Military action in North Korea: yes or no

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Re: Military action in North Korea: yes or no

Postby Doctor X » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:16 am

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Re: Military action in North Korea: yes or no

Postby Grammatron » Thu Jan 11, 2018 5:41 am

Mentat wrote:
Grammatron wrote:
Mentat wrote:Whether or not Trump is reckless is a different story than what Kim's doing.

South Korean president just said Trump is not reckless when it comes to North Korea and put the onus completely on Kim.
For a dictator to survive, they must appear powerful and in charge of the situation. That's what this whole nuclear fiasco is all about. That's not to say he wouldn't do something very dangerous or even risk an attack. The only skin a tyrant cares about is his own, and that may mean incinerating millions. We - the world - have to be damn careful that's not his best move. And that requires strategy, planning, and patience. None of which Trump has shown a knack for.


Who has a knack for it, Bill Clinton? George Bush? Barack Obama?


All four had more than Trump.


Do you also then consider their respective policies toward North Korea successful?
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Re: Military action in North Korea: yes or no

Postby Mentat » Thu Jan 11, 2018 1:57 pm

Grammatron wrote:
Mentat wrote:The only skin a tyrant cares about is his own, and that may mean incinerating millions. We - the world - have to be damn careful that's not his best move. And that requires strategy, planning, and patience. None of which Trump has shown a knack for.


Who has a knack for it, Bill Clinton? George Bush? Barack Obama?


All four had more than Trump.[/quote]

Do you also then consider their respective policies toward North Korea successful?[/quote]

They were mediocre, but mediocre is all we had.
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Re: Military action in North Korea: yes or no

Postby ed » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:58 pm

If you strip away his oddities, I think that Trump is not doing a bad job. I am amazed he has lated.
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Re: Military action in North Korea: yes or no

Postby gnome » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:33 pm

Absent a significant change, I do not think NK is an especially useful yardstick of a president's foreign policy. There seem to be factors that maintain the status quo regardless of the US President's tone, and that's probably a good thing.

I'll want to see how Trump handles Syria and the Russians now that ISIS is becoming less of a player. Or is that media hype?
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Re: Military action in North Korea: yes or no

Postby Anaxagoras » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:35 pm

Grammatron wrote:
Do you also then consider their respective policies toward North Korea successful?


I know you were asking Mentat, but I think the jury ultimately is still out. We'll know the answer someday when one of two things happens.

Either it will eventually end like the Cold War ended, or it will end in a bad way with lots of dead people. "Containment" arguably worked in the long run with the Cold War. But who knows what the future holds, or how things would have ended up if we had taken a different policy.
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Re: Military action in North Korea: yes or no

Postby RCC: Act II » Thu Jan 11, 2018 4:28 pm

gnome wrote:I'm going to completely make up a narrative right now, and wonder what people think of it:

NK, knowing thinking SK is worried about trump, is leaning on SK now for an agreement, that they expect to be more favorable because SK is worried.

Kind of an inversion of the idea that Trump's apparent instability is benefiting us.

I don't claim this is true, just considering the plausibility of it.


B.R. Myers is saying just as much except that NK has no interest in what we see as "working towards a solution. Myers is an expert on NK propaganda. This is wedge driving, plain and simple. North Korea is only interested in a reunification on their terms, and they see US/South Korea relations as an obstacle. The North needs the South to see them as less of a danger than the US for the North to have any chance of a forced unification.

The general thing that we tend to miss is that the Korean Peninsula isn't made up of Communists vs. Capitalists. It is more an issue of radical blood and soil nationalism vs. moderate blood and soil nationalism. This makes it a totally different conflict than the East/West Germany model that we tend to impose on it.

The example of East Germany exerts a far greater cautionary effect on the North Koreans than Qaddafi’s fate does. The Honecker regime took what Americans and South Koreans keep recommending to North Korea as the “pragmatic” way out of its problems: It began opening up to the West, quasi-formally recognized the rival coethnic state’s right to exist, and focused on improving its own citizens’ standard of living. We all know how that ended. The same road would be even deadlier to North Korea, because while communism can legitimize itself with promises of a more equal society, an ultranationalist state that makes peace with the race enemy has no reason to exist.


link

Trump's tweets give the South more reason to move towards a confederation. However...

