Trump Intel Chief: North Korea Learned From Libya War to “Never” Give Up Nukes, by Jon Schwarz

Why does North Korea keep developing nuclear weapons? Kim Jong-un doesn’t want to be the next Muammar Ghaddafi. From Jon Schwarz at theintercept.com:

THE MEDIA IS NOW filled with headlines about North Korea’s missile test on Friday, which demonstrated that its ICBMs may be able to reach the continental U.S. What isn’t mentioned in any of these stories is how we got to this point — in particular, what Dan Coats, President Donald Trump’s director of national intelligence, explained last week at the Aspen Security Forum.

North Korea’s 33-year-old dictator Kim Jong-un is not crazy, said Coats. In fact, he has “some rationale backing his actions” regarding the country’s nuclear weapons. That rationale is the way the U.S. has demonstrated that North Korea must keep them to ensure “survival for his regime, survival for his country.”

Kim, according to Coats, “has watched, I think, what has happened around the world relative to nations that possess nuclear capabilities and the leverage they have and seen that having the nuclear card in your pocket results in a lot of deterrence capability.” In particular, “The lessons that we learned out of Libya giving up its nukes …  is, unfortunately: If you had nukes, never give them up. If you don’t have them, get them.”

This is, of course, blindingly obvious and has been since the U.S. helped oust longtime Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in 2011. But U.S. officials have rarely if ever acknowledged this reality. Here’s the timeline:

In December 2003, Libya announced that it would surrender its biological and chemical weapons stockpiles, as well as its rudimentary nuclear weapons program.

In celebrating Libya’s decision, President George W. Bush declared that the rest of the world should take away the message that “leaders who abandon the pursuit of chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, and the means to deliver them, will find an open path to better relations with the United States and other free nations.” Paula DeSutter, Bush’s Assistant Secretary of State for Verification and Compliance, explained that “we want Libya to be a model for other countries.”

In 2011, the U.S. and NATO conducted a bombing campaign to assist Libyan rebels in overthrowing the Gaddafi government. Gaddafi himself was captured by one rebel faction, who apparently sodomized him with a bayonetand then killed him.

To continue reading: Trump Intel Chief: North Korea Learned From Libya War to “Never” Give Up Nukes

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