A Foreign Policy Overview

A lot has happened around the world lately. Let's begin with the US’s bombing of Syria in response to Assad's use of chemical weapons. This is the kind of thing I suggested years ago. It is exactly the opposite of the Obama doctrine, "leading from behind", which was another way of taking NO action. Trump not only took action, he did it immediately and competently.

The pundits want to know what's next. They want Trump to tell us his strategy. The Trump policy is not to tell them. He's letting our enemies squirm. Even China has been thrown off their game. China was shocked at the action and the timing, since it happened at the same time they were having dinner with Trump. My take is that the Chinese decided to step back from whatever their original posture was going to be with Trump.

The Chinese are a cautions people that plan long term. The Trump action stunned them and they are not sure who Donald Trump is or what he will do next -- which is exactly where Trump wants them. Russia, Syria, Iran, and N. Korea are in the same boat. They're confused. They don’t know what to make of Trump.There is no Trump foreign policy or doctrine. And there is no reason we must have one. We can have an Ad Hoc policy in which we react to events as warranted and to the degree we think would be proportional. This could be a very effective posture.

I seriously doubt we will see Assad use chemical weapons again for fear of retaliation -- at least as long as Trump is Commander-in-Chief. If there is a next time, it will not be a gentle slap on the hand that Syria receives; it will be a sharp slap in the face. I would expect Trump to take out all six airports including planes and runways at the minimum.

Trump is being accused of getting us involved in Syria. We are not involved. We merely react when it is in our national interest to do so. It cost us very little, and it may have changed the plans of Assad to win his war. It is in our national interest to see chemical weapons banned as they have been since WWI.

Russia condemned the American action, calling it “an act of aggression”. They said America should confine itself going after terrorists. I found this laughable. What is the purpose of using chemical weapons to torture and kill innocent men, women, and children? Certainly it is not to take a square block of land. It is to terrorize. It is to strike fear into the hearts and minds of those against him.

Assad is a terrorist. And it is Russia that sides with him and aids and abets him.

Russia, Syria, Iran and N. Korea all voted against the US action in the UN. Even China who normally votes with that block abstained and shocked everybody. Like I said, there is reason to hope that China is rethinking its strategy in the world.

Speaking of the UN, there is a serious case to be made that the UN is a useless body and we should walk away from it. They spend most of their time attacking the US and Israel and when it comes to promoting world peace, they look the other way. We need to stop funding their fancy dinners and ask them to hold their meetings outside of the US where their real interests lie. If they continue their benign neglect and anti-Western World rhetoric, the US should kick them out of the US and deal with them through our ambassadors. It would save us a lot of wasted time, effort, and money.

Russia is making war-like noises lately, and Putin and Trump have still not sat down for a serious talk. Even our Secretary of State was not permitted to talk with Putin. The cold war has turned even chillier, and if Putin dares attack us anywhere in the world or our allies, it could turn hot quickly.

Iran has been quiet lately, mainly because they probably don't want to bring attention to themselves. Like a thief in the night they are probably violating their nuclear treaty promises nightly, and are afraid of being caught.

Then there is N. Korea. This is the most dangerous nation on the planet, mainly because their leader may be actually certifiable. He really could be mentally sick. I was struck by Trumps casual sloughing off of Korea, saying that they're a problem, but the problem will be fixed. I wonder how?

N. Korea is believed to have nuclear weapons – about 18 times greater than the atom bombs exploded in WWII. And they have a fierce disciplined hundred thousand man army they can use at will. What we can do, other than impose sanctions on them is to shoot down the next missile or several missiles they launch. And we can blow up their nuclear facility if they test another nuclear bomb. We have a Bunker Buster bomb that would do the job. But that could lead to an all-out assault on S. Korea, and experts predict hundreds of thousands could die.

If that happen the US would probably and immediately launch nuclear weapons against the North and wipe them off the face of the planet. One has to ask if that was the way things played out, is it better to have that fight now, or when N. Korea is armed to the teeth with nuclear bombs and inter-continental missiles pointed at cities throughout the United States.

China could be the key in that they supply N. Korea with 90% of their energy. That and financial and other sanctions could squeeze Kim to the point that he freezes things where they are. But there are a lot of "if’s in this evaluation, and no one knows how it will actually play out.

It is literally the biggest challenge that faces the Trump Administration and the people of the United States and S. Korea and it's starring us straight in the face.

For a more complete explanation of what a rational foreign policy should entail... 


Paul Nathan