Looking back there have been a number of tactical errors by the President with both parties sharing some blame. Earlier this year, Trump bombed Syria for their alleged use chemical weapons trusting the word of Al-Qaeda linked rebels and White Helmets. That was an error seeing that the evidence that Syria conducted the attack is weak. Also in the Arab Spring, Obama participated in the toppling of the Libyan regime. The country is now a chaotic breeding ground for Islamic terrorism. The very rebels armed were likely also the very rebels who killed Ambassador Stevens in Benghazi. This was a stupid idea at the time. Obviously, mistakes were made in the handling of Iraq. Libertarians often use examples like these in their anti-war cases, but for North Korea I have observed libertarians resorting to talking points that are ultimately misused and shallow.
Quality of Life
Arguing that intervention will not improve the quality of life or will hurt the quality of life in a country is a fair point looking at Syria, Libya, Iraq, and even Afghanistan but to make the same argument in regards to North Korea, you would have to be out of your mind to suggest things could get worse for the North Koreans. The only advanced thing about North Korea is the fact that they achieved nuclear weapons. Aside from that, North Korea is a communist dictatorship that brainwashes its people, has no regard for personal liberty, and has some of the world’s worst prisons for those who dissent. Zero percent chance America would make their lives worse.
A nation has the right to defends itself. Absolutely, Noth Korea included. Any action against North Korea would be addressing the explicit threats they have made to America and its allies.
North Korea poses no real threat
This used to be true and is a definite contributor to the prolonging of this issue. But after two presidents ignored the issue with this reason, North Korea has steadily expanded their capabilities. North Korea is ultimately striving towards ICBMs. This is a credible threat and while the American military has innovated to address such threat, nuclear war is a risk we don’t want to take. This argument was once valid but is since obsolete.
America is the aggressor
This point is meant to blame America for North Korea’s actions going back to the point about self defense. It shows a lack of an informed opinion and no regard for America’s allies or history in the region.
Free Market is the solution
I wish we could trade with North Korea but what do they have? This is a nation that has to import food because they can’t support themselves. And would North Korea even allow American products. North Korea is the epitome of the failures of communism as it is right next to South Korea, one of the world largest economies.
Regime change only fails
Unlike, Iraq, Libya, and Vietnam, the reunification of the Korean Peninsula is a much more well thought out transfer of power. The challenges would also be shared by South Korea, Japan, and even China. Therefore, America would not be alone in nation building. If there ever was a successful example of nation building in the past, then it is South Korea. Perhaps that sheds light on the future.
In the last year, it has become clear that waiting for North Korea to change its ways is never going to happen. A regime change needs to happen. The time to act is at hand. Libertarians sometimes cling to America’s failures as evidence for the purpose of establishing foresight credibility. I have observed these classic arguments be made in the latest potential war. These arguments are either shallow or being misused. Military intervention is a subject where we the people should judge on a case by case basis weighing the merits. We should ignore the hawks in congress that want war at every opportunity, but we should also ignore the hippies that want to wait for the next Pearl Harbor. Continuing to use these arguments against intervening with North Korea in 2017 only hurts your credibility and makes one look like an out of touch isolationist.