The Skeptics

Trump's UN Speech Was a Win for North Korea

Presumably President Donald Trump believed he was sticking a rhetorical dagger in North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un’s heart by calling the latter “Rocket Man.” But what greater compliment could there be for the leader of a small, impoverished, and isolated nation than being recognized the U.S. president as joining the global superpower in possessing intercontinental missiles and nuclear weapons? By the president’s own words Kim is now one of the “Big Boys.”

Why Isn't There a Debate about America's Grand Strategy?

“The United States needs a new set of ideas and principles to justify its worthwhile international commitments, and curtail ineffective obligations where necessary,” argue Jeremi Suri and Benjamin Valentino, in the introduction to their edited volume Sustainable Security: Rethinking American National Security.

“Balancing our means and ends requires a deep reevaluation of U.S. strategy, as the choices made today will shape the direction of U.S. security policy for decades to come.”

North Korea’s Nuclear Threat Is America’s (Not the World’s) Problem

Another day, another North Korean weapons test. Kim Jong-un has made the outrageous mundane, even boring. Unfortunately, Pyongyang has to stage ever bigger and more dramatic stunts to shock “the international community.”

Kim has gotten the attention of not only the Trump administration but the American people. The Chicago Council on Global Affairs found a 15 percent increase over last year, to 75 percent, in the share of Americans who view the North Korean nuclear program as a serious threat. He has an unfavorable rating of 91 percent.

A Nuclear North Korea Is Here to Stay

North Korea staged its sixth nuclear test. It was probably a boosted atomic rather than hydrogen bomb, as claimed by Pyongyang, and there’s no evidence that the weapon has been miniaturized to fit on a missile. But the test was the North’s most powerful yet. And it follows steady North Korean progress in missile development.

America Must Manage North Korea, Not Destroy It

As this summer’s North Korea war crisis winds down, the only serious option for dealing with a North Korea capable of attacking the United States with nuclear missiles is reemerging: adaptation. As Richard Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations, put it: “Not every problem can be solved. Some can only be managed . . . It remains to be seen what can be done vis-à-vis North Korea. Managing such challenges may not be satisfying, but often it is the most that can be hoped for.” This is almost certainly correct.

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