2018-01-10 10:21:11 UTC
their brethren in the North.
But the neocons aren't giving up.
The Games might give one a false sense of calm, but the gamblers are
wasting no time to give Kim a "bloody nose"!
And they're saying: "Don't worry, Kim would be so impressed by our
strike that he won't hit back."
How nice! They had argued before that we can't trust the North
Koreans to have the capabilities because they are irrational, crazy!
They just want to have it both ways --- as long as they get to have
In Iraq, it was gonna be a cakewalk. And now our bombs are so
powerful that they would drive some sense into the North Koreans so
they would just sit tight and see their decades-long top-priority
investment go up in smoke . . .
These North Koreans would be so awestruck that they would totally
forget about the fates of the likes of Saddam and Qaddafi.
Oh, by the way, the bloody-nose plotters aren't exactly believing
their own propaganda either. As Luttwak's article will tell you, if
South Korean lives become the collateral damage of the US military's
bloody nose project, they themselves are to blame because, by
Luttwak's logic, they have been so nice to their Northern brethren.
And these warmongers aren't planning to save American lives as they
have argued when they first agitated for a war against North Korea.
In the third article attached below, you will see that they are
training American soldiers to fight mano-a-mano in some 5000 North
Korean underground tunnels, regarding which Donald Rumsfeld had called
their soldiers "world-class tunnelers". Don't know exactly what that
means except that the war planners would rather send soldiers to risk
their lives than to save them --- even though they are American lives
and even though there is such a simple solution as to take our troops
entirely out of the Korean peninsula, after putting them there for
seventy years for pure geopolitical reasons.
Anyway, read Charles Pierce's and others' articles attached below.
1) Why I'm Skeptical of This North Korea Leak
There are two types of spin. You know what type this is.
By Charles P. Pierce Jan 9, 2018
There was a word doing a lot of work on Tuesday morning. In fact,
there was a word that was moving mountains with a trailer hitch and
digging the Suez Canal with a soup ladle. There was a word that very
likely collapsed when its heart exploded as it tried to lift Estonia
with a forklift.
That word was "quietly", and it appeared in the Wall Street Journal.
... quietly debating whether it's possible to mount a limited
military strike against North Korean sites without igniting an
all-out war on the Korean Peninsula.
First of all, it can't be very quiet if it's already leaked by someone
to the WSJ. Second, are these people outside their minds? Maybe the
Financial Times can tell us.
"Presumably, such a strike would be a one-off attack that is
immediately followed-up by a presidential announcement that this
is a warning shot and nothing more," says Mr. Wilder.
A warning shot would be an attack on the ocean that killed a lot of
fish. Any attack on North Korea means killing North Koreans, which no
megalomaniacal despot could abide. Even if you buy the fiction that
this is a carrot and stick exercise tied into the present negotiations
between the two Koreas, which I don't, this is an intolerably risky
level of brinksmanship. The odds against North Korean retaliation are
very slim and then where do we go? I think this was not a strategic
leak, but a desperately panicky one.
2) It's Time to Bomb North Korea
Destroying Pyongyang;s nuclear arsenal is still in America's national
interest. By Edward Luttwak | January 8, 2018, 12:48 PM
Nothing can be known about this week's talks between North and South
Korea other than their likely outcome. As in every previous encounter,
South Korea will almost certainly reward North Korea's outrageous
misconduct by handing over substantial sums of money, thus negating
long-overdue sanctions recently imposed by the United Nations Security
Council. Meanwhile, the North will continue to make progress toward
its goal of deploying several nuclear-armed, mobile intercontinental
ballistic missiles, having already tested nuclear-explosive devices in
October 2006, May 2009, February 2013, January 2016, September 2016,
and September 2017
Each test would have been an excellent occasion for the United States
to finally decide to do to North Korea what Israel did to Iraq in
1981, and to Syria in 2007 --- namely, use well-aimed conventional
weapons to deny nuclear weapons to regimes that shouldn't have
firearms, let alone weapons of mass destruction. Fortunately, there is
still time for Washington to launch such an attack to destroy North
Korea's nuclear arsenal. It should be earnestly considered rather than
rejected out of hand.
