Opinion: Donald Trump and his Vanished Armada

“There it is, to the right.” “Where? I still don’t see it. Are you sure? An armada would seem a hard thing to miss.” “It’s there, I tell you. Oh … sorry, it was just a seagull.”

President Trump was blunt and explicit about his plans for confronting North Korea and its leader, Kim Jong Un.

“We are sending an armada … very powerful,” he warned in an interview more than a week ago, his voice dire and grave. “We have submarines … vvverrry powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier, that I can tell you. And we have the best military people on earth. And I will say this: (Kim) is doing the wrong thing. He is making a big mistake.”

That stress on the presence of submarines in this “very powerful armada” was not accidental. In terms of conventional munitions, an aircraft carrier and its strike group would be far more lethal than submarines. However, the submarines in question carry nuclear-armed missiles that carrier groups typically do not. If the North Koreans tried anything rash, Trump wanted them to know that U.S. forces would be right off their shores, ready to take punitive action.

Other administration officials made similar noises. “All options are on the table,” as Vice President Mike Pence said in a visit to the region. “North Korea would do well not to test his resolve.” Trump even informed Chinese President Xi Jinping that the armada was on its way, again stressing the presence of nuclear-armed submarines and asking that North Korean leaders be notified as well.

The only problem is that none of it was true. The initial announcement of the deployment of the USS Carl Vinson and its carrier group to the waters off North Korea was made more than 10 days ago, yet actual orders for the move were never issued. There was no armada — no submarines, no aircraft carrier — steaming toward the Sea of Japan and North Korea, as Trump had claimed. The Vinson and its carrier group were actually off the Australian coast, some 3,500 miles away. From there they began to sail east-southeast — not northwest, toward the Korean Peninsula — a fact that wasn’t revealed until April 15, when the U.S. Navy itself published a photograph of the Vinson as it made its way through the Sunda Strait into the Indian Ocean.

Not surprisingly, news of the Vanished Armada has been greeted with glee by North Korea, which called it all an American bluff, and with alarm by South Korea and other U.S. allies who thought they had backup when in fact they did not.

“What Mr. Trump said was very important for the national security of South Korea,” a top candidate for South Korean president told the Wall Street Journal. “If that was a lie, then during Trump’s term, South Korea will not trust whatever Trump says.”​

There’s a lot of that going around.

In this particular case, incompetence is probably a more accurate explanation than willful deception, but it’s also more troubling. When a president uses a high-profile, high-stakes pronouncement about a nuclear armada to try to intimidate a foe, when other major powers and our allies are also told about the armada’s deployment, it would seem pretty basic stuff to actually carry the bluff through, just in case. Xi and other world leaders had access to satellite data; they certainly knew about the conflict between Trump’s words and American actions long before the rest of us did.

It’s explicable only as a total breakdown of communication between the commander in chief and the Pentagon and as a failure to coordinate message and action at the most basic level. And if they can’t manage that kind of stuff now, in the relative calm of peacetime, it doesn’t bode well when things get more dicey.

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1037 comments
MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

This is from the link I posted in the last thread, but I believe my thoughts would help in transitioning from a male-psyche dominated world to a more nurturing world.  Knowledge is not only power, it is insight into the human condition:

-------------------------------------------


"In fact, I think that our ability to see the darker elements in our own natures juxtaposed simultaneously with the more enlightened elements in our own natures helps us not only to become more intellectually sophisticated and emotionally richer, but thinking with that paradoxical depth helps us to have compassion for all human beings, knowing well that ‘all have sinned and come short of the glory of God,’ if not in our actions then certainly within our minds. (As Jesus said, ‘If a man commits adultery with another not his wife even in his mind, that is of equal sin as the act of adultery itself.’ ) None of us is lily white (no pun intended) morally because we are none of us angels on this Earth, but God, through his loving grace, forgives us in our sinful innocence of projecting all evil to the ‘other’ rather than to knowing that evil and good exist simultaneously in every human being born onto this Earth, including ourselves. Knowing that to be true might make this world actually more compassionate, not less so. THAT could have been the reason Harper Lee wanted her first novel ("Go Set a Watchman") published last – when the world was less innocent and more able to understand what I have just written.”

Citizen Jeanne
Citizen Jeanne

The North Korea threat is the most dangerous issue the U.S. faces at the moment. That we have the most inept President in American history at the helm does not bode well for us. Unless we do something to get Trump's attention and let him know that he is not a dictator acting alone -- like return Congress to Democratic control -- Trump may well be the last U.S. President -- in more than in name only. 


Unless the U.S. aligns its allies -- NATO, the UN Security Council and Middle East allies -- and deals intelligently with China and Russia, North Korea could well take over South Korea and destroy U.S. military bases in the region and with a short time be able to aim nuclear missiles to reach Hawaii, California and Alaska. China and Russia might be happy about that, or if we're smart we should be able to convince those two adversaries that North Korea might well turn on them as well. 


But we can't do it by making embarrassing and dangerous mistakes like this one. For a U.S. President and Commander in Chief not to know the locations of his military people and equipment at any given moment does not demonstrate being in command. This is not a way to protect Americans. 



