Why America Cannot Blink First With North Korea
The problem with wars being scrutinized by media is the amount of rhetoric and bullshit we get subjected to, and having to try to interpret actions rather than words. The line has been sufficiently blurred between a healthy sense of scepticism and outright paranoia. Governments, and militaries, will often say, and do, whatever they need to create a perception both domestically and internationally that masquerades their true intentions and ultimately actions(duh!). Generally speaking, the golden characterisation is to be portrayed as hero domestically, and victim internationally. The developing situation in Korea and throughout the entire Northern Asian region is no exception. In fact, it is the epitome of deception and potential full scale war between the powers of the world, and how America responds to this could be the key in avoiding (or ensuring) potentially the most significant hot war the world has seen since WW2.
History Always Repeats Itself, Right?
Obviously the answer is no. Vague generalisations will always have exceptions. With that being said, it happens far too often than it should. So what precedent do we have to draw from when we look at what is happening in Asia at the moment? The most obvious (if you remove the Holocaust) is Europe in the 1930’s. You have the rise of a suppressive world power in China (think Germany), a potential civil war with the ability to become the theatre of significant conflict in Korea (Spanish Civil War) and the “reclaiming” of lost land. Taiwan is the logical inference, but this could be the Senkaku Islands (think Czechoslovakia) by the upcoming world power which can be interpreted by the rogue state as weakness on the part of West (United States is the contemporary example, Britain in the 1930’s with the Munich Agreement)
But You Just Said It Doesn’t Have To Repeat Itself :/
Because it never has had to, but that hasn’t stopped it before. I’m not saying we’re going to see a new World War here. In fact, I think we won’t see anything close to the sorts. But the way America addresses the situation is critical in preventing it. They cannot repeat the same mistakes that Britain, France (and even the Soviets) made in adopting a soft stance here and appear to be weak. Standing alongside the South Koreans (and Japan, they are under immediate threat too) is crucial, if not moral. It would be a betrayal of unbelievable proportions if America, after 50 years of being an ally to South Korea, to bail on them when tensions are at their highest. They aren’t likely to do this because let’s face it, America hasn’t backed away from a war in a long time.
So America Should Pre-emptively Strike North Korea?
Not unless there is no way to avoid a nuclear missile strike on South Korea, Japan or anywhere else by North Korea. The problem with this is the likely outcome would be Russian and/ or Chinese involvement backing North Korea, and then it gets real messy, real fast. Any pre-emptive military action that shifts the aggressor from North Korea to the United States could be all that Russia and China need to establish a conflict with the United States.
Different Goals, Common Enemy.
We need to backtrack a little here. What would Russia and China have to gain by siding with North Korea? China is in a position where, due to its reliance on America as a trading partner (its domestic economy is far too weak to sustain itself due to such a weak domestic economy and they don’t have any other viable options to allow itself to overtake the U.S. from an economic standpoint), is fairly stuck. Unless if America is significantly hurt, it can’t become the world leader and is at America’s mercy. If America decides to domesticize its economy, China’s growth bubble will emphatically burst. And Russia is in many ways looking for a way to get back onto the world stage as a leader, even if it means siding with their traditional rival to get back to that symbolic stand.
Wait a minute; China Has publicly condemned North Korea!
Governments never lie, do they? 😉 Look at the actions of the Chinese in relation to North Korea. Who is funding North Korea economically and with oil? It’s the Chinese. The reality of this entire mess, China has (or had) the ability to stop North Korea from getting to this point. In my opinion, North Korea is as much of an extension of China as anything domestically produced from within China. And it allows North Korea (China) to be aggressive from a military standpoint whilst maintaining they persona on the world stage as a “friendly and responsible world leader”. Sound far-fetched? Perhaps. But look at the current situation. Why else would China be backing North Korea with supplies? And if they didn’t have Chinese backing, would North Korea be stupid/ crazy enough to engage and declare war on the United States? Actions always speak louder than words. We can interpret them now, and not wait until hindsight and say “how did we not see this?”
Is it time to start stocking up cans of baked beans?
Not unless if you want to start farting 18 hours a day. Look, I don’t think anything of significance will happen here. But it is impossible to ignore the tensions in Northern Asia. Eventually, one side will blink, and I don’t think it will be the United States in this situation. How big and substantial will remain to be seen. The United States has what China wants. How far is China willing to go to get it? And what price is America willing to pay to keep it? Let’s just hope that if we have learnt from history, we do avoid a World War. We’re coming too close to way too many ground breaking scientific discoveries to improve our lives to fuck all that up with a giant war that will leave future generations wondering “what the hell were they thinking?” and set mankind back an entire generation.