In the last GOP debate, Ted-Cruz-hater Martha Raddatz tried to corner the Senator into supporting a preemptive strike on North Korea’s missile launch facility on the day that they launched a nuclear test rocket. It was one of many embarrassing moments for the ABC News journalist and debate moderator, to which Cruz responded that he would need to read the intelligence briefings before choosing a course of action.
He read the briefings. Now, he’s drafted a letter to President Obama that details his recommendations. As someone who follows the geopolitical happenings, I admit that I was blown away by the comprehensive brilliance that the plan offers. His five-point plan makes perfect sense and should be implemented by the President immediately.
Here’s the letter itself. Here’s an abridged version of the five points sent to the President from the Senate website followed by commentary:
- Fully enforce U.S. laws. The U.S. needs to sharpen the choices for North Korea by raising the risk and cost for those who choose to violate laws and resolutions.
- Stop protecting China. It is time to tell the truth about China: the PRC is not our partner in denuclearizing the Korean peninsula. Lax enforcement of U.S. laws have made China complacent in policing the illicit financing of regimes like North Korea and Iran, thus becoming complicit in their proliferation.
- Rebuild the U.S. Navy. The U.S. must renew its commitment to force projection to protect our allies and deter our enemies.
- Deploy a Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) unit to better protect U.S. troops and critical targets in South Korea. This system is more capable than any ballistic missile system that South Korea has or will have for decades. And if the U.S. is serious about defending South Korea, we must openly confront China’s support for North Korea.
- Relist North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. North Korea’s cyber attack and accompanying threats of a “9/11-type attack” fulfill the legal definition of international terrorism – “violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that…appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population” (18 U.S. Code § 2331). Removal from the list has resulted in no improvement in the behavior of the DPRK, and we should end the dangerous fiction that they are not engaged in international terrorist activities.
The push for a political outsider is palpable and righteous. Ted Cruz is the real outsider fighting from within the establishment to bring real change. This is another example of how experience combined with a real push for policy change is a better example of being an outsider than the cronyism that some “outsiders” hide beneath their anti-establishment talking points.
North Korea is one of dozens of complex geopolitical problems that the country faces today. We can’t afford on-the-job training before taking tangible actions. The next President must be able to address these issues immediately and head-on.