A Trump Doctrine for Singapore and Beyond

Thursday - May 17, 2018 at 10:55 pm


By Patrick J. Buchanan

After Pyongyang railed this week that the U.S.-South Korean Max Thunder military drills were a rehearsal for an invasion of the North, and imperiled the Singapore summit, the Pentagon dialed them back.

The B-52 exercises alongside F-22 stealth fighters were canceled.

But Pyongyang had other objections.

Sunday, NSC adviser John Bolton spoke of a “Libyan model” for the North’s disarmament, referring to Moammar Gadhafi’s surrender of all his weapons of mass destruction in 2004. The U.S. was invited into Libya to pick them up and cart them off, whereupon sanctions were lifted.

As Libya was subsequently attacked by NATO and Gadhafi lynched, North Korea denounced Bolton and all this talk of the “Libyan model” of unilateral disarmament.

North Korea wants a step-by-step approach, each concession by Pyongyang to be met by a U.S. concession. And Bolton sitting beside Trump, and across the table from Kim Jong Un in Singapore, may be inhibiting.

What was predictable and predicted has come to pass.

If we expected Kim to commit at Singapore to Bolton’s demand for “complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization,” and a swift follow-through, we were deluding ourselves.

At Singapore, both sides will have demands, and both will have to offer concessions, if there is to be a deal.

What does Kim Jong Un want?

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An end to U.S. and South Korean military exercises and sanctions on the North, trade and investment, U.S. recognition of his regime, a peace treaty, and the eventual removal of U.S. bases and troops.

He is likely to offer an end to the testing of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, no transfer of nuclear weapons or strategic missiles to third powers, a drawdown of troops on the DMZ, and the opening of North Korea’s borders to trade and travel.

As for his nuclear weapons and the facilities to produce them, these are Kim’s crown jewels. These brought him to the attention of the world and the Americans to the table. These are why President Trump is flying 10,000 miles to meet and talk with him.

And, unlike Gadhafi, Kim is not going to give them up.

Assuming the summit comes off June 12, this is the reality Trump will face in Singapore: a North Korea willing to halt the testing of nukes and ICBMs and to engage diplomatically and economically.

As for having Americans come into his country, pick up his nuclear weapons, remove them and begin intrusive inspections to ensure he has neither nuclear bombs nor the means to produce, deliver or hide them, that would be tantamount to a surrender by Kim.

Trump is not going to get that. And if he adopts a Bolton policy of “all or nothing,” he is likely to get nothing at all.

Yet, thanks to Trump’s threats and refusal to accept a “frozen conflict” on the Korean peninsula, the makings of a real deal are present, if Trump does not make the perfect the enemy of the good.

For there is nothing North Korea is likely to demand that cannot be granted, as long as the security of South Korea is assured to the degree that it can be assured, while living alongside a nuclear-armed North.

Hence, when Kim cavils or balks in Singapore, as he almost surely will, at any demand for a pre-emptive surrender of his nuclear arsenal, Trump should have a fallback position.

If we cannot have everything we want, what can we live with?

Moreover, while we are running a risk today, an intransigent North Korea that walks out would be running a risk as well.

A collapse in talks between Kim and the United States and Kim and South Korea would raise the possibility that he and his Chinese patrons could face an East Asia Cold War where South Korea and Japan also have acquired nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them.

In the last analysis, the United States should be willing to accept both the concessions to the North that the South is willing to make and the risks from the North that the South is willing to take.

For, ultimately, they are the one who are going to have to live on the same peninsula with Kim and his nukes.

Trump ran on a foreign policy that may fairly be described as a Trump Doctrine: In the post-post-Cold War era, the United States will start looking out for America first.

This does not mean isolationism or the abandonment of our allies. It does mean a review and reassessment of all the guarantees we have issued to go to war on behalf of other countries, and the eventual transfer of responsibility for the defense of our friends over to our friends.

In the future, the U.S. will stop futilely imploring allies to do more for their own defense and will begin telling them that their defense is primarily their own responsibility. Our allies must cease to be our dependents.


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 Al Jazeera
North Korea

Trump tells North Korea's Kim to denuclearise or risk overthrow

US president says North Korea's Kim Jong-un could suffer same fate as Libya's Muammar Gaddafi over nuclear weapons.

18 May 2018

A June 12 meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un appears to be in danger after rise in rhetoric [AP]A June 12 meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un appears to be in danger after rise in rhetoric [AP]

Trump should not listen to Bolton on North Korea

US President Donald Trump offered North Korea's Kim Jong-un guarantees of staying in power if he abandons nuclear weapons, but warned he could end up like Libya's former leader if he doesn't.

