3 December 2017   2 comments

The US and South Korea will conduct an aerial military exercise this coming week.  According to The Hill:

“The drill, dubbed “Vigilant Ace,” will take place from Monday to Friday, and feature F-22 stealth fighters and F-35 aircraft. About 12,000 U.S. personnel and 230 aircraft will take part in the drill. The U.S Marine Corps and Navy troops will also participate in the drill.”

The drill will include US F-35 Lightning IIs and F-22 Raptors.  The F-35s can fly 1,200 miles an hour and can carry nuclear weapons.  The F22s can fly 1,500 miles an hour and can carry Vulcan mini-guns and Sidewinder missiles.  The US clearly intends to send the signal to the North Koreans that it is fully capable of devastating North Korea if it does not “denuclearize”.  I am quite certain that the North Koreans get the message and will therefore redouble their efforts to develop a nuclear capability to deter such an attack.  There are better ways to address the North Korean nuclear status.  President Trump’s National Security Adviser, H.R. McMaster, amplified the rhetoric on a Sunday talk show.  According to the South Korean Yonhap News Agency:

“U.S. President Donald Trump will “take care of” the growing nuclear threat from North Korea by taking unilateral action if necessary, his national security adviser said Sunday.”


US F-35 Lightning II                                                                                                                                                                   F-22 Raptors



Last October, Carsten von Nahmen wrote an op-ed piece for Deutsche Welle on the decision by the Trump Administration not to certify the Iranian nuclear deal that I thought was over the top when I first read it.  He stated

“But in truth, the damage has been done. The writing on the wall is that agreements made with the United States are not worth the paper on which they are written, because the current American president can — anytime, without due cause — call them into question without offering a realistic alternative.”

Today, however, von Nahmen’s critique seems more plausible.  The US has withdrawn from the The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants which was passed unanimously in the United Nations last September.  The compact was not a legally binding treaty but was designed to serve as a way for states to discuss and regularize the process of migration and addressing the refugee crisis.  According to The Guardian:

“In 2016, the 193 members of the UN general assembly unanimously adopted a non-binding political declaration, the New York declaration for refugees and migrants, pledging to uphold the rights of refugees, help them resettle and ensure they had access to education and jobs. The initiative had the enthusiastic backing of Barack Obama.”

The US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, issued the following statement announcing the reasons for the US withdrawal:

“America is proud of our immigrant heritage and our long-standing moral leadership in providing support to migrant and refugee populations across the globe. No country has done more than the United States, and our generosity will continue. But our decisions on immigration policies must always be made by Americans and Americans alone. We will decide how best to control our borders and who will be allowed to enter our country. The global approach in the New York Declaration is simply not compatible with U.S. sovereignty.”

To assert that a compact with no legal authority violates US sovereignty suggests a degree of diplomatic expertise that is laughable.  The withdrawal is also a very mean-spirited act–if the US is questioning its own immigration and refugee policies, there is no reason whatsoever to talk with other states about potentially better policies.


Posted December 3, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

2 responses to “3 December 2017

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  1. Good morning, Vinnie. I start every day with you over breakfast. Thank you for starting my day with intelligence, sometimes humor, and great photos.

    My best to you,

    Susan Swart Rice ’70


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