Will Bolton and Trump Start the First Sino-American War?

Photo by Christopher Michel | CC BY 2.0

When America launches a preemptive attack on North Korea, will the US find itself at war with China?

This is not an idle question.  On Monday, the fiercest advocate of a preemptive attack on North Korea, John R. Bolton, joined the Trump Administration.  Bolton, a former US Ambassador to the UN, replaces H. R. McMaster as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser.

Bolton is the gold standard against which all other hawks are measured.  Bolton pushed for war in Iraq and continues to think that invading Iraq was the right thing to do.  He has long clamored for regime change in North Korea (and Iran…and Syria…and Cuba).

Boltonknows that North Korea relies on nuclear weapons for its continued survival.  You will hear the same from anyone on the left.  But Bolton adds that North Korea also has nukes because the North Koreans “still want to reunifythe Korean peninsula under their control.” This prospect naturally upsets Bolton who wants a reunified Korea that is under American hegemony.[1]

Bolton insists that North Korea’s nuclear weapons pose an existential threat to the US which cannot be tolerated.  Bolton claims that within months North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will have ballistic missiles which can reach the continental US.  Once that happens, will the US be willing to go to war to save South Korea at the price of one or more American cities? The question, however, glosses over the fact that Kim would…

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