TBS
TBS

Trump and Tillerson sheets

rimsky
rimsky

DIA reminds me of Forest Gump.  He gets hold of a thread and runs past the end zone (tunnel vision) to never never land.  Funny how he twists and turns a labors with the same idea over and over and over.  I pity you 


DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@rimsky  The floggings will continue until morale improves.  Count on it.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@DownInAlbany

Anyone looking for a real-life definition of "tribalized" need only...

...go to drudgey and breitbart for news.

honested
honested

@Kamchak @DownInAlbany 

And those who visit there regularly need to look into the mirror as they are smearing paint (or whatever it is those people smear) on themselves.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

@Kamchak @DownInAlbany

Anyone looking to define "figure of speech" should DEFINITELY not look to you, Kamchak.

You are the definition of petty, in all it's "grandeur".

kitty72
kitty72

@Kamchak @DownInAlbany  No kidding. They don't get the reason that progressive radio and news isn't successful is because progressives DO NOT walk in lockstep. We don't need someone to tell us what to think. We can actually do it ourselves.

BuckeyeGa
BuckeyeGa

Trump is threating Democrats on this deal..I guess he missed the Republicans town halls

KUTGF
KUTGF

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas – Deputies are investigating after a man accidentally dropped his loaded gun inside a Woodlands-area Walmart store, firing a gunshot.

There were no injuries.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office says the man is reportedly a retired Houston police officer who has a Concealed Handgun License.

________________________

I always feel safer with guns around in the hands of experienced trained people like retired officers.  Oy vey. 

rimsky
rimsky

@KUTGF Haven't they hear of safety switch on a gun or they know nothing about that feature.

rimsky
rimsky

@DownInAlbany @rimsky @KUTGF Most new ones do.  I have some WWII bolt action guns that don't.  I never carry them loaded or chambered.  That is my safety feature.

Here's_to_Blue
Here's_to_Blue

@rimsky @KUTGF But, but, but . . . they couldn't shoot the bad guy quickly enough if they had to take the time to disable the safety switch after retrieving their weapon from its hidey-hole!

rimsky
rimsky

DIA 

People like me, Peachs and other libs are highly intelligent and think on our own.

On the other hand people you have to be spoon fed.

That is the reason your thinking is all warped.

Here's_to_Blue
Here's_to_Blue

@rimsky  Liberals tend to evaluate and form opinions on their own and then, coincidentally, look as if they've "tribalized."  Today's so-called conservatives look for what the prevailing view on a subject is for their "tribe," then follow in lock-step.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@rimsky @Here's_to_Blue  I find it hard to believe that you couldn't find that rather simple word.  Given the fact that you are highly intelligent and think on your own.  And all...

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@Here's_to_Blue @rimsky  Anyone looking for a real-life definition of "tribalized" need only spend 1/2 a day on Bookman's blog.  His regulars are a tribe like none other.

Here's_to_Blue
Here's_to_Blue

@DownInAlbany @Here's_to_Blue @rimsky You lie.  I respect Republicans who stand by their principles and have reasonable arguments to support their positions.  I despise those who change their positions 180 degrees because one of their own is in the White House (e.g., Russia is no longer the arch-villain it used to be on the conservative side of the aisle).

kitty72
kitty72

@rimsky  There was a reason to Jay's column the other day that showed that Dems didn't change their view of Russia depending on who was president either. It is called integrity. Something it is quite obvious the GOP has very little if any of...I am being kind to the few who do. Then throw "god" into it and you get a real mess of hypocrisy.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@DownInAlbany

What passes for "news" some days is astonishing..

Isn't that the truth!

I've found this story to be both astonishing and a knee slapper.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2014/07/09/muslim-prayer-rug-found-on-arizona-border-by-independendent-american-security-contractors/

Muslim Prayer Rug Found on Arizona Border by Independent American Security Contractors

Turns out it wasn't a Muslim prayer rug at all.

It was a soccer jersey.

Imagine that?

How could a news organization get something so wrong?

Kamchak
Kamchak

@DownInAlbany

I wouldn't "suppose" that at all.

It's still an active link.

It's "astonishing" they haven't 404ed that bad boy by now.   

rimsky
rimsky

Impeach him for what, specifically? 

++++

I would rather be where he is.  In time he will ruin the GOP.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Was there a "leader of the Republican Party" before Trump was elected?

Was that a mess as well?

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@rimsky  In the meantime, who is the leader of the Democratic party?  Obama?  No.  Hillary?  No.  Pelosi?  Waters?  Schummer?  Warren?  It's a mess, huh?

rimsky
rimsky

@DownInAlbany @rimsky I don't gives a damn.  As long as smart people think on their own and vote for the right people.

People like you need to be led by your nose; you know poorly educated and all that jazz.

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@rimsky @DownInAlbany  You better gives (sic) a damn.  The Dems are on quite a losing streak.  ps...those that support the cast of characters that I listed above hardly has the right to comment on anyone else being led by their noses. 

Paul42
Paul42

@DownInAlbany

Why do you think there is someone who has to be designated 'leader' of either party?

Does such concept apply to one party more than to the other?

If so, which one, and why?

KUTGF
KUTGF

@DownInAlbany @rimsky So do tell us.,..who is the leader of the GOP.  Trump?  Ryan?  McConnell?  The FC?  Its a mess sweetie.