Tag Archives: US foreign policy

Pence’s hard-line posturing weakens the alliance with Seoul

Source: The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison

“There is something very wrong with the relationship with Seoul when our government presses them to become more confrontational in their dealings with their neighbor. If the U.S. alliance with South Korea serves any constructive purpose, it does so because it contributes to regional security and stability. When our government uses that alliance to pressure South Korea to take a harder line against the DPRK than they want to take and risks ratcheting up tensions as a result, it contributes to regional instability and uncertainty. There is always a danger that our alliances can pull us into conflicts that the U.S. could otherwise easily avoid, but there is also a real danger that our government might use its alliances as cover for pursuing reckless and aggressive policies that our allies don’t support.” (02/08/18)


Political gamesmanship at the Olympics

Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“So, why is Vice-president Mike Pence attending the Winter Olympics in South Korea? Is it because he’s a sports fan who just wants to enjoy the quadrennial spectacle of the Olympic games? Unfortunately, no. Pence is going to the games for political purposes. He intends to use them as an opportunity to level a propaganda attack against North Korea, the communist regime that the U.S. government has long been committed to regime-changing.” (02/08/18)


Hating the North Korean reds

Source: Future of Freedom Foundation
by Jacob G Hornberger

“Among the U.S. government’s worst nightmares is the participation of North Korean athletes in the Winter Olympics, which are being held in South Korea. That’s because Americans might get to know some of the North Koreans, who might just come across as regular people, perhaps even likeable. That’s not a good thing for a regime that has been committed to regime change for almost 80 years. Given the brutal sanctions that the U.S. government enforces against North Korea and given the distinct possibility that U.S. officials could still initiate a surprise military attack on North Korea or provoke an attack, the last thing U.S. officials want is for the American people to personalize any North Korean citizen.” (02/07/18)


The United States should listen to Jordan on the Jerusalem decision

Source: The Hill
by Brian Katulis & Alia Awadallah

“Some countries, like Turkey, have angrily protested Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the U.S. embassy there. Others, like Saudi Arabia, had signaled interest in advancing a peace deal, but have since backed away from visible engagement since Trump’s announcement. Palestinian leaders have signaled they are doubling down on a path of international recognition rather than negotiations, essentially where they have been for more than three years since the last peace efforts collapsed under then Secretary of State John Kerry. For its part, Jordan has focused on a practical diplomatic pathway forward while working to voice concerns widely held across the region about Trump’s Jerusalem decision. With its close bilateral ties with the United States, there are a number of reasons for the United States to pay especially close attention to Jordan on Jerusalem.” (02/01/18)


US-South Korea alliance is unhealthy for both countries

Source: Cato Institute
by Ted Galen Carpenter

“Fears that a Trump administration would repudiate America’s security alliances proved to be overblown. The new president and his advisors quickly made statements confirming that all of Washington’s commitments remained intact. The president also sent Secretary of Defense James Mattis on a ‘reassurance tour’ to Japan and South Korea. Mattis assured the South Koreans that the United States remained determined to protect their country, even as the so-called Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) continued to build its ballistic missile and nuclear-weapons capabilities. Nevertheless, the U.S.-South Korea alliance is in trouble — and for reasons that go well beyond standard burden-sharing controversies. The alliance no longer serves the best interests of either country. Indeed, it has the perverse effect of increasing dangers to both parties.” (01/31/18)


Americans need to take the possibility of an attack on North Korea seriously

Source: The American Conservative
by Daniel Larison

“Trump won’t nominate Victor Cha to be the ambassador to South Korea at least partly because he didn’t support launching a ‘bloody nose’ strike on North Korea. Cha explains in an op-ed why the ‘bloody nose’ option is a very bad and dangerous one …. Cha is certainly more hawkish on North Korea than many other critics of the administration’s policy, but attacking North Korea is still a bridge too far even for him. The fact that he is going public with his objections to an attack tells us that he believes that Trump and his advisers are seriously considering doing just that. It has been comforting to think that Trump, McMaster, et al. must be bluffing about military action against North Korea because it is such an obviously crazy and reckless option, but there have been too many warning signs that it is not a bluff.” (01/31/18)


Is Trump preparing for war with North Korea?

Source: The Atlantic
by Peter Beinart

“The more closely you read Donald Trump’s comments about North Korea in his State of the Union address, the more plausible it becomes that he is preparing for war. First, there’s the sheer emphasis he placed on the subject. In his speech, Trump devoted a mere sentence to Russia and China. He devoted 23 words to Israel, 34 to Afghanistan, and 48 to Iran. Even the war against ISIS, which Trump cites as the main foreign-policy achievement of his first year in office, garnered only 302 words. North Korea received 475. Second, there are the things Trump didn’t say. The Olympics begin in South Korea in 10 days, and the South Korean government hopes participation by athletes from the North will ease hostility on the Peninsula. But Trump didn’t mention the games. In fact, he didn’t mention diplomacy at all. Even more strikingly, he didn’t mention either sanctions or China.” (01/31/18)


Matvienko: The US is attempting to meddle in Russia’s upcoming election

Source: Washington Post

“The chairwoman of the upper chamber of the Russian parliament says Monday’s publication of the list of Russian officials and businessmen as part of a U.S. law on sanctions against Russia is an attempt to influence Russia’s upcoming presidential vote. The Trump administration late on Monday published a long-anticipated list of top Russian officials and ‘oligarchs’ who have flourished under President Vladimir Putin. The 114-strong political list is the entire presidential administration and the Russian Cabinet, while the list of 96 ‘oligarchs’ is an exact copy of the Forbes magazine’s Russian billionaires’ rankings. Valentina Matvienko, who chairs the Federation Council and whose name is also on the list, told Russian news agencies on Tuesday that the publication is ‘nothing but meddling into the electoral process’ which seeks to ‘lower the support for the president.'” (01/30/18)


Blowback: How the Islamic State was created by the US invasion of Iraq

Source: The Intercept
by Mehdi Hasan

“‘Your brother created ISIS,’ college student Ivy Ziedrich told a startled Jeb Bush after a town hall meeting in Reno, Nevada, in May 2015. The then-Republican presidential hopeful tried to defend his elder sibling, former President George W. Bush, by blaming the rise of the Islamic State on Barack Obama, ‘because Americans pulled back’ from Iraq in 2011. It sounds a bit conspiratorial, right? Calling Dubya the creator of ISIS? The reality, however, is that Ziedrich’s accusation wasn’t far off the mark. Had it not been for Bush’s catastrophic decision to invade and occupy Iraq in 2003, in defiance of international law, the world’s most feared terrorist group would not exist today. ISIS is blowback.” (01/29/18)


US DoD whines some more about its planes getting buzzed in places where they have no business being

Source: CNN

“A Russian Su-27 jet performed an unsafe intercept of a US Navy surveillance plane while it was flying in international airspace over the Black Sea Monday, three defense officials told CNN. The American pilots reported that the Russian jet came within 5 feet of the US plane, according to two of the officials. The Russian jet’s action forced the US Navy aircraft to end its mission prematurely, one of the officials said. … The Russian Defense Ministry said its fighter jet flew ‘strictly in accordance with international rules’ when it intercepted the US surveillance plane.” (01/29/18)