(This analysis was written for the Unz Review)
First, the bragging dummies
Trump and Haley are still at it. The want to force China to take action against the DPRK by threatening to take North Korea “into their hands” if China refuses to comply. Haley said “But to be clear, China can do more, (…) and we’re putting as much pressure on them as we can. The last time they completely cut off the oil, North Korea came to the table. And so we’ve told China they’ve got to do more. If they don’t do more, we’re going to take it into our own hands and then we’ll start to deal with secondary sanctions.”
First, let’s reset this scene in a kindergarten and replay it.
Kid A has a fight with Kid B. Kid A threatens to beat up Kid B. Kid B then tells Kid A to go screw himself. Kid A does nothing, but issues more threats. Kid B keeps laughing. And then Kid A comes up with a brilliant plan: he threatens Kid C (who is much much bigger than Kid B and much much stronger too!) by telling him “if you don’t make Kid B comply with my demands, I will take the issue in my own hands!“. The entire schoolyard erupts in hysterical laughter.
Question: how would you the the intelligence of Kid A?
This would all be really funny if this was a comedy show. But what this all is in reality is a slow but steady progression towards war. What makes this even worse is the media’s obsession with the range of North Korean missiles and whether they can reach Guam or even the USA. With all due respect for the imperial “only we matter” (and nevermind the gooks), there are ways “we”, i.e. the American people can suffer terrible consequences from a war in the Korean Peninsula which have nothing to do with missile strikes on Guam or the USA.
The lucrative target: Japan
This summer I mentioned one of the most overlooked potential consequences of a war with the DPRK and I want to revisit this issue again. First, the relevant excerpt from the past article:
While I personally believe that Kim Jong-un is not insane and that the main objective of the North Korean leadership is to avoid a war at all costs, what if I am wrong? What if those who say that the North Korean leaders are totally insane are right? Or, which I think is much more likely, what if Kim Jong-un and the North Korean leaders came to the conclusion that they have nothing to lose, that the Americans are going to kill them all, along with their families and friends? What could they, in theory, do if truly desperate? Well, let me tell you: forget about Guam; think Tokyo! Indeed, while the DPRK could devastate Seoul with old fashioned artillery systems, DPRK missiles are probably capable of striking Tokyo or the Keihanshin region encompassing Kyoto, Osaka and Kobe including the key industries of the Hanshin Industrial Region. The Greater Tokyo area (Kanto region) and the Keihanshin region are very densely populated (37 and 20 million people respectively) and contain an immense number of industries, many of which would produce an ecological disaster of immense proportions if hit by missiles. Not only that, but a strike on the key economic and financial nodes of Japan would probably result in a 9-11 kind of international economic collapse. So if the North Koreans wanted to really, really hurt the Americans what they could do is strike Seoul, and key cities in Japan resulting in a huge political crisis for the entire planet. During the Cold War we used to study the consequences of a Soviet strike against Japan and the conclusion was always the same: Japan cannot afford a war of any kind. The Japanese landmass is too small, too densely populated, to rich in lucrative targets and a war would lay waste to the entire country. This is still true today, only more so. And just imagine the reaction in South Korea and Japan if some crazy US strike on the DPRK results in Seoul and Tokyo being hit by missiles! The South Koreans have already made their position unambiguously clear, by the way. As for the Japanese, they are officially placing their hopes in missiles (as if technology could mitigate the consequences of insanity!). So yeah, the DPRK is plenty dangerous and pushing them into their last resort is totally irresponsible indeed, nukes or no nukes.
Yet, for some reason, the western media rarely mentions Japan or the possible global economic consequences on a strike against Japan. Very few people know for sure whether the North Koreans truly have developed a usable nuclear weapon (warhead and missile) or whether the North Korean ballistic missile truly can reach Guam or the USA. But I don’t think that there is any doubt whatsoever that North Korean missile can easily cover the roughly 1000km (600 miles) to reach the heart of Japan. In fact, the DPRK has already lobbed missiles over Japan in the past. Some red blooded US Americans will, no doubt, explain to use that the US THAAD system can, and will, protect South Korea and Japan from such missile strikes. Others, however, will disagree. We won’t know until we find out, but judging by the absolutely dismal performance of the vaunted US Patriot system in the Gulf War, I sure would not place my trust in any US made ABM system. Last, but not least, the North Koreans could place a nuclear device (not even a real nuclear warhead) on a regular commercial ship or even a submarine, bring it to the coast of Japan and detonate it. The subsequent panic and chaos might end up costing even more lives and money than the explosion itself.
Then there is Seoul, of course. US analyst Anthony Cordesman put is very simply “A battle near the DMZ, directed at a target like Seoul, could rapidly escalate to the point at which it threatened the ROK’s entire economy, even if no major invasion took place“.
[Sidebar: Cordesman being Cordesman, he proceeds to hallucinate about the effects of a DPRK invasion of the ROK and comes up with sentences such as “Problems drive any assessment of the outcome of a major DPRK invasion of the ROK, even if one only focuses on DPRK- ROK forces. The DPRK has far larger ground forces, but the outcome of what would today be an air – land battle driven heavily by the overall mobility of DPRK land forces and their ability to concentrate along given lines of advance relative to the attrition technically superior ROK land and air forces could inflict is impossible to calculate with any confidence, as is the actual mix of forces both sides could deploy in a given area and scenario“. Yup, the man is seriously discussing AirLand battle concepts in the context of a DPRK invasion of the South! He might as well be discussing the use of Follow-on-Forces Attack concept in the context of a Martian invasion of earth (or an equally likely Russian invasion of the Baltic statelets!). It is funny and pathetic how a country with a totally offensive national strategy, military doctrine and force posture still feels the need to hallucinate some defensive scenarios to deal with the cognitive dissonance resulting from clearly being the bad guy.]
Why does Cordesman say that? Because according to a South Korean specialist “DPRK artillery pieces of calibers 170mm and 240mm “could fire 10,000 rounds per minute to Seoul and its environs.” During the war in Bosnia the western press spoke of “massive Serbian artillery strikes on Sarajevo” when the actual rate of fire was about 1 artillery shell per minute. It just makes me wonder what they would call 10’000 rounds per minutes.
The bottom line is this: you cannot expect your enemy to act in a way which suits you; in fact you should very much assume that he is going to do what you do not expect and what is the worst possible for you. And, in this context, the DPRK has many more options than shooting an ICBM at Guam or the USA. The nutcases in the Administration might not want to mention it, but an attack on the DPRK risks bringing down both the South Korean and the Japanese economies with immediate and global consequences: considering that rather shaky and vulnerable nature of the international financial and economic system, I very much doubt that a major crisis in Asia would not result in the collapse of the US economy (which is fragile anyway).
We should also consider the political consequences of a war on the Korean Peninsula, especially if, as is most likely, South Korea and Japan suffer catastrophic damage. This situation could well result in such an explosion of anti-US feelings that the US would have to pack and leave from the region entirely.
How do you think the PRC feels about such a prospect? Exactly. And might this not explain why the Chinese are more than happy to let the USA deal with the North Korean problem knowing full well that one way or another the USA will lose without the Chinese having to fire a single shot?
Next I want to re-visit a threat which is discussed much more often: North Korean artillery and special forces. But first, I ask you to take a close look at the following three maps of North Korea:
You can also download these full-size maps from here.
What I want you to see is that the terrain in North Korea is what the military call “mixed terrain”. The topography of North Korea article in Wikipedia actually explains this very well:
The terrain consists mostly of hills and mountains separated by deep, narrow valleys. The coastal plains are wide in the west and discontinuous in the east. Early European visitors to Korea remarked that the country resembled “a sea in a heavy gale” because of the many successive mountain ranges that crisscross the peninsula. Some 80 percent of North Korea’s land area is composed of mountains and uplands, with all of the peninsula’s mountains with elevations of 2,000 metres (6,600 ft) or more located in North Korea. The great majority of the population lives in the plains and lowlands.
Being from Switzerland I know this kind of terrain very well (it’s what you would see in the Alpine foothills called “Oberland” or “Préalpes”) and I want to add the following: dense vegetation, forests, rivers and creek with steep banks and rapid currents. Small villages and *a lot* of deep, underground tunnels. There are also flat areas in North Korea, of course, but, unlike Switzerland, they are composed mostly of rice fields and marshes. In military terms this all translates into one simple and absolutely terrifying word: infantry.
Why should the word infantry scare so much? Because infantry means on foot (or horses) with very little airpower (AA and MANPADS), satellites (can’t see much), armor (can’t move around), gunships, submarines or cruise missiles can do. Because infantry means “no lucrative targets” but small, dispersed and very well hidden forces. Company and even platoon-level warfare. Because infantry in mixed terrains means the kind of warfare the US Americans fear most.
And with that in mind, let’s repeat that besides its huge regular armed forces (about a million soldiers plus another 5 million plus in paramilitary organizations) the DPRK also has 200’000 special forces. Let’s assume that the Western propaganda is, for once, saying the truth and that the regular armed forces are poorly equipped, poorly trained, poorly commanded and even hungry and demotivated (I am not at all sure that this is a fair assumption, but bear with me). But spreading that amount of soldiers all over the combat area would still represent a huge headache, even for “the best and most powerful armed forces in history” especially if you add 200’000 well-trained and highly motivated special forces to the mix (I hope that we can all agree that assuming that special forces are also demotivated would be rather irresponsible). How would you go about finding out who is who and where the biggest threat comes from. And consider this: it would extremely naive to expect the North Korean special forces to show up in some clearly marked DPRK uniforms. I bet you that a lot of them will show up in South Korean uniforms, and others in civilians clothes. Can you imagine the chaos of trying to fight them?
You might say that the North Koreans have 1950s weapons. So what? That is exactly what you need to fight the kind of warfare we are talking about: infantry in mixed terrains. Even WWII gear would do just fine. Now is time to bring in the North Korean artillery. We are talking about 8,600 artillery guns, and over 4,800 multiple rocket launchers (source). Anthony Cordesman estimates that there are 20’000 pieces in the “surrounding areas” of Seoul. That way is more than the US has wordwide (5,312 according to the 2017 “Military Balance”, including mortars). And keep in mind that we are not talking about batteries nicely arranged in a flat desert, but thousands of simple but very effective artillery pieces spread all over the “mixed terrain” filled with millions of roaming men in arms, including 200’000 special forces. And a lot of that artillery can reach Seoul, plenty enough to create a mass panic and exodus.
Think total, abject and bloody chaos
So when you think of a war against North Korea, don’t think “Hunt for Red October” or “Top Gun”. Think total, abject and bloody chaos. Think instant full-scale FUBAR. And that is just for the first couple of days, then things will get worse, much worse. Why?
Because by that time I expect the North Korean Navy and Air Force to have been completely wiped-off, waves after waves of cruise missiles will have hit an X number of facilities (with no way whatsoever to evaluate the impact of these strikes but nevermind that) and the US military commanders will be looking at the President with no follow-up plan to offer. As for the North Koreans, by then they will just be settling in for some serious warfare, infantry-style.
There is a better than average that a good part of the DPRK elites will be dead. What is sure is that the command and control of the General Staff Department over many of its forces will be if not lost, then severely compromised. But everybody will know that they have been attacked and by whom. You don’t need much command and control when you are in a defensive posture in the kind of terrain were movement is hard to begin with. In fact, this is the kind of warfare where “high command” usually means a captain or a major, not some faraway general.
You might ask about logistics? What logistics I ask you? The ammo is stored nearby in ammo dumps, food you can always get yourself and, besides, its your home turf, the civilians will help.
Again, no maneuver warfare, no advanced communications, no heavy logistical train – we are talking about a kind of war which is much closer to WWII or even WWI than Desert Storm.
[Sidebar: as somebody who did a lot of interesting stuff with the Swiss military, let me add this: this kind of terrain is a battlefield were a single company can stop and hold an entire regiment; this is the kind of terrain where trying to accurately triangulate the position of an enemy radio is extremely hard; this is the kind of terrain where only horses and donkeys can carry heavy gear over narrow, zig-zagging, steep paths; entire hospitals can be hidden underground with their entrance hidden by a barn or a shed; artillery guns are dug in underground and fire when a thick reinforced concrete hatch is moved to the side, then they hide; counter-battery radar hardly works due to bouncing signals; radio signals have a short range due to vegetation and terrain; weapon caches and even company size forces camps can only be detected by literally stepping on them; underground bunkers have numerous exits; air-assault operations are hindered by the very high risk of anti-aircraft gunfire or shoulder-fired missiles which can be hidden and come from any direction. I could go on and on but I will just say this: if you want to defeat your adversary in such a terrain there is only one technique which works: you do what the Russians did in the mountains in southern Chechnia during the second Chechen war – you send in your special forces, small units on foot, and you fight the enemy on his own turf. That is an extremely brutal, dangerous and difficult kind of warfare which I really don’t see the US Americans doing. The South Koreans, yes, maybe. But here is where the number game also kicks in: in Chechnia the Russians Spetsnaz operated in a relatively small combat zone and they had the numbers. Now look at a map of North Korea and the number of North Korean special forces and tell me – do the South Koreans have the manpower for that kind of offensive operations? One more thing: the typical US American reaction to such arguments would be “so what, we will just nuke them!“. Wrong. Nuke them you can, but nukes are not very effective in that kind of terrain, finding a target is hard to begin with, enemy forces will be mostly hidden underground and, finally, you are going to use nukes to deal with company or platoon size units?! Won’t work.]
If you think that I am trying to scare you, you are absolutely correct. I am. You ought to be scared. And notice that I did not even mention nukes. No, not nuclear warheads in missiles. Basic nuclear devices driven around in common army trucks. Driven down near the DMZ in peacetime amongst thousands of other army trucks and then buried somewhere, ready to explode at the right time. Can you imagine what the effect of a “no-warning” “where did it come from?” nuke might be on advancing US or South Korean forces? Can you imagine how urgent the question “are there any more?” will become? And, again, for that the North Koreans don’t even need a real nuclear weapon. A primitive nuclear device will be plenty.
I can already hear the die-hard “rah-rah-rah we are number 1!!” flag-wavers dismissing it all saying “ha! and you don’t think that the CIA already knows all that?”. Maybe they do and maybe they don’t – but the problem is that the CIA, and the rest of the US intelligence community, has been so hopelessly politicized that it can do nothing against perceived political imperatives. And, frankly, when I see that the US is trying to scare the North Koreans with B-1B and F-22s I wonder if anybody at the Pentagon, or at Langely, is still in touch with reality. Besides, there is intelligence and then there is actionable intelligence. And in this case knowing what the Koreans could do does not at all mean know what to do about it.
