It’s hard to imagine a more compelling picture illustrating “the end of strategic patience.” Vice President Mike Pence stood dressed in military green on a Japan-based U.S. aircraft carrier flanked by hundreds of American soldiers. He said clearly, “all options are on the table,” in reference to the North Korea regime brashly pursuing nuclear weapons and aggressively threatening the United States.
Pence said in his speech that the U.S. would work with allies in the region to apply diplomatic and economic pressure on the Pyongyang administration until it abandons its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. But then he made vivid the position of peace through strength, “But as all of you know, readiness is the key, and you – the instruments of American policy – should know, all options are on the table. History will attest the soldier does not bear the sword in vain,” Pence said. “Those who would challenge our resolve or our readiness should know: We will defeat any attack and meet any use of conventional or nuclear weapons with an overwhelming and effective American response.”
Pence finished his address to U.S. military personnel, as well as Japanese sailors, on the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan by saying, “The United States of America will always seek peace, but under President Trump, the shield stands guard, and the sword stands ready.”
The North Korean regime, for more than a generation, has sought to develop nuclear weapons and the missiles needed to fire them. They have impoverished their own people, at one point letting 2 million of them starve to death. Three presidential administrations have worked tirelessly to peacefully dismantle their nuclear pursuits and alleviate the suffering of the North Korean people. Pence said, “But time and again, the regime has answered the overtures with willful deception, with broken promises, and nuclear and missile tests.”
The Vice President was speaking to a broader audience than just North Korea, “The enemies of our freedom and this alliance would do well not to test the resolve of this president or the capabilities of the armed forces of the United States of America and our allies,” he said to great cheers and applause. He declared that the U.S. would promote peaceful dialogue and defend human rights world-wide, “because the dignity and worth of every person is an eternal value of the United States.”
It was a speech culminating weeks that included missile strikes in Syria, dropping the “mother of all bombs” in Afghanistan, and delivering an armada to the South China Sea. The Vice President’s words echoed around the world, “As President Trump has made clear to the world, the era of strategic patience is over.”
Credit: CNS News