I know Iraq was supposed to have compromised America’s standing as a formidable global power, but it sure doesn’t look that way:
“If North Korea stages a provocation, we will respond resolutely,” the South Korean military said in a statement, reacting to the North’s threats. Citing a “strong” military alliance with the United States, it said, “We advise our people to trust our military’s solid readiness and feel safe.”
Does citing a strong military alliance with the Unites States still put one’s enemies on notice or is it a nostalgic reference (Mikheil Saakashvili is ready with an answer right about now)? That’s up to Barack Obama. South Korea just grabbed a number and got in line behind all of Eastern Europe, India, Israel, and Japan.
It’s been a fun four months, but it sure is starting to look like the planet needs the U.S. to “police the world.” Of course the same Left that believes in the existence of a “world community” doesn’t believe there should be a “world police” to watch over things. But with atomic tests, warship fleets, and missile launches erupting along the edges of Asia, they’ve been outvoted. In fact, what’s the first tool South Koreans reached for when Pyongyang tested an atomic bomb? A Bush-era program developed by John Bolton known as the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI). South Korea immediately joined the international effort to interdict the transfer of proscribed weapons, materials, and technology. Funny that Bolton, such a detested “unilateralist,” introduced this vital international agreement, isn’t it?
The good news is that our president may be catching on. According to Reuters, “U.S. President Barack Obama assured South Korean President Lee Myung-bak on Monday of Washington’s ‘unequivocal commitment’ to the defense of South Korea following a nuclear test by North Korea.” Not a bad start, but there needs to be more. If we do not extend regional and strategic missile defense to South Korea any future conflicts between the Koreas will be unnecessarily devastating. Moreover, any future North Korean test missiles must be shot out of the sky. If American protection becomes the stuff of nostalgia, so too will global security.