Trump Administration staying safely away from the 'slippery slope' of peace

If there is one thing that scares Washington more than anything else is an uncontrolled outbreak of peace.

A declaration to end the 1950-53 Korea War could be a “slippery slope” to questioning the need for the U.S. troop presence in South Korea, the deputy head of the U.N. Command overseeing the Korean armistice said on Friday, ahead of new talks between Washington and Pyongyang.

“You have to question why North Korea is pushing so hard for that end-of-war declaration,” he told an event at Washington’s Carnegie Institute for International Peace.

Why, oh why, would anyone want an end to war? It boggles the mind.

“So what could an end-of-war declaration mean? Even if there is no legal basis for it, emotionally people would start to question the presence and the continued existence of the United Nations Command,” he said.

“And it’s a slippery slope then to question the presence of U.S. forces on the peninsula.”

It is indeed a slippery slope that leads to all sorts of dangerous stuff, like an end to an unsustainable empire and more global happiness. I shudder at the thought.
All of this scary peace stuff is being pushed through by our ally South Korea, and US Secretary of State Pompeo is not happy about it one bit.

The US Secretary of State expressed “discontent” with peaceful negotiations between North and South Korea, which signed a military pact during last month’s summit without consulting him.
...One wonders how Korean leaders are supposed to negotiate, given that it was Trump who canceled Pompeo’s scheduled North Korean visit in August, pointing to a lack of progress.

So we refuse to show up to the talks, hoping that will derail the peace talks. The Koreas have the talks anyway, and they come to new agreements without getting our approval beforehand.
The nerve!
And what a coincidence! The peace talks suddenly had a burst of progress when we don't attend them. Curious.

The Trump Administration isn't just not interested in peace. It isn't even interested in talking, period.
Proof of this was on display yesterday.

Matt Lee, a diplomatic reporter for The Associated Press, first asked Palladino whether he could name the American ambassadors in Riyadh and Ankara. When Palladino said he "didn't have that in front of me right now," Lee pressed him.

"The answer is that you don't have an ambassador in either place, right?" Lee asked.

Palladino sidestepped the question, instead insisting that the department has senior career diplomats in both countries. So Lee asked him to name the people who have been nominated to fill the empty ambassadorships.

"Who has been nominated to be the new ambassador to Turkey, and who has been nominated to be the new ambassador to Saudi Arabia? Who are the nominees who are awaiting Senate movement?"

Palladino responded that he didn't know.

"Matt, I don't have that in front of me right now. And — but let me just say these are senior Foreign Service officers that have had full careers, and we're confident in our team's ability," he said.

When Lee tried to ask another question, Palladino cut him off, turning to Fox News for the last question of the briefing.

"Let's go to Fox," he said.

Yes, let's go to Fox for a softball question. Let's ignore the fact that no one has even been nominated for either job of American ambassadors to Turkey or Saudi Arabia.
This is not an unusual situation in the Trump Administration.

In total, 56 countries have no US ambassadors—with vacancies in key places like Mexico, Pakistan, Egypt, Qatar, the UAE, and South Africa.

There is no ambassador even nominated at 25 embassies.
Does anyone remember how the State Department warned against the Trump Administration right before he took office? 60% of the State Departments’ top-ranking career diplomats left under Tillerson, and application for the foreign services dropped by 50%.

It's kind of hard to "lead the free world" when there is no one to talk to. I mean that literally.

“We want to know to whom should we talk,” said one South American diplomat who spoke on condition of anonymity because the diplomat was not authorized to publicly discuss U.S. policy. “First, you cut everyone at the State Department. Now, after a year of getting to know people at the White House, you’re changing everything again.”
“I can point you to a half-dozen Latin American ambassadors here in Washington with whom I routinely speak who all, using the great Yiddish word, kvetch, tell me there is no one to talk to at State,” said Feeley, a career member of the foreign service who served as ambassador to Panama until March.
...In fact, of 716 “key positions” requiring Senate confirmation, 157 have no nominee and 187 have been nominated, but not confirmed

It's impossible to talk peace if there is no one to talk to.

19 users have voted.


North and South Korea will move towards reunification. Think about what that would mean to US military hegemony in Asia? How would we complain? Where would we keep are troops in Korea and for what purpose? I think that the Koreas are very serious and have the support of China and Russia and maybe even Japan at some point. It's Trump's job to stay out of the way. This is potentially an enormously good move for peace and stability in Asia. Will Trump stop it or go for his Nobel Peace Prize?

9 users have voted.

Capitalism has always been the rule of the people by the oligarchs. You only have two choices, eliminate them or restrict their power.

divineorder's picture

idea the numbers were so much higher since the last time I had a look. Thanks for this.

System is obviously not functioning. State has been on a long downhill slide as far as diplomacy is concern for quite a while.

What should be done about it?

Seems like a hopeless reality, but some are actually very seriously working on this:

"The 2018-19 edition of A Global Security System: An Alternative to War (AGSS) is now available! AGSS is World BEYOND War’s blueprint for an alternative security system – one in which peace is pursued by peaceful means.

AGSS relies on three broad strategies for humanity to end war: 1) demilitarizing security, 2) managing conflicts without violence, and 3) creating a culture of peace. These are the interrelated components of our system: the frameworks, processes, tools and institutions necessary for dismantling the war machine and replacing it with a peace system that will provide a more assured common security. Strategies for demilitarizing security are directed at reducing dependency on militarism. Strategies for managing conflict without violence are focused on reforming and/or establishing new institutions, tools and processes for assuring security. Strategies for creating a culture of peace are concerned with establishing social and cultural norms, values, and principles necessary for sustaining a thriving peace system and the means to spread it globally.

A book yes, but how to make it happen? There is a companion guide to the book that people are working on and webinars to get in on the plans:

Be sure to check out our complementary online study guide: Study War No More: A Concerned Citizens Study and Action Guide for “A Global Security System: An Alternative to War.”

11 users have voted.

A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

GreatLakeSailor's picture


What an incredibly decent human. I hold him in very high regard.

1 user has voted.

The only reason the 1% are rich is because the 99% have agreed to it.


7 users have voted.

Seems that with some countries, relationship is too tricky or important to have an ambassador, so looks like directly handled by non-State employees like Jared son-in-law. In other cases, really don't need really any foreign staff as the US does not do diplomacy anymore. State's function is to deliver marching orders and threats of various kinds like sanctions or military attacks. This was developing for a number of administrations.

Who did SoS Clinton really work for? State? Pentagon? CIA? She actually ordered diplomats to engage in spying activities at the UN like getting passwords. In discussions over Libya bombing, she was more hawkish than DoD head. Hell, a bunch of State officials wrote a letter to Obama pushing him to basically go to war with Syria. Diplomacy? Talking issues out? Naw.

10 users have voted.
Bollox Ref's picture

Obama nominated some party donor for ambassador to Norway, who knew nothing about Norway... let alone speak the language.

Talking and peace is for suckers.

The Federal Govt. really doesn't give a shit about the rest of the world....... and it shows.


3 users have voted.

from a reasonably stable genius.