Pyongyang has always seen confederation as a brief transition to a takeover of the South, while Seoul sees it as a symbolic union that will enable it to postpone real unification indefinitely. America is thus in the absurd and very dangerous position of a bodyguard trying to protect someone who is promising a stalker a sort of pro forma marriage.

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Re: Military action in North Korea: yes or no

Postby Grammatron » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:46 pm

Mentat wrote:They were mediocre, but mediocre is all we had.


That implies the need to try something else.
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Re: Military action in North Korea: yes or no

Postby Grammatron » Thu Jan 11, 2018 6:48 pm

Anaxagoras wrote:
Grammatron wrote:
Do you also then consider their respective policies toward North Korea successful?


I know you were asking Mentat, but I think the jury ultimately is still out. We'll know the answer someday when one of two things happens.

Either it will eventually end like the Cold War ended, or it will end in a bad way with lots of dead people. "Containment" arguably worked in the long run with the Cold War. But who knows what the future holds, or how things would have ended up if we had taken a different policy.


I don't think it worked for civilian population of North Korea.
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Re: Military action in North Korea: yes or no

Postby Rob Lister » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:23 pm

Trump, no Trump, the time to act is now. I'm a little dubious that they even have a nuclear program--as I've expressed (with a bit of ridicule from others) in the other thread--but even assuming they do, now is the time. Especially if they do because that capability will only get more dangerous with time.

Hey! We invaded Iraq based on a single fucking satellite image of a truck that may or may not have contained chemical warfare capability. Sure, there was more past baggage but there was no clear evidence of any WMD capability. Bush easily survived that FUBAR.

I can no longer be recalled (I'm now past that age). I suppose it is a war better argued by those that actually have to fight it. I'd go, were I eligible. I personally think they'd be bigger pussies than Iraq. Fact is, they were back then too. Were it not for a [couple of] million Chinese running in, we wouldn't be having this discussion; it was practically over when that happened.

I figure that if we go there will be no nuclear response. It would be over in six months. I figure 3000 of our guys dead and 30k to 300k South Koreans, mostly civilians, mostly in Seoul, depending on how well we've already targeted their offense. Maybe two or three million North Koreans; mostly involuntary cannon fodder. The 'reunification' will be easier than was East Germany.

Or we can wait until even China is worried.

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Re: Military action in North Korea: yes or no

Postby Pyrrho » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:34 pm

I don't worry about their nuclear missile program. I worry about them delivering devices in shipping containers.
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Re: Military action in North Korea: yes or no

Postby gnome » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:55 pm

A question is, and I don't claim to know the answer, would China allow us to do this? I feel like if they even signaled acquiescence, let alone any cooperation, that we've have dived in right away.
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Re: Military action in North Korea: yes or no

Postby RCC: Act II » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:18 am

gnome wrote:A question is, and I don't claim to know the answer, would China allow us to do this? I feel like if they even signaled acquiescence, let alone any cooperation, that we've have dived in right away.


I'm not so sure we could count on South Korean cooperation, let alone China.

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Re: Military action in North Korea: yes or no

Postby RCC: Act II » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:21 am

Rob Lister wrote:Trump, no Trump, the time to act is now. I'm a little dubious that they even have a nuclear program--as I've expressed (with a bit of ridicule from others) in the other thread--but even assuming they do, now is the time. Especially if they do because that capability will only get more dangerous with time.

Hey! We invaded Iraq based on a single fucking satellite image of a truck that may or may not have contained chemical warfare capability. Sure, there was more past baggage but there was no clear evidence of any WMD capability. Bush easily survived that FUBAR.

I can no longer be recalled (I'm now past that age). I suppose it is a war better argued by those that actually have to fight it. I'd go, were I eligible. I personally think they'd be bigger pussies than Iraq. Fact is, they were back then too. Were it not for a [couple of] million Chinese running in, we wouldn't be having this discussion; it was practically over when that happened.