Speaking of chaos – do you know what the Chinese specifically said about it?
Can you guess?
That they will “not allow chaos and war on the peninsula“.
Enter the Chinese
Let’s talk about the Chinese now. They made their position very clear: “If North Korea launches an attack that threatens the United States then China should stay neutral, but if the United States attacks first and tries to overthrow North Korea’s government China will stop them“. Since there is no chance at all of a unprovoked North Korean attack on the South or the USA, especially with this threat by the Chinese to remain neutral if the DPRK attacks first, let’s focus on the 2nd part of the warning.
What could the Chinese do if the US decides to attack North Korea? There basic options depend on the nature of the attack:
- If the US limits itself to a combination of missile and airstrikes and the DPRK retaliates (or not), then the Chinese can simply provide technical, economic and humanitarian aid to the DPRK and denounce the US on a political level.
- If the USA follow up with a land invasion of some kind or if the DPRK decides to retaliate in a manner which would force the USA into a land invasion of some kind, then the Chinese could not only offer directly military aid, including military personnel, but they could also wait for the chaos to get total in Korea before opening a 2nd front against US forces (including, possibly, Taiwan).
That second scenario would create a dangerous situation for China, of course, but it would be even far more dangerous for US forces in Asia who would find themselves stretched very thin over a very large area with no good means to force either adversary to yield or stop. Finally, just as China cannot allow the USA to crush North Korea, Russia cannot allow the USA to crush China. Does that dynamic sound familiar? It should as it is similar to what we have been observing in the Middle-East recently:
This is a very flexible and effective force posture where the smallest element is at the forefront of the line-up and the most powerful one most removed and at the back because it forces the other side to primarily focus on that frontline adversary while maximizing the risks of any possibly success because that success is likely to draw in the next, bigger and more powerful adversary.
Conclusion: preparing for genocide
The US has exactly a zero chance of disarming or, even less so, regime changing the DPRK by only missile and airstrikes. To seriously and meaningfully take the DPRK “in their hands” the US leaders need to approve of a land invasion. However, even if that is not the plan, if the DPRK decides to use its immense, if relatively antiquated, firepower to strike at Seoul, the US will have no choice to move in ground forces across the DMZ. If that happens about 500’000 ROK troops backed by 30’000 US military personnel will face about 1 million North Korea soldiers backed by 5 million paramilitaries and 200’000 special forces on a mix terrain battlefield which will require an infantry-heavy almost WWII kind of military operations. By definition, if the USA attacks the DPRK to try to destroy its nuclear program such an attack will begin by missile and air strikes on DPRK facilities meaning that the USA will immediately strike at the most valuable targets (from the point of view of the North Koreans of course). This means that following such an attack the US will have little or no dissuasive capabilities left and that means that following such an attack the DPRK will have no incentive left to show any kind of restraint. In sharp contrast, even if the DPRK decides to begin with an artillery barrage across the DMZ, including the Seoul metropolitan area, they will still have the ability to further escalate by either attacking Japan or by setting off a nuclear device. Should that happen there is an extremely high probability that the USA will either have to “declare victory and leave” (a time-honored US military tradition) or begin using numerous tactical nuclear strikes. Tactical nuclear strikes, by the way, have a very limited effectiveness on prepared defensive position in mixed terrain, especially narrow valleys. Besides, targets for such strikes are hard to find. At the end of the day, the last and only option left to the USA is what they always eventually resort to would be to directly and deliberately engage in the mass murder of civilians to “break the enemy’s will to fight” and destroy the “regime support infrastructure” of the enemy’s forces (another time-honored US military tradition stretching back to the Indian wars and which was used during the Korean war and, more recently, in Yugoslavia). Here I want to quote an article by Darien Cavanaugh in War is Boring:
On a per-capita basis, the Korean War was one of the deadliest wars in modern history, especially for the civilian population of North Korea. The scale of the devastation shocked and disgusted the American military personnel who witnessed it, including some who had fought in the most horrific battles of World War II (…). These are staggering numbers, and the death rate during the Korean War was comparable to what occurred in the hardest hit countries of World War II. (…) In fact, by the end of the war, the United States and its allies had dropped more bombs on the Korean Peninsula, the overwhelming majority of them on North Korea, than they had in the entire Pacific Theater of World War II.
“The physical destruction and loss of life on both sides was almost beyond comprehension, but the North suffered the greater damage, due to American saturation bombing and the scorched-earth policy of the retreating U.N. forces,” historian Charles K. Armstrong wrote in an essay for the Asia-Pacific Journal. “The U.S. Air Force estimated that North Korea’s destruction was proportionately greater than that of Japan in the Second World War, where the U.S. had turned 64 major cities to rubble and used the atomic bomb to destroy two others. American planes dropped 635,000 tons of bombs on Korea—that is, essentially on North Korea—including 32,557 tons of napalm, compared to 503,000 tons of bombs dropped in the entire Pacific theatre of World War II.” As Armstrong explains, this resulted in almost unparalleled devastation. “The number of Korean dead, injured or missing by war’s end approached three million, ten percent of the overall population. The majority of those killed were in the North, which had half of the population of the South; although the DPRK does not have official figures, possibly twelve to fifteen percent of the population was killed in the war, a figure close to or surpassing the proportion of Soviet citizens killed in World War II.”
Twelve to fifteen percent of the entire population was murdered by US forces in Korea during the last war (compare these figures to the so-called ‘genocide’ of Srebrenica!). That is what Nikki Haley and the psychopaths in Washington DC are really threatening to do when they speak of taking the situation “in their own hands” or, even better, when Trump threatens to “totally destroy” North Korea. What Trump and his generals forget is that we are not in the 1950s but in 2017 and that while the Korean War and a negligible economic impact on the rest of the planet, a war the middle of Far East Asia today would have huge economic consequences. Furthermore, in the 1950s the total US control over the mass media, at least in the so-called “free world” made it relatively easy to hide out the murderous rampage by US-lead forces, something completely impossible nowadays. The modern reality is that irrespective of the actual military outcome on the ground, any US attack on the DPRK would result is such a massive loss of face for the USA that it would probably mark the end of the US presence in Asia and a massive international financial shock probably resulting in a crash of the currently already fragile US economy. In contrast, China would come out as the big winner and the uncontested Asian superpower.
All the threats coming out of US politicians are nothing more than delusional hot air. A country which has not won a single meaningful war since the war in the Pacific and whose Army is gradually being filled with semi-literate, gender-fluid and often conviction or unemployment avoiding soldiers is in no condition whatsoever to threaten a country with the wide choice of retaliatory options North Korea has. The current barrage of US threats to engage in yet another genocidal war are both illegal under international law and politically counter-productive. The fact is that the USA is unlikely to be able to politically survive a war against the DPRK and that it now has no other option than to either sit down and seriously negotiate with the North Koreans or accept that the DPRK has become an official nuclear power.
A fantastic bit of work. Thank you Saker.
I would say tho if you consider the US has to bring industries and other components of its supply base home in order to prevail in a war where you opponent will cut your supply lines it seems to me that Korea a wasteland, Japan beyond remediation, Russia’s far eastern face burned and China badly injured and limping is a great start.
The battle is for global hegemony.
It is to the death.
The US is trying to have one of the trapped states Korea Russia Japan PRC make a move which can can be spun and tripped out of control as a trigger for a cascade set up to wipe its competitors off the map.
So I think Trump is the fierce king of Daniel 8 who will cause astounding devastation.
War and catastrophe is what happens with the Korea’s.
I disagree with the claim that most of the the command structure of North Korea would be destroyed by USA and I disagree with the notion that the North Korean army would continue to fight if this happened and that it could effectively resist without higher organization.
North Korea has been preparing for war with USA since the 1950s, and I mean really preparing for it, with the backing of Soviet, a super-power and China a regional power then and a super-power now. I imagine they have more underground tunnels then any other country and these tunnels are stocked not only with ammo and weapons but factories and hardware to continue to make more year after year, I imagine they have enough tunnels to hide a large part of their population in and I believe of course that the Korean elite and commanders are top in line to hide in these tunnels, and and if a war begins the North Korean forces will be led from these tunnels..
If there are no tunnels and if the leadership of North Korea is destroyed, as this article suggests, then the war is over, entire armies just don’t fight by themselves without orders and food and logistic chains, certainly not armies consisting of millions of people.. Sure small pockets could and has done so in previous cases but not entire armies. Then we are talking of a guerilla war, and that happens after you already lost.
That said I agree with the conclusion, North Korea could just dig in and fire missiles with nerve gas at Japan and South Korea and shut these countries down, possibility even destroy South Korea as a country, after artillery shells and missiles with nerve gas rain down on Seoul, I doubt after 24% a single person would want to remain there, imagine over 10 million people trying to escape all at once and that is just from the capital, the entire transportation system, government would collapse within 24h. Not to mention that would happens if one of South Koreans 10 nuclear reactors were hit
slight edit to the comment I just submitted at the end of the 3rd paragraph, I meant to write:
There are hundreds of thousands of grams of cesium 137 within the rods stored in each spent fuel pool.
(I wrote “with” the rods stored in each spent fuel pool, sorry)
I get stunned everytime I read your anonymous assumptions as seems reading and failing to understand what was read. (no, I wont go as far as saying that is equal to functional illiteracy, that ´s not so.)
IN no place I saw the saker saying there were no tunnels -cause he knows that even tiny Gaza has lots of them. He was builing a hipothesis just for reasoning.
Further, i am sure that ”Entire” infantry armies can fight to death will little if any food , top officers and logistics whenever they are SURE it is for survival. Because north koreans know since they were school children what was done to them 64 years ago. And who did it.
One of the keys to understanding the USA is that money rules.
So, while the US military might be talking about how ‘oops, we’ve become dependent on overseas supply lines.’, that doesn’t mean that the powers that truly rule the USA agree that everything needs to be brought home.
In the last election, Trump’s America First position and calls for jobs to be brought home was a minority position amongst politicians. There isn’t much of a sign that the Deep State/MIC/Democrats agree with this position.
And, consider the power of companies like Apple, that are highly committed to manufacturing in China, and who aren’t at all likely to support a ‘bring it all home’ strategy. Apple is one of the richest companies in the world, up there with Rex’s Exxon.
There might be a few military types in think tanks who think that everything needs to be brought home in order to prepare for the next world war, but the big, really big, money that rules the USA does not seem to agree.
For a thorough military history of the First Korean War 1950-1953, read:
“This Kind of War” by T.R. Fehrenbach
It is the brilliant history done before Vietnam broke out big. No one paid attention to his warnings about fighting in Asia and using American military strategy, tactics and geopolitics as the way of the war.
As for Saker’s article, the serious American bluster will have to be followed on by a disastrous military adventure. Trump, Haley, McMaster and Maddog Mattis have painted themselves into a cauldron of hegemonic psychosis.
I believe the US will launch 3000 cruise missiles to try to decapitate and cripple the regime, the command structure and to seed the DMZ and whatever passages lead to it with chemical warfare agents, plus use all the tactical nukes they can to do as much damage as possible to the North in the zones above the DMZ. It will be a constant 48- hours of US-SK-Japan aerial attack, with everything fired they can get in over the DMZ and a 30-50 miles zone above it.
This is what lunacy is being planned.
They won’t invade. The South Koreans will have that burden.
This is what seems to be the consensus of what they think a brief, effective attack should be.
Of course, it does not account for the North surviving and fighting.
When you’re the Hegemon, the Exceptional ones, you don’t have to plan for a reaction from the enemy.
They didn’t in 1950. They certainly won’t in 2017-2018.
The US government is a fascist tyranny that has no limits on its hegemonic pathology.
Nothing is present to temper the psychosis.
Russia and China will try to knock down NK missiles from land-based and naval-based systems. They have been practicing for this anti-missile coordination in the region just these last few days.
Both Russia and China have defenses moved up close to their borders with NK.
Both would never let NK’s share of the Korean Peninsula fall into the South’s or US hands.
The Russian Military just sent a 4-person team to Pyongyang to talk sense into NK’s leadership.
No one is looking for a war. The US is looking for a victory.
We all know that the US will create chaos.
And as for CIA or DIA or NSA Intel, the one place the experts all say there is no good Intel of any kind, is North Korea. So, a proper evaluation of the Order of Battle of the NK military and the psychology of the civilian population and civil organizations is non-existent.
It’s all psychotic ramblings from DC. They never learn anything.
Read the book I recommended. You’ll see how 67 years later nothing has been learned by the USA. But 50 million have died because of them around the world.
what is not emphasised enough
…. is that any form of nuclear exchange plus nuclear power plants losing their cooling systems due to electricity failure will melt down in hours, boil over and create a dirty bomb environment where NO ONE CAN GO…..
South Korea Japan will be seriously affected and vast areas will become uninhabitable….
Playing the nuclear use card involves nuclear reactors. Playing the conventional war game will definitly affect nuclear power plants ……
Everybody has to grow up and face and talk openly about these scenarios….. Nuclear is suicide …. period.
We do not cope with nuclear waste today and those stored waste pools will boil over once cooling is affected.
There is NO INTELLIGENT life amongst world representative s of nations. I never ever voted for one to lead me but to represent my views …. Going Nuclear war ….. is insanity .
I agree with Ross that the threat of the destruction of South Korean and Japanese nuclear power plants is being completely ignored in the discussion of a second Korean War. Considering that nuclear power plants contain some of the largest concentrations of radioactivity on the planet, this threat is immense.
As Ross suggests, vast areas of Japan and South Korea would become uninhabitable should the reactors and spent fuel pools at these plants be destroyed. There are more than 40 commercial nuclear reactors on the west coast of Japan; each reactor has a spent fuel pool where the used fuel rods are stored. Each pool contains 10-30 times more cesium 137 than did the Chernobyl reactor.
Half a gram of cesium-137 made into an aerosol and evenly distributed over a square kilometer (or slightly more than a gram distributed in the same way over a square mile) will leave that land uninhabitable for more than a century. (see https://ratical.org/radiation/Fukushima/StevenStarr.html and https://ratical.org/radiation/NuclearExtinction/StevenStarr022815.html ) There are hundreds of thousands of grams of cesium 137 with the rods stored in each spent fuel pool.
