These are very simple and straightforward analyses, total cost vs total benefits. Professor Schelling said,
- "Iran and North Korea will think of [the nukes] as deterrant weapons...We really ought to give NK some kind of non-aggression assurance...We should volunteer it, on the grounds that the primary motivation for NK to get a nuclear weapon is to make sure the US can never attack." - Qadaffi was scared, there is no reason these two accused as the "axis of evil" is not
- "US would have a good sense and the cleverness and the ability to enter the black market and engage is what we used to call preclusive purchase...if NK thinks it can sell a nuclear weapon for $1bn, we ought to be in there offering $5bn" - Schelling quoted the outbidding of natural resources in WWII, I would add the successful control of balck market in ex-USSR states, and that it is cheaper to buy out North Korea today than tomorrow
- He also believes and argued convincingly that bargaining with NK and Iran will not lead to moral hazard, because "it is not a good game to get into" [unless you are labelled an axies of evil?]. I should add that Bush's complacency toward India and Pakistan served as encouragement for NK and Iran.
- The whole interview provides more insights and discussions, a temporary link is here. It is on Nov 7 WSJ, page A2.