Ripon resident and Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Dan Zimmerman, left, visits with Ripon College politics and government professor Lamont Colucci, middle, and guest speaker Douglas Feith.
Ripon resident and Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Dan Zimmerman, left, visits with Ripon College politics and government professor Lamont Colucci, middle, and guest speaker Douglas Feith.

   Does the Trump administration’s foreign policy toward North Korea or Russia reflect mirror imaging?

   That is, do U.S. officials risk viewing foreign adversaries through the prism of their own values, history and goals?

   “I don’t know that I can say with confidence that I know what President Trump’s attitude exactly is toward [Vladimir] Putin or Kim [Jong Un],” said former national security official Douglas Feith, speaking at Ripon College last week. “He’s made a number of statements — not all of which are consistent with each other.”

   At times Trump has made harsh, belittling criticisms of the North Korean dictator, he said, mocking him in personal ways, “calling him fat and little and stuff like that.”

   At other times, however, the president has suggested that North Korea and the United States could have an amicable relationship, Feith said.  

   “I don’t know what President Trump thinks about Kim,” he said.

   Read Feith's full thoughts on Trump's stance towards Kim and Putin in the March 1, 2018 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.