In the Venezuelan crisis, said President Donald Trump in Florida, “All options are on the table.” And if Venezuela’s generals persist in their refusal to break with Nicolas Maduro, they could “lose everything.”
Another example of Yankee bluster and bluff?
Or is Trump prepared to use military force to bring down Maduro and install Juan Guaido, the president of the national assembly who has declared himself president of Venezuela?
We will get an indication this weekend, as a convoy of food and humanitarian aid tries to force its way into Venezuela from Colombia.
Yet, even given the brutality of the regime and the suffering of the people — 1 in 10 have fled — it is hard to see Trump sending the Marines to fight the Venezuelan army in Venezuela.
Where would Trump get the authority for such a war?
Still, the lead role that Trump has assumed in the crisis raises a question. Does the reflexive interventionism — America is “the indispensable nation!” — that propelled us into the forever war of the Middle East, retain its hold on the American mind?
Next week, Trump meets in Hanoi with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.
While Kim has not tested his missiles or nuclear warheads in a year, few believe he will ever surrender the weapons that secure his survival and brought the U.S. superpower to the negotiating table.
Is Trump prepared to accept a deal that leaves a nuclear North but brings about a peace treaty, diplomatic relations and a withdrawal of U.S. troops from the Korean Peninsula? Or are American forces to be in Korea indefinitely?
Nancy Pelosi’s House just voted to cut off U.S. support for the Saudi war against the Houthi rebels in Yemen. The Senate may follow.
Yet Trump is prepared to use his first veto to kill that War Powers Resolution and retain the right…