Donald Trump showed yet again that he knows little about foreign policy.
His recent discussion about South Korea and Japan was incredibly ill-informed, and ignorant of geopolitical realities.
He has gone against every rational thinker and has chosen a policy of more nuclear weapons in the world. Almost every country agrees that nuclear weapons is not a good thing, and many countries have agreed to nuclear non-proliferation.
He said that because the US spends so much time and money protecting other countries, these countries should get their own nuclear weapons and protect themselves.
This, in theory, is the same argument that many make for gun ownership: that if everyone has them, no one will use them.
Why is this such a terrible idea?
First of all, it is not like you can build a nuclear bomb in a day. It takes decades to build up a nuclear arsenal, and during those decades, Japan and South Korea would be poorly protected.
Additionally, this theory reeks of geopolitical ignorance. Anyone who has spent even five minutes researching would know that Japan, South Korea, and China are not friends. In fact, China and Japan basically hate each other. Due to the horrifying atrocities committed by Japan during World War II, and the fact that Japan has yet to apologize for many of their war crimes, China hates Japan. Japan has also actively pushed against Chinese expansion when they declined to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, a Chinese version of the World Bank.
China is fast on the rise to global power. China is actively expanding into the South China Sea, and they are building up their military. If Japan gets nuclear weapons, China will increase their speed of expansion, and that would help destabilize the region, which would be terrible for everyone.
Ever since the end of World War II, Japan has been prohibited from any military presence overseas. This policy of pacification has been extremely popular among moderates. In fact, in September, the hardline nationalist supporters of Shinzo Abe managed to change the law to allow military expansion overseas. Their proposal was extremely controversial, and moderates were appalled. Fighting even broke out in an attempt to delay the vote. This change was protested for months.
Additionally, John Kerry was just in Hiroshima, meeting with leaders discussing nuclear weapons, the day after he was in Kabul during rocket attacks. In the memorial to the victims, Mr Kerry wrote this in the guestbook: “”It is a stark, harsh, compelling reminder not only of our obligation to end the threat of nuclear weapons, but to rededicate all our effort to avoid war itself.”
Japan is a very strong ally of the United States. This is known the world over, and China is not too keen on having an American ally, so two countries that China does not get along with, get a stronger military in the region. If Donald Trump doesn’t think that this will force China to become more aggressive and build up their military even more, then he should fire his advisors.
Photo Credit: Flickr user Andrew Dallos, Link to Photo, CC 2.0-A-NC-ND