Don’t get me wrong. It’s delightful to watch Donald Trump discombobulate the bipartisan American national security and foreign policy establishment with his impulsive assent to talks with DPRK leader, Kim Jong-un. He’s got the Republican and Democratic party and media figures in a tizzy trying to figure out how to respond to such seemingly radical out-of-the-box peace-mongering, which disrupts the ways in which the Republicans want to valorize, and the Democrats demonize, Trump for their respective bases.
It’s particularly instructive to see Democratic pundits like Rachel Maddow sniping at Trump for the kind of peace initiative they would have lauded from any Democratic president. Just as they did with welfare in the 90s, the Democrats are now trying to outflank the Republicans on the warfare front. It’s hard to figure out whether Republicans or Democrats are more embarrassed by the prospect of a successful Trump-Kim summit. Another example of the salutary Trump-effect: stripping the pretense that either pole of the two-party system has any real interest in stable, global peace.
Neither party should worry, however. There’s only a small chance such an encounter will lead to a lessening of tensions on the Korean peninsula, and the net result, even in the best case, will not fundamentally change the dangerously aggressive posture of the United States in the world. Indeed, it will likely increase the chances of war elsewhere. In a very real sense, all the possible outcomes are bad.