"If you know the enemy and you know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles"

"the art of war", Sun  tzu 

category: controversial

One controversial topic is the question of US foreign policy towards emerging adversaries such as North Korea and Iran. The current Presidency and the previous one stand in stark contrast and make very clear the approaches of the two administrations. The Obama administration took a very conciliatory approach to these regimes, allowing and leading its allies into an appeasing policy. For North Korea, Obama adopted a hands off policy assuming that any hard line approach could lead to major conflict and large scale destruction and loss of life, therefore we must accept a nuclearized North Korea and adapt US policy to it.

The Trump administration has taken the hard line approach threatening far deeper and more biting sanctions and even the threat of annihilation should the North Korean dictator threaten the US or it allies. This has brought the Kim regime to offer to discuss denuclearization, though the Kim dynasty has a reputation for reneging on agreements and promises. It appears Trump is taking a measured approach, giving Kim every opportunity to prove his sincerity but cautiously advising publicly that verifiable denuclearization may not be possible and the hard line will continue. These two approaches each have their very vocal supporters and detractors. The critics of the Obama approach saying that appeasement has never and will never work with brutal dictators. And the detractors of the Trump approach maintaining that Trump will get take the world to a needless war with massive loss of life. Which way is best?