Jeffrey LewisFeckless Leadership on North Korea and Iran

Rose Gottemoellar has a spot-on letter to the FT about Bush’s leadership, or lack thereof, on North Korea and Iran issues:

Bush showed lack of leadership over N Korea and Iran policy
Financial Times, October 7 2004 03:00

From Ms Rose Gottemoeller.

Sir, I am in complete agreement with Amity Shlaes (“Bush has it right on nuclear proliferation”, October 4) when she writes: “It is a ‘colossal error’ . . . to give countries such as Iran and North Korea time to develop nuclear weapons.”

If only President George W. Bush and his team had not wasted so much time, while North Korea processed enough plutonium for six or seven nuclear weapons and Iran developed facilities to enrich uranium. Mr Bush dithered and hesitated and in the end let other countries take over on matters vital to US national security. This is not prudence or sound policy; it is a lack of leadership.

The president castigated John Kerry after last Friday’s debate, claiming that he would be in the lap of the French. Mr Bush would do well to check his own seating arrangements, since it is France, along with the UK and Germany, that are running US policy on Iran.

Rose Gottemoeller, Senior Associate, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, DC 20036, US