Susan Rice, the former National Security Advisor has acknowledged that President Trump was correct when he stated that three previous administrations failed in stopping North Korea’s nuclear ambitions. The three former administrations were those of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. She went on to confide that she was concerned that President Trump would not move from “preventative war to pre-emptive war”. I’m not sure how those differ, but she saw a difference.
The United States has not been standing aside doing nothing over the past many years. There are missile defense systems along the route that the nuclear-tipped missile threatened to hit just short of Guam would have to follow. That route would be directly across Japan and some of those missile defense systems are strategically located in Japan.
That doesn’t take into account the U.S. Navy and whatever capability it has in that region.
The residents on the island of Guam would, however, be injured even if the missiles ditched 25-30 miles short of Guam if the nuclear warheads were detonated which seems to follow if Kim Jong-un is bragging about their capabilities and telling the world that he can do this and do that. He is unlikely to fire a missile without a nuclear warhead. The blast forces would certainly be horrific and short-term flooding and the long-term contamination of Guam would likely make it uninhabitable.
The fact that we, and the rest of the free or semi-free-world, have permitted North Korea to come this far in the apparent development of a nuclear capability is troubling since we appear to have known of this development effort for years. The fact that President Trump is acting as the President of the United States ought to act in such a situation is commendable.
I have to wonder where China fits in all this since it is the next door neighbor and is largely responsible for feeding the North Koreans. At the same time, China certainly would not want a person such as the North Korean dictator to have the capability of a nuclear attack on itself and yet that would seem likely if China has any intelligence capability at all…and it does obviously.
One has to ask the question of just what a President Hillary Clinton would be doing right now? She was the foreign policy team leader of the Obama Administration for eight-years and something likely was known then. This kind of capability simply does not happen in a couple of years especially when the country in question was a pariah to the rest of the world, except for China.
Then, there is the issue of South Korea to be carefully considered since it shares that peninsula with North Korea. Obliteration of the entire peninsula is simply out of the question, so would conventional weapons be the only thing that could be used? Would we interdict the supply lines from China to North Korea? What happens to the relationship with China which holds a lot of our national debt? Would they, in turn, use the prospective financial stranglehold on us?
Our world has grown to be a very delicately woven clustering of inter-dependent relationships that impact our foreign policy and our homeland financial wherewithal. We are not the king of the jungle all by ourselves. We have relationships that have to be considered because those are mutually beneficial relationships.