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Will the North Korea problem move from Nikki Haley to James Mattis?

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North Korea Nikki Haley James Mattis

There are clever ways to level threats. This is one of them. U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said she has “no problem kicking” the North Korea problem “to General Mattis,” a not so subtle way of saying diplomacy may be soon replaced by a military solution. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster backed her up by saying “there is a military option” on the table.

North Korea continues to get more aggressive with every action taken against them. Their most recent missile launch demonstrated they can reach Guam at the very least and has people on the west coast of the United States nervous about an unstable Kim Jong un trying to take out Hollywood or something.

This is a precarious situation with no clear solutions. Some are saying we should arm Japan and South Korea. Others are looking to China for a solution. The only universal sentiment is that we shouldn’t allow North Korea to shake us down. How we accomplish that is up in the air.

Perspectives

Nikki Haley and H. R. McMaster on North Korea: The Next Step is to Kick the Problem to Mattis | Streiff, Redstate

https://www.redstate.com/streiff/2017/09/15/haley-mcmaster-kick-north-korea-mattis/Today UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and National Security Adviser H. R. McMaster took the podium in the White House press room. They were asked about a lot of things (transcript) but one one the first issues was North Korea.

Haley Has ‘No Problem Kicking’ North Korea ‘To General Mattis’ For A Military Solution | Ryan Pickrell, Daily Caller

http://dailycallernewsfoundation.org/2017/09/15/haley-has-no-problem-kicking-north-korea-to-general-mattis-for-a-military-solution/The U.S., together with its international partners, has been pursuing a diplomatic solution to the North Korea problem while maintaining that “all options are on the table.” The Trump administration has repeatedly demonstrated that it is willing to exhaust all diplomatic options before applying military force, but the diplomatic window appears to be closing.

4 Reasons America Shouldn’t Send Nuclear Weapons to South Korea or Japan | Zachary Keck, National Interest

http://nationalinterest.org/blog/the-buzz/4-reasons-america-shouldnt-sent-nuclear-weapons-south-korea-22339The United States began forward deploying tactical nuclear weapons in Asia and Europe in the 1950 for one simple reason: it had no other choice. The initial Cold War nuclear-capable bombers like the B-29 and the B-50 did not have the range to conduct a round-trip flight from the United States to the Soviet Union (or North Korea). The United States also lacked a missile with sufficient range at this time as well—the first intercontinental ballistic missile wasn’t declared operational until 1959.

North Korea’s Kim vows to complete nuclear program despite sanctions | Jesse Byrnes, The Hill

http://thehill.com/homenews/news/350966-north-koreas-kim-vows-to-complete-nuclear-program-despite-sanctionsNorth Korean state news agency KCNA quoted Kim as saying that Pyongyang’s goal was “to establish the equilibrium of real force with the US and make the US rulers dare not talk about military option for the DPRK (North Korea),” the BBC reported Friday.

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Final Thoughts

There’s a solution that we may never get to know about. Considering how volatile Kim Jong un is, it may behoove us to negotiate through backchannels to allow him to save face with his people while de-escalating the potential conflict. If that happens, you won’t hear about it on CNN. You’ll just notice that North Korea is less and less in the news. That would be just fine by me.

Foreign Affairs

President dispatches Pompeo after talking to Saudi King

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President dispatches Pompeo after talking to Saudi King

President Trump is sending Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Saudi Arabia to discuss the disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Turkey claims to have ample evidence that the Saudis murdered Khashoggi at their consulate in Istanbul.

The situation is tense as pressure mounts for actions to be taken against Saudi Arabia. The Saudis fired back with threats of their own if such actions are taken. All of this is happening against a backdrop of increased engagement between Saudi Arabia and the United States as they work to put together a Middle East peace agreement.

Turkey claims to have a recording of Khashoggi’s murder captured on his Apple Watch. They also have the identities of a 15-man “kill team” that was allegedly sent to the consulate to capture and torture Khashoggi. Video shows him going into the consulate with his fiancee remaining outside, but no footage has been released of him leaving the consulate and his fiancee hasn’t seen him since. Turkey claims Saudi Arabia has sufficient surveillance cameras at the consulate that could prove he left, but the Saudis claim the equipment was not recording during his visit.

My Take

The White House is trying to sweep this under the rug. As obtuse as the Saudi government has been for decades, their strategic and economic importance to the United States is great. The last thing the White House wants is to be forced to choose between their close ally and public outcry, most of which is demanding repercussions in light of the alleged evidence.

Turkey has been adamant that their theory is correct.

At some point, we’re going to have to cut ties with Saudi Arabia unless drastic changes are made. Changes are underway, but they seem too slow to compensate for the backwards nature of the country. It’s time to just cut them loose now.

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Foreign Affairs

Saudi Arabia issues warning over “false accusations”

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Saudi Arabia issues warning over false accusations

Representative John Ratcliffe (R-TX) took to Fox News to try to bring calm to an escalating situation. Saudi Arabia has been accused of murdering Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist who has been outspoken against the Saudi regime.

He points out that Saudi Arabia’s threats and proposed actions against them are premature. Until we see the evidence Turkey has against them, we must presume innocence, Ratcliffe said.

My Take

The Representative is right and wrong. He’s right that we shouldn’t act against the Saudis until we know for use. Then again, the evidence that U.S. officials have almost certainly seen and/or heard is enough to make pro-Saudi groups in Washington DC squirm. Then, there are the previous and ongoing abuses Saudi Arabia has committed that must be considered.

Backing away from our relationship with Saudi Arabia will hurt. Backing down to their threats is inexcusable. The White House is in a real pickle on this one.

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Foreign Affairs

Mike Pence calls out the reality in China

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Mike Pence calls out the reality in China

Headlines have been popping up for over a decade that China is embracing Western-style freedoms for its people. Some variation of praise and hope have littered our news wires for some time, yet the incremental changes that are so often touted rarely turn into anything substantial and are often replaced by setbacks.

The economy is still far from free. Access to information television and internet is heavily controlled. Religious activities must be held in secret. This isn’t the China we’ve been promised.

It’s not the China the government has been promising its people.

Vice President Mike Pence drew criticism from leftists who found his recent comments inflammatory, but at this point does it really even matter? After three presidencies that treated China like the great reformers they’re not, isn’t it about time we try to use honest words and aggressive actions to call them out rather than allow them to continue their expansion unchecked?

Remarks by Vice President Pence on the Administration’s Policy Toward China

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-vice-president-pence-administrations-policy-toward-china/Previous administrations made this choice in the hope that freedom in China would expand in all of its forms -– not just economically, but politically, with a newfound respect for classical liberal principles, private property, personal liberty, religious freedom — the entire family of human rights. But that hope has gone unfulfilled.

The dream of freedom remains distant for the Chinese people. And while Beijing still pays lip service to “reform and opening,” Deng Xiaoping’s famous policy now rings hollow.

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