As the nation is fed near endless discussion on the inartful words of Donald Trump, while avoiding various scandals of Hillary Clinton, attention has been removed from President Obama and international policy. Correction, international policy except when a potential 3rd Party candidate (Gary Johnson) – who has gained exponential exposure since his run in 2012 – is fed a somewhat trick question, using the name of a specific city in Syria to address the entire Syrian conflict. But what has been diminished is a potential danger to America.
Then-Senator Obama started in 2007 with a message of open conversation to address the international conflicts and political minefield that is the world. It was in the July 2007 debate that Obama noted his intention to have open, non-preconditioned talks with the rogue nations of the world. He stated in the CNN debate that,
“I would, [talk without precondition]” Obama said. “And the reason is this, that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them — which has been the guiding diplomatic principle of this administration — is ridiculous.”
In May 2008, the presidential candidate doubled down on his thoughts, providing the following quote
“Instead of tough talk and no action, we need to do what Kennedy, Nixon and Reagan did and use all elements of American power – including tough, principled, and direct diplomacy — to pressure countries like Iran and Syria,” Obama said. “George Bush knows that I have never supported engagement with terrorists, and the president’s extraordinary politicization of foreign policy and the politics of fear do nothing to secure the American people or our stalwart ally Israel.”
To bring this discussion up to date, the question that America needs to address is what has been the result of this international policy. Specifically, in regard to North Korea, how effective has this plan been?
The answer is a resounding and troubling failure. Defined by active development of nuclear weapons, repeated nuclear weapon tests, along with development of missiles capable of reaching the United States. It was in October 2006 that North Korea entered the category of nuclear world powers with a failed test of a 1 kiloton weapon. But the open discussion policy of the Obama Administration has been witness to 4 nuclear weapon tests. That Obama Administration policy has also resulted in 8 missile tests.
In each case, the White House has responded with a harsh rebuke. The September 9, 2016 nuclear test earned the following response,
“Today’s test, North Korea’s second this year, follows an unprecedented campaign of ballistic missile launches, which North Korea claims are intended to serve as delivery vehicles for nuclear weapons targeting the United States and our allies, the Republic of Korea and Japan. As Commander in Chief, I have a responsibility to safeguard the American people and ensure that the United States is leading the international community in responding to this threat and North Korea’s other provocations with commensurate resolve and condemnation…
Last night I returned from the G-20 and East Asia Summit meetings in Asia, where my counterparts and I were united in our call for North Korea to return to the path of denuclearization… We agreed to work with the UN Security Council, our other Six-Party partners, and the international community to vigorously implement existing measures imposed in previous resolutions, and to take additional significant steps, including new sanctions, to demonstrate to North Korea that there are consequences to its unlawful and dangerous actions.”
It cannot be more blatant nor clear that the Obama international policy has failed in regard to North Korea. Public rebuke and continuation of existing sanctions have not only failed, but under the lukewarm stance of the Obama Administration, seem to have accelerated the development by North Korea. But this policy is influencing the future of America and world politics.
Looking forward via the 2016 presidential nominees, the solution offered by Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is to begin negotiations similar to the controversial Iran Nuclear Deal – which has directly funded terrorism as stated by Secretary John Kerry,
“I think that some of it will end up in the hands of the IRGC or other entities, some of which are labeled terrorists.” – January 21, 2016 – CNN
Donald Trump, the Republican presidential candidate has not directly stated a position on the North Korea nuclear test at the time of this article. Surrogates for Trump have said that, “He’s not going to reveal all of his plans and he’s made that very clear and maybe someone can ask him in a debate. But the fact is that this entire world would be put on notice that there’s a strong leader in the White House.”
Gary Johnson, when asked about the situation on Sept. 9, 2016, noted that conventional escalation in the region is not possible,
““I don’t think that capability exists,” he said. “Of course, that would be the input that I’m getting right now. In fact, South Korea is so far advanced, the economies are nowhere near comparable in scale. North Korea [invading] is just not going to happen.”
Thus voters face the question of continuing a policy that has resulted in increased threat to America, or ignoring the threat to the US and its Allies, or the unknown but strongly implied threat of action. Which future course is best is a matter of debate, but the clock is running out on when that debate will be had with public.