Charles Krauthammer says non-proliferation is dead because the multilateral non-proliferation process has failed in Iran and North Korea. One problem with this is that though North Korea is hanging by a thread and we’re arguably in the neighborhood of failure in Iran, we haven’t quite definitively failed yet. The other problem is that, as Robert Farley points out, the reason we’ve had problems in Iran and North Korea is that the Bush administration, on the recommendation of the Krauthammers of the world, “decided to reject any and all multilateral efforts at nonproliferation in favor of… well, it’s not even clear that what the US tried can be referred to as a coherent strategy.”
The logical response isn’t to get more invested in the kind of unilateralism and doomed bigs for hegemony that got us into this mess. Rather, everyone needs to first read Heads in the Sand and second return to the kind of internationalism that was working pretty well as non-proliferation policy before Bush came along.