( CNN) As a member of the Senate Armed Service and Foreign Relations committees — and the father of a Marine — my job is to minimize the risk of unnecessary war and maximize the chance that we will decisively win any war we must fight. And like many Americans, I am very disturbed that we may be drifting toward an avoidable war with North Korea.
Our national security experts — including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — rightly point out that the US prefers diplomacy over war and is never out of diplomatic alternatives. But President Donald Trump often undercuts them by tweeting out juvenile challenges to North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un or dismissing the prospect that diplomacy might work.
Throughout history, we have seen how back-and-forth provocations, mistakes and miscommunications can lead to large unintended conflicts. President Trump’s rash actions create the prospect of “war by accident.”