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Think Donald Trump Was a Bad President? Nikki Haley Would Be Worse

Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley in the Oval Office. Image Credit: White House.

Nikki Haley 2024? No thanks. As I love to say, I have very complex thoughts on Donald J. Trump and the Trump Presidency overall.

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However, I know one thing is clear: I would certainly vote for Donald Trump over Nikki Haley in a GOP primary any day. 

And I mean it. 

The reason for me is that she could have started a nuclear war with North Korea, an issue I have been working on for over a decade.

Heck, I was on Fox News so much on the North Korea nuclear issue then I was shocked to see Donald Trump tweet about a segment I did. But that will have to be for another time…

And while it seems the collective Washington foreign policy elite does not care about the Kim gang anymore – they realize the DPRK will never give up those nukes, shocker – North Korea will come back up again and again as they test more missiles and nuclear weapons. Anyone who wins in 2024 will have to confront the Kim family – at least on some level. 

I digress. The point is Nikki Haley proved during her time as UN Ambassador she does not what it takes to be president, as she played what amounted to a nuclear chicken with North Korea.

That, for me, screams poor judgment and lacking the basic understanding of how close we were to nuclear war with Pyongyang. 

As Harper’s explained back in 2018 and I wrote about at the time for the American Conservative:

“It was September 2, 2017, and North Korea had just embarked on its sixth nuclear test launch. Haley’s mission was to ram a resolution through the UN Security Council to sanction the isolated state. This meant that she had to secure abstentions from Russia and China, the two permanent members that maintained relations with Pyongyang. It was a tall task, but as she boasted to the rapt audience at the CNP, she had a few tricks up her sleeve.

“I said to the Russians, ‘Either you’re with North Korea, or you’re with the United States of America,’” Haley recalled. She said she went to the Chinese ambassador and raised the prospect of an American military invasion of North Korea. “My boss is kind of unpredictable, and I don’t know what he’ll do,” she said she warned her Chinese counterpart.”

At the time, this was why I was concerned, as I explained in American Conservative:

“Sadly, besides some mentions on social media and a few articles, her threat received very little mainstream media coverage. Maybe that’s a blessing in disguise. But one can easily construct a scenario where Haley’s comment sets off a chain of events that starts a Second Korean War. For example, we don’t know what the Chinese ambassador did after Haley made the threat, but most likely he promptly reported it back to Beijing. What the Chinese government did with that information is vital. Did they warn the North Koreans? Did they react in some other way?” 

We will never really know. However, if Pyongyang was tipped off by Beijing, seeing three U.S. Navy aircraft carriers drilling with South Korean and Japanese warships in November of last year surely must have terrified them. Such a concentration of firepower would have been a prerequisite for any type of invasion or attack. In fact, could these have been the reasons the north decided to test another ICBM in November?”

My fear at the time was that Haley’s comments could have sparked North Korea to launch a nuclear preemptive attack, thinking Trump could very well order an invasion. Thankfully, I would argue that Haley’s comments never made it to the DPRK.

Can’t the GOP do better? I would say yes, for sure. 

Am I picking on her a little? Maybe so. But there is no margin for error on such issues of live for death. 

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About the author: Harry J. Kazianis (@Grecianformula) serves as President and CEO of Rogue States Project, a bipartisan national security think tank. He has held senior positions at the Center for the National Interest, the Heritage Foundation, the Potomac Foundation, and many other think tanks and academic institutions focused on defense issues. He served on the Russia task force for U.S. Presidential Candidate Senator Ted Cruz, and in a similar task force in the John Hay Initiative. His ideas have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, CNN, CNBC, and many other outlets across the political spectrum. He holds a graduate degree in International Relations from Harvard University and is the author of The Tao of A2/AD, a study of Chinese military modernization. Kazianis also has a background in defense journalism, having served as Editor-In-Chief at The Diplomat and Executive Editor for the National Interest.

Written By

Harry J. Kazianis (@Grecianformula) serves as President and CEO of Rogue States Project, a bipartisan national security think tank. He has held senior positions at the Center for the National Interest, the Heritage Foundation, the Potomac Foundation, and many other think tanks and academic institutions focused on defense issues. He served on the Russia task force for U.S. Presidential Candidate Senator Ted Cruz, and in a similar task force in the John Hay Initiative. His ideas have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, CNN, CNBC, and many other outlets across the political spectrum. He holds a graduate degree in International Relations from Harvard University and is the author of The Tao of A2/AD, a study of Chinese military modernization. Kazianis also has a background in defense journalism, having served as Editor-In-Chief at The Diplomat and Executive Editor for the National Interest.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Paddy Manning

    January 19, 2023 at 1:55 pm

    Never made it to Korean Tyranny? You think?
    Haley’s comments were meant to reach and certainly did. Insane as the Kim family are they know exactly that the over if they launch a nuke.

  2. C ONEIL

    January 19, 2023 at 5:50 pm

    Nikki was the only “adult in the room” for much of the Trump administration. In contrast to the decades-long overt appeasement strategies of foregoing politicians, she subltly but firmly asserted USA values and positions. Never actually said, “I dare you,” but it was clearly implied. Like old times, and as it should be.

  3. C ONEIL

    January 19, 2023 at 6:14 pm

    Meant to preface this with: “With all due respect to third-world tin-pot dictators”….

  4. Sam Fischer

    January 20, 2023 at 11:26 am

    By writing this article it appears that you believe that the ambassador to the United Nations was acting without the guidance and support of the Whitehouse (pres. D J Trump) to which I say BS.

  5. Big Eddy

    January 20, 2023 at 3:38 pm

    I like eggs.

  6. Ben L Millard

    January 22, 2023 at 7:39 pm

    I believe that Nikki would be an excellent choice for the republicans to run for the Presidency. Have liked her for quite awhile.

  7. D Owens

    February 1, 2023 at 8:35 am

    …”no margin for error on such issues of live for death.”

    Do you even proofread what you post??? For someone with your purported education, this is appalling. So is your willingness to vote for Donald J. Trump instead of advocating for his immediate removal from polite society, permanently. I can’t believe there are still people that tolerate him, much less support anything he says or does.

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