As the situation in the Korean peninsula continues to inch closer to conflict, I am hopeful that we will approach this crisis in a very different way than we have in the past. Instead of looking to this remote spot of the world and trying to figure our best move each time, I hope instead we will work with the community of nations, particularly in that region, to come up with the best response to this enigmatic nation. It is surely in China’s, Japan’s, and even Vietnam’s interests, not to mention South Korea’s interests, even more than ours, for this not to escalate. Let’s ask them what the next best move is and get them to join us in each response.
In the past, particularly during the beginning of the conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan, it seemed that we set policy and then went to see what allies we could round up to agree with us. Over the years it seemed to be an ever shrinking pool of allies too. Let’s try it the other way around this time. Let’s make this a team effort. Let’s even let the locals in the area feel a sense of control in the Allied response. And if North Korea is so unhinged as to attack, let the response be a truly allied one.
Nothing is going to change that we are the preeminent military power on the planet. We can, as President Roosevelt put it, “speak softly and carry a big stick.” Our allies will turn to us when the time is right. But it is one thing to be asked and another to rush in and tell everyone what we are doing and want them to follow us. Hopefully, war will not come and this is just some North Korean political posturing. But given the level of their threats, it surely is time for us to continue to assess our approach to the situation.
And as our leaders assess it and respond, let us pray: pray for peace, pray for the Church in Korea (there are more Christians in Korea than in most Asian nations), and for all our servicemen and women in the area. War is not the answer. Let us hope the North Koreans realize this. And whether they do, or don’t, let’s respond to them in concert with others.
What do you think?
Until next time,