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Trump Says He's A Master Negotiator. He'll Need Every Ounce Of It With North Korea.
In the days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, I led a Combat Reconnaissance Aircrew in an intelligence collection mission against North Korea. Before takeoff, I briefed my crew. “Keep your guard up,” I said. “We are facing an enemy that is still at war with the United States. They may think America is vulnerable right now, but that is why we are here. Treat every decision like your life depends on it.”
Today, America finds itself playing a game of nuclear brinksmanship with that same rogue regime. But Trump’s latest overture, however impulsive, might be our best opening in decades to walk back from the brink. In the 1960s, Lyndon Johnson and the DC establishment believed that China was our greatest foreign nuclear threat and war was inevitable. But it was Richard Nixon, the hawk, the rule-breaker, who saw this as an opportunity to open China to the world. President Donald Trump’s approach to governing mirrors Richard Nixon’s in this respect—and it’s time for Democrats to take note.
President Trump’s willingness to throw out the establishment’s North Korea playbook is his biggest gamble yet. Every U.S. President has had a standing invitation from North Korea for an official visit. Every single U.S. President has declined—demanding massive concessions from the North Koreans first. President Trump, in what may be his first Nixon moment, accepted without concession.
This is a risky decision. However, both South Korea and Japan have praised the President for his actions. Trump’s strategy of maximum appeasement is not one that I agree with. He is willing to grant North Korea a presidential visit, a multinational summit, overlook human rights violations, and presumably take reunification off the table and begin normalizing relations.
One thing is clear—this is a bold move that must lead to historic results.
What Does A Trump Victory Look Like?
President Trump must come home with a peace treaty that ends the Korean War and denuclearizes North Korea. Anything less will weaken America’s negotiating position and bring us closer to war. Therefore, he must succeed where Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright, and countless other Democrats, Republicans, lifelong diplomats, and Korean political experts have failed. This is Trump’s moment to shine.
I served nine years as a Navy pilot, leading combat reconnaissance missions against North Korea. I know the costs of war. When it comes to North Korea, diplomacy is our best option and I applaud Trump for seeking a diplomatic solution. A master negotiator, it’s time for Trump to follow through on his promises to end our conflict with North Korea and we should hold him accountable for the outcome of this summit. I pray for him to succeed. I pray that he treats every decision, like my aircrew did on that mission off North Korea, as if lives depend on it.
Because in a game of nuclear brinksmanship, all of our lives may depend on it.
Ken Harbaugh is a former Navy pilot and disaster-responder. He flew reconnaissance missions in the Middle East and off of North Korea. Ken is the past President of Team Rubicon Global, a disaster relief organization that has helped train over 50,000 veterans to deploy in emergency response teams around the world. Together with his wife, Ken is the author of Here Be Dragons: A Parent’s Guide to Rediscovering Purpose, Adventure, and the Unfathomable Joy of the Journey, a book about raising brave and service-minded children. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, and the Yale Journal of International Law. Ken is running for Congress to represent Ohio’s 7 th District.
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.
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.
Trump: $6.1 billion in DoD money going to border wall wasn’t for anything that seemed ‘too important to me’
President Donald Trump claims the $6.1 billion from the Defense Department's budget that he will now spend on his border wall was not going to be used for anything "important."
Trump announced on Friday that he was declaring a national emergency, allowing him to tap into military funding to help pay for barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border.
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."
D-Day veteran James McCue died a hero. About 500 strangers made sure of it.
"It's beautiful," Army Sgt. Pete Rooney said of the crowd that gathered in the cold and stood on the snow Thursday during McCue's burial. "I wish it happened for every veteran's funeral."