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Mattis: Military options for Korean Peninsula crisis ready

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WASHINGTON, Jan. 16, 2018 — Defense Secretary James N. Mattis has highlighted the efforts aimed at strengthening diplomatic avenues for a secure, prosperous and denuclearized Korean Peninsula.

Mattis spoke to reporters yesterday while en route to Vancouver, British Columbia, for the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on Security and Stability on the Korean Peninsula.

“The situation we face I would call it sobering,” Mattis said. “But this meeting is designed to still make progress diplomatically, such as you’ve seen with three unanimous Security Council resolutions over these last months.”

Republic of Korea (ROK) Tanks with 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division, head off firing line in formation after Battel Sight Zeroing their Tanks during Korea Marine Exercise Program (KMEP) 17-6 at SuSong Ri Range, Pohang, Republic of Korea, on March 23, 2017. The purpose of KMEP 17-6 is to enhance and improve the interoperability of both U.S. Marine Corps and Republic of Korea Marines at the tactical level to build warfighting capabilities as partners. This includes ground combat element staff planning, mechanized maneuvers, mountain warfare training, bilateral tank operations and live fire ranges. (Marine Corps photo by MCIPAC Combat Camera Cpl. Anthony Morales)

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Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is co-hosting the foreign ministers’ meeting today and tomorrow with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

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Mattis said his role in the conference is to provide the military situation, then leave the meeting in the hands of Tillerson and the foreign ministers.

Effort firmly in diplomatic realm

“I just want to emphasize this, because this shows that this effort right now is firmly in the diplomatic realm,” he said. “That is where we are working it.”

Mattis did note that military options do exist if North Korea were to launch an attack. However, he reiterated the goal of strengthening diplomatic efforts.

Diplomatic initiatives are “starting to go in the right direction,” he said, noting developments such as North Korea saying it would send athletes and musicians to South Korea next month during the Winter Olympics.

Mattis traveled on today to visit the 366th Fighter Wing, known as the “Gunfighters,” located at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho. He said he wanted to discuss readiness with the airmen there.

“They are deployable fighter squadrons under that wing, and they are the ones who are training alongside the Singaporean air force there over the Snake River in Denver,” he pointed out.

(Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter: @FerdinandoDoD)

Big League National Security

Biden Shadow Secretary of State Urged Support of Iraq War in 2002

Meet the new boss, the same as the old boss.

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Joe Biden is yet to be certified as the President-elect, but that hasn’t stopped from from touting tentative cabinet picks.

Without exception, his cabinet appears to be largely liberal globalists with a lengthy track record of supporting the failed policy proposals of the 2000’s and 1990’s.

Biden’s Secretary of State pick, Antony Blinken, urged the then-Delaware Senator to support the disastrous Iraq War as a policy advisor to Biden in 2002.

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Blinken would go on to create an establishment political consulting company that secured cozy lobbying deals with Big Tech and a pharmaceutical giant during Donald Trump’s presidency.

Journalist Glen Greenwald pointed to Blinken as a textbook example of a neoliberal corporate Democrat, infamous for touting a Beltway elite agenda largely disliked by the general public. In similar fashion to neocon warhawk John Bolton, it appears that Blinken’s support for the most disastrous foreign policy mistake in American history isn’t going to prevent him from sauntering into the avenues of power, if he ends up getting confirmed as a President Biden’s Secretary of State.

Blinken would go on to support Barack Obama’s disastrous regime change operation in the 2011 Libyan Civil War, setting up the North African country for a decade of instability and eventually becoming a trafficking hub for exploited migrants seeking to reach Europe. Blinken was a National Security Advisor to the Vice President at the time.

If Biden ends up getting inaugurated, President Donald Trump will become the first US president in decades not to engage the United States in a new foreign conflict in office. (Bill Clinton and Barack Obama instigated US involvement in wars in Yugoslavia and Libya respectively.

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