Because cesium is highly volatile, most of it becomes a gas when the rods are heated to the point of rupture or ignition. This is why radioactive cesium has been the most widely distributed long-lived fission product from nuclear power plant disasters. The key used in the map of radiation exclusion zones in Chernobyl is based upon how much cesium 137 is in the soil in the contaminated zones; any zone with greater than 40 curies of radiation per square kilometer is uninhabitable. There are 88 curies per gram of cesium 137. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chernobyl_radiation_map_1996.svg
The prevailing winds of Japan blow from west to east. Should dozens of these plants be destroyed, enormous radioactive clouds would blow across the Japanese mainland. Japan would be destroyed.
Sorry, I should have written, “There are hundreds of thousands of grams of cesium 137 *within* the rods stored in each spent fuel pool.”
I would add that the destruction of even one nuclear power plant on the west coast of Japan could easily force the evacuation of Tokyo. The swath of radiation from the destroyed plant would likely cut Japan in half.
Even if spent fuel pools are not directly targeted in a nuclear war or during wartime, they would probably still be destroyed by the long-term loss of off-site electrical power, which is required to run their cooling systems.
In other words, the destruction of the electrical grid in a nuclear war would almost inevitably lead to the failure of spent fuel cooling systems, and the subsequent destruction of the spent fuel they contain. Ruptured or burning fuel rods would release huge amounts of radioactivity, including a radioactive isotope called cesium-137.
Accounts from the time of Fukashima indicated that Tokyo got dosed by radiation from that failure of one nuclear plant located to the North-east of Tokyo.
Japan is a small, densely populated place, and especialy in an island nation, the winds aren’t always constant in one direction.
Japan is already radioactive from Fukishima, they just don’t talk about it anymore.
The U.S. economy is in shambles. What is also overlooked is the fact that U.S. “allies” sk and japan (intentionally not capitalized since neither are bonafide nations, but mere vassal states) are not actual friends, but nations to be used in furtherance of U.S. geopolitical goals. The whole “alliance” thing is predicated upon the U.S. convincing these two vassal states that NK is a dire threat to them, thereby coercing their stooge governments to engage in high-risk war games and purchase U.S. weapon systems while scaring the sk and japanese sheeple. Well, that and the shared illusion of “western” ideals such as freedom and “democracy”. That said, it is likely that the destruction of sk and japan is the real intent of any new Korean “war” because it would take out two cutthroat economic competitors thus giving the U.S. an extended lease on life.
The issue of nuclear power plants in South Korea and Japan is an extremely important one in my opinion.
If I was the North Koreans and planning an all out war with South Korea or Japan, I would striking their nuclear power plants without a doubt. Either using ballistic missiles or suicidal mini-submarines.
I am wondering if the North Koreans possess cruise missiles, which would be great asset to strike strategic targets. Including nuclear facilities.
South Korea has several active nuclear power plants:
So does Japan:
Yes Good reminder re Fulishima Diashi …. still polluting/killing north Pacific and surrounding areas.
Just take down the electricity grid and thats a given in war …. and nuke power plants will melt down – back up systems need people and fuel for generators – whatever…. Staff in these plants will not be hanging around when their “world around them turns to custard” ….. as missiles fall….
It does not take much imagination …. But its really healthy to read above a growing awareness of the dangers of so called peace time nuclear power plants ….. as Steven Starr above has highlighted who is an expert in this world -I value his expert opinion in this …..
Any kind of conventional war on Korea s ….. any kind of conventional weaponry exchange …. any kind may disturb the fragile world of the nuclear reactor in the same way as a dam holding water for hydro electricity ….. one well placed hit and for all those down stream … devastaion…… and this will have regional effects ……
Hello Larchmonter 445,
Thank you for the book recommendation. Would you also please recommend a best book(s) on the Vietnam war?
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for a cruise missiles you need a target setter inside enemies lines
stop to talk a out technic you have no clue
[not necessarily; see https://fas.org/irp/threat/missile/naic/part07.htm for land-attack cruise missile guidance modes. mod. DG]
you have no clue
until today all projectiles are guided
there is no any God whom will do it
As of the Syrian conflict, drones seem to have replaced ground based personnel in many targeting applications.
” Russia and China will try to knock down NK missiles from land-based and naval-based systems. They have been practicing for this anti-missile coordination in the region just these last few days.
Both Russia and China have defenses moved up close to their borders with NK.
Both would never let NK’s share of the Korean Peninsula fall into the South’s or US hands.
The Russian Military just sent a 4-person team to Pyongyang to talk sense into NK’s leadership.”
So russia china will act as pi-mp for usa !
Both will soon face result of their treachery against ally like north korea.
North korea must be preoared to kill as many americans and british as possibke _ they are tge terrorist states.
Excellent. I always tell those who shout “Hurrah” to Trump whenever he talks about N.Korea, ” Why don’t you talk to an American veteran of the Korean War. Ask him if we can win such a war, after we lost it the first time around.” They saw what happened, and I’m sure they don’t want to see it again.
Those cylindrical magazines on AK-74 in the first picture, don’t they shift the C.G. of the rifle more away from the user? Won’t it reduce the accuracy of the assault rifle?
It makes no difference after you’ve trained with it for a year or more.
Those look like grenade launchers, essentially a lightweight hollow tube. They shouldn’t affect the balance much.
Bizon SMGs with helical magazines.
I believe those cylinders are grenade launchers, although they seem to be covering the magazine well.
Thanks for this great analyse Saker !
I am no more worry about a war on Nord Corea since i have red a top US political figure saying something like “as long as you explain me how to solve the equation of few millions South Corean deaths after a first retaliates strike, i won’t consider seriously the military option”.
By the way, i would be very interested to read an update of your old analyse on Iran… because right now i cannot find such strong element that prevent me to be VERY worry about an upcoming “chaos campain” on Iran.
Excellent article, except it hinges on rational decision making. Would it be constructive to do an article or analysis on “what if” scenarios based on their current irrational behaviour? Purely for discussion.
There is a Japanese anime called “Gate: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri” (just Google it) which was produced in 2015 based on a novel of the same name. Now bear with me, if you have any prejudices against anime just hold them for a second. Treat it as caricature for possible events. I believe the entertainment media we consume, take for granted & summarily dismiss may sometimes apply to current scenarios.
There are a few takes regarding the anime’s storyline and its (subtle) intention, but I will only focus only on the strategies of the Empire in that story. The emperor knew he was outmatched in the war and deliberately chose to sacrifice and thus weaken his vassals before the empire falls. If the empire was to fall, it must not leave its vassals strong.
Basically saying, if I’m going down, I will drag you down with me.
Nobody bothers doing the “analysis” of irrational players, simply because there are infinite number of variables. In any analysis you need to start somewhere, with an objective. If one or both players are nuts, where do you start? How do you presume what a crazy guy wants or might do, when he himself has no idea? It’s a bar fight. Unpredictable mess.
There’s a branch of mathematics that deals with complex and unpredictable systems, it’s called Chaos Theory. I’m not a mathematician, nor a professional analyst, just an average layman who happens to remember about it. Would it be reasonable to say that Chaos Theory or elements of it can be applied to form a more coherent or deterministic picture for the what ifs scenarios?
Obviously you would have to define some boundaries and goals. That’s the job for boffins and whomever else with the technical capacity ;)
First few hits on Google on chaos theory in military applications :
In mathematics, Chaos Theory is only relevant for events which are very repetitive. Heart beats is a classical and much-studied field for Chaos Theory. The math of Chaos Theory is not relevant to world events which tend to be single events that barely rhyme in the few cases of repetiton. This theory is not even relevant to the almost uncountable string of post-911 wars, considered as a group.
In politics, Chaos Theory is merely an inaccurate and misleading label for a tactic of destruction and distraction, while tricks are being done to achieve the nasty goals of the chaos-creators.
A distant example is the PNAC-designed (but really the Israeli government’s documents) where all the Muslim neighbors of Israel were planned to be reduced to the Stone Age and not allowed to redevelop. But that’s still not quite Chaos Theory. Naomi Klein’s Shock Doctrine and her eponymous book are related, and Strategy of Tension is even more distantly related.
If one side is rational and the other irrational, and the first side knows that the second is irrational, then there is something the rational side can do.
You assume a WW2 like scenario where the USA remains untouched.
In terms of escalation, in order to burn the Chinese mainland to limp state, or the Russian Far East, the USA would be opening up the pandora’s box. They (the USA) will get burnt in return.
Therefore, the only safe bet is to limit the fighting to DPRK, ROK and maybe Japan. An example today is the war in Syria where each player tries to limit the escalation to the Syrian theater or thereabouts.
Excellent article @Saker. I do not cease being amazed at the school bully tactics being used by the US administration or regime when addressing complex problems such as this. I despair to think that one day we will all be staring at a miscalculation too far and all hell will break loose.
” An example today is the war in Syria where each player tries to limit the escalation to the Syrian theater or thereabouts.”
Uhm… ISIS was spawned everywhere possible, including the Phillipines! T
You are right in linking the Syrian theater to other theaters such as Libya.
Where I beg to differ when it comes to the ISIS in the Philippines is that ISIS does not have a capacity for teleportation. It beats credulity that ISIS used the flashy Toyota hilux trucks to ride down to the Philippines. The ISIS in Philippines sounds like a Hollywood script. These are different fighters, a different cause calling themselves ISIS.
The Syrian theater on the other hand is being managed such that the escalation and miscalculations may be handled locally, especially as the Russians never bought the third party baits but scaled up rationally, denying their adversaries the sort of theater in which they excel.
Comprehensive article, well written and sourced.
We’ve seen military exercises by the americans in rok. The size of these, the force numbers involved, are not the sort needed for a serious war. IE: they are provocations. Unless the u.s. military has been hiding a huge force move to rok, they do not have the forces there currently to conduct a war. Any sort of limited strike upon DPRK by israeloamerica would be considered the opening round of full scale war and acted upon accordingly. As you pointed out at the beginning of your piece with the school yard kids, the bully is bluffing. At least for now.
I’ve mentioned before I think the international policies the trump regime is tasked with pursuing is keeping or increasing the tensions/chaos in regions zionazi, inc. wants to reassert control in, while they rebuild a credible offensive military arm. I don’t believe they would try attacking any who could mount a credible defense and hit them back now. They neither have the population adequately “prepped” or the military ready. I also think these zionazis are not foolish and despite the trump/haley flatulence, they would choose to use covert and other forms of warfare, rather than a regular military assault.
How would I rate the intelligence of kid A? I was at school when kid A picked a fight with kid B. I did not pick sides but all I could say was, I did not like the loud voice of kid A – his tone was harsh and bullying. The end of it, I heard kid A whining, he could have beaten kid B — only he had to run because he saw kid C coming over the line to help kid B.
Little Izzie is always picking fights in the schoolyard because little Izzie can always call on big Uncle $cam. But who can big Uncle $cam call? The bunch of false fawning friends called NATZO? Persuade the North Atlantic Treaty OrganiZation to fight a war in the South Pacific?
nato really means nazi affiliated terrorist organization
Make that “Nazi American Terrorist Organisation”.
They are already in Afghanistan – “fighting”.
America is a nation based and built on genocide.
That is who they are–just look at how many Iraqis the Americans are responsible for murdering– all based on lies about weapons of mass destruction.
So the Americans would have no qualms about genociding North Korea– or anyone else who is an obstacle to American world conquest.
The Americans think that compared to its opponents–NK, China, Russia–it would come out the least damaged, as it is separated by the Pacific Ocean and protected by its strategic nuclear arsenal.
Indeed, the mortal wounding of the Japan and South Korean economies is actually a covert benefit for America in that it would wipe out 2 economic competitors, despite them being American allies/stooges.
Moreover, South korean troops would be awarded the “honor” of being the primary occupation army in the north– not the Americans, who have prefer to have others serve as cannon fodder.
This is all part of the USA’s cynical calculus.
The American agenda is not nuclear disarmament, regime change, or least of all freedom.
It is world domination.
The price of killing a few million people is, to paraphrase Madeline Albright, worth it so as to keep America First.
Contrary to your idea that the USA wouldn’t benefit from war and chaos, it very well does.
For the USA, war is a weapon to spread chaos to geopolitical adversaries.
That is why America is the Empire of Chaos.
na, na the ‘world domination’ project and agenda are real, are the real factors.
But since since time now , each and every step towards that is provingly either to backfire or useless.
When a large empire starts to lose every action it takes in:
a) war, every local war
c) threatens of war and blackmailing
d) economic vulnerabilities
then what does it still relies upon to CONTINUE their agenda?
a) a soft power and MSM domination they
b) the plight of vassal states of Europe and Japan who don´t wanna lose
their welfare and high living standard
c) the short term advantages of the MIC complex and financial cassinos.
Consequence? wars are lost, sanctions turned to be useless and trust is is fading off more and more every week.
The empire, forced by their own nature… is rapidly going to fall from the blade edge they chose to walk on.
No, the USA was not built on genocide. It’s settlers created the most prosperous, peaceful, generous and religious nation on the earth, one that helped a lot of other nations over time. Yes, now, US has become something like the biblical harlot of revelations, creating chaos everywhere. But that has not been the case always, more like since about 1947. We have become corrupted by the sexual revolution and the forces of freemasonry. But there are and especially were, a lot of very good folks in the US. Where are you from?
It was built on genocide. Ever heard of native indians and what happened to them?
Yes – Built on Genocide and slavery
But you see its not genocide because there not real people just red skins, and it wasn’t genocide in north Korea because there just gooks.
And by the way, If Tim bothers to check he will find that the United states was created by Free Masons.
Russia was also built on genocide of the original Siberians and the Far Easterners. And like the Japs Russia had neither repented nor apologised for it. So what is new. The US mass murderers will have their own comeuppance. the Russians? Under Putin, there is still time to repent and make restitution.
We are discussing USA. What Russia has to do with that?
Just the “genocide” bit. Don’t throw stones when living in a glass house. Perhaps it takes one genocider to recognise another genocider. No? As far as genocide is concerned, Russia and the US stands on the same ground. Both are experienced in using genocide for territorial expansion. Just a small reminder so that no Russian should make the mistake of getting on their hubristic self-righteous high horse.
“Simon” The US keeps going on non-stop with genocides, Vietnam, iraq, Lybia, Syria, Afghanistan, should I go on? It is even so cynical by using different connotations to justify its crimes like ” fight for freedom” “fight for peace” “fight for democracy” should I go on?
