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Hullabaloo


Saturday, April 15, 2017

 

Things that glitter and go BOOM!

by Tom Sullivan

Your commandant in chief:

“You gotta knock the hell out of them — Boom! Boom! Boom!” Trump said of Islamic State terrorists at a January 2016 rally in Iowa, punctuating each “boom” with a punch of his fist.

That same impulse has been apparent over the past 10 days as Trump pummeled a Syrian air base with cruise missiles, threatened military action against North Korea over its nuclear weapons program and praised the U.S. military’s first-ever use of a massive 11-ton bomb, nicknamed the “mother of all bombs,” to kill Islamic State militants in Afghanistan.

“So incredible. It’s brilliant. It’s genius,” Trump said Tuesday of the missile strike in Syria. “Our technology, our equipment is better than anybody by a factor of five.”
Only five?

Danielle Pletka of the American Enterprise Institute wonders if Trump's military strikes are actions in search of a strategy:
The big question is whether Trump’s recent military maneuvers can be fashioned into a long-term strategy or whether they are the Trump foreign policy equivalent of an angry tweet.

“The problem for all of us is judging where does he go from here,” Pletka said.
Korea?

As a U.S. carrier groups steams towards the Korean Peninsula, Kim Jong-un displayed his country's military might:
North Korea on Saturday displayed what appeared to be new long-range and submarine-based missiles at a massive military parade celebrating the 105th birth anniversary of the nation's founding president, Kim Il-sung.

The parade, attended by leader Kim Jong-un, saw thousands of soldiers marching through the capital, Pyongyang.

Weapons analysts said they believed some of the missiles on display were new types of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM), enclosed in canister launchers mounted on the back of trucks.

North Korea's Pukkuksong submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBM) were also on parade. It was the first time North Korea had shown the missiles, which have a range of more than 1,000km, at a military parade.

The problem with having a naif presiding over American foreign policy and a State Department in disarray is that military options comprise too many of the options available. After White House communications director Mike Dubke stunned staffers on Tuesday by declaring, “There is no Trump doctrine,” it was even less clear where Trump goes from here. So pundits started writing on the blank tablet:
For the National Interest’s Jacob Heilbrunn, the Trump Doctrine that emerged post-missile strike “is based on the impulsive and hawkish and unilateral exercise of American firepower.” Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin wrote, in contrast, that the Trump Doctrine is “escalate to de-escalate,” and pointed to China and North Korea as examples of the principle in play. For the military historian Max Boot, the Trump Doctrine holds that “the United States reserves the right to use force whenever the president is upset by something he sees on TV,” while for the Washington Post the “emerging doctrine is flexibility.” And the New York Times holds that the Trump Doctrine is “don’t follow doctrine.” Very meta.

With so many striving to define Trump’s national security approach, his spokesman stepped into the breach. “The Trump Doctrine,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said from the podium, “is that America’s first. We’re going to make sure that our national interests are protected, that we do what we can to make sure that our interests both economically and national security are at the forefront. We’re not just going to become the world’s policeman running around the world, but that we have to have a clear and defined national interest wherever we act.”
Not that they can enunciate one. But while Trump may not have plans for what happens in Korea next week where millions of South Koreans and tens of thousands of American soldiers and expats will be soft targets if he miscalculates, he already knows exactly what he wants to happen in London this fall: The Times of London:
Donald Trump waving from the Queen’s royal carriage is not a scenario many would have foreseen a year ago, but it has become a very real prospect, forcing security services to plan an unprecedented lockdown.

The White House has made clear it regards the carriage procession down the Mall as an essential element of the itinerary for the visit currently planned for the second week of October, according to officials.

Security sources have warned, however, that the procession will require a “monster” security operation, far greater than for any recent state visit.
The Netflix reboot of Mystery Science Theater 3000 premiered last night. In the not too distant future, perhaps someone will produce a B-movie about Trump and Korea and the queen's carriage that makes its way to the Satellite of Love. The whole thing would be comedy gold — MSTrump3K — should we survive to see it.