In the early hours of the morning, President Donald Trump took advantage of his privacy from the watchful eyes of his White House aides to threaten unilateral military action against North Korea.
Trump is a deeply impulsive man whose aides work tirelessly to suppress his most dangerous outbursts. The president has resorted to tweeting from the darkness of his bedroom while America sleeps to get away with launching his irresponsible tirades into the international news.
Trump’s impulsiveness is rivaled only by North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, a man who, like his father, gets high off of threatening nuclear war and provoking Western nations. North Korea is definitely “looking for trouble,” but by engaging with their incendiary threats Trump is also looking for trouble.
Trump still hasn’t figured out that when you are president, words aren’t just words. Saying “NATO is obsolete” actually does something, namely make NATO less relevant to international security. Threatening North Korea heightens tensions with a rogue state that deliberately tries to escalate hostilities into justification for nuclear war.
The reference to China in the tweet seems to indicate that Trump failed to strike a deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Florida last week. China is North Korea’s only ally, although it has been edging away from the Kims’ country for several years. China still trades with North Korea unlikely virtually every other country on earth, meaning that it is the small, impoverished nation’s only economic lifeline.
China wields disproportionate influence over North Korea, although it is unclear what would happen if it wholeheartedly disavowed Kim Jong-un’s war mongering dictatorship. If President Xi refused to cooperate at all with Trump over the North Korean crisis that is a big blow to American security interests.
However, only a man as impulsive and ignorant as Trump would respond to one disappointing set of talks with one country by threatening unilateral war. Trump doesn’t have the patience or the knowledge for delicate diplomacy. He should shut up and walk away before America gets hurt.
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