In an effort to put his planned landmark summit with Kim back on track, Trump said on Thursday that North Korea "will get protections that will be very strong" if the meeting were to go ahead successfully.

"He'd be in his country and running his country. His country would be very rich," he told reporters.

But the pledge came barbed with a warning that if talks fail, Kim could suffer the same fate as Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, who was overthrown by rebels and gruesomely killed.

The fate suffered by Libya shows "what will take place if we don't make a deal", the US president warned.

Trump's remarks came as Pyongyang threatened to cancel the historic summit, set for June 12 in Singapore, after blaming US demands for "unilateral nuclear abandonment".

A North Korean official also derided as "absurd" comments by Trump's top security adviser, John Bolton, who referred to Libya as a model for denuclearisation.

The model Bolton was referring to was a 2003 deal in which Gaddafi agreed to the elimination of his country's nuclear programme and chemical weapons arsenal to gain sanctions relief.

Libya model

Trump said he was not pursuing the so-called "Libya model" in getting North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons.

He appeared to interpret the "Libya model" to mean the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya, which led to Gaddafi's death.

"The Libya model was a much different model. We decimated that country," Trump said. "There was no deal to keep Gaddafi."

However, he added the Libya model would only come into play if a deal could not be reached with North Korea. He didn't elaborate.

The US leader also suggested Kim's about-face on the meeting may have been at the behest of Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

"It could very well be that he's influencing Kim Jong-un," Trump said, citing a recent meeting between the pair, their second in a month's time. "We'll see what happens."

'Nothing happened'

He went on to say nothing has changed with respect to North Korea after the warning from Pyongyang.

Trump said North Korean officials are discussing logistical details about the meeting with the US "as if nothing happened".

"I can only say our people are literally dealing with them right now in terms of making arrangements for the meeting," he said.

In addition to threatening to pull out of the summit with Trump, the North abruptly canceled a planned meeting with South Korean officials citing joint US-South Korean military exercises.

The Pentagon said on Thursday the schedule of military manoeuvres has not changed.

The North has argued it needs its nuclear weapons to preserve its security with 28,500 American troops stationed in the South.

In previous talks, Pyongyang said it would consider giving up its arsenal if the US removed its forces from South Korea and withdrew its so-called nuclear umbrella of deterrence from the region.

What to do about North Korea?

Inside Story

What to do about North Korea?

SOURCE: News agencies

Quelling urge to vomit at seeing "Bolton says..." in any news item again.

I think NK shares your sentiments as I do also.


Trump Sounds Like He’s Itching for War, As He Warns North Korea Against ‘Foolish and Reckless’ Acts



Kinda hard to believe that Drumpf is seeking peace after appointing warmongering neocons like dual citizen Bolton and pompous Pompeo.

/ foreign policy 5:30 pm

What Happens When You Treat Nuclear Diplomacy Like a Reality-TV Show

By @natsecHeather

Daily Intelligencer

The whole thing is just a little crazy. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Recently, a reader asked why my columns often compare Trump administration moves to TV shows. The reason is simple — Trump’s actions often seem inexplicable or counterproductive if viewed through a traditional national security lens. Seeing them as moves to promote a media narrative often makes them easier to understand — and offers a way to predict what comes next. Trump’s reality-TV approach to foreign and domestic policy has served him well — getting him elected and keeping his base closely enough bound to him that members of his own party do little to challenge him.

In Kim Jong-un, he seemed to have found a foil — a leader whose dictatorial control makes him the star of his own propaganda movie, and whose nuclear weapons and history of aggressive acts compel his neighbors to pay attention. The initiation and run-up to the U.S.–North Korea summit, planned for June 12 in Singapore, often looked like two leaders (or three with the addition of South Korea’s President Moon, also not shy with the media) engaging in parallel propaganda exercises, with little or no regard for where, or even whether, their core interests overlapped.

The summit’s cancellation is, at one level, neither more nor less than the continuation of that parallel play. Part of President Trump’s media brilliance involves his ability to present himself to sympathetic audiences as a figure bravely, if incautiously, planting the American flag in dangerous foreign lands, taking stands where his predecessors feared to tread, especially those places the experts and inside-the-Beltway types told you not to go. And the nuclear policy experts played their part, yelling at every step of the summit process, “don’t go in there … don’t take that literally … that’s the same mistake we made last time…”

If we’re honest, many policy professionals had already written the summit off. As much as both Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un seem like one-of-a-kind characters, we had already seen this show. North Korean leaders have swung back and forth between conciliatory actions and wildly hostile rhetoric before. They have objected strenuously to military exercises conducted by the U.S. and its allies before. They have canceled high-level meetings before — as recently as Vice-President Pence’s near-miss at the Pyeongchang Olympics earlier this year. And, let’s be clear, the United States also has a record of flip-flopping, offering concessions under one administration only to backtrack under the next.

