President Trump has spooked a lot of people in the U.S. and around the world with his “fire and fury” response yesterday about North Korea followed by today’s Tweet about how much stronger he has made America’s nuclear military force (in six short months mind you, amazing), and he isn’t afraid to use it.
The President has for all intents and purposes drawn down a red line that he will have to defend or be shamed for not doing so. So what, one more missile fired by North Korea or one more bellicose threat from the young nut-job Kim Jong Un and we instantly attack; with nukes???
In spite of the unprecedented opposition this President faces from both sides of the isle, nearly all of the national media, and a large fraction of the U.S. population President Trump is following through on campaign promises in the areas of immigration, trade, regulation, international relations, and globalization that should all please a conservative, or a nationalist, or just someone hoping for a reversal of fortune for the country. He has done it quietly, largely with the pen mind you, but also just simply by allowing the qualified people he has appointed to lead departments and agencies to do their job as guided by his policy proposals as a candidate.
He should do the same with North Korea. Stop the unnecessary public rhetoric on this critical national security issue; in particular on Twitter. The President should use back channels, the strength of America’s State Dept as led by Rex Tillerson, his Generals and use actions instead of words.
My sources in the military, both active and inactive, say there is little chance a decapitation strike can hit the necessary targets, and there are hundreds of them, fast enough before North Korea can launch against Seoul, Tokyo, Guam, or maybe Hawaii and Alaska. The North Korean's will know what is coming and how quickly once the decision is made to attack by the U.S.. Therein lays the risk and challenge. How do you take out this mad man and his military arsenal in a way that doesn’t result in the death and destruction of our friends and infrastructure in SK and Japan?
You can rest assured if the Pentagon gets the green light from the President to attack we will have the South Korean military, the Japanese military, and maybe even the Chinese military on our side and participating from the start. China has been preparing along their border with North Korea for weeks, so too Japan and South Korea. Undoubtedly, authorities on Guam, in Hawaii, and Alaska are taking whatever steps they can to prepare and defend. Though take note, America hasn’t taken the time or the money to provide adequate civil defense infrastructure for large scale missile attack, or God forbid nuclear attacks. Only the political class and the very wealthy can rely on that type of protection and escape.
North Korea has been abetted for decades by successive U.S. Presidents and leaders in Asia while the risk the country presents to the region and the world has grown. No leader has had the courage to risk carnage on the Korean peninsula or the region. Assuming the intelligence on North Korea’s capability and desire to attack the U.S. is accurate, for the U.S. then it is only a question of when to respond. Sanctions, and deference have not worked. In 2017 we are left with two options: containment, or attrition.
Those options change if Kim Jong Un shoots first; then the dogs of war will be fully unleashed.
We have rarely been closer to conflict with NK since the 1950’s. What makes this time different is the man in the White House. He has advocated for a preemptive strike on NK in the late 1990’s when he thought they were just a few years from acquiring nuclear capability, and he is a tough guy in public. It may be that the best choice for America is preemptive action. We have the capability, though those most at risk are largly not Americans.
Mr. President, take it behind closed doors. In public the use of diplomatic speech is required, or a whole lot of nothing; think Alan Greenspan as Fed Chairman.
Show America you are tough and capable when you have decided on action and succeed in taking out NK and Mr. Un.