"Calm before the storm"

Richard Wagner considers what President Trump may have meant by  “calm before the storm” comment.

“Maybe it’s the calm before the storm ?” Our reality star turned President knows not to give away too much information too early in the series.  Keep the viewers in suspense!  Yesterday on The Apprentice President…

Millions of lives and world peace hang in the balance, however.  If President Trump plans some sort of decisive military action, it is prudent that he not reveal his intentions.  It would also be wise that he does not even hint at it.  

But since he has hinted at it…

The exchange that led to “calm before the storm” remark

Yesterday, while meeting with the press following his meeting with senior military leaders, Trump gave very little information to a room of questioning reporters.

“Tell us when you’re ready,” President Trump told the photographer. “Be careful, don’t push.”

“Our faces are tired,” one of the spouses joked. 

A couple of seconds later, POTUS pointed around the room and asked members of the pool, “you guys know what this represents?”

“Tell us,” one reporter responded.

“Maybe it’s the calm before the storm,” POTUS replied.

“What’s the storm?” another reporter asked. “On Iran? On ISIS? On what?”

“We have the world’s great military people,” POTUS replied. “Thank you all for coming.”

 Kristen Welker of NBC News asked, “what storm Mr. President?” 

 “You’ll find out,” POTUS replied. 

 “Give us a hint on your Iran decision,” another reporter asked.

 POTUS said “thank you, everybody” and the press was ushered out of the room. 

 The entire spray lasted about a minute.

North Korea?

It would seem that North Korea is the likely storm to which he refers.  If he plans to end the Iranian Nuclear Deal, that would hardly come as a surprise, and hardly qualify as a “storm.”  Most of the rest of the world would likely continue to recognize the Iran Nuclear Deal, and Iran would likely stay in compliance.  With Trump, however, and his love for suspense, this may be the “storm” he had in mind.

If North Korea is the storm than the potential for damage is clear, from a dangerous and desperate nuclear power.

In the past, Sec. of Defense Mattis has said that he sees no good options for military action against North Korea.  It is possible, however, that Mattis has figured something out.  It should be noted that Sec. of State Tillerson has recently negotiated with N. Korea, and Trump infamously tweeted that Tillerson was “wasting his time.”  

This may further indicate that the storm, indeed, is North Korea.  If that is the case, it was foolish of Trump to even hint at it, as Kim Jung Un is certainly watching.  Let us hope, that if Trump has a plan, that he has shown more regard for his Sec. of Defense than his Sec. of State.

Related: The North Korean Grand Strategy May Actually Work

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Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner is an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at Florida State College at Jacksonville. He conducts independent study on the American conservative movement and foreign policy. When he is...

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