Win Without War Director Stephen Miles released the following statement regarding reports about a possible North Korean nuclear test and the Trump administration’s reported plans for a preemptive strike:
Recent reports indicate that North Korea may be on the verge of conducting its sixth nuclear test in the coming days, highlighting the ongoing challenges posed by the North Korean nuclear program. However, thus far, the Trump Administration appears to be taking the exact wrong posture, threatening pre-emptive military strikes. Coming on the heels of President Trump’s unilateral missile strikes on the regime of Bashar al-Assad and its dramatic escalation of war across the Middle East, this worrisome “military-first” approach to international challenges represents a dangerous and reckless policy.
Recent reports that the United States may be preparing for a preemptive attack “should officials become convinced that North Korea is about to follow through,” are deeply troubling and unnecessarily provocative. While the Pentagon is strongly pushing back against these reports, there is no doubt that tensions between the U.S. and North Korea have escalated since President Trump’s inauguration.
Pressure through sanctions or military action alone will never solve the North Korean nuclear issue, and only threatens to spiral the situation out of control. The United States must explore every diplomatic path to resolving the nuclear crisis with North Korea, whether multilateral negotiations or back-channel talks that regrettably, the Trump administration has recently cancelled.
The Trump administration’s militaristic rhetoric and moves away from talks with North Korea represent a troubling pattern of preferring military over diplomatic tools to solving complex foreign and security challenges.
A military attack on North Korea, preemptive or otherwise, is extremely dangerous and could cause the North to retaliate against South Korea, U.S. forces in the region, or American soil, possibly with nuclear weapons. The human costs of a larger war, sparked by a preemptive American strike, would be massive, and, rather than recklessly accelerating towards such a war, America should be taking every possible avenue to de-escalate this conflict, pursuing all possible diplomatic alternatives.
We have already seen that this President is as quick to use the United States military as he is with his Twitter account. But while the recklessness of his tweets may make for good fodder for late night comedians, the dangerous consequences of his Administration’s dramatic increase in war are nearly unimaginable.
It is time for Donald Trump to stop trying to bomb his way out of every problem.