Jump to content

Lindsey Graham: This is not a Donald Trump problem.


Recommended Posts


Hugh Hewitt

Thu, Aug 10, 2017  






HH: Now Senator Graham, I had a direct message from a senior retired military person who’s a very well-respected analysts today, said to me I have to say in my military mind that if I have to make a choice between the risk of 20 million American dead at a future date with a high probability and 3 million dead South Koreans today, that I would make a strong recommendation for the preemptive strike. Do you agree both on the costs of a preemptive strike and on the conclusion that it may be necessary very soon?

LG: Well, I start every analysis out in terms of America’s national security interest. We would go to war to defend South Korea. If North Korea invaded South Korea tomorrow, we would defend them. If they attacked Japan, we would defend them. But we also have an obligation to defend the American homeland. So we’re in a unique situation of homeland defense versus regional stability. You can’t give your allies a veto when it comes to defending the homeland. So the president of the United States, Donald Trump or anyone else, I think, has to put defending the homeland first. That’s not inconsistent with helping our allies. But we cannot allow the capability to mature in North Korea that could put every American sitting in the crosshairs of a nuclear attack by a very unstable, provocative leader of North Korea. So if there’s going to be a war, which I hope there’s not, it will be over there, not in America. Those are your choices. Containment won’t work. The idea of allowing them a nuclear capability to strike the homeland and contain it is a very bad choice. One, they’ll sell the technology over time, and I don’t believe our missile defense systems are that good. Containment is a bad idea. Denial of the capability is the right approach. War will only happen if China completely fails in stopping North Korea. And China could do more if they choose. I want China to have two bad choices. I want China to have the choice of having to deal with a nutjob in their backyard, which would be very unpleasant and rein him in, or have a war in their backyard. Those are the two choices I want China to face.





HH: Senator, would you characterize for the audience the President’s grasp of the situation, his knowledge, his approach, his consultations so that they have more than the shout-fest we see on cable that speculate as to his approach to this issue?

LG: Deadly serious, very curious. I think he’s made a decision long ago, quite frankly, to try to negotiate the threat with North Korea, to try to find a way through negotiations to end the threat to the American homeland. But if negotiations fail, he is willing to abandon strategic patience and use preemption. I think he’s there mentally. He has told me this. Now the question for him is what are the options available to him under the preemption scenario? He’s thinking long and hard about it. His rhetoric yesterday, I think, is a change that is probably necessary. Everybody who spoke before him failed. Every smart person on TV who talks about what Trump should do when it was their turn to deal with North Korea, they failed miserably. There’s no place for him to kick the can down the road. So I’m 100% confident that if President Trump had to use military force to deny the North Koreans the capability to strike America with a nuclear-tipped missile, he would do that. And he’s going to listen to sound military advice, but he’s made a decision in his own mind not to let that happen on his watch. He has got Iran right. This nuclear deal was terrible. He’s looking for a better deal. He understands the threat that North Korea presents. They’re not rational, and it’s not in our national security interest to see this country grow in capability in terms of the type of bombs they have, the missiles they’re building.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

A short history of the last 64 years

How did we get here with North Korea?

Michael Rubin

August 9, 2017


Back in 2015, I published the second edition of Dancing with the Devil, an academic and policy study of more than a half century of US attempts to engage and negotiate with so-called rogue regimes, a moniker embraced by the Clinton administration to address those states which did not abide by the norms of diplomacy and which engaged in terrorism or nuclear proliferation. North Korea, of course, was perhaps the first rogue regime to confront the United States. What follows is a much abridged version of the study of US diplomacy with North Korea and how we got to where we are.

The Korean War never ended. The 1953 Armistice merely ended the most active phase of the conflict, but more than a million troops still face each other across a demilitarized zone (DMZ) less than three miles wide.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • 1701282846
  • Create New...