A Challenge To America
In his first year in office, President Clinton toured the Korean dmz to encourage the troops and make a political statement underscoring American resolve on the Korean peninsula. Commenting on the possibility of an attack by the North, Clinton pithily stated, “It would be the end of their country.” But would the U.S. follow through on its tough talk? The Bible prophecies that the pride of America’s power will be broken in this end time (Lev. 26:19).
In the post-cold-war era, we have witnessed many challenges to American power. From Iraq to Somalia, Haiti to Kosovo, evidence is piling up that the United States is not capable of maintaining world order. With humiliating defeats, one after another, one truth rings clear: Challenges to U.S. hegemony will intensify until a clear, dominating power rises to the top.
In June, the world’s attention was briefly stolen from Kosovo to the Korean peninsula as North and South Korean navies clashed on the Yellow Sea. The dispute centered on the exploitation of profitable crab fisheries near the Korean coastline.
On June 15, a North Korean torpedo boat was sunk, killing 20 crew members. Several other vessels limped home, damaged from gunfire exchanged with South Korean warships. Daily naval confrontations between the two encouraged the U.S. to dispatch warships and surveillance planes to monitor the situation.
The conflict cooled, and the world’s attention moved to other concerns. Yet behind the scenes, this confrontation devastated peace negotiations between the two Koreas. China flexed its diplomatic muscle and the U.S. made a low-profile retreat. In the wake lay a disillusioned Japan and a South Korea wondering where they could go for help.
If the U.S. can’t police Southeast Asia despite the presence of 100,000 combat troops and the world’s most advanced weaponry, who will settle this troubled region?