Russia’s just likely having a pause. She was ever so merrily genociding along with the US during the hey days of the USSR. It made several bad mistakes and is now likely having a temporary recess while preparing for a remix with responsibility to protect Russians and war on terrorism as guiding moral. Its last ‘genocide’ was in Chechnya (a victim of Russian expansionism in the 17th Century) and arguably also Crimea and in the Don-bass of Ukraine. Unless Russia repents for her genocidal past and make restitution to the descendants of the survivors of the Siberian and Far Eastern victims of her genocides and sensibly forswore her “responsibility to protect” (sounds familiar?) the Russian diaspora who are the results of her colonial expansion, I am not convince that Russia’s genocidal past is really “past”.
“I am not convince that Russia’s genocidal past is really “past”” Well I am totally convinced of the US genocidal past, present, and here is the important thing…Future. This lunacy must be stopped! or all of us will be gone.
In my view, Russia would do a sterling service to the human race by just unceremoniously nuking the Euro-trash, if the latter doesn’t stop behaving like total morons.
Nussiminen, IMO I don’t regard any human being, created in God’s image, as trash including the “total morons”. And nuclear weapons are double-edged swords. They cur both ways. But Russia needs to really repent of her genocidal (recent) past before she can be a “normal” country again.
Well thx you, I live there. Do you read what you write sometimes ?
You are either clueless or a troll. Comparing US to Russia when it comes to genocide is plain stupid. Sorry not buying it for a moment.
Melotte 22. Ignoring historical facts is also a form of stupidity. So is resorting to ad hominem attacks.
“Its settlers created the most prosperous, peaceful, generous and religious nation on the earth, one that helped a lot of other nations over time”
Haha, with virtues such as eurosettler driven genocide and ecocide, the Weltanschau of ISIS comes across as all but spotless philanthropy by comparison. Moreover, ISiS and the DPRK — unlike the Exceptional and Indispensable garbage — are agreement-capable and not a threat to the species.
Thanks, everyone, for your insights. With all of this talk about war with North Korea (a country about the size of Indiana, by the way) I cannot help but believe that this is a terrible distraction from a “few” problems we have right here in the States, including (but not limited to) the terrible California fires, the Amtrak derailment in Washington state, the very strange Atlanta Airport shut-down, the near constant environmental assault from the Chemtrail Program, Etc…….The alternative news has some interesting “takes” on all of these events…… when I look at the sheer amount of destruction and wreckage (and grossly under-reported death tolls) already happening in our country I get the strong feeling that we are already at war, and the war is against us. Merry Christmas, America. Is this country under divine judgment, or did it damn itself? Some time ago, I read the following about “The Three Armies Left After A War”—-1. The armies of the dead, and the grieving families left destitute, often with soul death on a massive scale. 2. The armies of the maimed and wounded, many of whom perish soon afterwards by their own hands. 3. A much smaller army, namely, the war profiteers who end up richer than ever. Assuredly, those who profit from war and chaos have already experienced soul death of their own.
If US dare to start this war, one will never know where it will end. If Japan stupid enough to join the fry, then all bets are off.
There are a lot of unfinished business in east asia. If Japan comes in the fight, one will never sure which side ROC will be on. One will never be sure if Chinese will be join in on the Koreas side or not.
If there is a war on the peninsula, I say we kiss Japan good bye. There is a lot of will in east asia to beet Japan to submission. There could be no better opportunity than that.
Of course, Chinese will use it to finish the business on Taiwan as well.
J, the Taiwan issue is related to the Korean conflict. The US ordered the 7th Fleet to blockade Taiwan from Mao’s invasion, using the Korean conflict as the pretext. Mao called the US blockade as an invasion of Chinese territory and factored it into his decision to intervene in Korea. Therefore if conflict breaks out in Korea, Taiwan will be retaken in about 12 hours (my calculation). That will expose the southern flanks of the US-Japan-South Korean terrorist forces. NATO is unlikely to be drawn in as their fleets will be stopped by Chinese control of the South China Sea. But India will likely volunteer to be the Zio-Yanks’ cannon-fodder by attacking in the Himalayas and blockading China’s supply lines and commerce in the Indian Ocean and especially at the entrance of the Straits of Malacca with the help of the other members of the “Quad” – US, Australia and Japan. In the meantime, the US is also fostering the rise of Islamic extremism in Indonesia. These are likely the opening moves of WW3.
The government in Washington has an amazing propensity for needlessly trapping itself in dangerous corners from which it could easily escape if only it used good sense and diplomacy. However, it reliably doubles down on the insanity the worse the situation becomes, making the ultimate resolution extremely problematic, painful and damaging to all concerned. These tendencies are a shared constant whether the holders of power in Washington are Democrats or Republicans, liberals or conservatives. Either the jackasses wielding the levers of power will destroy the planet or come off looking like the inept crazy buffoons that they truly are. It was probably no coincidence that the hapless team always set up to lose to the Harlem Globetrotters was called the Washington Generals. It seems to have been prescient political commentary by Abe Saperstein all those long decades ago.
A very rational analysis: However it excludes possible scenarios involving use of Bioweapons, which I suspect would be the likliest weapon of choice.
lets hope you are wrong… if they have those weapons, those scumbag psychos would use them, if the reward for such an hideous is high enough…
The U.S. is unlikely to know exactly what bioweapons the other side has. The psychotic U.S. elites may be able to innoculate themselves against their own lethal germs, but what about the enemy’s?
If there’s one thing I’m sure about regarding the psychos on high, it’s that they want to live. The uncertainties about which bio horrors the enemy may have will probably keep the military germs inside the labs.
The Washington Post (always neutral) is already gearing up to accuse the DPRK of producing bioweapons (original link included): http://stephenlendman.org/2017/12/inventing-another-phony-north-korean-threat/ .
As NATO doesn´t hesitate to bomb facilities for potable water, bombs storages for medicines in Yemen, and uses depleted uranium in its bombs (the whole area around Fallujah, Iraq is radioactive, and why did so many soldiers afterwards suffer from a mysterious Gulf War syndrome), well, I wouldn´t count it out.
Afterwards, like Madeleine Albright, they will say ´It was worth it´.
I love this article. Very thought provoking, and down to earth. But… to quote the last sentence:
“The fact is that the USA is unlikely to be able to politically survive a war against the DPRK and that it now has no other option than to either sit down and seriously negotiate with the North Koreans or accept that the DPRK has become an official nuclear power.”
You need to lay blame on those who are to blame; not be politically correct. Please finish your article with the addendum:
And to think, if the U.S. hadn’t threatened North Korea in the first place, then the DPRK wouldn’t have felt the need to acquire nuclear weapons to defend themselves from the United States.
Come on. If US can survive the last 16 years joke of a country, they can survive everything.
An expert tells me that it’s clear NK bought the plans for advanced missiles because they skipped a couple of generations.
He also said that they have also built S300 type AA missiles and hypersonic wave skimming antiship missiles with 400-600 km range. This is important and this is totally unreported. Again these weapons skipped a few generations so clearly they bought the plans.
The Norks have standoff weapons and the carriers can’t get close enough to attack.
Carriers don’t have to ‘get close’ in order to attack.
There has been a technology around for decades called “air-to-air refueling.”
Plus, the US has a very large aircraft carrier permanently just off the Korean shore called the USS Japan.
The US does not have that many tankers, and they are hardly the most agile aircraft. These aircraft would certainly be an early target, since without in flight refuelling, long range operations become more difficult, and the risk to the carrier becomes greater.
None of these problems are insuperable, but have no doubt that the loss of an effective flight refuelling capability would certainly be a headache for any force operating a long way from home.
The Chinese have already announced they will side with the DPRK if the USA strikes first.
Any carrier strike will be detected in advance. Especially one that requires aerial refueling.
The USAF and USN aviation would not be able to counter China’s air power, except by the unlikely strategy of vacating all other fronts. It is doubtful, however, that US air bases in Asia be able to accommodate such a large deployment.
China, meanwhile, has a huge numerical advantage in surface to surface missiles and other standoff weapons, so US aircraft would not be safe on carriers, or at Asian air bases.
So, the Chinese comprise a deterrent force in Asia that only a fool would pick a fight with.
McMaster and Trump are probably just bluffing with their threats against the DPRK.
Another excellent and highly accurate article from The Saker. He has confirmed all those things which I knew. First of all, the US has indeed lost all sense of reality. It has sent its Navy to the North Korean coast without too much planning, hoping either for regime change, or for Kim to accept some sort of surrender. Nothing of that happened, as I knew it would not. The people in North Korea cannot forget the war of 1950-1953, while few people in the US even know it was fought.
Secondly, the most dangerous aspect of this situation is that someone in the Washington political establishment or in the US military might come to the conclusion that a conventional war against North Korea is both possible and “winnable”, as it was in Iraq. Wrong. Even the war against Iraq was won because of air superiority, while in North Korea air superiority means nothing, as the country is mountainous and the North Korean military can easily dig in without suffering too many casualties. Comparisons can be made with the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy in 1944, which lasted six months, and which was won with great difficulty, and only after the Germans withdrew some of their forces. The point is that North Korea is paradise for defense, just like Afghanistan is. In the case of North Korea, the US does not have enough boots on the ground to defeat it. The final option is for a nuclear confrontation, which would indeed be insane, and nobody would tolerate it, especially not China and Russia, as both have borders with North Korea.
The point is that the US has brought itself into an almost impossible situation. It dare not attack, and it dare not retreat, because if it does, it would be perceived as a tactical defeat and the US would lose face. The only thing which can save it from this tight corner are negotiations, which have been instigated by Russia, whose delegation is already in North Korea, preparing a peaceful solution for the crisis. Even this fact is humiliating for the US, but it wont have any choice but to accept it.
Finally, one has to ask what the US really wants with North Korea. It wants to move its troops from South Korea right next to Chinese and Russian borders, where it would place its missiles, hoping to bring both countries into a capitulating position. The US was repeating its tactics from Ukraine, where it instigated that coup d’etat in 2014, hoping to draw Ukraine into NATO and place missiles right next to Russian borders. It did not succeed. It will not succeed with North Korea either. Both Russia and China are here to stay as they are, and both will introduce the Eurasian Economic Union, followed by gold backed currencies. After that the US will be in a heap of financial and economic trouble, and this trouble will not be prevented by military means, as it was in the past.
And when remembering that just 5-10% of US Army soldiers and Marines are actually combat ground soldiers what’s the potential of non-conscription armed forces with not much reserves? 10 000…. 20 000 ….30 000…. 40 000? In Vietnam US could never sent more than 40 000 to ground combat while folks are still so fooled about those 500 000 + of years 1967-69. There is no way US forces have capacity to brutal land warfare in N.Korea. Now way.
Perhaps this with the nature of terrain of N.Korea is the main reason why Washington has always been much more “moderate” compared to attitude towards Arabs. Russians, Germans, Hungarians, Romanians, Finns etc have much accurate vision of land warfare nightmare than those sea powers. It will be a slaughterhouse.
Great piece of work Saker! Lovely anecdote about old Swiss army :)
Before WW1 Swiss feld-marshal invited German feld-marshal and they inspected lines of Swiss defence..
Swiss: We have over 400.000 soldiers willing to fight at any moment!
German: But what if Kaiser Wilhem orders our 2.000.000 German soldiers to invade?
Swiss: Then, every Swiss soldier will receive only 5 bullets!
It is little known that Hitler asked the OKW twice what the options were for Germany to invade Switzerland. And twice the OKW dissuaded him from that notion. I am personally absolutely convinced that the Germans could have invaded most of the Swiss plateau, and a good part of the highlands, but the costs would have been horrendous and the yield from such a ‘victory’ very minimal. Besides, the Swiss were trying hard not to piss off the Germans too much and they were mostly compliant with German demands, so that added another reason for not invading. Finally, the Germans were very happy to have a neutral place to talk with the allies (especially in the late stages of the war). SS-Brigadeführer Walter Friedrich Schellenberg, head of the Sicherheitsdienst, did a lot of his secret negotiation in Switzerland though the Swiss intelligence service.
So even though Switzerland was surrounded by Axis powers on all sides, they managed to combine deterrences and compromise in a way which prevented them from being invaded. That is not only what Finland did during the Cold War, by the way. Of course, NATO propaganda made “Finlandization” a dirty word, but in reality it is a very smart and sophisticated policy.
I fully agree with you. It would be totally insane for the USA to go to war with North Korea.
The problem is that the people running the American Deep State, the Military-Industrial-Complex, the real rulers of the country are insane. They believe they can start WWIII, hide out in their bunkers and come out on top, when it’s over and most of the rest of humanity is dead
The same can be said about a strike on Iran. The first targets Iran will bombard, saturation style with ballistic missiles will be ALL of the oil and gas installations of the whole region, going as far as 2000 + km. Refineries, ports, holding facilities, infrastructure, pipelines etc. What this would do is instantly eliminate 40% of the westerm worlds oil and gas supplies. Basically, if the U.S./Israel…Saudis attack Iran, or put her in an impossib;e position, it would be the suicide of the Petrodollar.
Of course, Israel will be struck in many ways too. The Israeli’s know they cant use a nuke/s, because Iran already has some, secretly of course.
Neither North Korea nor Iran will be attacked . Its not going to happen.
But if a regional war does break out in the wider Middle East, the U.S./ Israel will dominate the skies, but as recent history shows, their ground force capabilities are quite pathetic. Think Afghanistan, or Iraq. Total routs, with millions suffereing PTSD and various other aligments. American and Israeli ground forces are just not warriors . Hezbollah, the Houthis, IRGC and regular Iranian Army, heck even the Taliban are true fighters. And if Hezbollah join the fight, which they will, the Syrian Arab Army and the various Iraqi and Syrian militias will too. Israel will be effectivley overrun, and if they think the U.S. is going to save them, they are sadly mistaken.
Boots on the ground is what wins wars. Plus, the U.S./Pentagon is in the middle of re-writting their doctrines and re-tooling their forces. In essense, the U.S. cannot engage in a war until at least 2022, according to the Joints Chief of Staff of the U.S military.
Thank you. Very enlightening comment here. Basically, if we are all wise, there will be a continuing standoff in the MIddle East and the Far East.
Thanks for the article.
There is little or no mention of EMP: Electro Magnetic Pulse and I read recently (sorry I can’t find the piece) that that is what the US fears more than anything.
One or two nuclear weapons set off high above the US would knock out most electronic and electrical equipement in the US, Canada and Mexico sending them back to about 1900.
Of course the same would happen to both the Koreas, China and much of Russia should the mad men in Washington decided to attack the Far East with nuclear weapons.
I don’t know if this is true; could someone help?
