Who’s Next?


So Little Rocket Man may be giving up his nukes. We’ll see how that works out.

If it does, it will be an interesting precedent for other countries with weak economies that can’t carry the load of paying simultaneously for weapons development and economic development. Iran has a bigger economy than North Korea, but the mullahs have stunted their civil economies growth. Pakistan has lots of nukes and rampant poverty. The collapse of the Soviet Union was driven in large part by that country’s inability to pay for guns and butter. The Russians changed leaders, got a modestly improved economy, and kept their nukes. Will Kim preserve his hold on power by giving up his nukes for economic development? Will anyone else?

Stay tuned.

Cold War II?


Richard Fernandez has a post over at PJ Media taking a look a what could be the beginnings of a new cold war.

Without fanfare elements of a new cold war are being put into place by the Trump administration, the European Union and China. Although the disconnected components separately make headlines, the underlying pattern is evident despite the carnival-like distractions of the Mueller investigation and the reluctance to declare the old order dead.

The generation that ran the world in 1914 sent their sons to die in what came to be called “The Great War,” and then they mismanaged the peace. In 1939, the generation that fought The Great War sent their sons to World War II. The lessons they had learned didn’t keep us out of another war, but the resulting Cold War was in most ways less brutal than WWII.

The West won the Cold War, but our leaders have mismanaged the Cold Peace. Now, a new generation may be facing Cold War II. If we’re lucky.

On Declaring War


One of the great weaknesses of totalitarian governments (and government wannabes such as ISIS) is their tendency to think that free societies are run as theirs are.

One of the Nork’s diplomats has gone on record saying that President Trump has declared war on them. While Rocket Man has the authority to declare war, the President of the United States does not. According to Art. I, Sec. 8, Cl. 11 of the Constitution, only Congress has the power to declare war.

The President hasn’t and can’t declare war or North Korea. However, he does have the general authority to order our forces to act in self-defense. Further, if presented with a violation of the 1953 Korean armistice agreement, he probably has the authority to carry forward the UN police action prosecuted by Presidents Truman and (briefly) Eisenhower.

Close Enough for Government Work


Stacy McCain has a post up discussing President Trump’s recent decision to increase the size of the U. S. Military force in Afghanistan. Our policy in the conduct of the war has been inconsistent over three administrations, but it now appears that Trump has ordered Secretary Mattis to win the war. Assets are being recommitted to the fight.

My libertarian friends and “America First” nationalists don’t like Trump’s decision to double the force in Afghanistan, but there are no good options available in this permanent war against a permanent enemy.

Read the whole thing and hit Stacy’s tip jar.