Not even President Trump’s harshest critics blame him for creating the North Korean problem. The Kim Jong-Un regime’s nuclear weapons capabilities and willingness to brandish them goes back over a decade, to when Kim’s father was still the ruler.
And while each successive U.S. administration has approached North Korea slightly differently, one thing has remained constant: tens of thousands of U.S. troops on North Korea’s border, maintaining a standoff that just passed its sixty-fourth year.
The other constant, since North Korea’s first nuclear weapons test in 2006, has been economic sanctions imposed on the regime under the auspices of the U.N. Security Council. These sanctions began strictly limited to trade directly related to the regime’s nuclear program and gradually widened to include financial and other trade categories.
One need only read this morning’s headlines to judge their effectiveness.
But over the weekend, President Trump saw every president before him and raised them with this tweet:
TAMPA, April 9, 2013 – It would be the stuff of a Peter Sellers satireif there weren’t for nuclear weapons and 26,000 American troops needlessly in harm’s way. A tiny dictatorship that has to cook the books even to call itself “third world” has the world’s “lone superpower” dancing on a string. It is a fitting tribute to 100 years of U.S. foreign policy failure.
When you invade and occupy a country, it almost always ends badly, as the British found out before the United States and Napoleon found out before them. Napoleon’s exploits in Spain are particularly instructive in understanding the U.S. government’s boondoggle in Iraq.
But it is only after you have got yourself stuck somewhere for 60 years that costly and tragic turns to ridiculous. Having unintentionally kept a multi-generational dictatorship in power by rallying its people around it, the U.S. finds itself outsmarted and outmaneuvered by a despot whose father might have suffered Il Duce’s fate if not for the continued presence of U.S. troops on North Korea’s border.