Trump Loses His Game of Chicken With North Korea
This is why you don’t play chicken with a madman.
Today's missile test by North Korea proves that Trump's "maximum pressure" foreign policy has _failed_. He bluffed and his bluff was called. pic.twitter.com/yD92bG7I1L
— Seth Abramson (@SethAbramson) April 16, 2017
Of course, that’s the problem: Trump himself is a madman. Remember Trump has praised Kim Jong-un in past. The two are mirror images of each other-Trump wanted to do something like Kim’s huge military march for Inauguration.
But this sort of brinksmanship is always a mistake-especially with someone like Kim. Jong. Obama never went down this road with him for good reason. Then you put yourself in the position where someone has to blink or there is nuclear war.
North Korea, in an apparent show of defiance against U.S. President Donald Trump, tried to test a missile early Sunday, but U.S. officials said the attempt failed as the projectile exploded almost immediately upon being launched.
It was not immediately clear if the missile used was capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. But the test came just as Vice President Mike Pence was headed to South Korea and days after Trump asserted, via a tweet, that, if it must, the U.S. will “properly deal with” North Korea, whose nuclear program his administration is seeking to rein in.”
“North Korea has warned that it is “ready to hit back with nuclear attacks” against U.S. provocations, which based on some reports, include talk of a pre-emptive strike on its nuclear facilities. A U.S. aircraft carrier group has been steaming toward the region, also putting Pyongyang on edge.”
What Trump is also doing is giving Kim what he wants. A chance to play the tough guy. Jong has talked crazy for years but Obama just ignored it.
What are Trump’s intentions? Does he really mean striking at North Korea? Maybe not. Hopefully not. But such high stake theatrics can lead to mistakes.
“Neither the White House nor the State Department offered immediate comment. But Defense Secretary James Mattis issued a brief statement, that, oddly, appeared to speak on Trump’s behalf. It said: “The president and his military team are aware of North Korea’s most recent unsuccessful missile launch. The president has no further comment.”
“It’s unusual for the Defense Department or any Cabinet agency to speak on behalf of the White House.”
“This again goes to the issue of Trump’s ‘full authorization of the military.’ Mattis issuing this statement on Trump’s behalf could represent the military becoming more politicized.”
“President Donald Trump on Thursday praised the decision to drop a massive bunker-busting bomb in Afghanistan as an example of the “total authorization” he has given his military commanders.”
“But such boasts only deepen defense experts’ concerns that Trump is ceding the military too much influence over the United States’ actions abroad — creating the danger of an unbalanced policy that gives short shrift to interests like diplomacy.”
“Trump, who faced early criticism for relying on retired generals to fill key Cabinet posts, has placed career military men in the two main civilian posts that shape national security policy: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, a retired Marine general, and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, an Army lieutenant general. At the same time, he has failed to fill most of the other top civilian posts that provide a major check on military prerogatives.”
“Trump has also allowed military commanders to wield more authority on troop deployments and other actions, most notably in Syria — in contrast to the Obama administration’s reputation for micromanaging even the smallest details of national security. But Trump declined to say whether he had let them make the call in Thursday’s bombing, which used the Air Force’s 21,000-pound “mother of all bombs” to attack a cave network used by the Islamic State.”
This raises concern about a lack of civilian control of the military.
And Mattis speaking for Trump is likewise worrisome. Does he see his role as carrying Trump’s water?
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
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