After a vacation-week break, TTR is back with the latest geopolitical analysis of the Korean Peninsula, a look at what we'll get out of health care reform, a national security argument for cap-and-trade, and guidelines for regulating greenhouse emissions -- before they're even regulated. We're also happy to introduce the first of our fall class of interns, Linda Li.

  • The North Korean wild card.The denuclearization of North Korea remains the primary obstacle to regional security in Northeast Asia, according to a new Brookings paper that examines South Korea’s stance on regional integration and outlines the country’s options for securing peace among its neighbors. The author believes that the Six-Party Talks could be a precursor to a multilateral regime for Northeast Asia, with the United States acting as “regional stabilizer.” What South Korea needs, he writes, is to be an equal partner with a U.S. that facilitates China’s development and reassures Japan of its security promises. South Korea can then turn to engage positively with North Korea, building off of their shared culture and history to pursue inter-Korean cooperation. -- LL
  • One more time: Why reform health care? [PDF] In the midst of a the tangled debate over health care reform, it's important not to forget why it's so important to fix our broken health care system in the first place. Families U.S.A has put together a white paper detailing what Americans can expect to see in a final health care reform bill, from an expansion of Medicaid coverage for the poor and new regulations to prevent insurance companies from denying rightful coverage to relief for small businesses burdened by the costs of providing health care coverage to employees. -- TF
  • The National Security argument for Cap and Trade. Although the House-passed American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES) has been a bit forgotten in the health care debate, it's still due for senate consideration sometime this fall. While opponents of the bill have been focused heavily on its costs, the benefits of the bill aren't just limited to health and environmental protections that will slow the pace of climate change. They also include key national security objectives, including lessening our economic dependence on less-than-friendly foreign regimes, so that U.S. policymakers won't have to choose between cheap energy and an effective foreign policy. -- TF
  • The early bird shares the worm? The World Resources Institute details how the government should allocate credit for greenhouse gas emissions reductions that occur before the federal regulation of those emissions, known as “early action.” Depending on the kind of actor and activity as well as when the reductions took place (before the passing of legislation or before it takes effect), the options for evaluating and awarding emissions allowances vary. In general, credits awarded in addition to the federal cap are not recommended because they would negate the emissions benefit from early action. -- LL

-- TAP Staff

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