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Trump’s Unraveling Korea Policy

US President Donald Trump’s signature Asian policy – his pledge to stop North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons – should have been a clear-cut example of American military support to its allies in the region. Unfortunately, like so much of Trump’s foreign policy agenda, it has proved to be anything but that.

ATLANTA – With every tweet or meeting with a foreign leader that US President Donald Trump completes, American officials find themselves struggling to reassure allies that the United States remains committed to their security. Nowhere is this truer than in Asia, where longstanding US strategic engagement, backed up by the world’s most advanced military, has maintained the balance of power for decades.

Trump’s signature Asia policy – his pledge to stop North Korea’s development of nuclear weapons – should be a clear-cut example of American military resolve. Unfortunately for the region, it has proved to be anything but that.

In early June, Defense Secretary James Mattis tried his best to convince Asian counterparts gathered in Singapore that US support was unwavering. The presence of two US aircraft carriers off the Korean Peninsula – the first time in 20 years that US naval maneuvers included two carrier groups – was meant as a “message of reassurance” against any aggression by North Korea.

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