In recent months, North Korea has tested an ICBM capable of reaching the US, tested a nuclear weapon, published a video simulating a nuclear attack on the US, made serious threats not heard in many years, cut off all hotlines, withdrawn from the 1953 Panmunjon armistice that suspended the Korean War, and put its missile force on the highest level of alert, possibly signaling that a war is near.
What has brought this disaster about? Why has the Korean Peninsula come to the brink of war, when the US has been very soft towards Pyongyang and its sponsor, Communist China?
Because of abysmally failed, utterly discredited policies that successive administrations of both parties have pursued over the last several decades: arms control and the appeasement of both North Korea and China. And the leftist, pacifist organizations which have advocated such policies still continue to fanatically support them to this day, claiming that disarming the US unilaterally or bilaterally with Russia and cancelling the modernization of America’s arsenal will somehow “induce” North Korea to forego nuclear weapons and ballistic missile. In addition, they and Henry Kissinger, the author of the failed appeasement policy towards China, still advocate such policy.
THIS is what has brought this crisis about. Successive, deep cuts in America’s nuclear deterrent, Democrat sabotaging of the progress in developing missile defense system, unilaterally withdrawing tactical nuclear weapons from US warships and from South Korea, deep cuts in America’s military across the board during the 1990s and now, and the appeasement of both North Korea and China, emboldened both regimes and thus encouraged them to dramatically build up their arsenals and to stage provocation after provocation, leading to the current crisis.
So much for “arms control experts”, arms control being a means of advancing US interests, claims that cutting America’s arsenal would make the US and the world safer, and that China is a constructive partner rather than an enemy.
What we’re witnessing today is a total, abysmal failure of all of these policies.
North Korea and China, like all other bullies, only understand the language of brute force – not that of “arms control”, diplomatic niceties, “compromise”, or “inducing” and “setting an example”.
So, now that these policies have utterly failed (as I warned for many years that they would) and have brought Asia to the brink of war, what should the US do?
WRT North Korea, the US should:
- Completely cancel sequestration and spare the defense budget from further cuts.
- Resume the development of the Multiple Kill Vehicle, cancelled by Obama in 2009, to give missile interceptors the ability to engage several targets at once.
- Resume the development of the Kinetic Energy Interceptor, also cancelled by Obama in 2009.
- Upgrade all Tico class cruisers and Burke class DDGs commissioned after 1992 to be BMD-capable, upgrade the Aegis combat system’s command-and-control mechanism to enable the interception of ICBMs, and upgrade SM-3 Block 1B missiles to be capable of intercepting ICBMs.
- Develop and deploy smaller, lighter, two-stage Ground-Based Interceptors.
- Prod South Korea to build its own, fully-fledged national missile defense system.
- Prod South Korea to close the Kaesong Industrial Complex and to cancel President Park’s attempt to “reach out” to North Korea.
- Withdraw the vast majority of its 28,500 troops from South Korea, where they are easy targets, leaving only one F-16 wing. However, that F-16 wing should be equipped with tactical nuclear weapons, which should be brought back to the Korean Peninsula, per the wish of 70% of South Koreans.
- Withdraw its troops from Western Japan to the east of the country or to Guam.
- Avoid making Guam its sole or largest military hub in the Western Pacific. It would be an easy target. Instead, US troops should be dispersed across a large number of bases across East Asia, from Japan to Guam, Saipan, Tinian, Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Mali, Diego Garcia, and beyond.
- Affirm and accelerate the modernization of all three legs of the US nuclear triad (ICBMs, bombers, SSBNs), all 5,000 US nuclear warheads, and their supporting infrastructure.
- Recruit America’s best and brightest scientists to work in military laboratories.
- Develop and test new nuclear weapons. End the self-imposed test moratorium.
- Cancel any planned cuts in America’s nuclear arsenal and start GROWING that arsenal.
- Tell North Korea, in no uncertain terms, that the US will react with a massive nuclear retaliation to any North Korean attack on anyone, while simoultaneously leaving the door open for a negotiated settlement and a face-saving way for Kim Jong Un out of this. (If you give the enemy a choice only between an immediate shameful capitulation and fighting to the very end, he will choose the latter.)
WRT to Communist China, the US should:
- Clearly and unambigously warn Beijing that failure to restrain North Korea will result in huge sales of American weapons to Taiwan, and may even result in withdrawing the recognition of the PRC and recognizing Taiwan as the legitimate government of China. To prove that this is not a bluff, the US should immediately sell Taiwan the submarines and the 66 F-16C/Ds Taiwan has requested.
- Inform Beijing that America’s nuclear umbrella protects Taiwan as well.
- Institute an immediate, total embargo on all Chinese products which should be maintained until a) the illegal, criminal Communist regime in Beijing is replaced by a democratically-elected government and b) China completely stops supporting North Korea.
- Speed up the transformation of the US military into a force capable of defeating A2/AD weapons; end its reliance on short-range platforms and invest heavily in long-range platforms, especially the Next Generation Bomber.
- Upgrade its missile defenses, cyberdefenses, and anti-submarine warfare and demining capabilities.
- Make all Chinese officials personae non gratae in the US.
- Shame China publicly for its support of North Korea as well as its own dismal human rights record.
- Make the Black Book of Communism required reading at all US schools, universities, and military academies and schools.
- Withdraw from the no-targeting agreement with China signed by President Clinton and target US nuclear weapons at China.
- Stop understating the Chinese military threat and start telling the truth about it.
- Stiffen the export control system and add China to the list of countries to be denied sensitive US technology.
- Purge the US government of all officials who advocate the appeasement of China and North Korea or arms control.
- Deploy more troops and platforms to the Asia-Pacific.
- Make a commitment to defend any country attacked by China.
- Warn the Europeans that if they sell any weapons to China, the US will withdraw from NATO.
- Publicly say the following: “It shall be the policy of this nation to regard any nuclear-armed missile launched by North Korea against any nation as an attack by Communist China on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the People’s Republic of China.
- At the same time, leave a face-saving way for China out of the current crisis if it permanently and verifiably stops supporting North Korea, Iran, and other rogue regimes.