So once the initial shock cooled down, many policy wonks were unsurprised or even mildly relieved. As one academic put it to me, “I was worried about the summit failing and us going to war the next morning.”

But the thing about movies and television is that after the credits roll, we walk out the door and the world is still the same outside. In the world of international affairs, however, actions have consequences; and Trump’s strange breakup letter is likely to have some big ones.

First, the cancellation will have been a nasty jolt to our South Korean allies, and to President Moon, who has made intra-Korean rapprochement a cornerstone of his young presidency. South Korean officials suggested to the media that they were not informed by the White House in advance. South Korean officials were stunned, as the president gathered his national security team after midnight. Just three days earlier, as President Moon flew to Washington to meet with Trump, his national security adviser assured reporters the summit had a “99.9 percent chance of happening.” Moon seems likely to try to continue South Korea’s own opening to the North, which is broadly popular. As the White House convened a National Security Council meeting Thursday afternoon to discuss military stances and yet more sanctions against Pyongyang, the gap between Washington and Seoul seemed set to grow much wider.

Second, although Trump and people around him had been sounding doubtful about the summit timing for several days, North Korea also seemed to get no warning. Just hours before, two dozen outside reporters had watched from a remote location as Pyongyang claimed to demolish its underground nuclear test site. They reported that the officials with them were taken completely by surprise and left them by themselves. Security experts were aghast that reporters were left vulnerable in a country that has shown no compunction in detaining Westerners for months or years on very slight pretexts.

Although not everyone thinks the demolition actually limits the North’s nuclear expansion in any significant way, for the North to take that step and be rewarded by a hostile cancellation is a huge propaganda coup for Kim. He moved his image from flaky, violent kid to bold and innovative leader. China’s government reconciled with him and received him publicly twice since the summit announcement. South Korea made moves toward improving ties that will be hard to roll back. And with Kim’s gain in legitimacy, his country’s nuclear weapons gain a certain legitimacy as well. The goals of denuclearizing, or even of getting the program acknowledged and under international safeguards, get further away.

Another objective that receded today was making a productive deal with China on either security or economic issues. Remember just last weekend the administration announced a framework deal with Beijing that contained no concrete progress on gaining market access for U.S. goods and firms, no relief on Chinese dumping in the U.S. … but did suspend new tariffs on Beijing until after the June 12 summit? Given the angry responses from Chinese media outlets, it doesn’t appear that their government received a heads-up on the summit cancellation either. Now the administration will need to go back to pressuring Beijing to do more on sanctioning Pyongyang — even as it will have to beg for economic concessions. Leverage wasted.

Some optimists argued that a summit that was canceled over words could just as easily be put back on. After all, the infamous commemorative coins that the White House had already had minted to celebrate the event give only a year, not a date. But as Trump followed up the odd threat in his cancellation letter — “You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful I pray to God they will never be used” — with afternoon threats from the White House, it seemed more reasonable to assume that we are headed back toward a spiral of threatening rhetoric and military posturing. Kim-watchers worried he might feel the need to do something to restore a sense of initiative, while White House–watchers feared a move toward the “preventive war” National Security Adviser John Bolton is on the record favoring. And war on the peninsula, with a predicted 300,000 Korean casualties in the opening days alone, even if nuclear weapons were not used — plus the deaths of American soldiers, plus the prospect of a nuclear launch — is decidedly real life, not a movie.

In the Interest of the People of the United States of America


Fortune Magazine has called out U.S. President Donald Trump for having “the stock market on a string, but investors are less sure of the game he’s playing.” Bloomberg is parroting the same, and the LA Times has been talking about the U.S./China trade policy driving stock prices too. But ordinary citizens do not buy stock. The world’s “average” people live and die underneath the mighty, with only presidents and elected officials to protect them. Here’s a opinion on why Donald Trump is not serving the best interested of the people of the United States of America.

“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” Article II, Section 4 – Constitution of the United States

On Wednesday, May 23rd at 9:20 AM local time; the top six defense stocks registered almost identical upticks indicating a general buy trend which was later followed by others. The trend may illustrate for the first time a kind of insider activity never spotlighted before. What I am saying is, it’s mighty convenient tha.t unknown investors suddenly decided to dive into defense stocks the day before Donald Trump pulled out of the North Korea summit via an official letter (White House) to Kim Jong Un. Furthermore, the U.S. presidents sudden turnaround on that announcement smells even fishier. If my guess is right, Trump and his backers are simply manipulating key news for gain – and substantial gain at that. Reading the official letter to North Korea’s Chairman, the wording of which is adolescent in the extreme, one can only arrive at one of two conclusions. Either Donald Trump is senile or crazy, or the money making game I am describing is on full bore. A key to deciding between these two is within the texts of Trump’s recited letter to Kim. The official letter reads in part:

“Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place. You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.

