President Trump’s Historic Visit in Contrast to Past Presidents

by | Jul 1, 2019 |

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Yes, by now, we all know President Trump made history on Sunday by becoming the first sitting U.S. president to cross into North Korea, a symbolic, yet strategic gesture toward Kim Jong Un during a meeting at the heavily guarded Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) were the two leaders agreed to restart stalled nuclear talks. After which, both Trump and Kim afterward spoke privately for more than 50-minutes, turning what was supposed to be a brief exchange of pleasantries into a negotiating session in which Trump said they both agreed to “designate a team” and “work out some details” in his effort to end Pyongyang’s nuclear program. The President said that:

“Speed is not the object. We want to see if we can do a really comprehensive, good deal … This was a great day. This was a very legendary, very historic day.” Going on to say, “It’ll be even more historic if something comes up, something very important,” the president added.

Again, Trump’s meeting with Kim was his first since nuclear talks broke down at a February summit in Hanoi, Vietnam. Certainly, major doubts still surround the negotiations and Chairman Kim’s willingness to surrender both his nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles arsenals. But Trump was determined to show the public he can secure a nuclear deal with North Korea, which would be his biggest achievement on the world stage. Despite the historic nature of this visit to the Korean Peninsula, the outcome essentially got the U.S. and North Korea back to the same place they were before talks broke down four-months ago. More importantly is how this came about, to which there is only one answer – Donald Trump. 

As many who are regular readers to the America Out Loud platform, you know that I’ve been writing about and frequently talking about this President for three-years now. I regularly address the concept of the “Trump Doctrine” which is an all-encompassing process of strategic thinking, decision-making and implementation. To better understand my reason and rational for expressing my views on this president goes back to the spring of 2015 when it was suggested I take a closer look at Mr. Trump. In November 2015, I was asked to be the first retired senior military officer in Florida to endorse Donald Trump for President. This was followed in January 2016, when I was asked by the Trump’s Campaign to give a speech at then candidate Donald Trump’s rally at the University of South Florida Sun Dome in Tampa, Florida, on February 12, 2016 before a televised crowd of 14,000+ supporters. My given task, to present and sell Donald Trump to the nation as a “national security President.” It was a tall order and indeed an absolute honor. I was requested because a retired Colonel, I had served the gamut of military tours and missions, as well as the JCS Joint Staff and White House National Security Council. I know what is required and expected of the POTUS. I like to think in a very, very small way, I helped contribute to what so many more have done then and since to help him succeed. This man gets it, he is determined and has resolve to see things through, and knows how to do it.

Together, in another way this President is very knowledgeable, is very strategic, and understands what is necessary for America’s security and survival as we know it. He is also a master of strategic influence and perception management, and to promote and focus America’s position and standing in the world, even down to the single sound bite and photo op.

In a simple example, compare and contrast. Take a look at these two pictures. One is from 2012 and the other was today, June 30, 2019. These two photos speaks volumes as to why we have had the problems we have had, going back many decades. Not because of the photo of Obama, but because it represents and personifies the stereo-typical standard and conventional expectation of past U.S. Presidents in how we have dealt with North Korea. Essentially maintaining the stalemate and the 66-year old armistice — with no solution.

Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2019

For generations, U.S. administration after administration have looked across the DMZ through a lens with again, no solution other than to for the most part maintain the status quo. That’s all it has come down to with exception of course to allow and in many cases, stand idly by, and in many cases enable, as Pyongyang mortgaged it’s nation and people in its zero-sum to develop and build its nuclear arsenal. This President knew he had to come to terms with the past’s mediocrity, or have to deal with another loose trigger fully nuclearized totalitarian regime.

It took President Trump’s boldness, vision, and ability to seek out, find, and take on a greater solution to end the madness. Because of both his strategic and unconventional approach, President Trump will go down in history as one of the greatest presidents of all times.

To that end, a week prior who would have expected to see this President on Sunday walking with Kim Jong Un in North Korea – again, the first sitting U.S. president to ever set foot there.

Similarly, two weeks ago, just 10-minutes before the launch, the President pulled back the contingency strike operation against Iran because he realized the multiple strategic implications that likely would have played heavily in the outcome.

Whether it succeeds or not is really not the question at hand, but how it impacts and drives the desired outcome which is extremely critical. Already at the very least, it has set the stage and served as the much needed impetus to get both sides back to the negotiating table, and to move forward toward the denuclearization of North Korea. There is still much work to be accomplished, but this single effort, most importantly provided the necessary, pivotal, and impelling force and incentive to make that happen and get things going again, to which Secretary Pompeo later announced. It took determination, resolve and courage to come to this decision and give the go ahead to make this happen and put in motion. With President Trump at the helm – it did. And it could have only happened with this way with this man. If anything, Donald Trump understands, ‘peace requires more courage than conflict.’

Once again, from everything we have witnessed over the past two-years, there is no doubt, President Trump is not only a genius, but also a brilliant thinker, tactician, and strategist, who is trying extremely hard to actually accomplish and present positive outcomes, not for himself, but for America and the world.

Once again, it’s not hard to say, proud he is my President and extremely proud to be an American!

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Jim Waurishuk is a retired USAF Colonel, serving nearly 30-years as a career senior intelligence and political-military affairs officer and special mission intelligence officer with expertise in strategic intelligence, international strategic studies and policy, and asymmetric warfare. He served as a special mission intelligence officer assigned to multiple Joint Special Operations units and with the CIA’s Asymmetric Warfare Task Force and international and foreign advisory positions. He served as Deputy Director for Intelligence for U.S. Central Command (USCENTCOM) during the peak years of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Global War on Terrorism.

Waurishuk is a former White House National Security Council staffer and a former Distinguished Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council, Washington, D.C. He served as a senior advisor to the Commander U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) and served as Vice President of the Special Ops-OPSEC.

Currently, he is the Chairman of the Hillsborough County (FL) Republican Executive Committee and Party and serves on the Executive Board of the Republican Party of Florida.

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