President Trump's Matching North Korean Threat
"Dracarys!" commanded Daenerys Targaryen as she flew her dragon, Drogon, above her enemies and unleashed a storm of dragon fire and fury that annihilated them. Before this attack, Daenerys had been strategically advised to handle her aggressive opponents with diplomacy and restraint, and to not act brashly or destructively. Daenerys did not head this counsel, and she chose to be an aggressor on the hit HBO series.
Daenerys is a fictional character whose impulsive decisions play out on TV screens and have no impact in the real world as we know it. This is why when she acts recklessly, we can cheer her on. Go, Daenerys!
North Korea is not Cersei Lannister. Nor is President Trump Daenerys Targaryen.
Earlier today at a meeting whose purpose was to discuss ways to combat the opiate crisis, the topic at hand was quickly put aside when President Trump said the following:
"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States...They will be met with fire and fury and frankly power the likes of which the likes of which the world has never seen before."
Everything President Trump says has a very real and direct affect on us Americans, I believe most people, regardless if they are Republicans or Democrats can at least agree on that. So, given that every person in the United States would be touched in someway or another if we go to war with North Korea, let's explore the pro's and con's of President Trump's strategy to publicly order if not attempt to intimidate North Korea.
President Trump's public warning to North Korea did not come out of nowhere. North Korea is a very real and dangerous enemy of the United States that has consistently made threats to the United States. If North Korea was not a militarized state than perhaps their threats could go ignored and un-entertained. However, North Korea is geographically close to both our allies and our land so their ability to harm both with the weapons we know them to possess is a valid threat that even before today at some point needed to be dealt with.
Nuclear tension with North Korea has just escalated because North Korea has been able to create miniaturized nuclear warhead that can fit inside their missiles according to analysts. If North Korea now has nuclear capability it is important for Kim Jung-un to know the United States can and will retaliate.
At some point a stern public warning needed to be made to North Korea and Kim Jung-un. If they are are on the verge of being able to attack mainland United States, it makes sense the sooner the warning is given the better.
Kim Jung-un is insane. He is a man who has consistently proven throughout his short time in power that he will do whatever it takes to be in power. He is also a paranoid man who fans the flames the United States is out to end his regime and take over North Korea. President Trump's speech today finally gave validity to Jung-un's theories which he can use to further justify a nuclear attack on the United States. Why make a extremely dangerous man more paranoid?
Kim Jung-un is not solely the problem of the United States. When we have fought alongside our allies, we have been the better for it. Instead of discussing how "we" will take care of North Korea, a better strategy would have been how "all of us" will go against North Korea. Especially when we are not the ones closest and first at risk by North Korea, that would be China, Japan, and South Korea.
The information our North Korea analysts are providing may not be entirely up to date. Perhaps at this very moment North Korea is already ready to attack the United States. If that were to be true, the last thing we should be doing is playing into Jung-Un's game, whose endgame is has always been nuclear war.
President Trump said that if North Korea threatens the United States just one more time he would unleash "fire and fury" on to North Korea like the world has never seen before. The problem with this ultimatum is that North Korea threatens the United States all the time, so placing this condition makes it impossible for things not to escalate further and quickly.
How feasible is a nuclear attack on North Korea? Not likely, without hurting our nearby allies such as South Korea. And, if we attack North Korea with a non-nuclear covert operation, what we shouldn't be doing then is raising suspicion and alarming the state of North Korea that we are currently openly hostile towards them.
A few hours after President Trump's original remarks, North Korea has already responded by saying they are considering attacking Guam.
Many fingers today were waved back and forth in Washington trying to find someone to blame for our North Korea problem. This is no time for political pettiness, and what needs to be the focus is identifying our best strategy going forward.
President Trump must refrain from making similar comments in the future. "Fire and fury" sound great in a self-aggrandizing speech or on a battlefield involving magical dragons, but in the real world, it will lead us down a path with nothing but trouble.