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Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Dealing With The nKorean Threat

For John, BLUFMr William Aikin is not a known "Right Wing" crank.  On the other hand, as a "defense analyst" he has been known to question the conventional wisdom.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is the sub-headline:

US officials warn of a president who is a dangerous wildcard, but Trump should be supported in his denuclearization plan

From The Guardian, Analyst William M Arkin, 25 February 2019.

Here is the lede plus four:

When Donald Trump sits down with Kim Jong-un in Hanoi this week to further discuss eliminating North Korea’s nuclear capability, there are lots of reasons to doubt that the American president can pull it off.

Yet denuclearization is exactly the right goal and the president should be cheered on to succeed.

And yet, ever since the president announced last year that he would pursue “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula”, jeering has been the near universal response.&Nbsp; It’s come from almost every imaginable American quarter: Republican and Democrat, liberal and conservative, expert and amateur.

Former president Barack Obama’s CIA director John Brennan has been the most vociferous, saying that a president “prone to flattery” and oblivious to North Korea’s “agile feint” has taken Kim’s “bait”, canceling exercises and contemplating reductions of forces.  Meanwhile, the news media is filled with leaks and speculation that North Korea clandestinely continues to manufacture nuclear materials and work on long-range missiles.  Ahead of the meeting, US officials promise that troop withdrawals from the Korean peninsula won’t happen, more of a hope as to the actual agenda, given the portrayal of Trump as a dangerous wildcard.

The picture painted is of an unmanageable patriarch who desires to give away the family fortune.  That family fortune of course is in the possession of the national security establishment.  On North Korea, but not only with regard to Korea – look also at Syria and Afghanistan – expert Washington is the master at adhering to their own preferred solutions.  Their passive-aggressive ways – whether applied to Trump on Korea or Obama on issues like Guantánamo and general nuclear disarmament – perpetuate stagnancy, any real change stymied through the imposition of conditions that are never quite achievable.

Yes, North Korea still has nuclear weapons.  But, we are talking and there have been no recent tests.  I judge the new normal to be better than the old normal.  As for Chairman Kim's belief that if he gives up his nuclear weapons he makes his position less secure, we can thank then Secretary of State Clinton.

Regards  —  Cliff

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