In my recent op-ed for American Greatness, I argue that Trump has deftly managed the North Korean situation.
It’s time to draw-down U.S. forces from South Korea and move them on to Taiwan, only then can the United States build a proper defensive perimeter around China in the Asia-Pacific and only then will Washington be playing to its traditional strengths as a maritime power.
The United States is a Pacific power, just like China, Japan, and all of the others. In fact, it is the preeminent power in the Asia-Pacific. It should embrace its Pacific heritage and ensure that its interests are respected as China attempts to complete its historic rise to glory. Beijing insists that they have a right to reclaim “what was theirs” before the Westerners laid their empire low. The United States was not one of the powers that helped to destroy China. Also, unlike the Europeans, the United States does have a major maritime border with the region and has long had an outsized role in Asian affairs. Therefore, Washington has a right to ensure its historic standing in the region is respected as well. If China cannot countenance this fact, then Washington must do what it can to make it understand this reality.
Once it becomes clear to Kim that the president is not going to acquiesce to North Korean demands the way that former President Obama gave into Iranian demands in 2015, North Korea will have to reassess. If they refuse and persist in their ambition to acquire a nuclear arsenal, Pyongyang will precipitate a conflict the likes of which Kim and his regime will not survive—and regime survival, at this point, is essential for Kim. In fact, it is likely the desire for regime survival that belies North Korea’s continued quest for nuclear arms. He needs to be made to see that this is not the way to achieve that goal.
“Once U.S. forces are gone, only the region’s local actors will be left. And, nothing kills a toxic relationship—such as the one between China and North Korea—like proximity. For once, the United States might end up taking the role of a neutral mediator in any future conflict in northeast Asia. That is much to be preferred over being at the front of a potential nuclear conflict on the Korean peninsula.”
“America faces a world of severe threats with rapidly growing capabilities to threaten the United States—from space. A succession of American administrations have watched the threat grow over the last 30 years and done little to deter it. Now the threats are metastasizing. The solution, as Donald Trump has shown since 2016, is in nationalism—that is, space nationalism.”
“It’s not surprising that the neoconservatives who pushed us into the most self-destructive war in recent history (and also spearheaded the neoliberal economic policies that led us into the Great Recession of 2008), then got rich and famous off books detailing the “coming collapse of the United States” because of the failed wars and economic policies they had spent the previous two decades advocating for!”
“Even among enemies one must respect them. In so doing, perhaps, actual trust can be garnered. And, from there, hopefully, peace can be fostered; threats can be mitigated; and everyone can move toward prosperity. But, it all starts with respect. Trump gave Kim the respect that he had been seeking for most of his life from the West. In return, Kim gave Trump respect.”
Leon Hadar writes in the Business Times: “Mr Trump is now pursuing a similar Realpolitik strategy in dealing with North Korea (or as British commentator Freddy Gray put it, a “Real(-estate) politik”, that could change the balance of power in North-east Asia and hopefully make the lives of all Korean better. Or it may not. But as long as he embraces the “Trust, but verify” dictum, it is worth a try.”
“Investing in space-based missile defense will be the leapfrog that the United States needs to maintain its dominance and secure itself from a world gone haywire.”