1. Action Alert
  2. Nuclear Weapons, U.S. Wars & Militarism

War is Not the Answer in North Korea

By Anthony Wier, September 6, 2017

This is not a hopeful plea. It is a cold assessment of the reality that must guide our nation.

Yes, war might bring an end to Kim Jong-Un and his regime.

War would kill many Americans serving and living in the region and possibly beyond.

War would bring greater death and destruction to South Korea and the wider region than anyone would dare predict today.

War would risk pushing North Korea’s nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons ingredients and know-how into multiple additional hands.

War would slam the United States and China into great new frictions and flashpoints.

And no one can say, once war starts, how or when it might end.

If you agree, your representatives and senators need to hear from you.

Congress needs to know that the American people do not want war, be it intentional or accidental. Congress needs to know that voters do not view boasts and threats as substitutes for adroit diplomacy. The United States must abandon wishful thinking and coolly prioritize realistic goals.

Call on Congress to stand up to President Trump.

President Trump has the nuclear codes, but Congress alone may authorize war. Congress should pass legislation today reaffirming that the president may not start a war on the Korean Peninsula without explicit authorization from Congress. The Constitution demands it, and the American people deserve it. The Framers were not immature or short-sighted. They knew that war is dangerous, destructive, and corrosive. They wisely insisted that no one person should have the power to start a war. Their foresight is only more relevant today, when the cannon and the sail have given way to the thermonuclear warhead and the intercontinental ballistic missile.

Call on Congress to push President Trump to genuinely pursue diplomacy aimed at lowering the threat of war.

North Korea

Stop tweeting, start talking

With such dangerous rhetoric on both sides, an accident could quickly spark a disaster.

Call now 

The president’s claims that “talking” has failed ignore the real setbacks to North Korea’s nuclear weapons program that prior diplomacy secured. These claims also distract from how poorly earlier bouts of chest-thumping and “shows of strength” have fared. Congress must demand a strategy for addressing the situation peacefully, and they must demand that the Trump administration provides constant updates on its actions.

Call on Congress to reject self-defeating threats of embargoes.

North Korea acquired the fearful power it revealed last weekend by skillfully navigating and manipulating disagreements and differences among the other powers in Northeast Asia. The United States should be assembling coalitions, not opening up new divides for North Korea to exploit. When the Trump administration or some in Congress threaten other countries with us-or-them embargoes, they risk leaving the United States isolated, wagging its finger at the rest of the world even as North Korea’s capabilities expand. Targeted sanctions might be part of a revitalized strategy, but sanctions are not a substitute for a strategy.

Now is the time for Congress to act. Now is the time to make your voice heard. Now is the time for real answers to the real challenges that North Korea poses.

Anthony Wier

  • Legislative Secretary, Nuclear Disarmament and Pentagon Spending

Anthony is our lead lobbyist and the director of FCNL's work on nuclear weapons policy and is the key team leader working on our efforts to rein in Pentagon spending. He is also responsible for maintaining FCNL’s Nuclear Calendar and for representing FCNL with the various coalitions that work on these issues.