National Security & Defense

The Corner

No, It’s Not the Cuban Missile Crisis. It Probably Isn’t Even New

The media is treating the North Korea flare-up like a new Cuban Missile Crisis, when it isn’t even close. It is very unlikely that Kim is going to hit Guam — assuming he’s capable of it — because it would be suicide by cop and if there’s anything he cares about, it’s the perpetuation of his regime. Meanwhile, Trump sounds like the administration has made some fundamental shift in the U.S. approach to North Korea, when there is no other indication of it. In fact, his rhetoric is probably a little like his strike against Syria, which some thought heralded a major departure. In fact, Trump has had exactly the same strategy toward Syria as Obama. Likewise, in North Korea, it appears our strategy is a version of the tried-and-true approach of cajoling China to pressure North Korea to bring them back to the table for more negotiations (certainly this is what Tillerson is saying). I continue to believe that it is more likely that this latest chapter ends in (ill-conceived and counter-productive) negotiations than in military conflict.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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