Let’s see where this is going. The Republican President, distracted by golf, let the US Air Force drop the Massive Ordinance Air Burst GBU-43 (MOAB or colloquially the Mother Of All Bombs) on a tunnel complex in Afghanistan, killing 36 ISIS fighters in their holes.
No big issue with that: Killing ISIS members is a good thing, as they don’t respond to reason any more than a rabid fox would respond to reason. Since reasoning is out, killing is Plan B and we don’t have much of a problem morally or ethically with it. If you’re going to fight, fight hard, dirty and fast. Try to keep the collateral damage to a bare minimum, but don’t flinch either. Yes, it’s a fine line and one that takes some courage to do. Then, be prepared to do it again.
We don’t care for armed conflict in the slightest, because at the end of the day, nobody really wins. If you can settle something without violence, that’s the better way. If you are going to get down, get all the way down as that scares the hell out of your opposition and they will run away, convinced you’re crazier than they are. The Marquess of Queensberry was a twat: Bring several guns to a knife fight. It works 99 percent of the time; your opponent will mysteriously have a more pressing appointment, far, far away.
That one percent of the time, when it doesn’t work, is when you are confronted with someone who is truly off their meds. North Korea comes to mind. Their leader is crazy and the whole country is crazy because the secret police ensures that you remain alive only by fanatical devotion to Kim Jong-un, their crazy leader. Starving population? No matter. Hundreds of thousands of ‘political’ prisoners executed for nothing more than having the wrong haircut? No matter. Where one gets into problems is with North Korea’s penchant for testing their nuclear devices and missiles. That matters.
Right now, the USS Carl Vinson battle group, who were next door in Singapore, are now bobbing around in the neighbourhood of Korea in the Sea of Japan. Various countries have a military presence there, mostly submarines, in a smallish bit of ocean where the potential for bumping into each other is rather high. This older posting from 2006 gives you the scorecards for the various players, none of whom are particularly calm right now.
If North Korea decides to test out another missile or another nuke, what will be the response? The Republican President has said nothing, keeping with the Theodore Roosevelt dictum, which might be the wisest course right now. Yes, I just said Trump is being wise: I gagged while writing it, but there it is; he is either listening to his advisers or someone has taken him off Adderall.
Does the US have the GPS coordinates of most, if not all the North Korean missile and nuke plants ready to hand? Considering the number of National Reconnaissance Office overflights from space, the Air Force surely does and has interesting technology to reach out and touch them. Would Russia and China add their targeting information to the US library?
Here’s where it gets fun. It is in the best interests of both China and Russia to have a slightly crazed USA go off and kick North Korea’s ass into next week. China has for several dozen years tried long-timeline diplomacy to contain the North Korean cowboy behavior and not really succeeded. Russia is always interested in anything that pisses in China’s cornflakes and Russia really isn’t happy with another nuke-wielding nutcase in the area. If they two of them do it right, they’ll push the Republican President into doing their dirty work for them. The Republican President can take the heat for doing what China and Russia have always wanted to do, which is kick Kim Jong-un (earlier, his Daddy) to the curb.
Russia and China get to puff up their diplomatic shirts in a display of of “tut-tut” but secretly laugh up their sleeves knowing that North Korea is no longer a threat and President Cheeto will be gone in a few months, back to his golf vacations at Mar-A-Lago to write a book about how the fake news media fabricated evidence about most of his advisers and cabinet who were on the take from various organizations.
Done well, it will demote the United States to a taxi league player but with a big stick that can be manipulated nine times out of ten.