I figure that if we go there will be no nuclear response. It would be over in six months. I figure 3000 of our guys dead and 30k to 300k South Koreans, mostly civilians, mostly in Seoul, depending on how well we've already targeted their offense. Maybe two or three million North Koreans; mostly involuntary cannon fodder. The 'reunification' will be easier than was East Germany.

Or we can wait until even China is worried.


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Re: Military action in North Korea: yes or no

Postby Rob Lister » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:46 am

Yea. I'm crazy like that.

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Re: Military action in North Korea: yes or no

Postby sparks » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:06 am

"Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed! But I do say only 10 to 20 million killed. Tops. Depending on the breaks."
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Re: Military action in North Korea: yes or no

Postby Doctor X » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:25 am

"I wouldn't say that, until all the facts are in."

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Re: Military action in North Korea: yes or no

Postby Anaxagoras » Wed Jan 31, 2018 1:37 am

Would-be South Korea ambassador sidelined over disagreements with Trump :notsure:

Victor Cha, the White House's choice for U.S. ambassador to South Korea, "is no longer expected to be nominated" after he raised concerns about parts of President Trump's North Korea policy, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Cha objected to the administration's suggestion "of a limited strike on the North aimed at sending a message." He also opposed Trump's threats to "tear up a bilateral trade deal with Seoul." He was favored by South Korean diplomats, who had encouraged the White House to finalize the nomination.


This profile of Dr. Cha was published in December when he was first tapped for the position:
Trump Finally Taps Ambassador to South Korea

Cha is a scholar-practitioner, moving back and forth between the academic and policy world. He received his Ph.D. in political science from Columbia University in 1994, and has spent most of his academic career as a professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service. He has written a number of books and academic journal articles focused on North Korea, U.S.-Asia relations, and Japan-South Korea relations within an asymmetric, U.S.-led alliance system. In 2004, he was appointed as director of Asian Affairs on the National Security Council under George W. Bush, and also later served as the deputy head of delegation for the United States at the Six Party Talks in Beijing. If his appointment is confirmed, Cha will leave his current positions at Georgetown and as senior advisor and Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

The fact that the Trump administration is moving forward with the ambassadorial appointment is surely welcome news in Seoul and other regional capitals. Nevertheless, coming nearly a year into Trump’s term, it also highlights the administration’s lack of awareness of even the most basic foreign policy needs. The crisis surrounding North Korea’s nuclear and missile program arguably has been the most pressing issue the new administration has faced. Yet it has done so without the constant presence of the official representative of the president, the ambassador, in South Korea. Although Cha’s potential appointment was first reported in late August, it is only now moving forward.

According to one official source, the Trump administration’s erratic and dissonant signals toward not only Pyongyang, but also longtime U.S. ally South Korea, have left Seoul’s foreign policy establishment scrambling to make sense of things. The lack of a U.S. ambassador (or any sense of urgency in appointing a new one) has surely contributed to the sentiment.


According to The Hill, it's highly unusual for a nomination to be scratched this far into the process.

A White House official speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed to the Post that the administration is now considering other candidates.

“We have yet to nominate anyone for the post, but it is our intention to do so as soon as we can find the appropriate candidate,” the official told the newspaper.

According to the Post, Cha’s nomination was relatively far along in the process, as the White House had formally notified Seoul of the nomination. The South Korean government had reportedly accepted it.
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Re: Military action in North Korea: yes or no

Postby Anaxagoras » Thu Feb 01, 2018 7:01 am

So now Dr. Cha is out of consideration for Ambassador, he has published an editorial about how to deal with North Korea in the Washington Post:

Victor Cha: Giving North Korea a ‘bloody nose’ carries a huge risk to Americans

It's basically a hawkish approach he recommends, but not a preemptive strike.

Another piece says that McMaster is the one pushing for a preemptive strike
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Re: Military action in North Korea: yes or no

Postby Pyrrho » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:11 pm

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