@CF Perhaps you are referring to the following article by Burke and Schneider (updated 3/11 2017) who attempt to debunk the EMP threat: http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2015/07/emp_threats_could_an_electro_magnetic_pulse_weapon_wipe_out_the_power_grid.html
In brief, they argue that such attacks on the grid are unlikely to knock out the entire system, as there are plenty of resilient nodes in the system. Similarly they argue that cyber-attacks are are unlikely to knock out the entire grid. But they do argue that the grid is insufficiently protected against the whims of Mother Nature, which they see as the first line of defense.
Kim Jong-in is not insane but most Americans believe that he is because they have an insane collective mentality that keeps going to war over and over again getting the same results. What is sane about a nation that incarcerates more people than any other one, spends more on war than on food for its poor, has more people killed by guns than any other country in the world, constantly lies to its people where they no longer know the truth but more scary is that they don’t care, a country whose pastime is looking at the TV screen and learning nothing, and a country whose education system leaves most of its citizens uneducated. How can an insane country judge the sanity of anyone else is beyond me.
Excellent summary of basic American “culture.”
“What is sane about a nation that incarcerates more people than any other one, spends more on war than on food for its poor, has more people killed by guns than any other country in the world, constantly lies to its people where they no longer know the truth but more scary is that they don’t care, a country whose pastime is looking at the TV screen and learning nothing, and a country whose education system leaves most of its citizens uneducated. How can an insane country judge the sanity of anyone else is beyond me.”
Short answer: To a filthy person, everybody and everything is dirty — Putin, Assad, Kim Jong-Un…
A naval blockade is an act of war under International Law. And, yes, anyone who on his own who makes Jerusalem the sole capital of the Jewish state and no other state is stupid enough to attack N. Korea on his own.
My bet is that the Chinese will not allow for the destruction of the Yalu River Bridge no matter what but who knows just what their Red line will be.
As for the Russians? Well, (can I fantasize?) maybe Putin will make another trip to the UN to make another seminal speech for the Ages.
So here we have Killary in Drag as Trumpus and one more step in the total disillusionment of the American people.
Thanks for an excellent analysis, Saker. I do hope that this article will pop up at some other sites as well, to reach a broader public.
What many technical analysis pass, is with what kind of people they are dealing with. I remember another country, divided in North and South, the North being communistic and bordering China. Somewhere in the sixties-seventies of last century.
Asian nations are different from, say, Arab nations. Add to that, that the DPRK is a very isolated country with a cult-like society.
To get a picture of this society, be invited to read an interview with Suki Kim, an undercover agent who had teached in the DPRK (she was the only one not caught): https://theintercept.com/2017/09/04/undercover-in-north-korea-all-paths-lead-to-catastrophe/
It is hard to predict how a ´reaction´ may be from, well, brainwashed people. They will certainly not be intimidated. ´Shock and awe´ won´t work, the danger being shouting ´exceptionalists´ think it will.
I´m still puzzling whether the DPRK is willing to change Seoul into Aleppo. After all, the people of SK and DPRK are sort of family of each other. When threatened, they will.
I´m also puzzling whether DPRK will bomb Japan, when they clearly stay out of it. If there is a scratch of doubt about this, than I fear the worst. Not only the DPRK, but also China may still have tough nuts to crack with Japan.
Though economies are so intertwined, that I highly doubt whether this might in a way be ´profitable´ for China.
Tough stuff. When the USA attacks, it may turn out into a humiliation and dear consequences for all of us. If they back away, it will pave the path to all countries that might be seen as ´bait´ for the Hegemon, to take the same route as the DPRK (just phone the regular Ukraine contact).
That might not be a comfortable thought as well.
Let the US go to war against the SWORD OF JUSTICE! We have had enough of their threats against Kim. Day after day we hear the same rhetoric: we will destroy this, we will destroy that, just like the Jew language. It will be the last time that the US bully will ever start any other war. The Syrian adventure has shown the limits of the paper tiger and I do not think that kid A will recover from that nuclear war that they are bloodthirsty looking for.
I don’t believe in a war between the Koreas. They have their families across the border and yearn to be united again. It’s their own people, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, nephews, cousins, uncles, aunts, grand daughters and grandsons who live there… DPRK has no problems with the Koreans, their beef is entirely with the Americans.
South Korea has good relations and lots of trade with China now, so there is no reason for the Chinese to back the north in any war against the south. In fact I think they’d do anything in their power to stop that from happening.
Japan on the other hand is hated by everyone. China, Philippines, Korea, Indonesia.. All hate Japan for their untold cruelty to the region for many centuries. China is also looking for a way to cleanse the region from all those US military bases that mushroomed on their borders after WWII. A war with Japan may be just the ticket! In addition, the Japanese have no military of their own to speak of and would be relying 100% on the US for defense..
Of course China would just sit back and let North Korea take the blame for the war while providing all manner of covert support against Japan and the US military bases.
What would happen if a North-Korean nuclear ballistic missile hits a city in the US mainland. Would this reinforce the power of the Empire or would it open people’s eyes ?
Any North Korean attack on US/ROK/Japan or anybody else would be suicidal for the DPRK political elites and I think that they know that. Even the Chinese have said that they would not protect the DPRK if it initiates hostilities. Furthermore, ANY country making first use of a nuclear weapon would become an instant pariah worldwide, including the USA, by the way. I don’t think that the Koreans are that crazy, but if they are, then the USA will retaliate in a truly formidable way and most of the DPRK will be turned into ashes. And neither the Russians nor the Chinese will ever support a country which attacked a US city with a nuke because that would prove that the regime in Pyongyang is *truly* insane, at which point it would even present a threat to Russian and Chinese interests.
Still, the DPRK has no absolutely nothing to gain by becoming a “nuclear ISIS” and I can’t image any circumstances under which they would attack first. But if that ever happens, God forbid, then all bets are off.
There is no scenario that does not include China (and therefore Russia)
When I look at the map of the Korean Peninsular I see Beijing just a short distance away.
China has a deep deep memory of history. Of the colonial powers shoving opium up their noses. Of Japan raping and pillaging ……. if it all turns to cinders then China can send Japan a postcard from Nanking. China fought in the Koran war. They know what went on.
Sun Tzu advises not to fight far away battles.
I am sure American soldiers would defend America with bravery and determination. Just like the North Koreans will defend North Korea. If China enters the fray then the Chinese soldiers will see themselves as defending China.
Not sure how the American soldier will feel fighting and dying in a part of the world they probably did not know about since they probably skipped that class.
Motivation is worth how much high tech?
So ….. that is just some more rational thoughts on the subject.
I do not fear the rational. I fear the irrational.
In my question, I meant a nuclear strike on US mainland AFTER DPRK is attacked, not a preemptive one. I should have specified that. I believe that people in the US will open their eyes only when hit by something as terrible as a nuclear strike. Why would DPRK hit ROK and/or Japan ? These 2 countries are mere colonies of the Empire and are not aggressive. It would be very wrong to do that just because it is feasible.
To think that the USA got into its predicament because bloody stupid trump opened his big fat arrogant mouth, instead of being wise and making any threats in private (even that could be considered foolish), he should have kept quite but trump has also unwittingly or not, terrorised the world too.
If the US thinks it can win militarily, and causes who knows how many deaths in SE Asia, it is definitely going to lose politically, make no mistake about that. It will become the pariah of the world in a way that no other country is, and boycotting US goods will take off.
I used to be very pro-USA, but because of the warmongering USG’s lying, murderous actions over years, its arrogance and causing the financial crisis (together with Britain), I am very far from that and will more than likely never return to it.
What an excellent and informative account of the situation. A US Cabal’s attack on North Korea could well be described as a “Samson Option.”
For years now, the official political establishment has assumed the populace’s awe at the various American objects of horror and engines of destruction, plus an idolizing admiration for the American arts of slaughter.
A “Samson Option,” a very Israeli idea, may also quicken the successful end of their war against the American people of European origin, and European goyms at large.
And who knows, plans may be already drawn to export Hollywood to a new North Korea, with the associated load of degenerative pornography, sodomitic inspiration and unmentionable corruption.
Given that the basic assumptions made by Saker are correct, his assessment of what war on the Korea Peninsula would be like is realistic.
Given the propensity of the United States military since WW II to bomb their enemies into the stone age, his basic assumptions about what the US would do are probably correct.
I have no idea what the tin foil hat-wearers in the Pentagon and the CIA are recommending to President Trump; but, if they are recommending a course of action similar to what Saker envisions, and what Nikki Haley implies, then they are dumber than dirt when it comes to strategic thinking.
The nub of the issue is what America decides to do. In that regard, Saker offers two choices:
“What could the Chinese do if the US decides to attack North Korea? There basic options depend on the nature of the attack:
1. If the US limits itself to a combination of missile and airstrikes and the DPRK retaliates (or not), then the Chinese can simply provide technical, economic and humanitarian aid to the DPRK and denounce the US on a political level.
2. If the USA follow up with a land invasion of some kind or if the DPRK decides to retaliate in a manner which would force the USA into a land invasion of some kind, then the Chinese could not only offer directly military aid, including military personnel, but they could also wait for the chaos to get total in Korea before opening a 2nd front against US forces (including, possibly, Taiwan).”
Option 1. is the best choice for America and all the involved and interested parties.
America could conduct a war of destruction against DPRK, using air-launched and sea-launched long range weapons from outside North Korea’s territorial waters and away from the Korean mainland. America could systematically destroy DPRK’s air defense systems, and most of its nuclear weapons development and missile-launching capabilities. America could, but it shouldn’t, attack the political and civilian infrastructure of DPRK. It would be better to leave all that intact, so that there would remain a political entity with whom it can negotiate, and which can keep the basic elements of their society functioning.
It will take time to accomplish this. During that time China and Russia, and South Korea and Japan, could strive to impress upon the North Koreans the futility of their aspirations to possess long range weapons.
The desired outcome should be something like what Russia did for Syria: North Korea agrees and China guarantees that DPRK will dismantle all facilities used to develop this threatening capability, and will destroy all inventories of the weapons and missiles they have accumulated.
If the DPRK never agrees to these terms, America should continue its air/naval campaign until it is satisfied that all visible assets are destroyed. Then -to use Saker’s words- it can declare victory and go home.
In order to achieve victory beyond the battlefield, America should avoid attacking civilian infrastructure, thus avoiding the humanitarian crisis that would ensue. (For once, I hope that the Air Force generals could resist their tendency to blow up everything that stands erect or moves.) The people of North Korea have already suffered so much on such a scale that only those who suffered under Stalin and Mao could rival. In the aftermath, America could provide substantial financial support to humanitarian aid programs that would be directed and implemented by China and South Korea.
This nearly perfect scenario would be messed up, should North Korea attack Japan and South Korea in response to the attacks launched by US forces outside the Korean Peninsula. Since 1950, every clash between the DPRK and US/ROK has been initiated by the North.
In 1968, the North Koreans ambushed a US Army patrol which was checking fences and obstacles along the DMZ looking for breaches. In response, the USAF flew B-52 bombers and F-4 fighters back and forth just a mile or so north of the DMZ. North Korea got the message.
In 1975, after 4 tunnels were uncovered, which had been dug deep into North Korea, the US threatened to “incinerate” the entire military and leadership structure of North Korea at the very onset of an invasion by the DPRK. North Korea got the message.
So far, America has acted in the manner which Saker so derisively and so appropriately depicted as one kid threatening another with force, but never backing up those threats with action.
The underlying purpose of North Korea’s nuclear and missile development programs has been offensive in nature. The DPRK’s overriding ambition is to conquer the South and seize control of the entire peninsula. The purpose of their long range program is to deter the United States from using its nuclear arsenal to defeat such an invasion. In that respect, it can be described as defensive; but it is a cover for an anticipated invasion of the South.
Therefore, it is much more likely that a conventional war between North and South Korea would be started by an invasion, preceded by artillery bombardment, of the South by the North; and not the other way around.
Once its air defenses are defeated, North Korea could get so frustrated by the steady destruction of its strategic military assets that its leadership could decide to attack with its primary weapons: its artillery and multiple rocket launch systems.
There is no way to minimize this threat to whatever civilian infrastructure lies within range of DPRK artillery; but however bad it would prove to be, it would be finite; and the barages would become less frequent, less destructive and finally end altogether. It would just be a function of the amount of destructive power applied against the artillery, and then the amount of time it would take to complete their destruction.
Far more problematic would the use of poison gas against the frontlines of the ROK army, in order to facilitate the penetration of its defenses by armored and infantry formations of the DPRK; and infiltration behind those front lines by DPRK special forces. North Korean infiltrators have routinely fought to the death rather than accept capture. There is no reason to expect anything different.
Altogether, it would take several weeks -perhaps months- before a North Korean invasion would be wiped out. The losses would be comparable to the Battle of the Bulge in World War II (which, from start to finish, lasted about 2 months). But during that period, the emphasis of US Air and Naval assets would have been diverted from pinpoint bombing of strategic weapons to wholesale destruction of the DPRK on a level similar to what happened in the original Korean war. The ROK/USA forces would certainly advance far enough north (perhaps occupying all of Kaesong province) in order to move the future borders would so that Seoul would be well beyond artillery range.
If you consider how adamant Truman was that the US should not advance beyond the original 38th parallel, -once that line had been regained in 1951- you would realize that conquest and occupation of all of North Korea is not in the cards, even if the DPRK military should be totally defeated. Consider also that the United States treated the 20th parallel in the same manner during the Vietnam War.
I made two errors. These are my corrections.
In 1975, it was the North Koreans who dug tunnels deep into South Korea.
It is the 17th Parallel which separated North and South Vietnam.
Wow, Uncle Sam’s well brain-washed lad wants one more country brought to heel
Guess he feels his Exceptional and Indispensable credentials called into question by the alleged DPRK “insects”, and rightly so. Scratch the surface of a rugged Western “individualist” and marvel at the grovelling sycophant beneath, LOL.
You might want to read about North Korean history prior to the Korean war. Japan occupied in a very cruel colonization effort the whole of Korea. At the end of WW2 the Korean collaborators fled south. These were the USA’s chosen partners who later imposed a dicatorship.
People in South Korea know their history. They will be settling accounts if an open conflict occurs. The US and ROK are not likely to have the whole-hearted support of the local population. As at the end of Mussolini, rope will be in short supply.
Kim Jong Un, his father and grandfather all fought for reunifying Korea free of imperial domination starting already back in 1925. North Korea has been at war almost continuously for a little less than a century. The population knows very well why.
