The Odd Dichotomy In The Trump Nuclear Proliferation Policy

First we have the nuclear ambitions of Iran. The world and President Obama thought they had that one under control with the Iran Nuclear Treaty. Almost his first act in the Oval Office, President Trump pulls out of the treaty…saying it’s a bad deal for the US…despite the fact that many of our allies and all of the other signatories say that it is working. And then the president starts to reinstate sanctions against Iran.

Iran has maintained the agreement…so far. But they have increased their interference across the Middle East region since then. But that shouldn’t be surprising, it is their neighborhood after all.

So to keep them in line…we send a carrier group and additional strategic bombers into areas in and around the Middle East. Big Stick diplomacy. We need to get their attention. We already have their attention…via the sanctions. But I don’t hear us talking to them in person or working with them through intermediaries…and I don’t hear about the president doing anything to remedy the issues he ‘sees’ in the original treaty.

So in response to increased US military presence, Iran now says it is ready to ignore the treaty themselves and start stockpiling nuclear materials again. And we are aghast that they would violate a treaty that we aren’t even party to. I imagine American threats against Iran will now escalate as well.

On the other hand, we don’t have any kind of treaty with North Korea. Just some handshake promises between President Trump and President Kim Jong-Un. And the requisite sanctions of course. But after the second summit in Viet Nam…nothing much happening either.

So over the past week or so, North Korea launched a pair of short range missiles into the Pacific Ocean. Of course the whole world reads this as a threat, but Kim probably wants to get our attention and remind us that he has weapons too! And of course we are appalled that he’d make any kind of threatening move…except this isn’t any different that sending an additional carrier fleet into the Mediterranean.

I don’t imagine anyone reading Blogging Blue thinks a nuclear Iran is a good thing. They probably don’t think a nuclear North Korea is a good thing either. But President Trump has mishandled these too issues completely and totally. He’s backed himself into a corner by bullying Iran and not taking North Korea as seriously as he should. And now I don’t imagine his ego will allow him to back away from these renewed threats from Iran and North Korea. He can’t let himself look weak. But you can’t push someone and not expect them to push back. And why would either nation trust him going forward?

The US needs to be back in the Iran Nuclear Treaty. The US needs to complete it’s negotiations with North Korea…and it might not be a bad idea to include some of the signatories from the Iran deal into the North Korean discussions. President Trump is out of his element here.


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