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U.S. foreign policy is full of those kinds of devils, policies that sound good on paper but are practically impossible to translate into a concrete success. And yet the policies survive regardless, taking on a life of their own. Take a look at these three examples.

美国的外交政策充斥着这样的恶魔,这些政策在纸面上听起来不错,但实际上不可能转化为具体的成功。
尽管如此,这些政策还是存在了下来,并有了自己的生命力,看看这三个例子。

The foreign policy business can be an unsatisfying line of work. The ideal is very often out of reach, and many times the best result is staving off the worst from happening. The world has a funny way of making the most thought-out and fully-vetted policy look foolish and turning some of the most experienced government officials into amateurs.

外交政策方面的工作可能并不令人满意。
理想常常是遥不可及的,很多时候最好的结果是避免最坏的情况发生。
这个世界有一种滑稽的方式,让最经过深思熟虑和审查的政策显得愚蠢,让一些最有经验的政府官员变成业余人士。



Yet five years after the sanctions were put into effect, it has become abundantly obvious over time that financial penalties will not compel the Russians to hand over the Black Sea peninsula back to Ukraine. To do so would be unthinkable for Russian President Vladimir Putin, both because he is the godfather of the annexation and because doing so would likely encourage U.S. presidents in the future to double down on economic pressure. U.S. policy, however, is the same as it ever was: sanctions will remain as long as Moscow doesn’t reverse its annexation. U.S.-Russia relations are therefore stuck in limbo and weighed down by a fantasy obxtive. Whether we like it or not, Crimea is now a part of Mother Russia—and it will remain that way as long as Washington and its European allies aren’t creative in their search for a diplomatic resolution.

然而,在制裁实施五年之后,随着时间的推移,一个非常明显的事实是,经济惩罚不会迫使俄罗斯把克里米亚半岛交还给乌克兰。
这样做对俄罗斯总统弗拉基米尔 · 普京来说是不可想象的,一方面因为他是吞并克里米亚始作俑者,另一方面因为这样做可能会鼓励美国总统在未来加倍施加经济压力。

然而,美国的政策和以前一样:只要莫斯科不撤销对它的吞并,制裁就会继续。
因此,美俄关系陷入了僵局,被一个幻想的目标压得喘不过气来。
不管我们喜欢与否,克里米亚现在是俄罗斯的一部分,只要华盛顿及其欧洲盟友在寻求外交解决方案方面没有创造性,它就会一直保持这种状态。

2. North Korea’s Denuclearization: U.S. policy with respect to North Korea has been the same for decades: if Pyongyang wants full political and economic normalization with the United States and its neighbors, it needs to relinquish its nuclear weapons program and provide the international community with full, uninterrupted transparency. Until such a time as the Kim regime makes that strategic decision, the sanctions will continue and indeed tighten as necessary.

2. 朝鲜无核化:
美国对朝鲜的政策几十年来一直如此:
如果平壤希望与美国及其邻国实现全面的政治和经济正常化,它就必须放弃核武器计划,向国际社会证明其全面、不间断的透明度。
在金政权做出这一战略决定之前,制裁将继续进行,并在必要时加强。

This policy was set in stone in the early 1990’s, when North Korea’s nuclear program was at an infantile stage. At that time, Pyongyang didn’t have a single nuclear weapon in its inventory. But if denuclearization was a feasible prospect three decades ago, it’s about as likely today as a man climbing Mt. Everest with nothing on but his underpants. 2019 is not 1991; with every year that has passed, the Kim regime has made additional advancements in its plutonium and enrichment capabilities and increased its knowledge base. In 2006, Pyongyang conducted its first underground nuclear test, a symbolic milestone solidifying the North as a nuclear weapons state. Five nuclear weapons tests and 13 years later, North Korea’s nuclear weapons stockpile could be as high as 60 warheads. And yet the U.S. position remains fixed to the past as if the world was stuck in a bygone era.

这一政策在20世纪90年代早期就已经确立,当时朝鲜的核计划还处于初级阶段,当时,平壤的库存中没有一件核武器。
但是,如果三十年前无核化是可行的,那么今天这种可能性这就像今天一个人只穿内裤爬珠穆朗玛峰一样。
现在是2019年,不是1991了, 随着时间的推移,金政权在钚和浓缩能力方面取得了进一步的进展,并增加了其知识基础。

2006年,平壤进行了第一次地下核试验,这是一个巩固朝鲜作为核武器国家地位的里程碑。
五次核武器试验和13年后,朝鲜的核武器库存可能高达60枚弹头。
然而,美国的立场仍然固守在过去,仿佛世界陷入了一个过去的时代。



And yet Washington’s policy in Syria continues to be geared towards regime change in Damascus. U.S. reconstruction assistance is tied directly to Assad’s willingness to reform politically. U.S. troops have been rerouted to Deir ez-Zor in order to keep Syria’s oil fields out of the regime’s control, the theory being that Assad will eventually become so desperate for these resources that he will either cooperate in a political transition or vacate the scene for a happy retirement. Washington is still wedded to the possibility of a Syrian parliamentary democracy emerging from the ashes. Reality will have to wait another day.

然而,华盛顿对叙利亚的政策继续朝着大马士革政权更迭的方向发展,美国的重建援助与阿萨德的政治改革意愿直接相关。
为了不让叙利亚的油田受阿萨德政权的控制,美国军队已经改变了前往代尔祖尔的路线。

理论上,华盛顿认为,阿萨德最终会对这些资源极度渴望,以至于他要么在政治过渡中合作,要么离开这个地方,去过幸福的退休生活。
华盛顿仍然执着于叙利亚议会民主从废墟中崛起的可能性,但现实却很残酷。

Daniel DePetris is a fellow at Defense Priorities, a foreign policy organization focused on promoting a realistic grand strategy to ensure American security and prosperity.

作者丹尼尔 · 德佩特里斯 ( Daniel DePetris) 是国防优先组织 Defense Priorities) 的一名成员,该外交政策组织致力于推动一项现实的宏大战略,以确保美国的安全和繁荣。