Trump says massive concession to North Korea on war games is a bargain for the US military

source
Kevin Lim/THE STRAITS TIMES

  • Trump made a big concession to North Korea by suspending joint military drills with South Korea.
  • On Wednesday Trump framed this as a win, saying the US will now “save a fortune.”
  • This could be sending the US down a slippery slope.

President Donald Trump continued to hype the results of his Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Wednesday morning by framing a massive concession he made as savings for the US military.

“We save a fortune by not doing war games, as long as we are negotiating in good faith – which both sides are!” Trump tweeted.

Trump’s tweet frames the US suspending war games, seen as a massive win for both China and North Korea in the negotiations, as a thrifty move from the US.

While the military is a huge expenditure for the US, and military drills are costly, their financial cost is comparatively minor compared to the diplomatic bargaining chip they represented.

But military drills do more than cost money, they keep the US troops and South Korea safe and ready for combat.

Without military drills, the US forces in South Korea would wither and fail to meet readiness standards. Also, by letting North Korea dictate what the US military does, Trump sends the US down a slippery slope.

If North Korea’s input into US military decisions keeps up, the entire rationale for US forces in South Korea could be quickly undermined, leaving a gap China would likely fill to displace the US as the region’s dominant power.