At The National Interest, the Cato Institute’s vice president for Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Chris Preble, asks the simple question no one in Washington seem to be able to answer: Do Americans really want to go to war with North Korea?
The country is still bogged down in two recent failures in the Middle East, not to mention leaving Libya in a civil war state after Hillary Clinton goaded the Obama administration into involvement there.
But perhaps the best example of the consequences of getting involved in Korea is Korea itself. Now, 64 years after the Korean Armistice was signed, there are still American troops guarding the highly developed, populace south from the backward, sparsely populated north. Is that success?
Chris Preble lays bare the folly of neocon rhetoric here:
North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is doing everything in his power to ensure that he remains atop the United States’ enemies list.
Unsurprisingly, hawks in Washington – who don’t like being so deterred – are urging President Trump to launch a preventive war.
John Bolton explained last week that, since diplomacy is unlikely to be successful, Trump has only three options:
(1)“pre-emptively strike at Pyongyang’s known nuclear facilities, ballistic-missile factories and launch sites, and submarine bases”
(2)“wait until a missile is poised for launch toward America, and then destroy it”
(3) “launch “airstrikes or [deploy] special forces to decapitate North Korea’s national command authority, sowing chaos, and then sweep in on the ground from South Korea to seize Pyongyang, nuclear assets, key military sites and other territory.”
Along similar lines, Lindsey Graham explained “Japan, South Korea, China would all be in the crosshairs of a war if we started one with North Korea. But if [North Korea gets] a missile they can hit California, maybe other parts of America.”
“If there’s going to be a war to stop [Kim Jong Un],” Graham continued, “it will be over there. If thousands die, they’re going to die over there. They’re not going to die here.”
This leaves aside the rather obvious fact that the American troops carrying out a war with North Korea would be risking death. That factor should also weigh heavily on the president’s mind. The American people, bitten by other wars that Bolton and Graham championed, are highly averse to new ones–especially those that are likely to result in large numbers of Americans getting killed.
Read more here.