Categories: Communities

Trump’s Iran Decision Leaves Only 2 Likely Outcomes

The major takeaway from President Donald Trump’s reckless decision to violate the terms of the nuclear development agreement with Iran…

2 years ago

The major takeaway from President Donald Trump’s reckless decision to violate the terms of the nuclear development agreement with Iran is that it isolates America and makes it more likely the United States will be drawn into another war of choice in the Middle East.

Until recently, the same could be said for Trump’s actions in Korea. Just months ago, a juvenile-sounding Trump was exchanging taunts with an equally boastful North Korean leader over who had bigger nukes. Now people in South Korea are euphoric that a real peace might be possible on the Korean Peninsula for the first time in 60 years. What changed? And is there hope for a similar turnaround with Iran?

Taking A Back Seat
In America’s ally South Korea, newly elected President Moon Jae-In took the initiative to open negotiations with his North Korean counterpart. To everyone’s surprise, the reclusive Kim Jong Un reciprocated. Moon proceeded to arrange a summit later this spring between Kim and Trump.

Trump, of course, argues that his “tough” rhetoric forced Kim to respond. But that is not the view of the South Korean officials, journalists and policy experts I spoke with last week while accompanying a delegation sponsored by the Former Members of Congress Association. The consensus I heard there is that three things changed.

First, Kim actually finished developing a nuclear arsenal. He froze his nuclear tests, because he doesn’t need any more tests. North Korea is now a nuclear state.

Second, Kim believes he can use his nuclear assets to prevent an attack in the short run and as a bargaining chip to jump-start the economic development his country desperately needs in the longer run.

Third, a confident South Korean president with strong approval ratings stepped up to fill the void left by Trump’s bluster and incompetence, and took control of events.

Moon is now setting the terms for the peace process in Korea, not Trump or his new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ― and certainly not new national security adviser John Bolton, who advocated pre-emptive attacks on the North that would likely have precipitated a war costing hundreds of thousands of Korean lives.

Trump’s abrogation of the Iran agreement has only strengthened Kim’s negotiating position. Amazingly, Kim is now the one who can posture as the “reasonable,” peace-seeking party.

And as Trump is condemned at home and abroad for his actions with Iran, he is showing himself to be increasingly desperate for some sort of foreign policy win that can make him look effective. His insecurity and need to appear a “winner” create a real incentive to come away with a “successful” peace deal in Korea ― regardless of its content.

And, let’s be clear, the terms of a “good deal” in Korea will be very much like the Iran agreement Trump just trashed.

Raju Jeelaga

It was not immediately clear who was responsible, but Macron’s political movement said.It was not immediately clear who was responsible, but Macron’s political movement said.It was not immediately clear who was responsible

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