Mark Caserta: President’s N. Korea strategy a good one

20 Aug

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Mark Caserta:  Free State Patriot editor

 

Aug 18, 2017

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We’ve never been closer to engaging another nuclear power in my lifetime as we are with North Korea.

The escalating threat prompted President Trump last week to warn the rogue nation he was prepared to unleash “fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before” should that country’s Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-Un, fulfill threats against the United States or any of her allies.

In 2012, I wrote a column titled, “U.S. must maintain its military resolve,” referencing the waning respect leaders of other nations had for the global military prominence of the United States, largely due to the appeasement strategies of Barack Obama.

In the column, I discussed the significance of a North Korea missile test despite U.N. resolutions banning that country from using ballistic missile technology. I also discussed how Iran’s nuclear and missile programs were also reported to have benefited from Russia and China, breaching the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which calls for only peaceful use of nuclear power.

In March of this year, I reiterated in a column that North Korea was becoming an increasing military concern, warning the economic and military ties with Russia and China were very dangerous for the U.S.

We are now knee-deep in military mire, I believe, due to our weak strategies.

We know China is technically committed to the defense of North Korea. They’re also economically dependent upon them, comprising roughly three-quarters of North Korea’s imports and exports.

Russia’s ties with Iran are similar. I believe we will see that relationship become an increasing concern soon.

Let’s be clear. No nation would dare suggest the U.S. doesn’t possess the most powerful military armament the world has ever known. That isn’t the problem.

The problem is that lack of leadership of prior administrations has precipitated opposing nations to perceive the U.S. had lost its military resolve. Perception in military engagement is reality. When appeasement precludes action, your enemies take notice.

In 1994 the Clinton administration chose to deal with North Korea’s mounting nuclear weapons program by “bribing” it with more than $4 billion in energy aid over 10 years. In turn, North Korea was expected to reciprocate by dismantling its nuclear weapons program.

In 2016, the Obama administration decided to take the same sort of action with Iran when Obama approved a $1.7 billion settlement resolving claims over a failed arms deal. The first installment was in cash, secretly delivered by plane, the same day Iran released four American prisoners and formally implemented Obama’s nuclear deal with the Iranians, per The Washington Times.

Negotiating from a position of appeasement is a poor strategy. And then there was Donald J. Trump.

As a master negotiator, Trump knows something about leadership and the importance of defining and adhering to consequences. While the president has made clear he’d rather conduct business peacefully, he’ll not withdraw on a pledge he’s made on behalf of protecting our nation – period.

Given our nation’s position, this is the only way to proceed.

North Korea would be wise to negotiate with our commander-in-chief.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.

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