A well written piece that in a concise way reflects on the different scenarios. Unless the pentagon is stupid or deluded or have information we do not have privilege to, they must have come to the same conclusions.
I do think that both China and Russia are deadly serious on this matter, and a unilateral action from the US might end in “God help us all”
North Korea is buffer state for China and we must never forget that fact. There’s not a single doubt that South Korean people know it too. In a weird way North Korea is important for American warmongers too because its role as “demon” makes possible to keep Japan and S.Korea as vassals for Pentagon and CIA.
if the United States attacks first and tries to overthrow North Korea’s government China will stop them.
Notice that China said they will stop the U.S., not that they will TRY to stop them.
I think China can do it. In 1950, a civil war had just ended in China, so they were short of just about everthing, including food and materiel. But even so, the Korean War ended in stalemate. China is immensely stronger now, economically and militarily. I think they would win a second Korean War — even if DPRK did not resist the U.S. as you describe.
Also, the U.S. will damage the North much less this time, then lose. With China’s present A2/AD capabilities, how will the U.S. be able to mount a serious invasion of North Korea?
Excellent article Saker, thank you.
One question issue that you did not address and I’m hoping that you or someone else here can comment on is NK’s anti-ship missile capability. It seems to me that aircraft carriers while visually impressive are a 20th century platform and highly vulnerable to the advanced missile technology that is accessible to countries with modest military budgets – fat slow-moving targets as it were. In spite of the aggressive bellicose posture of the government Americans generally are not war-mongers but are highly propagandized and distracted. Nothing would get their attention quicker than one of their “unsinkable” carriers slipping beneath the waves.
I don’t believe that US carriers need to get within DPRK anti-ship range to strike. I also don’t think that the DPRK has the kind of sensors needed to target US carriers. China, however, is a very different case: I believe that they do have the means to sink US carries (as does Russia).
Thank you for the article saker.
I think the US don´t want a war. Trump wants to starve them out and then – when they are weak – make a deal out of a position of strength.
The art of this deal is to find the right amount of pressure so that you harm NK, but not so much that a war breaks out. Remind yourself when the NK said this is a act of war and the US denied it on the spot.
At the moment China and Russia can´t support NK
– Trump said “Kim theratens us with nuclear weapons thats unacceptable so sanction him”
That is the moral highground, you can´t argue against it without losing face.
So the allies of NK can´t support it at the moment. To change this dynamic of getting weaker NK needs to escalate but this will result in further loss of support (no help for an aggressor).
We now have the comical siutuation thats NK gets weaker because the have nuclear weapons.
The goal in building them was to profit but thats clearly not the case. Surrendering them after all the sacrifices is not possible.
I dont see a win option for NK every move they make goes to a loss for them. Best they can do is make the US lose to.
I define a win for NK as: 1. getting rid of sanctions and a
2. gurantee for regime survival.
The high risk gambling move is to start a war with the goal to have peace negoations fast.
For example fire artillery rounds without explosives into seoul, fire a rocket without explosives into Tokyo.
This would be moves that shows the public the price of war, while not so extrem that they would force a total war reaction. Of course when the reaction to this were a massive cruise missle strike against NK ,Kim would have to make a tough call.
Sun Tzu said in chapter 3, Waging War/Attack by Stratagem:
“6. There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare.
7. It is only one who is thoroughly acquainted with the evils of war that can thoroughly understand the profitable way of carrying it on.”
This is a paradox and should be rejected, yet it is possible, how? Put this into context of the Long War/the 70 year War of the GWB administration and which is ongoing. If there is no profitable way and the Anglozionists are still doing it then what they want is exactly:
“a massive international financial shock probably resulting in a crash of the currently already fragile US economy” (the Saker).
A prosecutor to have a case must fill four criteria: Means, Aim, Possibility, and Confirmed intent.
Aim is the one lacking in Saker’s analysis and it is very simple, the Anglozionists are losing more by the year as other nations and formations are gaining. Equally much they fear us serf descendants that are having the first decades of our Enlightenment period (the equivalent of the Renaissance of the bourgeoisie).
It was two factors that enabled the Enlightenment (1500-1700): the popping up of universities from 12th century onwards meant highest schooling affordable for several times more bourgeoisie than before. Second factor was Gutenbergs printing press from 1465-ish that enabled mass communicated debates among readers (the equivalent of the Athenian square).
It took only some 35 years before they caused a paradigm shift from Middle ages to Renaissance. The equivalents of today is the western 1968 university reform (which caused an enormous wake up and subsequent revolutionary organizing) and the internet.
The ancient feudal elites and their challengers the bankster/mercantilist elites of the world know this because they have lived this. Just like parents see their kids grow and recognize certain stages of maturity the elites now see us serf descendants being 10-20 years away from a new paradigm shift.
The elites fear their survival and will antagonize their antithesis until they get a war, and when it’s hot enough they will A-bomb everything. Eliminating dense population areas worldwide (bar for their refuge in Southern America) is their aim.
The economy? After having emptied Fort Knox and sold off gold to the Chinese, Russians and Indians they will crash it and the market. It’s called “creative destruction”: Rothchild never loses and he’s got Nabibulina buing gold. Silver is the currency of the NWO post cataklysm. Gold was inflated in the 1930’s.
The USA will do what GB did in 1946 and go from physical to subtle force, and they want China to replace them..
There’s just a couple of points…
1) DPRK is not going to nuke Japan because that would result in their being nuked by the US. And if they don’t use nukes, their conventional missiles will be both ineffective at damaging the Japanese economy and a waste that could have been used against US/ROK forces. I don’t see the NK military planners wanting to bother with Japan when they have more important fish to fry if they’re being invaded.
2) China doesn’t need to directly engage the US/SK forces in NK. They can simply pour a few hundred thousand men into NK and set up a defensive line. The US doesn’t want war with China and vice versa. If China intervenes in this manner, the US will be forced to negotiate a new ceasefire and eventual withdrawal back below the current DMZ. I don’t see China opening a second front on Taiwan, either. Too risky or they would have done it by now
3) I don’t believe either NK or the US will use nukes, tactical or strategic, in the initial phase of the war. Only when one side is in serious danger of losing will they resort to that. The minute NK uses nukes, they will be hit by US strategic nukes, regardless of any opprobrium the US.might suffer for doing so. So they won’t do it until they have to. The US is also aware of NK’s Korean War history so they will not use nukes until they have to, because of the bad reaction the world will have. Once one side uses nukes, however, all bets are off.
But I still don’t see NK using nukes anywhere off the Korean peninsula. If you’re so desperate at losing that you’ll resort to nukes, you’ll use them against the forces directly imperiling you, not some far off target that won’t change the military balance regardless of geopolitical concerns and which will simply anger and motivate the invaders to nuke you in return. If you do that, you might as well nuke yourself.
Using a nuke or two on Japan is meaningless. Japan will rebuild. After the US nukes fifty percent of your population and puts the rest in concentration camps, you won’t. Not even Hitler was that crazy.
4) North Korea has six to ten *trillion* dollars in undeveloped mineral resources. *This* is the reason the US will start a war with NK. It’s a land grab, which is something a real estate developer like Trump can understand.
So in my view there will be no negotiation and the US will not accept NK as a nuclear power. Because there’s no profit in that for the US.
Otherwise why bother with all the threats. It’s painfully obvious to a ten-year-old child (“Run out and find me a ten-year-old child! – Groucho Marx) that NK isn’t being swayed by them and won’t be.
Now it could just be Trump being Trump – as childish as a ten-year-old child. But Newt Gingrich, former CIA chief James Woolsey and all these nut cases promoting NK’s “EMP threat” have been trying to get a war started with NK for at least the last decade if not decades. There’s a lot of people who want a war with NK and damn the consequences. The only explanation for that is *money*.
The only reason it hasn’t happened yet is most Presidents are too concerned with the personal consequences of starting a horrific war. “Picking up and throwing a small country against the wall” – as someone said – is one thing. Several million dead, including fifty thousand US casualties in the first 90 days – plus the destruction of one of the US major trading partners and the threat of WWIII with China – is another. Even Bush wasn’t that stupid.
But Trump is.
Of course, it’s always possible that somehow Trump will get the message and back down and negotiate and spin the result as a diplomatic victory. There are a lot of Trump supporters who *still* thing that he has some grand master plan to “Make America Great Again”. Personally I think they’re delusional, just like the Obama supporters (and even detractors) were delusional in thinking he was a “peace President” even after starting four more wars.
But I’m not holding my breath. How much longer can Trump go on with just making empty threats while NK tests another nuke or two and half a dozen more missile tests? At some point, yes, Trump has to fish or cut bait.
I believe he will fish, ‘cuz money.
The living will envy the dead.
In a recent report :
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson swung the door wide open to negotiations with North Korea, saying on Tuesday he is open to talks without preconditions as soon as Pyongyang signals it is ready.
“We’re ready to have the first meeting without precondition,” Tillerson said Tuesday at an event at the Atlantic Council, a think tank in Washington. “Let’s just meet. And we can talk about the weather if you want. We can talk about whether it’s going to be a square table or a round table if that’s what you’re excited about. But can we at least sit down and see each other face to face,” he said.
‘Them’ can’t even say a simple thing without being in a full condescending mode, e.g: “…as soon as Pyongyang signals it is ready. ” And then the same mode continues by offering the following agenda for
discussion: weather and shape of a table.
No. Korean leadership should have immediately publicly accepted this agenda and promising to send their top meteorologist and carpenter.
… yes, those two topic suggestions to start talking really meant there would be no talks.
One might call it … insulting ‘diplomacy’ … US style !
The meaning was lost on the state department anyway as they reiterated that nuclear weapons must be given up before any talks.
Meanwhile the bullying continues and we can only hope the US develops weariness because the world is getting very weary as Gorbachev has just stated.
China, Russia and Iran are ready for a combined defense we would hope, because this nonsense has to stop, and the sooner the better, for the sake of the silk road and everything positive in our world.
What makes you think a strike collapsing the economic/political system is NOT exactly what ‘they’ want?
Perfect Hegelian dialectic… whoops, there is a problem, luckily we have a solution….
We have a solution ….. we just need to find a problem
The stated numbers seem to understate the death toll in North Korea. Instead of 10-15%, it may have been 30% of the entire population.
A recent article at Counterpunch.org by Ted Nance says firebombing alone killed 20% of the North Koreans. I believe this criminal firebombing was entirely unreported in the West in the 64 years since.
Nance quotes US General Curtis LeMay, who ran the firebombing campaign, saying in 1984 that his bombers killed 2 million people, 1950-53. That’s 20% before we start counting any other sort of casualties.
Ted Nance goes on to quote some American academics (but publishing in Sweden) who cut that number down to the 665,000 to 1,400,000 range. General LeMay would have had far more knowledge from his photo-recon experts. Please forgive me if I believe academics from Stanford University might have bent the numbers as a career-saving move, after having dared to even try to assess the victims of US aggression.
Nance’s article was an eye-opener for me.
I assume the 9.7 million North Koreans alive in 1950 is beyond dispute.
I more or less gave up on Counterpunch. After the election of Trump and the rise of libtard insanity, most articles were garbage. But obviously a few gems still get published there.
30% is a staggering percentage. Wikipedia says the Soviet Union had almost 197 million people on the eve of the German invasion, and 29 million deaths means almost 15% of the people died – half the percentage as in North Korea. So North Koreans must be suffering even deeper after-effects.
” At the end of the day, the last and only option left to the USA is what they always eventually resort to would be to directly and deliberately engage in the mass murder of civilians to “break the enemy’s will to fight” and destroy the “regime support infrastructure” of the enemy’s forces (another time-honored US military tradition stretching back to the Indian wars and which was used during the Korean war and, more recently, in Yugoslavia). Here I want to quote an article by Darien Cavanaugh in War is Boring:”
Saker, that’s totally what NATO did in Libya – the very first thing they bombed was the water infrastucture – Gadaffi was using oil line infrastructure to transport water to the far reaches of Libya – he said water was a God given right to all people – and NATO bombed that first.
Thank you for this thorough assessment of US army operational options and capabilities should it follow Haley and Trump on their eschatological road to hell in the PDRK. Thanks also for publishing so many insightful comments on the topic. Great reading. Somehow a majority of the comments follows the main line of The Saker, namely that, rationally, there are ample considerations of both operational, tactical and regional strategic nature that should prevent the Empire from trying to utterly destroy DPRK, including of course the ultimate risk of defeat and extermination of Empire. Even if that would not be an immediate result, the prospects for Japan, RoK and Taiwan would be extremely bleak and ultimately ‘blow back’ on Empire, both by losing its grip on the global financial system and by losing its last veneer of prestige as a civilised nation.
While concurring with the article and most of the comments allow me to bring up some additional considerations that, from a rational point of view, i.e. excluding insanity and eschatological motives, may offer the world some delay for Armageddon.
One is concerned with a recent assessment by Rand Corp (a dedicated Bush-sr and jr; Clinton – Bill and Killary; Obomber institution) of ‘US military capabilities and forces in a dangerous world’. https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1782.html The report finds that ‘U.S. forces today are larger than necessary to fight a single major war, are failing to keep pace with the modernizing forces of great power adversaries, are poorly postured to meet key challenges in Europe and East Asia, and are insufficiently trained and ready to get the most operational utility from many of its active component units.’
The Rand authors notes that DoD is still using Regional War standards for force planning, is unprepared for operational and strategic challenges of global war fare, lacks satisfactory answers to the DPRK challenge (as confirmed in detail by the Saker), will still have to face the threat from the mercenary armies it has created in the Middle East and is poorly postured for ‘responsive and resilient operations’ in theaters of potential conflict.
The key investment areas mentioned by the Rand report should actually be read inversely:
– Poor capacity to deal with advanced air defense arrays
– Poor resiliency of forward land and sea bases
– Poor resilience of space based systems
– Imbalanced prepositioning and forward stationing of assets in theatres
Improvements should be financed by an additional USD 20 to 40 billion for the Defense budget.
