It looks like President Donald Trump is done with his complimentary approach to Kim Jung Un and North Korea. It was only 3 months ago that President Donald Trump told Bloomberg News that, “If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it…” It now seems the only thing meeting with Kim Jong Un will be “fire and fury”
President Trump used his harshest language yet to warn North Korea on Tuesday that it will be “met with fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before,” if it does not stop threatening the United States.
“North Korea best not make any more threats,” Trump told reporters at his Bedminster, N.J., golf club, where he is vacationing. Saying that the threats had gone “beyond a normal state,” he twice repeated the “fire and fury” warning.
This is quite the turnaround for Trump. His rhetoric towards North Korea has always been somewhat inconsistent. In May Trump was open to meeting with Kim Jong Un by the end of June he was declaring the policy of “strategic patience” to be over. Ironically, POLITICO published a story less than 24 hours ago that said despite Trump’s posturing his strategy behind the scenes was very similar to President Barack Obama’s. The former President famously tried “strategic patience” in dealing with North Korea. However, based on the recent advancements of North Korea’s weapon technology and their overall aggressiveness with missile and nuclear tests, most agree it was a failure. Thanks to President Obama, Donald Trump does not have a lot of options. Niall Fergusen, a month ago, wrote about the lack of options President Trump has in dealing with North Korea…
The biggest risk of a showdown with Pyongyang is not the proximate one (damage to Seoul). It is (as in 1950) the second-phase risk of Chinese intervention on the other side. And that is what makes Graham Allison’s book so important. “China and the United States are currently on a collision course for war,” he writes. Yet in four out of Allison’s 16 historical case studies, the rising power and the incumbent power did not end up going to war — the most relevant being the Cold War.
If Allison is right to compare today’s North Korean missile crisis with the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, then surely Trump has no option but to threaten to use force and bank on the other side’s blinking (with a little help from back-channel diplomacy).
Ferguson addresses the obvious criticism most will have of his analysis. That President Donald Trump is no Kennedy.
Donald J. Trump as John F. Kennedy? Such a parallel is beyond the ken of the legion of Trump haters. But those same people missed completely the Kennedy-like tone of Trump’s fine speech in defense of western civilization in Warsaw on Thursday. The lesson of history is that not every great power falls into the Thucydides trap — but most journalists just keep falling into the trap of underestimating Donald Trump.
Being on the brink of possible war, maybe nuclear war at that, I am praying that Ferguson is right. I am not the biggest fan of Trump when it comes to decsions that are this impactful I am going to pray that Presdient Trump rises to the occasion. Not just for America’s sake but for the world’s…