According to Michael Scheuer, the former head of the CIA’s bin Laden unit, President Trump can only choose from two lousy choices to fix the North Korean problem.
The first is making an agreement that allows U.S. forces into North Korea to inspect and destroy their nuclear arsenal.
The next is total military annihilation of the North Korean nuclear arsenal.
Scheuer’s A/B solution doesn’t leave a lot of hope. Getting American inspectors into North Korea to dismantle their nukes would be the obvious choice, but it seems unlikely. I wrote earlier today that Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, has offered a third way. Despite its appeal, Bandow’s suggestion seems unlikely to be implemented given the political atmosphere.
There is something approaching biblical justice in the U.S.-North Korean confrontation now before us. President Truman’s 1950 decision to go to war against the North Korean communists’ invasion of the south was the first and so precedent-setting instance of the unnecessary U.S. interventionist wars that have become the national government’s foreign-policy trademark since 1945.
Truman’s action was unconstitutional in that he had no authorization from Congress. Like Obama in Libya, he took the republic into an unnecessary war in the name of the United Nations and in the space of three years wasted the lives of 36,574 American troops and maimed and wounded 103,284. (1) In addition, the allegedly thrifty Truman squandered $341 billion in 2011 dollars. (2)
Wasted lives, limbs, and dollars are three of the main characteristics of the U.S. government’s military interventionism overseas. Truman’s illegal adventure in Korea also manifested five other traits that have become both the indelible signatures of U.S. interventionism, and unrelenting threats to U.S. national security.
Trump and his national-security team face a direct and demonstrable nuclear threat to the United States that is of his predecessors’ making. He has drawn the short straw and must end this problem here and now or knowingly endanger our posterity by allowing the North Korea’s nuclear capability to grow. There are only two ways to do the right thing for today and for the future: (a) reach an agreement that will allow U.S. forces and nuclear experts to enter North Korea and dismantle and destroy North Korea’s nuclear facilities, ballistic missiles, and stockpiles of fissile material, or (b) direct U.S. forces to annihilate all of North Korea’s nuclear and military capabilities and armed forces.
The existence of only two rotten choices is tough luck for President Trump, but he has the con. He has inherited the ripest and most poisonous fruit of the nation’s bipartisan governing elite’s addiction to overseas military interventionism. That interventionism always fails, often strengthens our enemies, always kills and maims our children, massively deepens the national debt, stokes a worldwide hatred for America that creates new enemies, and now has brought us to the brink of nuclear war. Only fools, war-mongers, or domestic enemies of the republic would ever advocate another unnecessary interventionist war after witnessing the current and still unfolding interventionist-made disaster in North Korea.
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