Out of respect for the patience of the author and the Saker community I will not indulge in commenting on these recommendations, except to note that the Rand report uses two identical bullets for the first point, so these air defennse system really must be a problem. Further, that the authors still believe in the effectiveness of forward land and sea bases and Army Prepositioned Stocks (APS) stored in caves located in vassal nations. Not exactly the infantry needed in the hills, valleys and mountains of DPRK…
The concept of forward bases was already dismissed around 1850 by von Clausewitz in his seminal work ‘Vom Kriege’. In US military thinking the concept (Fort) stems from the Indian Wars of the 18th and 19th Century. It continues to be applied all over the world as if the entire planet is made unsafe by horse riding Indian warriors. The APS concept is equally useless as the locations of these caves are known and can be easily neutralized. A prime example is the APS system in Norway with equipment stores at Tromsdalen, Frigaard, Bjugn, air equipment stores at airbases Oerland and Vaerness and munitions stocks in Hammernesodden, Hammerkammen and Kalvaa. See Carlton Meyer http://www.g2mil.com/norwayracket.htm
But what is more important is that forward bases and APS stocks constitute some of DoD’s more notorious ‘rackets’, yes financial scams which feed the bellies of a good deal of useless military personnel and contractors.
This bring me on the second consideration why I believe The Donald still needs some time before he joins Haley on the Road to Hell; he has ordered a system wide audit for DoD and all its affiliates, to be carried out by 2600 auditor by 2018. It seems a bit awkward to start a mayor war with all those auditors swarming the offices and camps of DoD. Besides, it seems impossible to fight a major war with a corrupted army.
A third restraining factor which was also mentioned in the article and many comments is of course the absence of proxies, mercenaries and the reliance on 3 most feeble, if not reluctant, vassals, Japan, KoR and Taiwan.
So my guess is that The Donald will not ‘double down’, but ‘back down’ and move on to the next conflict. In fact, he did already by declaring Jeruzalem capital of the Zio-state. What we have seen over the past year is Donald the ‘conflict-hopper’: he started with menacing Iran, briefly stoked fire with a few bombs in Syria, moved 3 carriers to the North East Pacific and then proceeded kissing the Wailing Wall. Soon I expect his arrival in the Baltic.
While the US has the means to destroy to the North Korean state structure and end millions of North Korean lives, on the other hand, a war with North Korea would end American dominance in North Asia and be an “Empire Collapsing” event. See a short fictional piece on a US/North Korea conflict that was written before the recent successful Hwaesong 15 rocket launches… https://dissidentvoice.org/2017/07/the-yasukuni-gambit/
Let me add one technical point to what The Saker has already so ably considered.
GPS doesn’t work so well in mountain valleys either.
For GPS to work, it needs to be able to pick up relatively weak radio signals from multiple satelites. Tree cover in a forest degrades this. And if one is on the floor of a mountain valley, then the amount of the sky one can see is limited, thus the number of GPS satelites that one can see at any given time is also limited.
I know nothing about GPS spoofing technologies, but one would have to assume that they are more effective when a GPS receiver is already having problems finding the required number of GPS satelite signals.
The US military appears to be highly dependent on GPS systems.
A nice analysis of the northeast asia region.
But lets go a bit further. Trump’s administration is also threatening war with Iran. So, one of the assumptions would be that as the US gets involved in a quaqmire of a war on the Korean penisular, what’s going on in the rest of the world?
Does Iran stay obediently quiet against the US-Israeli-Saudi Axis of Evil that is confronting Iran and threatening Iran? Or does Iran see the US getting bogged down in the toughest war the US has fought since its last land war in Asia and decide that now is the time to act?
The US military is highly oil dependent. Its big ships are nuclear powered, but the planes that fly from them are not, and the US Army and Air Force suck down oil products at a prodigious rate. So, what would happen if Iran decided that an American attack on North Korea would be an excellent time to launch some missiles at nearby Saudi-UAE oilfields? What happens if Iran decides that now is the time for it to turn loose a revolt by Saudi Arabia Shiite population?
Washington has engaged in a very aggressive policy towards the entire world since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Which surely means that a lot of countries view the US as a big bully. And when people are faced with a bully, they are always looking for ways to take the bully down. If the US gets involved in a tought asian land war, are the rest of the nations that the US has been bullying going to sit around and just watch? Or will any of them decide that now is the time to try to give the bully in their neighborhood a bloody nose?
If the US attacks North Korea, it likely means that 3 US CVN groups are in that area. Which tends to pull them away from other places. Recently, when the US staged their 3 US CVN show off the Korean coast while Trump was touring Asia, there were no carriers in the Middle East region. Also, would the US keep the same air power that’s currently over Iraq and Syria, or would some of that get transferred off to the Korean conflict? If the wra drags out, how likely is the US likely to draw down its middle east forces?
The US military claims that one of the reasons it has for such massive expenditures of taxpayer money is that it must be able to fight two wars at once. But they’ve never put that to the test. And they seem to have a rather severe problem in that when they fight 1 war at a time, against weaker foes than DPRK, that they tend to lose. So, perhaps the Iranians decide that a Korean war is a good time to give the Saudis a bloody nose.
Or, in terms of assymetrical responses, perhaps Russia decides that a Korean War is a good time to pressure Europe over sanctions? Decide that cutting off the flow of gas in the winter time is a way to apply pressure? Especially if oil prices rise just from increased US military demand and the general atmosphere around a crisis?
An Evil Empire like the one the USA has become tends to make lots of enemies. And if the Empire gets bogged down in an asian land war that will be at best a tought fight for the US, who’s to say that none of those other enemies don’t decide to take advantage of the situation?
I wouldn’t count out a false flag to make it appear North Korea attacked first. What is China’s response in that event?
you just have to remember false flag is targeted for population. Often so they can agree on something they wouldn’t if they have taken time to think of it…
So in that case nothing, China would investigate see if it’s true. They mentioned they would be neutral in that case. So they start as such see what’s what then join if it wasn’t the case…
I doubt Iran will, or at least in there place I wouldn’t.
While it’s true it could be seen as a good time, this whole hypothesis is based upon US taken into a quagmire.
We already seen many time US declare victory packed and leave, they would just do the same. If that allow them to fight in a preferable area they will.
To have the quagmire you looking for it would be that US are in defensive position and cannot leave without huge loss politically/economy etc… But just look at the various articles most of the time is a defensive war proposed.
If you are Iran you can just wait that US is truly down to do this. Even if I doubt they care. They probably just want to not be treated, not subject to sanction and live on. Most they would demand back Golan, reparation for Liban and recognition of a Palestine State and those 3 is already a lot…
What could they realistically ask for more ? Saudia Arabia ? perhaps a sanction. Israel ? suppose if hardcore fanatic ask for total suppression. That would result of most of the word not agreeing. And them becoming the bully they hated..
Now the wait game is not ideal as we all well know that doing this might let the bully win whereas an opening of front on all the bullied state would sure mean the end of it. But it’s risky, especially when that bully is getting old…
Finally while it’s true lot of country doesn’t like US (with reason), it’s not as true for people. Just like Rome they bride few select all over the place that take down their country for personal gain. Even if we know money worth is highly dependent of the authority currently in charge. Bottom of the day a 1M$ people will have a “nice” life. Even if that mean hiring few security guard…
Especially when all new culture depicts honor as stupid, do you prefer being poor, starving or alive but corrupted ?
Only when there is pure hatred, high risk or huge possible loss for family then people choose without a doubt the 1st one..
Worth checking out Tillerson today….says no talks unless North Korea stands down as an agressor………NK says are defensive weapons against usa…..T says NK is needlessly spending on military instead of spending money justly on its poor imprisoned impoverished citizens…..sounds like he is trying to attempt military action on these “humanitarian grounds” excuses.
Quick question. I would to discuss another angle.
We already have seen with various fact that the military wasn’t a best option. Still could be really…
Now I was wondering, since I tough about this surely paid guy in Pentagon did also.
NK main strength come from their hatred develop due to US previous war in peninsula. This hatred is exploited which gave the regime and the stand off we have. Sure it might also be in Russia and China that NK doesn’t have nuclear capacities to maintain their influence over it but that for long / medium term.
Obviously regime change is what will weaken the most NK. Doing so with assassination might do the trick but there is a much simple way. Why doesn’t they promote Korea reunification ?
That may be long but surely that would be harder to counter. How can anyone argue that families should remain separate ? Sure you can but that harder to sell.
Once this is done Southies will influence North. Well the population will be way more diverse, not modeled the same way for 70y or so, less hatred etc…
Finally should I remind anyone that USSR also had nuke. Sure that protect you on the direct military front. But not much on the covert one..
The Wickedest Witch in the West (HRC) gave a well paid speech (secret) to Goldman Saks…in it she said ‘the west does not want a united Korea because the entire country would be run by the South in short time and pose a terrible competition in economic productivity to USA;’ this is paraphrase, and China, of course would not want a united Korea as it would have US missiles and soldiers on China’s border’s by tomorrow. The jest …is talk of a united Korea is a good game, but nobody really wants it. A unified, determined Korea would eat everyone’s lunch.
I was stationed near the DMV early 1960…The Koreans were a pretty hard bunch; just really beat down at that time.
Thank you, Saker.
To what extend are the Patriot, THAAD, AEGIS and what not systems hardened against a NEMP?
Same for the communicative electronics of the American flying marvels B52, B1, B2, and the various F’s ?
I think of a well placed little flash high enough between Hawaii, Guam and Japan over the Pacific and darkness befalleth the apocalyptic riders and their civilian support systems,aka. manufacturing, transportation and communication. Yes, also electricity generation and the cooling of spent fuel rods in their open air tanks.
The Genocide in Srebrenica is not “so called”.
North Korea must not give up its missile programme or nukes because her primary duty is to protect her country from foreign parasites.
Russia and China will be next target of same parasites who are threatening North Korea now.
Giving up defence for a token money is never a good idea.
Look USA is bankrupt legally but nobody dates asks for their money because us has not decreased her defence spending.
Money flows from the barrel of power.
The one thing people forget is that North Korea ,is condition to fight Nuke wars,as it has undeground Bunkers and reportedly ALL its Ciitizens are soldiers,as well.
The USA does not leave,once its sets foot,on a Nation..Germany,Japan and South Korea have demanded many times, that the US troops leave their nations,but to no avail.USA wants wars always as its economy is now dependent on them MORE and the rest of the World Fund its wars,the $ being the Reserve Currency,whihc the US federal reserve goes on printing!.USA’s war rhetoric,is similar to the one it uses elsewhere,like against Saddam Hussein and “the threat posed by him to”, “his Intimidation of”, USA etc.,while it is the USA ,which intimidates the rest of the World.
North Korea has many options.The real reason the USA is in South Korea,is to deny the Chinese the vast swathe of Sea.The USA should allow the North and South to unite,as Korea is the nation,of the North Koreans,as well,and the USA has occupied South Korea.
China and russia must join forces to defend N korea. It is, guards the way into the Baltic, the Arctic Sea. The west is trying to block access into the Arctic, the oil riches that belong to Russia. What’s wrong with Russia, wait until the enemy has major advantage before you decide to fight. Remember the siege of Leningrad 872 days from 8 September 1941 and a million starved to death. What’s wrong with Russia, now is the time to fight.
China and russiA will pay a very heavy price for their betrayal of allies like North Korea.
Their son of betrayal against Iran Iraq syria has been accumulating
Now North Korea betrayal would be the final straw that breaks the camel back for China and russiA.. both are working for angloamerica n interests just to avert Anglos’ attack for a few months.
What the he’ll are China and Russia doing ?
America can test her nukes icbm against spirit of NPT but North Korea can not develop anything remotely capable of deterrancce against threatening nations ?.
Today North Korea, tomorrow Syria and Iran, day after Russia and fourth day will be for China.after that will be India the most stupid of them all.
That is how nations are made 3rd world and never allowed to grow up.
Look at stupid India being excited about America bullying China!
An Asian country being jealous of another Asian country and siding with an outsider anglosaxon oppressor who had enslaved both these countries for two centuries.( much less for China).
In 1971 Bangladesh war usa/UK were pressurising China to attack India to open 2nd front to which China refused !
Very well said. North and South Korea should unite against the USA which caused the country to be split into two. USA should mind its own business and stop warmongering. Kim Jong Un is right to have a nuclear deterrent to protect itself from USA aggression. Mr John Pilgers “FREEDOM NEXT TIME” exposes USA and UK skulduggery. I e Diego Garcia which rightfully belongs to the Chagos Islanders was stolen off them so USA could build its Military base in the Indian Ocean.
well the WHO lists the ROK’s life expectancy is 82.3 and they are ranked at #11 just above Canada at 82.2. The USA with all the wonderful healthcare is ranked at #31 with 79.3 just above Cuba at #32 with 79.1. They list the DPRK at #109 at 70.6 years. Which begs the question why a third world sanctioned dictatorship’s life expectancy is only 9 years .
How many of these countries bombed by the US and sometimes others have been nuclear armed? Korea and China 1950-53 (Korean War)
Lebanon 1983, 1984 (both Lebanese and Syrian targets)
El Salvador 1980s
Iraq 1991 (Persian Gulf War)
Bosnia 1994, 1995
“The USA does not leave,once its sets foot,on a Nation..Germany,Japan and South Korea have demanded many times, that the US troops leave their nations,but to no avail.”
Not so much. US intelligence, and, I suspect, aviation, are still deployed in Germany, but the entire US Army deployment in Germany was either de-commissioned, or re-deployed over the course of the 1990s and the global US War of Terror.
Am not sure about France, or Britain, but the US no longer has ground forces stationed in Germany.
The enemy of North Korea is USAand anglosaxon empire of deceit , not Japan or South Korea. Japan and South Korea are occupied by American soldiers. The Americans hold them hostage and use the Japanese and the South Koreans as human shields. Japan and South Korea declare themselves enemies of North Korea because this is what the hostage-taker (USA) wants the hostages (Japan and South Korea) to state publicly.
Can North Korea set a standard in which the occupied countries such as Japan to name one get a chance to self determine
Interesting reminder, useful for the indeed very real bunch of idiots who think USA has a military option there, but I don’t think that’s wherd this US leadership is headed. Bannon’s interviews gave a strong hint that The crisis room basically shares saker’s analysis.
IMO what Trump seeks isn’t war but having DPRK & China believing that maybe, just maybe he could go there is part of the 101 Trump’s negociation book. And I do think his approach through China is actually smart and already shows more result than what previous ppl did. Russophile views, especially those here, took a hit when he was an honored guest in the Secret City, a tremendous honor that wasn’t offered Putin AFAIK. There goes the idea of a Russian – China axe vs Usa. Truth is China needs US markets ascmuch or more than russian fuel. Hard fact that’s IMO a key factor to any prediction. Trump’s angle is that USA don’t need China as much aaaaand… it’s probably true.
