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Things Trump Is Doing Right
#41
The Cold War approach to communism has traditionally crossed containment with Mutual Assured Destruction. That's been going on since Churchill's Iron Curtain speech. Suddenly no more 'failed policy'? It's time to abandon 'strategic patience'?

It might be that North Korea has the most highly egotistical, dangerous, irrational leader the Communist block has ever had, which is saying something. It might also be that we can actually trump North Korea in having a more egotistical, dangerous, irrational leader.

I've always said, mostly about domestic terror, that it takes two to escalate a spiral of violence. Meanwhile, I've no plans to leave the East Coast just now.
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#42
(04-16-2017, 03:56 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(04-16-2017, 11:54 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(04-16-2017, 10:57 AM)Eric the Green Wrote: It would be dangerous. N Korea and its dictator can send missiles to S Korea and Japan and kill millions if we slap them down. If we try to take out all their missiles, they have hid them well in many locations so this may not be possible.

Mike Morell recommends just making sure to deter them with our threat to obliterate them if they use any nucs.

We need to test our ABM systems - THAAD and the Aegis cruisers - on their missile tests first.  One test may already have happened.

I agree; but we can't depend on them to stop every missile. So I say, provoking the Dear Leader is not a good option.

I hate North Korea and its Dear Leader. But we have to let his corrupt and decrepid state fall of its own weight, as the Soviets did, and meanwhile deter him from launching anything at us or our allies.

We let this nuc state "get away." But we can't let any more get away. That's why the Iran nuclear deal was good and necessary.

North Korea has a decrepit socialist economy, as the Soviet had, yes.  However, for the Soviet Union to collapse, they had to be shown that there was a better way.  That required Gorbachev, Reagan, and Glasnost.  The Kim family has perfected the propaganda needed to prevent the people from finding out about the west and to keep them believing they live in a socialist utopia.  Absent outside action, they are not going to collapse.

What we need to do is offer them a bargain:  they get rid of their nuclear weapons, and Kim gets to keep his little nation.  That will likely require military action.

Far better to take action now, when most of Kim's missiles are blowing up on launch, than to wait until he has missiles that can actually reach their destinations.
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#43
(04-17-2017, 08:50 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: Far better to take action now, when most of Kim's missiles are blowing up on launch, than to wait until he has missiles that can actually reach their destinations.

Right now, he probably can't hit us.  He can likely hit South Korea and Japan.  So, if we go now, it's only (insert racial slurs here) Asians that get clobbered, rather than Americans.  

You've been following Kinser's theory on tribes?  If members of your tribe are OK, what happens to other tribes doesn't matter?  More truth to that than I'd like, especially for those with red values.  America First, Huzzah!

Winston Churchill Wrote:There is only one thing worse than fighting with allies, and that is fighting without them.

Trump's approach may be a new way of optimizing the allies problem.  He can rapidly get rid of a bunch of living allies.

One technicality.  According to one MSM article, we have at least two shots at taking out a Korea to America ICBM.  An Aegis cruiser can take a shot from just off the North Korean coast.  A second shot can be taken from the US west coast.  It is also possible to launch multiple interceptors from each place in case the first in a volley misses.  Intercept missiles are cheaper than cities.
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#44
(04-17-2017, 12:01 PM)X_4AD_84 Wrote: In a way, I want to see an intercept.

The DPRK are where the Russians and Chinese outsource their anti social behavior to.

We can use a determined response to that bad behavior to send a message to the sponsoring states. If we can intercept the DPRK's warheads we can also intercept China's and Russia's.

The US can put Aegis cruisers in range of North Korea's launching zones, and make an intercept while the ICBM is still in boost phase.  North Korea can also only launch a limited number of CONUS targets that are in range, and have a limited number of missiles.  North Korea hasn't achieved MAD yet.

China and Russia can launch from well inland, from well away from the coast, and can thus avoid the relatively easy boost phase Aegis intercepts.  They have the range to hit all of CONUS, and can launch a large enough volley to saturate our defense.  We've got the technology for a Reaganesque Star Wars system, but have not spent enough money on it to void the MAD philosophy.  

