Former US Deputy Navy Secretary on air at Azeri.Today
Exclusive interview of Azeri.Today with Seth Cropsey, former Deputy Secretary of Navy under the administrations of Reagan and Bush (senior), former Assistant Secretary of Defense of the United States (Caspar Wahinberger), US Assistant Secretary of Defense (Dick Cheney).
- Mr. Cropsey, why did Trump decide to strike on Syria though everyone expected the US strike on North Korea?
- Syria does not have nuclear weapons and it cannot seriously threaten any close friends or allies of the U.S. Trump only ordered an attack in response to the specific use of chemical weapons. It is likely that an American military strike, even against limited targets in North Korea, would lead to escalation. The prospect of escalation in Syria was remote.
- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson believes that in the future North Korea will have an opportunity to strike a blow on US, therefore, Washington cannot stay indifferent. Can the North Korea really undertake offensive against US? Don’t you think that Mr.Tillerson is slightly exaggerating?
- There is no telling what the North Korean regime might do in the future. The NK leader is a brutal dictator who does not hesitate to kill his own people including members of his family. We also do not know how the South Korean government would react. The younger generation of South Koreans do not remember the Korean Conflict and are not as likely to see the North as a threat as their parents and grandparents. What we do know is that NK has tested and possesses nuclear devices and is trying to build missiles of intercontinental range. It would be irresponsible for American officials to ignore the capability that North Korea seeks to acquire.
- Washington believes that the threat of North Korean nuclear attack on Seoul and Tokyo is quite real. Do you share those fears?
- Again, the North Korean regime’s actions are hard to predict. So are the reactions of Japan and the U.S. We can’t predict how Japan would react to another nuclear attack on its soil. If the U.S. retaliated with a nuclear attack against a NK target, we don’t know how the NKs would respond. Would an American president risk a NK nuclear attack on the U.S. in order to defend Japan? What would the political reaction in the U.S. be if this happened? I can imagine how the NKs might think they could achieve large political gains by using nuclear weapons in East Asia.
- By the way, Trump rejected the offer of Taiwan leader Tsai Invian to hold another phone conversation. In his interview with Reuters the politician explained his decision with reluctance to create problems for the leader of China Xi Jinping at a time when Beijing, in his opinion, helps the US "curb" North Korea on the nuclear issue. Will Beijing be able to assist Washington in this issue?
- I will be happily surprised if China helps the U.S. with the NK problem.
- What factors may provoke war in the Korean Peninsula?
- Accident and miscalculation.
- Is a proxy war between the United States and Russia possible on the Korean peninsula?
- Russia is in no position to fight even a limited conflict on the Korean Peninsula. It is conducting a quasi-war in the Donbass. It is engaged in the Syrian civil war. It does not have a substantial Pacific fleet, and its energy revenues have not recovered from recent years’ fall in the price of oil.
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