While there has been a concerted effort from some members of the Trump Administration to downplay the risk of an imminent nuclear war with North Korea, the possibility of such a conflict is still palpable, with White House officials openly talking about launch a “preventative war” to resolve the situation.
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster is seen as one of the leading advocates of this idea, which seeks to avoid the question of how much of a threat North Korea will pose in the future by just attacking them outright now, consequences be damned.
But this position also fits neatly into President Trump’s own “fire and fury” narrative, and Trump has repeatedly given the impression in recent weeks that he considers attacking North Korea out of the blue a viable option, albeit one of many that are under consideration.
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in has tried to reject this idea, insisting South Korea has an inherent right to “veto” any US war against North Korea. Yet Defense Secretary James Mattis and other US officials have consistently dodged that question since Moon made the claim, and are mostly couching the war as about the US, as opposed to defending South Korea.
This casts a big shadow over the new US military exercises in South Korea this week, with North Korea openly warning that they are watching for any reckless escalation during the operation, and that they believe the war could quickly go nuclear if the exercise turned into “actual fighting.”
Such a US sneak attack under the guise of military drills would likely be condemned region-wide, but the even bigger problem is that, no matter how the US decides to start this war, doing so will have massive fallout for the region, and particularly for South Korea.
20 thoughts on “White House Continues to Talk Up ‘Preventative War’ Against North Korea”
Should only certain countries possess nuclear weapons?
Um, sounds like we are getting ready to launch a preventive war to prevent war?
As Bannon said, show me an equation whereby Seoul would not be leveled within the first few hours after the “preventive war” and hundreds of thousands of lives would be lost from N korea massed arty.
Problem I’ve had with mcmaster from the start is that he is very close to petraeus.
Seoul is at extreme range from the North’s best artillery, which won’t be firing for long before either being destroyed or running out of ammo with no prospect of resupply. There are plenty of good reasons to not start a war with the north. The destruction of Seoul is not one of them.
That’s right, Thomas. DPRK’s rusty bucket squad would be eliminated in under an hour. Their ability to communicate with command will also be eliminated. Moreover, Seoul citizens will be safely underground.
Right, that’s why were still fighting in Afghanistan after sixteen years against lightly armed guerillas and losing. You’re also forgetting the Chinese promising to come to the aid of the north, just like in 1950, if the US attacks first. The hubris and denial are just mind blowing.
“that’s why were still fighting in Afghanistan after sixteen years against lightly armed guerillas and losing”
The Korean People’s Army aren’t lightly armed guerillas. They’re mass conventional warfare units with comparatively ancient arms and equipment. The US does pretty well in that kind of fight.
Hopefully the proposition won’t be tested, though.
True, a comparison of North Korea with Afghanistan is facile.
The one fair aspect of the comparison is that wars once started take on a life of their own. The enemy gets a say, and off it goes. It is a cliché that no plan survives the first shot fired, attributed to Moltke the Elder, and he certainly had the experience to know.
Artillery hidden in caves is a very difficult target. With total air dominance, and vast firepower, the Allies could not find any of very few huge 200-ton railway guns at Anzio (collectively called Anzio Annie) that started firing 5 Feb 1944, the day after the landing, and kept on until 18 May when the Allied advance over ran their position.
It is this risk that has the US concerned about Iran’s mountainous coastline that dominates the oil route out of the Gulf.
It is this tactic that gives the Israelis fits in Lebanon.
The North Korean guns and rockets are deeply dug into deep caves dug into complex mountains, digging that has gone on for decades, and there are a lot of them. No, it would not be easy.
The Swiss and Swedes both put great reliance on this tactic, and it seems sound thinking.
If I were a resident of Seoul, it is not a bet I would want to take.
Can’t say as I blame them.
I’ve considered this issue of range. There are two aspects.
First, the city is big, spread out, the real heart of the country. A lot of the northern side is in range.
Second, artillery is not just tube artillery. For this sort of work, rockets are actually better. Accuracy is not the point, range and throw weight are the only issues. They’ve got LOTS of rockets, and those have plenty or range to destroy Seoul. Rockets work just fine when hidden in caves until moments before fired, as the Israelis know well from Lebanon.
The US fascist regime and most of Americans, Ditz probably included, is as usual totally oblivious to the fact that N.K borders to China and Russia.
They will obviously not allow a war on their borders, (they said so clearly) a war that most certainly will go nuclear. Russia in particular of course knows that US has been harbouring ideas and plans of a “first strike” option that could be launched in guise of an attack on N.K.
Exactly. China already stated that it would tolerate preemptive. Russia is right there, and has no choice but to join in. Japan and South Korea obvious collaterals. South Korea already on edge, wants a veto over any military action. If this is really the case, we have a military coup in this country on our hands. McMasters lost a few rounds as Trump outsmarted him, but now it is on. All the generals around Trump — now having to fire even a symbolic remnant of antiwar antiglobalist Bannon — are now the one and only voice. If Mattis sides with McMasters — we have a military coup roling in. It all depends now on just how firmly they hold Trump in their jawls. If he agrees to go along with this usurpation of power, for the sake of his kids and his extended family and friends who are threatened by juidicial witchhunt — then he will be making a mistake. If he foes that he will end like Obama, be allowed to play with health care snd borders. If he allows to be deposed as commander in chief, and gets the flyover people to wave those flags in support of more imperial expansion. Then — the same lovers of diversity will smack down a bit those same sacred cows to the joys if flyiver country, and will be attributed to Trump. Unless Trump and his supporters with some real influence stop this takeover we will have neocons and their Congress open bubbly tonight.
The usa is the largest purveyor of violence and the biggest terrorist exporter in the world today and the rest of the world needs to unify and confront this nefarious nightmare and disarm, dissolve her for the health and well being of the planet…Seriously,we all know it…It must be done
The national address to the nation by President Trump tonight ostensibly as an announcement on Afghanistan policy, could possibly be to proclaim that the war against North Korea has commenced.
Nothing fits neatly. We have those in government that act like independent centers of
power. And it is so obvious and dangerous. McMasters wants war, any war, just to add one and increase the banks balance sherts of fat new credits to war supplying barrons. But since China has made it clear — no preventative wars — this means war on a China and in such case, war with Russia as well. Japan and South Korea become obvious collaterals, and South Korea already declared that it has a veto on any military action. In fact it ruled out conflict on the peninsula. McMasters has already argued agressive policy on Syria, Venezuela, Iran, Russia, China etc. He has started to act as a dictator to whome a president is just a decorative puppet.
We talk about preventive war like we’re talking about a lunch date. We are about to practice war games with the south. And we wonder why the little crazy f**ker feels the need to talk s**t.
Are we missing Steve Bannon yet?
Not that I like him, but everyone else there now seems crazier than him.
Democracy is dead in the USA.
Democracy is defined as the system of government where power is ultimately in the hands of the people. In the USA, what the people want don’t mean Jack Sheet.
In 2008, the supposedly anti-war candidate Obama defeated ultra-hawk Hillary and the crazy war fanatic McCain to become President.
In 2016, the candidate who called the Iraq War a mistake, who called for ending these regime change wars the US fights across the world, the candidate who called for negotiations and hopefully better relations with Russia, defeated ultra-hawk Hillary who was by then aligned with all the Iraq War hawks plus Kissinger the War Criminal and Mad Maddy Albright.
What the American people want is rather clear. But in the democracy-free zone that is the modern USA, what the people vote for does count for a hill of beans.
Go for it- but only AFTER you get an official Declaration of War from Congress. Make them do their jobs for a change. Anything less than a Declaration of War is nothing but an outright illegal attack on a foreign nation.
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