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Van Jackson @WonkVJ
, 4 tweets, 1 min read Read on Twitter
Iran's response to Trump's cheap-talk threat on twitter: "Color us unimpressed." As expected. My first book examined patterns of cheap talk and threat credibility between the US and North Korea--some application in the Iran case now. 2 dangers from Trump's cheap talk (1/3)
The first is that Iran's dismissal of Trump forces Trump to go beyond just cheap talk, in an effort to shore up his credibility (or minimize personal embarrassment). A conflict spiral results from the mere fact that Trump's words have become hollow. (2/3)
The second danger is that Iran believes Trump to be a limp noodle--eg, "Color us unimpressed"--and provokes Trump (or US forces currently in the region) in the name of deterrence. NK has a long history of provocation for the sake of deterrence. It's pathological but real 3/3
So to repeat: Cheap talk can be costly talk, and can make conflict more likely. We got lucky in North Korea last year. Does Trump believe he got lucky, or does he think he has a hot hand? The former should induce caution; the later will induce reckless decisions
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