In 2017 John Nichols at The Nation warned us of Donald Trump’s play for the military-industrial complex. The author quoted from Trump’s first joint address to Congress back in February of 2017. At the end of this speech Trump said:

“I am sending the Congress a budget that rebuilds the military, eliminates the Defense sequester and calls for one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.”

It is important to note here that a similar buy spike occurred in trading of General Dynamics stock on the day before an American president would “advertise” for the notorious F-35, made by GD. If you read the president’s speech, he actually lauded Lockheed and “the fantastic new F-35 jet fighter. The five dollar per share buy ended in a 5 dollar per share sell the next day according to my research at Yahoo Finance historical data. In that case, the “method” seemed identical if there is a method to Trump’s policies. And remember, America just elected a wheeler and a dealer of a business tycoon.

stocks (1)

General Dynamics stock also registered the same “buy” marker on May 23rd, as did Huntington Ingalls Industries, which is building Trump’s new 350 ship navy.

“The government, which was designed for the people, has got into the hands of the bosses and their employers, the special interests. An invisible empire has been set up above the forms of democracy.” Woodrow Wilson – 28th President of the United States

Fifty-seven years ago former Five-Star General and President Dwight Eisenhower gave a memorable farewell address to the nation framed around the dangers of our military industrial complex. Eisenhower’s successor, John F. Kennedy mirrored these sentiments, which some experts say is what got him killed. This “influence” has run American policy since World War II ended, and now Donald Trump becomes the latest lackey in a long line, taking food from the mouths of the hungry and destitute.

“We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.” Dwight D. Eisenhower – 34th President of the United States

A few years before Eisenhower’s famous farewell, the man who commanded all allied forces in Europe during World War II cautioned the American people on the waste and destruction of lives unbalanced defense spending would have. Eisenhower spoke, not simply of the money wasted on weapons and war, but of the life force drained from Earth’s people if this “American militarism” took over:

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.” Dwight D. Eisenhower – 34th President of the United States

For those who would argue against my theories, I assure you they are not mine alone. During Eisenhower’s time, a famous sociologist named C. Wright Mills wrote the book The Power Elite, which claimed, among other things, that a class of military, business, and political leaders, driven by mutual interests, were the real leaders of the state, and that they were effectively beyond democratic control. And there are scores more scholarly moderators who’ve tried (mostly in vain) to inform the public of the skullduggery of these power brokers. However, all anyone really has to research are the names of defense corporations feeding vast sums of money to Washington think tanks and special interest lobbyists, politicians, institutions, Congress and the Executive Branch.

Showing the existence of this military industrial complex is not my concern here, for proof of its existence has already been established. What I am concerned about is the leader of the most powerful nation on Earth rolling the dice (playing craps) with the futures of all our children. My concern about Trump potentially in collusion with these power brokers is, it comes as an idealist and practical matter of course. The President of the United States cannot serve two masters. Either the people thrive, as Eisenhower and others suggested, or the fascist big business bosses who stand behind do. The man swore to God and to the American people:

“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me God!” – Donald J. Trump – 45th President of the United States

Nowhere in this constitution does the document stipulate that America’s chief executive is authorized or allowed to manipulate news, markets, and the truth in order to benefit one segment of society over another. Donald Trump swore to the American people he would drain the swamp that Washington politics has become. But so far no slimy swamp critters have been seen leaving. Donald Trump swore he would put an end to useless and excessive spending to support unwinnable wars, but instead he seems to be leveraging the rumors of such wars. I believe this is the reason Donald Trump appears so unpredictable. I believe he is a wind-up toy for the aforemented power elite.

Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, he’s an author of the recent bestseller “Putin’s Praetorians” and other books. He writes exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”


Amid efforts to revive the Kim-Trump summit, North Korea continues to seek diplomatic avenues across the region, and is finding other nations a lot more willing to meet for direct talks. Today, Kim Jong-un announced there will be a summit in which he visits Rus... presumably to meet with President Vladimir Putin.


Listening to Donald Trump's latest speech on United States security and foreign policy, I am reminded of Leonard Wibberley's seminal book, The Mouse That Roared, which was later adapted into a feature movie with Peter Sellers starring.

Everything about this badly written, poorly delivered speech reminded me of the book/movie: preposterous, comical, and surrealistic. (Nothing to do with the mouse having small fingers and the like.)


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