Of course, there are reasons not to act against North Korea. But the
most commonly cited ones are far weaker than generally acknowledged.
One mistaken reason to avoid attacking North Korea is the fear of
direct retaliation. The U.S. intelligence community has reportedly
claimed that North Korea already has ballistic missiles with nuclear
warheads that can reach as far as the United States. But this is
almost certainly an exaggeration, or rather an anticipation of a
future that could still be averted by prompt action. The first North
Korean nuclear device that could potentially be miniaturized into a
warhead for a long-range ballistic missile was tested on September 3,
2017, while its first full-scale ICBM was only tested on November 28,
2017. If the North Koreans have managed to complete the full-scale
engineering development and initial production of operational
ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads in the short time since then
--- and on their tiny total budget --- then their mastery of science
and engineering would be entirely unprecedented and utterly
phenomenal. It is altogether more likely that they have yet to match
warheads and missiles into an operational weapon.
It's true that North Korea could retaliate for any attack by using its
conventional rocket artillery against the South Korean capital of
Seoul and its surroundings, where almost 20 million inhabitants live
within 35 miles of the armistice line. U.S. military officers have
cited the fear of a "sea of fire" to justify inaction. But this
vulnerability should not paralyze U.S. policy for one simple reason:
It is very largely self-inflicted.
When then-U.S. President Jimmy Carter decided to withdraw all
U.S. Army troops from South Korea 40 years ago (ultimately a division
was left behind), the defense advisors brought in to help ---
including myself --- urged the Korean government to move its
ministries and bureaucrats well away from the country's northern
border and to give strong relocation incentives to private companies.
South Korea was also told to mandate proper shelters, as in Zurich for
example, where every new building must have its own (under
bombardment, casualties increase dramatically if people leave their
homes to seek shelter). In recent years, moreover, South Korea has had
the option of importing, at moderate cost, Iron Dome batteries, which
are produced by both Israel and the United States, that would be
capable of intercepting 95 percent of North Korean rockets headed to
But over these past four decades, South Korean governments have done
practically nothing along these lines. The 3,257 officially listed
"shelters" in the Seoul area are nothing more than underground
shopping malls, subway stations, and hotel parking lots without any
stocks of food or water, medical kits or gas masks. As for importing
Iron Dome batteries, the South Koreans have preferred to spend their
money on developing a bomber aimed at Japan.
Even now, casualties could still be drastically reduced by a crash
resilience program. This should involve clearing out and hardening
with jacks, props, and steel beams the basements of buildings of all
sizes; promptly stocking necessities in the 3,257 official shelters
and sign-posting them more visibly; and, of course, evacuating as many
as possible beforehand (most of the 20 million or so at risk would be
quite safe even just 20 miles further to the south). The United
States, for its part, should consider adding vigorous counterbattery
attacks to any airstrike on North Korea.
Nonetheless, given South Korea's deliberate inaction over many years,
any damage ultimately done to Seoul cannot be allowed to paralyze the
United States in the face of immense danger to its own national
interests, and to those of its other allies elsewhere in the
world. North Korea is already unique in selling its ballistic
missiles, to Iran most notably; it's not difficult to imagine it
selling nuclear weapons, too.
Another frequently cited reason for the United States to abstain from
an attack --- that it would be very difficult to pull off --- is even
less convincing. The claim is that destroying North Korean nuclear
facilities would require many thousands of bombing sorties. But all
North Korean nuclear facilities --- the known, the probable, and the
possible --- almost certainly add up to less than fewer dozen
installations, most of them quite small. Under no reasonable military
plan would destroying those facilities demand thousands of airstrikes.
