Trump’s Manful North Korea Policy

“Far from being a weakness, Trump’s willingness to deal fairly—and strongly—with these states will likely be remembered as the cause for no major war breaking out on Trump’s watch.”

America’s North Korea Strategy is a Disaster

“Whereas before I was keenly hopeful for these pending talks. I am now anything but. You should be too. It is probable, as Angelo Codevilla argued, that Trump is falling for the great diplomatic trap that North Korea has set for him–and we are all going to pay the price for it.”

Trump Offers South Korea a Backbone

“Trump is ensuring that the United States, South Korea, and Japan get a real deal from Kim Jong-un rather than just another summit that improves Pyongyang’s position and weakens everyone else’s. By pulling out of the talks earlier this week, Trump is forcing his allies to get in line, and is increasing his leverage in the forthcoming talks—which, we can safely assume will happen at some point this year.”

President Trump is Right to Strike Again at Assad

“No, it is not in America’s interest to simply ignore Assad’s repeated chemical weapons use, or to empower his regime — at the expense of our regional allies. That would actually force America to expand its role in the Mideast at precisely the time it needs to reduce its physical presence there. Thus, a retaliatory — proportional — strike against Assad for his chemical weapons attack would be a justified use of American force (and would actually solidify America’s position in the region, without expanding our role there).”

How Trump Can Avoid Being Played by North Korea

“Trump could go down in history as the president who made the greatest peace deal in the last two or three decades. On the other hand, it may be that we have just ensured the arrival of a nuclear-armed North Korea—and a major war thereafter. Even if the president does manage to get a deal with North Korea, this will merely anticipate a larger reduction of American influence in Asia at a time when the United States is attempting to challenge the rising Chinese regional hegemony.”

An Outmoded Deterrence Strategy

“The Pentagon must understand that deterrence in the 21st century is not about mutually assured destruction. It is about nonreciprocal annihilation. The threats we face today are asymmetrical; the way America handles these challenges will necessarily be asymmetrical if they are to have a chance at success.”

Balancing the Equation with China by Arming Taiwan

“My recommendation would be to give Taiwan scores of cruise missiles (or to encourage the Taiwanese to build massive amounts of their own cruise missiles), coupled with the EA-18 Growlers (as well as the E-2D Hawkeyes that support the Growlers) that would be needed to suppress and overcome the Chinese S-400 threat. Taiwan has a handful of Hawkeyes and would need considerable amounts of Growlers to make their S-400 countermeasures fully effective. The United States must make selling Taiwan these upgraded systems a major priority in its relations with Taiwan.”

The West Still Doesn’t Understand North Korea

“The Kim regime’s entire existence is wedded to the idea that only that family can remake Korea whole and protect it from the outside world. Deals with the West buy North Korea time, and are wholly one-sided. Inevitably (and sooner than anyone thinks), the North will strike out with nuclear weapons, and we are entirely unprepared for that day.”

North Korea’s Nuclear Program and the Cone of Uncertainty

“What is certain that, at present, the North will have a working nuclear arsenal that can threaten anywhere in the world no later than 18 months from now. What is also certain is that, the longer that the Trump Administration delays decisive action, the more likely that the United States will have to say “goodbye” to one of its prized cities, and will still be forced to defend South Korea from a probably invasion from the North (and/or retaliate against the North for likely attacks against Japan).”