Authored by William Robert Barber

North Korea exists as an existential nuclear threat today because President Eisenhower wanted to end the war in Korea — not win it. The desire to end the war instead of winning is the same naivety that was the basis of surrendering Eastern Europe to the Russians: Eisenhower was one of many leaders who believed that peace was an attainable goal.

There is a proliferation of nuclear weaponry today because this nation and its allies refused to enforce a nonproliferation policy militarily. “Live and let live” is an ideal that simply does not apply to nation states.

If the adversary is irrational, rational elucidation is ineffectual. When theocratic dogma haloes a tyrant, urbane susceptibilities are deduced by the tyrant as weakness. The sole result of striving to find compromise and common ground under such a situation is wholly unproductive. Kim Jong-un believes that America will not allow thousands of South Koreans to die as the price for disjointing his regime. He will not shut down and dismantle his nuclear arsenal without a fight. Persuasion may win out once we evacuate Seoul, create a naval embargo, and position our air and warships off his shore to seek dialogue. Kim Jong-un may be persuaded to move his nuclear arsenal to China and wait out for another opportunity to continue his quest to dominate Korea — or he will aim his missiles and artillery and fire.

A Prussian General, Carl Von Clausewitz, once declared that war is a continuation of politics or diplomacy. Successful diplomacy requires the willingness and wherewithal to apply overwhelming martial force. Diplomacy void of martial force would be as lethal as President Obama’s red line in Syria.

Warfare is inevitable and unremitting. Violent conflict is a mainstay of human experience. The invention of the wheel and sail disabled distance as a safeguard of invasion. The success of husbandry motivated neighbors to monetize violence. The use of violence as a means to accumulate proved so effective, the means of violence were mechanically enhanced and tactically sophisticated. Nation states have embraced (and presently are embracing) banditry and gangster(ism) as the raison d’être of their economic wherewithal. This imposition of banditry and gangster(ism) is the cultural ecosystem of humankind yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

Peace defined as an absence of war is an ideal void of empirical legitimacy. Essentially, the concept of peace as a viable, attainable reality is a dangerous fabrication, a mindless fantasy.

If the previous paragraph is true, why educate the populus to the contrary? Why is it that nation states espouse peace as their ultimate foreign policy goal? The foundation of this answer resides within a common predisposition: The unwillingness to accept violent conflict as a persistent commonality; this unwillingness to accept reality creates vulnerability — which results in Pearl Harbor and 9/11; war requires victory. Bloodletting does not necessitate a rational cause; history demonstrates that no cause is required to kill a fellow human — or millions of humans.

No transaction of any kind will successfully transact without the vital assurance of security. America’s choice is simple: Either we are the most powerful nation on earth, or we are not. To not be the most powerful nation on earth means that Russia or China will be.

Kim Jong-un will never consider demilitarizing his murderous regime. This man is a believer in a very deceptive myth: that of being Kim Jong-un.  

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