The United States can shipwreck North Korea’s nuclear ambitions by striking a deal with China.
We should close our military bases and end our defense commitments to Japan, South Korea and the Philippines. In exchange, China would be required to force North Korea to abandon its nuclear arsenal and to renew its adherence to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. That could be accomplished by China’s annexation, military occupation, or economic strangulation of North Korea. China would also be required to honor freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.
At present, China profits but marginally from North Korea’s nuclear or missile fecklessness and chronic threats against the United States, South Korea, and Japan. The more we and our professed Asian allies must focus military plans and resources on North Korea, the less are available to oppose China.
On the other hand, North Korea’s bellicosity militates against China’s national security by offering justification for South Korea and Japan to permit the United States to station military bases and tens of thousands of troops within their borders; and, for South Korea to consider deploying a United States ballistic missile defense system, i.e., Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THADD). China would prefer to jockey with its neighbors in Asia without confronting the United States. Here, the United States’ national security converges with China’s.
The U.S. Constitution prescribes a foreign policy of invincible self-defense as optimal for national security. At present, It would include pay raises for the men and women who guard our land, sea, air, and cybersecurity borders; the re-deployment of 100 percent of our military resources to the United States to defend the homeland from foreign aggression; and, the termination of treaty or executive branch commitments to defend 69 foreign countries from attack without congressional authorization in contravention Article I, section 8, clause 11.
President George Washington, who was present at the creation of the Constitution, advised in his Farewell Address to avoid foreign entanglements that invariably tie our destiny to the ambitions of others. His advice rested on timeless facets of human nature, not on the current state of transportation technology for crossing the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans:
“It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world…There can be no greater error than to expect or caluclate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.”
Then-Secretary of State John Quincy Adams elaborated in his July 4, 1821, address to Congress that while the United States wishes freedom and independence abroad to flourish, it fights only to defend its own. The military-industrial complex necessary for the United States to police the world would create a tyranny at home by crowning the executive with limitless power.