Of all the ridiculous schemes to reach a diplomatic resolution with an unstable military regime hell bent on destroying the United States, this might be the most dubious. In a meeting with Chinese officials last week, President Donald Trump suggested that he would consider actually meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un if he shuts down Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
“If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely,” Trump told Bloomberg. “I would be honored to do it.”
According to Japan Times, this is just one of a number of plans the Trump administration has been discussing with the Chinese officials regarding North Korea and its continued pursuit of nuclear weapons. In the past, Trump Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has asserted that the administration is certainly open to “direct talks” with Pyongyang.
To the establishment players in Washington, Trump’s remarks seem patently ridiculous. “The president of the United States can't meet with Kim Jong Un," former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice insisted in an interview with CBS."And certainly not under these circumstances."
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright took particular note of Trump’s verbiage. Using the phrase “honored,” she said, is “the wrong way to discuss somebody who is keeping his people in poverty and starving and control.”
But this idea is not a new one for the Trump administration, which has repeatedly suggested it will leave the door open for some form of diplomacy with the nation.
“I think that if North Korea continues down a degree of provocative behavior, then those circumstances will never be there,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said earlier this month. “But we want to hold out the possibility that if North Korea were ever serious about completely dismantling its nuclear capability.”
Is this plan so crazy it just might work? Probably not. Since Trump took office, tensions between North Korea and the United States and its allies have risen to historic levels, making the prospect of direct talks a seemingly unlikely option. Bloomberg even went so far as to suggest that “North Korea has become the most urgent national security threat and foreign policy issue facing Trump as his first 100 days in office passed.”
Japan Times reported diplomatic sources have suggested that in a far less harebrained plan, a senior North Korean diplomat may meet soon with former U.S. officials in Norway. Though we think Trump has a snowball’s chance in hell of bringing a psycho like Kim Jong Un to the negotiating table, we value any option that doesn’t lead to nuclear holocaust.
Every once in a while, we run across a photo in The Times-Picayune archives that's so striking that it begs a simple question: "What in the name of Momus Alexander Morgus is going on in this New Orleans photograph?" When we do, we've decided, we're going to share it — and to attempt to answer that question.
Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces control the monitor of their drone at their advanced position, during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in Nazlat Shahada, a district of Raqqa. (Reuters/Zohra Bensemra)
MUSCAT (Reuters) - The United States should keep arming and aiding the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following the planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria, provided the group keeps up the pressure on Islamic State, a senior U.S. general told Reuters on Friday.
Long before Tony Stark took a load of shrapnel to the chest in a distant war zone, science fiction legend Robert Heinlein gave America the most visceral description of powered armor for the warfighter of the future. Forget the spines of extra-lethal weaponry, the heads-up display, and even the augmented strength of an Iron Man suit — the real genius, Heinlein wrote in Starship Troopers, "is that you don't have to control the suit; you just wear it, like your clothes, like skin."
"Any sort of ship you have to learn to pilot; it takes a long time, a new full set of reflexes, a different and artificial way of thinking," explains Johnny Rico. "Spaceships are for acrobats who are also mathematicians. But a suit, you just wear."
First introduced in 2013, U.S. Special Operations Command's Tactical Assault Light Operator Suit (TALOS) purported to offer this capability as America's first stab at militarized powered armor. And while SOCOM initially promised a veritable Iron Man-style tactical armor by 2018, a Navy spokesman told Task & Purpose the much-hyped exoskeleton will likely never get off the launch pad.
"The prototype itself is not currently suitable for operation in a close combat environment," SOCOM spokesman Navy Lt. Phillip Chitty told Task & Purpose, adding that JATF-TALOS has no plans for an external demonstration this year. "There is still no intent to field the TALOS Mk 5 combat suit prototype."