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Kasich’s Dangerous, Unthinking Hawkishness

However bad Trump’s North Korea policy may be, John Kasich wants to remind you that his would be worse:

“The North Korean top leadership has to go and there are ways in which that can be achieved,” Kasich said. “But you have to have very good intelligence. You have to have an ability to do things very quickly. And, you know, I think that is not beyond our capability to achieve that.”

The Ohioan said that, if he were president right now, “I’d be asking [military commanders] about it. Are you staging raids? Do you know how to land? Do you know how to get there? Are your helicopters going to work?”

All that Kasich proves with this irresponsible rhetoric is that we should be very glad that he isn’t president. Leaving aside the fact that launching a raid to kill a foreign head of state would be illegal, there is no way that it would result in anything other than war with North Korea. If the attack “succeeded” and North Korea’s top leadership was “eradicated” as Kasich wants (an extremely unlikely outcome), the new leadership would have to retaliate and there would be a major war. If the attack failed or was only partially successful (much more likely), the surviving members would retaliate and there would be a major war. There is no scenario in which this buffoonish plan achieves Kasich’s goal without causing a war that would claim countless lives. It’s not news that Kasich is dangerously, unthinkingly hawkish on foreign policy, but it is useful to be reminded of his terrible judgment in case he ever wants to take another run at the White House.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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