what Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the IAEA, has recommended -- or President Bush in a slightly different way has recommended: You've got to stop more countries from getting these enrichment facilities, including Iran, and develop international mechanisms that can produce these in a safeguarded way. For example, the Europeans have a joint consortium of three countries that together produce the fuel so that no one nation actually possesses the ability to do this. If you're going to solve the Iran problem in the long run, you're going to have to solve this nuclear fuel problem with it.
MR. MCLAUGHLIN: Well, what about -- what about buying them out with a protective shield for their security?
MR. CIRINCIONE: Addressing the security concerns of countries like Iran has got to be part of the equation. And this is where Dr. Fukuyama's book comes into play. He has, you know, very cogently argued that the Bush doctrine -- the idea that we could deal with this problem by use of force, by overthrowing these regimes -- is now proven to be a false approach. MR.
MCLAUGHLIN: Do you see the impulse made by the administration this very week towards North Korea that is abandoning the proposition that they must dismantle their nuclear program before we continue the talks with them? They've abandoned that, as I understand the news, and they've said, we will -- even though they have not fully dismantled their nuclear program, we will resume our negotiations with them.
MR. CIRINCIONE: Whether it's a recognition that their past approach has failed or just a recognition that their poll numbers are so low that they've got to produce some success, we're seeing perhaps some signs of a new realism in the Bush policy.