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Friday, March 17, 2017

The Daily Combover - March 17, 2017

Yesterday I outlined the similarities between the GOP budget and the North Korean budget.  It looks like Trump isn't going to stop there. He wants the United States to replace North Korea.

Are we moments away from (potentially nuclear) war?
The immediate pretext is North Korea’s test-firing of four medium-range ballistic missiles last week, following the launch in February of a new intermediate-range missile. However, the drumbeat of US military threats has been preceded by months of high-level discussions in American foreign policy and military circles over action to prevent North Korea building an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of hitting the continental United States.
Our response has been to beat the drums:
A worried New York Times editorial last week, headlined “Rising Tensions with North Korea,” underscored the dangers of war breaking out in North East Asia. “How Mr. Trump intends to handle this brewing crisis is unclear, but he has shown an inclination to respond aggressively,” the newspaper wrote. “On Monday, the White House denounced the missile tests and warned of ‘very dire consequences.’”
While on his trip to Asia, Fourth-in-Line-to-the-Presidency Tillerson didn't rule out war:
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday that “all of the options are on the table,” including the use of military force, to deal with the threat of North Korea and its ever-escalating weapons program.
Tillerson, making his first trip to South Korea since taking over as America’s top diplomat, visited the demilitarized zone along the border with North Korea on Friday, according to the Associated Press. He said preemptive military action against North Korea, which recently conducted a ballistic missile test, could be necessary if the repressive regime’s weapons program rises to a level “that we believe requires action."
The secretary of state promised a “different approach” for U.S. policy towards North Korea but did not offer specifics of what that new direction might look like, perhaps following the lead of President Donald Trump, who has in the past expressed a preference for not tipping the nation’s hand in foreign or military policy situations.
Tillerson did offer a somewhat veiled criticism of past U.S. policy in the region, remarking that two decades of "diplomatic and other efforts" had been unsuccessful in halting North Korea’s nuclear program, which the secretary referred to as an “ever-escalating threat.”
Let's just say North Korea is watching Trump's next move very carefully.
To borrow from the late Tom Clancy, this really is the Sum of All Fears.

Catch you on the flip side.

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