The world is not watching Korea closely enough. People hardly realize that a major war could break out anytime, and that we’ll be squarely in the middle of it.
South Korea will any day now embark on regular military exercises right next to the North Korean border. North Korea has promised a military response.
They probably won’t do that. But they might. I assume there will be pressure on the Kim family not to look weak as power begins to transition from the Dear Leader to his son, The Little Jerk.
Last month, when North Korea rained missiles down on the same South Korean island where this week’s exercises will take place, the South was restrained from responding by the United States.
This time, South Korea will respond. Part of the reason Washington restrained the South last time was probably that we wanted to be ready in case of an escalation. This time we will be ready.
Militarily, at least. Politically, who knows?
The president will not have the luxury spending months deciding to put 30,000 troops into Afghanistan. He’ll have to react swiftly to an escalating situation. He will have to decide whether to launch the massive response we have ready for North Korea.
I think there is a chance we are going to use any North Korean attack as a pretext to get rid of the regime once and for all. This will be easier done than said. That is, everyone speaks about the North as if it has impressive military capabilities. I doubt they have been feeding their soldiers much more than everyone else in the starving nation.
The risks are great. But the risks of not acting may be greater. Eventually, someone will launch a nuclear weapon that says “Made in Pyongyang” on it. Proliferation is a profitable family business for the Kims.
The prospect of a nuclear weapon smuggled to some bad guys or landing on our West Coast courtesy of North Korea’s improving missiles is intolerable.
Taking out North Korea could cause Iran to fold up its nukes. I doubt it, but it could happen.
We will need to act quickly and overwhelmingly. No hedging, like we are doing in Afghanistan.
President Obama, can you do this?