Pence’s Message to the Military: “Be Ready”

By Ellie Kredie

“Our enemies should never doubt the capabilities of the Armed Forces of the United States of America,” Vice President Mike Pence told servicemen and women during a speech at North Dakota’s Minot Air Force Base on October 27. “Now, more than ever, your commander in chief is depending on you to be ready.” Our enemies, according to Pence during his speech, are the North Koreans. The remarks were made only days before President Trump is set to travel to Asia, where the topic of the North Korean threat will be the primary issue discussed.

The harsh words used by the vice president to describe a possible military conflict with the North Korean regime have heightened fears about the way the administration is dealing with the threat. It was only a few short weeks ago when President Trump was asked about the conflict and hinted at the chance of nuclear war. “This is the calm before the storm,” he said. When asked what he meant by “the storm,” the President of the United States responded, “You’ll see.” Similar to President Trump’s use of the term “Little Rocket Man” to describe North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, the words used by the administration to talk about and address the conflict with North Korea has done more harm than good.

“I think we need to look at the last century with the two world wars and the war with Korea and the war in Vietnam and to think about all the the young people who lost their lives and innocent people whose lives were ended prematurely so that one group could temporarily assert power over another,” stated Mathew Gronert (‘21). “Can we ask another generation of Americans to sacrifice themselves because we refuse to talk?”

The Vice President’s remarks come just days before President Trump leaves for his trip to Asia that will include a visit to South Korea, where Defense Secretary James Mattis traveled recently to visit the DMZ. While there, Secretary Mattis reassured American support for diplomatic efforts to resolve tensions with North Korea over its efforts to expand its nuclear capabilities.

 

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