Our president is threatening nuclear war against North Korea: ”North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. He has been very threatening beyond a normal state. And as I said, they will be met with fire, fury, and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before” (President Trump on Aug. 8).

As atomic bombs were already used in World War II, our president is threatening the use of our nuclear arsenal, hydrogen bombs.

The last two world wars killed about 100 million people. The next world war will be fought with hydrogen bombs, killer robots, genetically engineered viruses and other weapons making full use of modern technology. The right question about the next world war is not how many will die but how many will survive?

In the 72 years since World War II, the United States has fought five major wars, two still ongoing, and not won a complete victory in any of those wars, while losing some of them. We have maintained the world’s largest military by far, engaged in dozens of smaller conflicts, meddled in the affairs of most other nations and extended our alliances across the world to the borders of Russia and China.

Endless and inconclusive wars have killed thousands of our soldiers and maimed ten times that number. Our wars have cost many trillions of dollars and accelerated our descent into national bankruptcy, with a $20 trillion debt and a $600 billion annual deficit.

We are a warrior people, but for practical reasons alone we should consider the peace option.

Immediately end all of our wars and all of our meddling abroad. Bring all of our troops and weapons home, turning over bases to host countries.

We can be allied with other countries without our troops on their territory. For example, France is an ally but French troops are not based in America. As many years have passed since our alliances began, it is entirely proper to review and revise our agreements, especially to ensure that Congress’s constitutional role in deciding and declaring wars is respected.

Cut our military and national security spending in half, to about 2 percent of GDP. That step eliminates most of our budget deficit and makes federal finances much more sustainable.

Start living up to our international agreements. Notably, the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) requires the United States and other parties to engage in good faith negotiations for the elimination of nuclear weapons. Successful nuclear disarmament will not happen for some time. However we could make a good start by pledging no first use of nuclear weapons and by removing nuclear weapons based in other countries.

The objection to peace is: Who will deal with the problems of Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea, Syria, Ukraine and other countries? In general, the people of the countries themselves and their neighbors. For example, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey will oppose the Islamic State in their neighborhood regardless of our involvement.

“Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.” - John Quincy Adams, address as Secretary of State to the House of Representatives.

”Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative.” - Republican President Dwight Eisenhower’s Farewell Address.

-- Martin L. Buchanan is a writer, software developer, and U.S. Army veteran. He lives in Midvale, Utah.