With 14,900 nuclear weapons in the world, Global Zero reports that “even a minor nuclear conflict — one that uses only a fraction of the nuclear weapons currently in existence — could wreak havoc on the global climate and affect billions of people.”
The US flies hundreds of ISR missions every year to collect communications between the target country’s command-and-control centers and radar and weapons systems. The initial deployment of the Carl Vinson strike force was to the South China Sea. Are these probes and the deployment a violation of the UN Charter?
Japan and South Korea are working with the US to ensure all preparatory defensive measures are up to par and have sharpened their coordination in all defensive matters. Both countries have also pledged support for peace and diplomatic solutions to the Korean Peninsula crisis.
Terrorist networks can recover from territorial setbacks, infrastructural damage, and manpower losses, but ideological de-legitimization neutralizes their popular appeal. The Pakistani government must challenge the militants in the realm of ideas as well.
In order for US-China relations to move towards more cooperation, reducing US trade deficit and increasing Chinese investments in the US to create more jobs, and the multilateral dismantlement of the North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, are the likely positive starting points.
US President Donald Trump has been advocating striking North Korea’s nuclear facilities since taking office in January. However, he will be restrained from delivering such an order for both empirical and strategic reasons. And China knows too well that it won’t happen.
President Xi’s objectives were to have a good first get-together with President Trump and dampen speculation that they would not get along or that there were explosive issues that divided them and the two countries.
Trump’s “America First” rhetoric described his prioritizing of US interests above those of other countries. The new sense of “America First” that was underscored by Trump’s missile strikes returns to the older understanding of the US as first among equals amid the nations of the world.
Peter Murphy is a US Army civil affairs officer and a master’s candidate in Global Affairs and Policy at Yonsei Graduate School of International Studies in Seoul. He received his Bachelor's degree in History from the University of Michigan and a Master of International Relations degree from Bond University in Australia.