Unfortunately, this would not be the first time that U.S. military
planning proved unreasonable. The United States Air Force habitually
rejects one-time strikes, insisting instead on the total "Suppression
of Enemy Air Defenses". This is a peculiar conceit whereby every
single air-defense radar, surface-to-air missile, airstrip, and combat
aircraft in a given country must be bombed to destruction to safeguard
U.S. pilots from any danger, instead of just bombing the targets that
actually matter. Given that North Korea's radars, missiles, and
aircraft are badly outdated, with their antique electronics long since
countermeasured, the Air Force's requirements are nothing but an
excuse for inaction. Yes, a more limited air attack might miss a
wheelbarrow or two, but North Korea has no nuclear-warhead mobile
missile launchers to miss --- not yet.
Perhaps the only good reason to hesitate before ordering an attack on
North Korea is China. But that's not because Beijing would intervene
against the United States. The notion that China is North Korea's
all-around protector is badly out of date. Yes, the Chinese do not
want to see North Korea disappear with U.S. troops moving up to the
Yalu River and China's border. But President Xi Jinping's support for
maximum economic sanctions, including a de facto blockade of oil
imports --- a classic act of war --- amounts to a change of sides when
it comes to North Korean nuclear weapons. Anybody who believes China
would act on North Korea's behalf in the event of an American attack
against its nuclear installations has not been paying attention.
But China's shift has surfaced a quite different reason for the United
States not to bomb: While North Korea's acquisition of nuclear weapons
is of course very dangerous, it does ensure its independence from
Chinese influence. In a post-strike scenario, the Pyongyang regime
might well crumble, with the country becoming a Chinese ward. That
could give Beijing dominant influence over South Korea as well, given
the preference of some South Koreans --- including President Moon
Jae-in, according to reports --- for Chinese as opposed to American
patronage. A China-dominated Korean Peninsula would make Japan less
secure and the United States much less of a Pacific power.
In theory, a post-attack North Korea in chaos could be rescued by the
political unification of the peninsula, with the United States
assuaging Chinese concerns by promptly moving its troops further
south, instead of moving them north. In practice, however, this would
be a difficult plan to carry out, not least because South Korea's
government and its population are generally unwilling to share their
prosperity with the miserably poor northerners, as the West Germans
once did with their East German compatriots.
For now, it seems clear that U.S. military authorities have foreclosed
a pre-emptive military option. But the United States could still spare
the world the vast dangers of a North Korea with nuclear-armed
long-range missiles if it acts in the remaining months before they
It's true that India, Israel, and Pakistan all have those weapons, with
no catastrophic consequences so far. But each has proven its
reliability in ways that North Korea has not. Their embassies, for
instance, don't sell hard drugs or traffic in forged banknotes. More
pertinently, those other countries have gone through severe crises,
and even fought wars, without ever mentioning nuclear weapons, let
alone threatening their use as Kim Jong Un already has. North Korea is
different, and U.S. policy should recognize that reality before it is
Edward Luttwak is a senior associate at the Center for Strategic and
International Studies and the author of Strategy: The Logic of War and
3) THREE-DIMENSIONAL WARFARE
There are 5,000 tunnels under North Korea, and US soldiers are
training to fight in them
Tensions are rising between the US and North Korea, and the US
military is preparing. That means learning to deal with a unique
tactical advantage that North Korea has within its borders: tunnels.
"The North Koreans are like mole people," Dave Maxwell, a former Army
colonel who fought in the Korea war and is now part of an educational
organization on Korea, told NPR. In 2001, Donald Rumsfeld called North
Koreans "world class tunnelers".
Maxwell claims the country has an extensive underground network of
5,000 tunnels, many built far below the surface to be safe from aerial
attacks. In the unlikely scenario of invasion, attacking soldiers
would have to fight not only in the air and on the ground, but below
A small portion of the US military is already trained to fight in
tunnels and constrained environments. But NPR reports that more
soldiers are now being trained for tunnel warfare due to recent
hostile exchanges between the US and North Korea. Exactly how many has
not been made clear. One training exercise involves dismantling a
chemical weapons laboratory underground.
Initially built for an offensive against South Korea, the tunnels were
discovered in South Korean territory in the early 1970s. For tourists
willing to ignore Kim Jong-Un and Donald Trump's verbal war over who
has the biggest nuclear button, some tunnels can be visited in the
demilitarized zone between the two Koreas (paywall).