In any case his plan is more about a brand war. His ficus will be to force China to fight for its brand as a candidate for the big league of geopolitics. Every step of the way héll maje sure that China’s restraint is seen as possibly impotence instead. And he’ll sell guns to everyone he can in the area, winning jobs in the mainland. Already started.
So keep in mind that as of now :
– USA made a net gain in $ from the whole thing
– China is treating Trump better than any other leader
– DPRK is facing some of the worst sanctions they ever did with Russia & China actually supporting them
– Chines companies dealing with DPRK are facing us targeted sanction that shoul trigger outrage in Pekin but doesn’t
I don’t think that’s an accident and I think you can expect more of the same in the future. Each new launch from DPRK is and will be used as a way to reinforce US position economically and strategically and that will become clearer and clearer by the day for the DPRK. Trump is painting a narrative where NK folding or not he wins both ways. He does, at least for now. If no one attacks he’s winning, if NK does he’ll make sure China looks bad as long as they don’t act (and they probably can’t). Good news is that there is no chance Trump attacks except symbolically (like in Syria) : that’s the only ways he loses.
A few parts of this analysis are wacky. Specifically:
1. It’s not necessarily still true that China needs the US to buy its goods. Need is the operative verb, and the time when China needed the US market has come and gone. Still important for China, but maybe not vital.. Asian and domestic demand might be enough.
2. China does have the ability to respond militarily to the US. What the Chinese may be lacking is the political will to move from a sure bet long-term to a here-and-now crisis reaction. But if the crisis is externally imposed by the US military, then all bets are off.
3. Trump getting to see a particular little Secret Room is chump change, a gesture that explains nothing.
Analysis is well stated and well-reasoned.
Serious scholarship sees the US Infantry squad as inferior to the US Army rifle squads of 1919. I have read such studies. but they seem to have gone away… Nevertheless I did find this:
I agree … overfed and fat and poorly disciplined mercenaries against the resolute natives in such terrain is suicide.
Anon observes that in a period of revolutionary change that ends the global economic period which began with Westphalia it may be inadequate to assume any party will be bound by logic.
Anon expects disaster. Delusional people do better when they stay home and dream. But these delusional people cannot stay home because their home hates them and is impoverish by them…as Barky said…the pitchforks await.
Thanks for the article comparing the weaponry and equipment of rifle squads from different eras.
It seems to me that the older version of Armalite’s AR-10, which is basically an M-16 bored for the 7.62mm NATO round, would be the best infantry rifle for the range of climate and terrain in which an infantryman can be expected to fight.
Body armor is more burden than it is worth in most cases of combat patrolling and infantry maneuvers except in urban settings.
The M-203 was still experimental in 1975. The earlier M-79 grenade launcher worked very well for its purpose. However it was usually carried slung over the shoulder as an auxiliary weapon for a soldier who also carried an M-16. (Army doctrine called for the grenadier to carry a .45 cal. pistol instead.)
The M-60 machinegun was a wonderful weapon. Platoons would normally carry more than the prescribed two whenever deployed.
Some people I knew from VN would tend to disagree and chose the BAR or even an M14. I would prefer a mauser 8mm circa 1914. Seriously, or a Mosin Nagant…but then I wasn’t there, being a mountain kinna guy.
WSWS wrote today about the NK war…saying this: ” the political crisis could drive Trump to attack North Korea as a means of diverting the immense internal tensions in the United States outward against a foreign foe.”
This is obviously true…
I think it was Pepe Escobar who wrote that it is in Sth Korea’s interest to gain access to the Silk Road infrastructure by a rail corridor through Nth Korea.
It would also be in Nth Korea’s economic interest.
China will not allow the Korean peninsular to be occupied by American forces. I have been watching the ‘shadow play’ of the evolving relationship between China and Sth Korea. A combination of stick and carrot.
I do not think Trump is stupid. I think he plays the role of clown very well.
Tillerson has more than his fair share of the ‘smarts’.
It Sth Korea united with Nth Korea (gaining access to the Silk Road and lots and lots of minerals), and, a united Korea joined with China, Russia …… et al …… then you have an economic powerhouse new order based on win-win
A long long game
Trump is telling the American people that it is costing too much to be the world’s policeman.
China cannot be contained …… far better to trade with China and be part of the new economic order
What benefit is it to America to ‘protect’ Sth Korea, Japan and Taiwan? Those days are gone.
While we think about all this, we are looking in the wrong direction.
Space will be the new frontier this century.
Forward thinkers are building spaceships to gain access to the vast vast vast, unimaginable, wealth ‘out there’.
Do you really think Richard Branson is interested in space tourism? That Elon Musk just likes to build spaceships and blow them up? These guys think so far ahead of us ….. think into this century.
The Rothschild’s of this world will be backing this …..
The ‘thinkers’ in China, Russia, America, Iran, Israel all know this.
Elon Musk talks about the earth being a sanctuary. That our little green and fragile planet is protected by having all heavy industry and mining in space. That is indeed a ‘bright’ future.
Nth Korean issue is just one tiny move in a very long game of Chinese chess, Xiangqi 象棋
Assuming rational actors, the world is in good hands …….the future is in good hands
Are there irrational actors out there? If so, how strong are they? Will they be contained by the rational actors?
For what it is worth (and I am sure many people will say it is worth diddly-squat) I think the rational actors will retain control.
Yes, but –
Consider the rational implications of Jevons’ Theory and we discover that it seems that Rationality is characteristic of One-Shot Event.
Man, industrial man in particular, but mankind itself, is evidently a One-Shot Event, if we follow the Rationality of Jevons et al.
Worse, the arc of history has inflection nodes…and in these nodes even tiny random (non-rational) events or actions can create enormous secondary or even primary effects.
Like what would have happened in 1962 – when LeMay and the fellas were all for attack, and didn’t know that the Soviets had more than 100 nukes ready to go in Cuba…
Or the cruise missiles on Okinawa that came down to launch minus 30 seconds – with guns drawn at the launch center… These, by the way, targeted China and, if memory serves, also Siberian Russia.
People may imagine that they are Rational… Men believe what they want to.
I know better, but of course it would be nice to relax and believe fairytales.
I am sick of the suspense. It wasn’t too bad during the Cuban Missile Crisis, though I was actively involved in Civil Defence in England. No one I knew really believed that nuclear war was immanent and, looking back, part of the reason was assuming that even US leaders were sane, but no longer … not since 9/11, to put a date on from when things started ramping up and “Empire of Chaos” soon became an apt description for the Washington-based global hegemon. Now I feel like saying, “Bring it on, get it over with.”
Of course I don’t want war and millions dead – I want Russia’s Eurasian projects to succeed, including One Belt, One Road – but if the real rulers, such as Rothschild & Co, fear losing everything via a major financial shift, then they are probably crazy enough to use the Samson Option. If this is a plausible scenario, then get it over with.
Great analysis Saker.
It’s pretty clear that the only country that stands any chance of reining in Kim 3.0 is China.
But HOW do we “motivate” Xi to take a more aggressive stance against the nuclear weapons his predecessors permitted the Kim clan to introduce into the peninsula?
IMO, there is only one way, and that is to waive Non-Proliferation Treaty requirements for Japan and/or S. Korea, permitting them to develop their own nuclear deterrence in order to restore the “balance of terror”, while decreasing dependence upon a US nuclear umbrella.
Scary thinking, I know.. But think about it from Bejing’s point of view vis-a-vis their overall agenda in the region.. The LAST thing they want is a nuclear armed Japan becoming a threat to their agenda.
I believe that Xi’s predecessors permitted Kim to acquire nukes in order to force Japan and S. Korea to look to Bejing to protect them from their “mad dog”, believing the US would not risk a nuclear war over the peninsula.. And they were counting on the anti-nuke predilection within Japanese society..
Letting Japan acquire nukes would be just as major an escalation of power against the Chinese agenda (S. China sea.. etc) as their facilitating Kim’s arming with nukes..
It would likely force China’s hand to take a stronger stance against Kim, because now China would be feeliing threatened..
What is clear to me, is that unless China can force Kim to halt his nuclear program, we’re all going to have to get use to a new player in the global nuclear “game”..
Because the conventional military alternatives are just too horrific for any country, especially S. Korea, to contemplate.
Wonderful analysis. Thank you. I might also add that the US does have an excellent pathway forward which would greatly enhance their standing in Asia. They could offer terms of surrender and sign a subsequent peace treaty. This would allow the whole of Asia to breathe a sigh of relief and the American Government (if any part still survived the signing of surrender/peace accords) to be able to go forward, declare bankruptcy and to negotiate a fair and reasonable set of terms with China that would allow America a long (possibly slow) return to liquidity and life as a still-respected, but less dominant power.
Thanks for a very informative article, I just hope our experts, not to mention politicians are as well informed.
You mention the;
But what about the third, 10’s of thousands of young under 30 males from north Africa and near east. Who have been battle hardened, and possibly trained?
If 1 & 2 did happen then 3 would be not long in coming to Europe, repeat the scenario in North America. What you will have is conflict very close up and personal. Possibly the end of organised large scale civilisation as we know it [all with, or without nuclear weapons]
Unfortunately, anytime I discuss the 3 million killed in NK by the U.S. with my American friends, I get the answer along the lines of “but it was North Korea that attacked the South in the first place, and/or the price was worth paying to save the South Koreans from falling in the hands of the communists; just compare the life in NK vs. SK now”. How do I respond to that?
The so called invasion by the North was the outcome of a large number of military provocations and skirmishes, initiated by the rabid anti-communist regime in the south led by the hand-picked US-puppet Lee Myung Bak. At a certain point the army in the North got tired of this behavior, while it also saw the oppression of its people forced to live under occupation in the south, and decided to go all in. If it hadn’t been for the manipulation of truth by the US, and the subsequent UN-resolution in “defense” of the US-occupied South Korea, all of Korea had today been one independent and democratic country. Today the South is still under occupation, a colony of McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, where the suicide rate is highest in the world and where perverted western values of individualism and consumerism is forced upon the people.
For those who have yet not seen the new e-book by Felix Abt – go on, download and read!
Maybe this link is better, for Felix Abts new book: https://independent.academia.edu/AbtF
Saker – it would be very interesting to hear any comments from you about this book.
Putin , lavrov and china are so eager to bwtray north korea in order to please anglianerican enemies that it is disgusting.
Sergei Mikheev believes that North Korea “teaches a lesson to the whole world.”
“This small country, that in fact does not have large and unambiguously reliable allies, has made its stake on hard power and it has showed for the whole world that the Americans also have a limit of strength .
“Kim, get more ICBM and Hydrogen and Neutron bombs otherwise your anglosaxon enemies and freinds like russia and china will destroy your country like iraq syria libya yemen etc.”
Treacherous Russia –
Russian treachery against her allies like north korea ,syrua ,libya, iraq and iran where russia helped anglos to impose sanctions through UNSC.
The syndicate of organized crime called US government, this collection of thugs and racketeers, is unable to stop North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. For DPRk these programs demonstrate the will of a people to maintain its soverenty rather than become another vassal NWO state. For the American gangsters DPRK’s programs represent the raison d’être to maintain Military bases in South Korea, as well as in Guam and Okinawa Japan. But the real reason for the provocations and belicosity of the American reckless cowboys is the so called ” protection” of the “Freedom of Navigation” in the South and East China Sea, as the increased frequency of “accidents” of the US Pacific fleet has demonstrated. In other words China.
11th september 2017.
Russia has betrayed her ally again as was intended by the enenies of russia to show to the world that in any war russia is an unreliable partner and thus must be left alone to fight her war.
Russia is realy isolated because of her folly and her too clever by half tactics to sacrifice her allies to please her enemies.
Not for nothing has russia been attacked so many times from the west
Some interesting points:
The Korean state is 3250 years old.
They had book printing 320 years before Gutenberg.
Luxury jeeps on the streets of Pyongyang suggest the country is not as poor as people say.
Info about and footage of Kim’s pretty, pop-star wife
Russian population centers of Vladivostok and Hassan are a few miles away – if war comes to N. Korea, particularly nuclear war, it will be a disaster for Russia too.
North and South Koreans think of themselves as one nation, one race, and both are fiercely nationalistic and look down on other races. The two countries are much closer emotionally than people in the West realize. Foreigners are enemies in North and South alike.
N. Korea has a complex caste system which is officially supported. It has 51 castes.
N. Korea abandoned Marxism in the 1970s!
Why the energy embargo won’t hurt the North much (they have plenty of coal)
A look inside a typical Korean apartment.
Government decisions are made collectively – it is not an autocracy headed by Kim.
Government and army extremely rational in their behavior.
A very tough, united people prepared to fight for their lives. No 5th column. People trained for nuclear war, not intimidated by it.
N. Korea has diplomatic relations with 161 nations, but not with US.
N. Koreans are ready to fight, and not afraid of war. Impossible to bring this proud people to their knees.
There is no “caste system” in the DPRK. That is just western propaganda.
Please see this piece by Dr Dermot Hudson: http://juche007-anglo-peopleskoreafriendship.blogspot.se/2017/06/refutation-of-false-theory-of-caste.html
I guess the morons in Washington have already forgotten which way the wind blows.
Fukushima dosed (and still is doing) the entire west coast of North America.
The fallout form nuking North Korea, and the likely fallout from North Korea hitting Japan’s or South Korea’s nuclear plants means everyone in North America gets a very heavy dose of nasty isotopes first, before the death cloud circles the entire northern hemisphere. One spent fuel pool lifted into the stratosphere would make Fukushima seem insignificant.
At this point, given the insanity displayed by the US, the rest of the world needs to initiate some ‘regime change’ in the US, as the US is so fond of doing around the world.
Unfortunately, I am pretty sure the lunatics in the Beltway will chose murder/suicide rather than lose face. They certainly appear to be that unhinged.
Not sure how much interest Russia would have in enlisting in an hypothetical conflict in the Koreas.
It also is doubtful that Japan would enlist if the US attacked unilaterally.
Even without Russia enlisting, China has advantages in manpower, military engineering, and air power, which on other powers in the Asian theater can come close to matching.
The Chinese forces would seem to presents a persuasive deterrent to any hypothetical attack on the DPRK.
While their common sense are in doubt, McMaster’s and Trump’s threats against the DPRK are probably bluffs.
Probably it will never be recognized as such, but surely one of the finer moments in diplomacy was VV Putin advising “Don’t corner him.”
I can’t think of anything Putin could have put before Trump more likely to engage his attention and sound like good sense without provoking a need to “stand up to the threat.”
It sounds crafty and manipulative rather than cautious and indecisive.