Chris Salcedo welcomed retired Lieutenant Colonel Tony Schaffer to "The Chris Salcedo Show" today to talk about foreign policy challenges President Donald Trump is facing. Schaffer is a Central Intelligence Agency-trained former senior intelligence officer and the New York Times bestselling author of "The Last Line". He is also a senior fellow with both the London Center for Policy Research and the Center for Advanced Defense Studies.
He believes the repeated threats from North Korea to fire nuclear missiles at the United States or its allies could go in one of two directions. One newer direction is the inclusion of military force as an option along with diplomatic and economic efforts. The other is that China may be realizing how hard an American war with North Korea could be on them. They would absorb refugees and well as face economic collapse which may cause them to think cooperation with the U.S. to be a better option.
Chris asked about the idea of rearming Seoul, South Korea, as well as Tokyo, with American short range tactical nuclear weapons. Schaffer said he did not believe Seoul was a good option, stating that the region is too close to North Korea to be able to arm such weapons in time to launch an adequate defense.
Japan, on the other hand, has the capacity for nuclear defense without American assistance. He said the Chinese are terrified of the idea of a nuclear Japan, so it's like having a "Japan card" in any potential conflict. Schaffer believes Trump is the sort of president who would put the Japan card on the table.
Regarding former president Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran, he advised one of Trump's advisers to "treat the entire Obama White House as a crime scene." Some of the same people who secured the South Korean nuclear deal in 1994 were involved in Obama's Iran deal, and "look how well that's worked out."
Schaffer was referencing a deal made by the Clinton administration that state department officials later said brought the U.S. to the brink of war with North Korea.