Ahhh, the council of wise and wild have gathered.  Imagine, the “intellectuals” of foreign policy sitting just across the table from Donald Trump’s collective of over-fed, isolationist, ideologues.  Rush Limbaugh’s wet dream.  (A thought I will have to strike from my imagination if there is any intent of sleeping tonight.)

And they are all on an aircraft headed to Asia.  Because, as any pedestrian in Washington DC can so ably predict, “When the politics get messy, go abroad.”   Oh, that Mark Twain or H.L. Mencken were here to cast aspersions upon the lot that hath descended upon our nation’s capital.  But, perhaps, those two would be unable to pronounce policy or denounce the same in 140 characters.  That seems an art form perfected only by our Commander-in-Chief.

Governance via insipid commentary.


So, we offer the man a chance to redeem himself.  Resolve the problem with Pyongyang.  Yes, that Pyongyang.  The one that flashes a middle finger in your face and taunts of nuclear suicide.

There has to be at least a single map on Air Force One.  North Korea is a gnat.  The size of Indiana that the US Intelligence Community has been filming from above for the last fifty years.  A nation we well know is no longer poised to do more than defend itself…and even that will be accomplished in a slipshod manner.  Their air force is reduced to flight training that will not earn an amateur’s pilot license in this country.  The army has recruits that weigh in at 100 pounds and stand 4 foot 8 inches.  As for the navy…surely you jest.

Fifteen years ago I ran a study of the North Korean military that vividly concluded it was poised to do one thing—defend against an attack from the south.  Duh.  Makes sense when your primary adversary is located immediately beneath the border.  Note, that was defend, not attack.  The artillery and infantry are parked in positions intended to defend against primary routes of advance into Pyongyang.  You don’t need a security clearance to figure this out…just Google Earth.

A resolvable problem, particularly in light of the military capability located in South Korea.  Coupled with the American forces stationed in that country and Japan…for the last 67 … yes, 67 …years.  Enough is enough.

Here’s where I go off the reservation.

I’m not suggesting Seoul and Washington solve the problem.

Why drive an army up through a formidable defense when the back gate is wide open?

The Chinese want to be a global superpower.  A determinate of international ethics.  Let Beijing handle Pyongyang.  It’s not like they haven’t been there before.  (Go back and check on that pesky thing we call the “Korean War”…a title historians have adopted despite congressional reluctance to so decree…Truman’s “police action.”)

There is a logic here.  Beijing fears a resumption of hostilities will place American forces on their border.  (You can wade across most of the Yalu River…trust me on this one…)  I’m simply suggesting it would be wiser to have the Chinese come south and solve the problem.  Beijing has plenty of experience with nuclear weapons and likely would dispense of Kim Jong-Un in a less politically incorrect manner than what we allowed the Iraqis to do with Saddam Hussein. Then Beijing can negotiate with Seoul—one of its largest trading partners—on how to handle the remnants.

All without causing intellectual angst on Air Force One.

This seems so simple.  Even childlike.  Until we recall the Korean Peninsula was divided by Dean Rusk and Charles Bonesteel at the 38th Parallel using a National Geographic map.  Neither man had ever been to the area….yet they created a war we have funded for the last 67 years.

Enough.  Time for Pyongyang to perish.  At Beijing’s hands.  Then allow Seoul to clean up a mess the South Koreans have avoided for decades.  They can afford it.  And they all speak the same language.

Seems cruel?  Perhaps, racist?  I spent more than half of my career working the Korean problem.  My family resides in South Korea.  I’m not a racist, I’m a realist.  With no interest in engaging the ideologues on either side of Donald Trump’s Air Force One debate table.

Eric C. Anderson
5 Nov 2017