Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Washington, DC, United States (4E) – Donald Trump’s vast ignorance of diplomacy and geopolitics means a nuclear war pitting the United States against North Korea (and possibly China) is now more of a possibility.
The United States is now closer than it’s ever been to a nuclear war with North Korea and there’s little prospect of a diplomatic solution because of Trump, said retired United States Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, who served as the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 2007 to 2011.
Mullen attributed the higher likelihood of a nuclear war to Trump’s “incredibly disruptive” presidency.
“And in my view, an incredibly dangerous climate exists out there in that uncertainty with how this all ends up,” he said.
“One in particular that is top of the list is North Korea.”
“We’re actually closer, in my view, to a nuclear war with North Korea and in that region than we have ever been. I don’t see the opportunities to solve this diplomatically at this particular point.”
Mullen believes Trump can’t be influenced by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis; National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster or White House chief of staff John Kelly. Mattis and McMaster were former generals in the U.S. Army while Kelly is a retired general of the U.S. Marine Corps.
“Will he follow through on his rhetoric? Or will we actually be able to get to a situation where it could be solved peacefully?” Mullen asked.
“I’m just more inclined to see over time that the rhetoric seems to be where the president is, and that will limit the constraining ability that both Jim Mattis and H.R. McMaster and John Kelly have,” he said.
In August, Trump promised to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea if it continued to threaten the United States or its allies.
In a speech to the UN General Assembly in September, Trump ranted that the United States “will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea” if forced to defend itself or its allies.
Trump had decided early on to deny North Korea the capability to strike the United States with an intercontinental ballistic missile armed with a nuclear warhead, said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.
“2018 will be a year of opportunity and extreme danger,” said Graham.
“Now, the Iranians are watching the way he engages with North Korea, and vice versa. So we’ve got a chance here to deliver some fatal blows to really bad actors in 2018. But if we blink, God help us all.”
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