Trump’s double standard further undermines an already fragile United Nations

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“China’s nationalist Global Times newspaper ran a cartoon captioned “Bully pulpit” showing Trump holding a megaphone, shouting “America First,” while the state-owned China Daily newspaper said Trump’s speech was “full of sound and fury.” (Source: Washington Post)

 

Imposing ‘America first’ and motivating other nations to also focus on their own ‘sovereignty’ – as president Trump did during his address to the United Nations, yesterday – will further undermine the already fragile United Nations, the current international order.

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Who is “begging for war”?

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“Cho Tae-yul, the South Korean ambassador, and Ambassador Nikki Haley of the United States during a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Monday to discuss North Korea’s nuclear tests. “The time has come for us to exhaust all of our diplomatic means before it’s too late,” Ms. Haley said” (source). But who is actually begging for war?

 

According to the US, North-Korea is “begging for war“. It is however a matter of perspective: The US – it can be argued – is begging for much more war, and not only in North Korea.

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No missiles to Guam, but North Korea’s threats are not removed

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Another successful provocation – ‘trap’ – of North Korea for the United States.

The leadership of North Korea – Kim Jung Un – must walk a fine line to ensure its survival in the face of two existential threats: The continuous aggression of the United States and its allies, and the risk of social unrest and collapse in North Korea.

The last round of mutual threats and provocations, was a resounding success for Kim Jung Un – at least for now – who confirmed its hero-status at home, while the United States and its allies are still confronted with North Korea’s growing military capabilities.

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The behaviour of the United States is self-destructive

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President Trump considers Hollywood’s version of the United States’ self-image to be reality. But even John Wayne knows better.

This week, through several statements, president Trump of the United States took friend and foe (again) by surprise. Led by his ‘gut feeling’ and a rather limited perspective on international politics and human relations, Trump issued a number of far-stretching warnings to North-Korea, and Venezuela, related to North-Korea’s provocations and Venezuela’s internal political struggles.

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‘North-Korea’ and further escalation of rivalries should not come as a surprise, Part 3

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Front cover of the Clingendael Monitor 2017

In two preceding articles, I discussed the ‘Clingendael Strategic Monitor 2017’ with the title “Multi-Order”. This is the third and last article in this series. Contrary to what the Clingendael Institute and the ‘Monitor’ observe, I argue that the current international order is crumbling; its collapse is a matter of time.

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America’s miscalculations

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Source: The Washington Post.

When assessing security threats – like the escalating threats the United States and North-Korea are now exchanging – military and political analysts typically focus on two factors: the capabilities and intentions of the state that poses the threat. Does North-Korea have the capabilities to live up to its threats, and have the threats – explicit and implicit in the threats – any (political) credibility?

But a third factor – the stage of development of the international order – cannot be ignored, as I explain in this article.

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