Foreign Affairs and U.S.ForeignPolicy

Archive for Foreign Affairs and U.S.ForeignPolicy

It’s Not Too Late on North Korea – by Susan Rice – NYT | Inconvenient News Worldwide

“We carefully studied this contingency. “Preventive war” would result in hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of casualties. Metropolitan Seoul’s 26 million people are only 35 miles from the border, within easy range of the North’s missiles and artillery. About 23,000 United States troops, plus their families, live between Seoul and the Demilitarized Zone; in total, at least 200,000 Americans reside in South Korea.

Japan, and almost 40,000 United States military personnel there, would also be in the cross hairs. The risk to American territory cannot be discounted, nor the prospect of China being drawn into a direct conflict with the United States. Then there would be the devastating impact of war on the global economy.”

“. . . By most assessments, Mr. Kim is vicious and impetuous, but not irrational. Thus, while we quietly continue to refine our military options, we can rely on traditional deterrence by making crystal clear that any use of nuclear weapons against the United States or its allies would result in annihilation of North Korea. Defense Secretary James Mattis struck this tone on Wednesday. The same red line must apply to any proof that North Korea has transferred nuclear weapons to another state or nonstate actor.

Second, to avoid blundering into a costly war, the United States needs to immediately halt the reckless rhetoric. John Kelly, Mr. Trump’s chief of staff, must assert control over the White House, including his boss, and curb the Trump surrogates whipping up Cuban missile crisis fears.

Third, we must enhance our antimissile systems and other defenses, and those of our allies, which need our reassurances more than ever.”

I posted the following at the NYT:

David Lindsay

Hamden, CT

Excellent analysis and reporting by Susan Rice. I would add, I read a good idea by a commentator at the NYT who suggested, the US should woo North Korea into a de-escalation. We could, for example. offer to pull our military forces out of South Korea in exchange for their giving up their nuclear weapons program. It would be useful if talks could start, aimed at giving both countries what they want or need. I add to the commentators idea, it might be necessary to let the North Koreans keep the nuclear weapons that they have. This might be acceptable, if we could get them to allow verification that they stop all further development. I continue to be depressed by most of the discussion. It is arrogance for the US to think that it has to be in charge of North Korea, when they are China’s neighbor and vassal state. We should remind ourselves continually, that this part of the world is not our backyard, but China’s.

David Lindsay is about to publish his book, The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth-century Vietnam.

Source: It’s Not Too Late on North Korea – by Susan Rice – NYT | Inconvenient News Worldwide

Posted in: East Asia, Foreign Affairs and U.S.ForeignPolicy, Korea

Leave a Comment (0) →

So, What Is Trump Hiding? – by Hedrick Smith – NYT

“Five decades of reporting have taught me that whenever a president starts screeching about the media, it’s a sure sign he’s in hot water and fearing revelations about some policy disaster, damaging mendacity or political villainy. Even popular presidents with reputations for charming the press occasionally stoop to blaming the press for quagmires of their own making.

John F. Kennedy, for example.

In September 1963, with the Vietnam War escalating and the pro-American authoritarian regime of President Ngo Dinh Diem besieged by popular protests, President Kennedy used a private meeting with The New York Times’s publisher, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, and James Reston, the Washington bureau chief, to charge that David Halberstam, the Times correspondent in Saigon, was undermining the American war effort and to pressure the publisher to pull Mr. Halberstam out of Vietnam. President Kennedy was particularly angered by a stream of front-page articles by Mr. Halberstam graphically describing battlefield defeats and the self-immolations of Buddhist monks.

What the president did not know was that The Times was already planning to replace Mr. Halberstam because the editors feared that Vietnamese secret police had marked him for assassination. Because I covered Vietnam policy in Washington, I had been told to get ready to replace Mr. Halberstam.”

Posted in: Foreign Affairs and U.S.ForeignPolicy, Vietnam-American War

Leave a Comment (0) →

America’s Case of ‘Tonkin Gulfitis’ – by Mark Atwood Lawrence – NYT

“But with the benefit of hindsight, it’s clear that the abrupt turn away from activism and idealism in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America amounts to one of the little-noticed tragedies of the Vietnam War.”

Posted in: Foreign Affairs and U.S.ForeignPolicy, Vietnam-American War

Leave a Comment (0) →

H. R. McMaster – Wikipedia

“Early life and education[edit]McMaster was born in Philadelphia in 1962.[2] He went to high school at Valley Forge Military Academy, graduating in 1980. He earned a commission as a second lieutenant upon graduating from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1984. McMaster earned a Master of Arts and Ph.D. in American history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). His thesis was critical of American strategy in the Vietnam War, which was further detailed in his 1997 book Dereliction of Duty.

[3]Dereliction of Duty (book)[edit]Main article: Dereliction of Duty (1997 book)

Dereliction of Duty: Lyndon Johnson, Robert McNamara, The Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Lies that Led to Vietnam is a book written by McMaster that explores the military’s role in the policies of the Vietnam War. The book was written as part of his Ph.D. dissertation at UNC. It harshly criticized high-ranking officers of that era, arguing that they inadequately challenged Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and President Lyndon Johnson on their Vietnam strategy. The book examines McNamara and Johnson’s staff alongside the Joint Chiefs of Staff and other high ranking military officers, and their failure to provide a successful plan of action either to pacify a Viet Cong insurgency or to decisively defeat the North Vietnamese Army. McMaster also details why military actions intended to indicate “resolve” or to “communicate” ultimately failed when trying to accomplish sparsely detailed, confusing, and conflicting military objectives. The book was widely read in Pentagon circles and included in military reading lists.

Source: H. R. McMaster – Wikipedia

H.R. stands for Herbert Raymond. Apparently, he thought we could have won the war, if we had just fought better. I suggest you read my novel, The Tay Son Rebellion, about to come out in the next few months.

Posted in: Foreign Affairs and U.S.ForeignPolicy, Vietnam-American War

Leave a Comment (0) →

Trump Chooses H.R. McMaster as National Security Adviser – The New York Times

“General McMaster has served as director of the Army Capabilities Integration Center at Fort Eustis in Virginia since 2014. A West Point graduate with a doctorate in military history from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he commanded a unit that clashed with Iraq’s Republican Guard in one of the biggest tank battles of the Persian Gulf war in 1991, earning him the Silver Star.

But he came to prominence with his 1997 book, “Dereliction of Duty,” which critiqued the Joint Chiefs for not standing up to President Lyndon B. Johnson during the Vietnam War. He cemented his reputation in 2005 during the second Iraq war when he led the Third Armored Cavalry Regiment in regaining control of Tal Afar.”

Here is the top comment, which I recommended and gives me hope:

RDG

Cincinnati 2 hours ago

“This is one terrific pick; a flower in a field of toxic waste.

McMaster was passed over for promotions because of his brilliant book about how we stumbled into a full blown war in Vietnam. “Dereliction Of Duty” became sort of a samizdat among many in the officer corps. Heaven help them should they get caught with a copy by their senior officers.

Given the General’s deep understanding of history, war and his independent nature, I seriously doubt he will take any garbage from the likes of Bannon, Bolton and their similar others. In fact, McMaster will not hesitate to speak truth to power when it comes to directly dealing with his boss. Maybe he will finally be able to give That Man In The White House a reality check where national security is concerned.

Good luck, General. You’ll need it.”

Posted in: Foreign Affairs and U.S.ForeignPolicy, Vietnam-American War

Leave a Comment (0) →