The way the budget is heading, the priority seems to be projecting conventional force anywhere in the world rather than to break the MAD stalemate.  We spend a ton on the logistics to land and supply a force anywhere with a sea coast.  I've heard no suggestion that said priority should change.  Meanwhile, the Republican low taxes philosophy and Democratic domestic issues first philosophy would likely make both projecting conventional forces and defending nuclear economically infeasible.
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#45
(04-17-2017, 08:50 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(04-16-2017, 03:56 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(04-16-2017, 11:54 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(04-16-2017, 10:57 AM)Eric the Green Wrote: It would be dangerous. N Korea and its dictator can send missiles to S Korea and Japan and kill millions if we slap them down. If we try to take out all their missiles, they have hid them well in many locations so this may not be possible.

Mike Morell recommends just making sure to deter them with our threat to obliterate them if they use any nucs.

We need to test our ABM systems - THAAD and the Aegis cruisers - on their missile tests first.  One test may already have happened.

I agree; but we can't depend on them to stop every missile. So I say, provoking the Dear Leader is not a good option.

I hate North Korea and its Dear Leader. But we have to let his corrupt and decrepid state fall of its own weight, as the Soviets did, and meanwhile deter him from launching anything at us or our allies.

We let this nuc state "get away." But we can't let any more get away. That's why the Iran nuclear deal was good and necessary.

North Korea has a decrepit socialist economy, as the Soviet had, yes.  However, for the Soviet Union to collapse, they had to be shown that there was a better way.  That required Gorbachev, Reagan, and Glasnost.  The Kim family has perfected the propaganda needed to prevent the people from finding out about the west and to keep them believing they live in a socialist utopia.  Absent outside action, they are not going to collapse.

What we need to do is offer them a bargain:  they get rid of their nuclear weapons, and Kim gets to keep his little nation.  That will likely require military action.

Far better to take action now, when most of Kim's missiles are blowing up on launch, than to wait until he has missiles that can actually reach their destinations.

It is true that the Soviets went through glasnost before they collapsed. It's possible that North Korea could survive for decades until a future Dear Leader with some sanity tries to reform it. But, who knows what could happen. The PBS Frontline doc showed quite a lot of non-cooperation, escape, infiltration and secret defiance going on in NK now. But I don't think military action, even now, is safe for the people of South Korea. Kim has made clear that any attack on them means all-out war against the USA and its allies. And allies (like the French who were attacked by the IS) should be considered "ourselves."

I think South Korea would be wise to make every possible preparation now for an attack on them by Kim. We should be able to enter the minds of the enemy, and realize that their nuclear weapons are meant as protection by the Kim regime against a feared attack by the USA. And of course, Kim needs our saber-rattling, as much as possible by us, to stoke and strengthen his fear-based authority.

Practice in intercepting NK missiles might be risky too, but less so.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#46
(04-17-2017, 11:17 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(04-17-2017, 08:50 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: Far better to take action now, when most of Kim's missiles are blowing up on launch, than to wait until he has missiles that can actually reach their destinations.

Right now, he probably can't hit us.  He can likely hit South Korea and Japan.  So, if we go now, it's only (insert racial slurs here) Asians that get clobbered, rather than Americans.  

You've been following Kinser's theory on tribes?  If members of your tribe are OK, what happens to other tribes doesn't matter?  More truth to that than I'd like, especially for those with red values.  America First, Huzzah!

Right now, Aegis ships and THAAD can still make intercepts.  If we wait for North Korea to develop more sophisticated nuclear weapons, South Korea will eventually lose millions of people instead of thousands.

But hey, given Kinser's theory, I can see why white people who talk about "only Asians that get clobbered" might not care about that.
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#47
(04-17-2017, 02:00 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: We should be able to enter the minds of the enemy, and realize that their nuclear weapons are meant as protection by the Kim regime against a feared attack by the USA.

We already know that.  The problem is, we also know North Korea considers the least provocation to be an attack, as witness their sinking a South Korean ship for no discernible reason.

I wouldn't object to talking to them.  The outcome would have to be that they get rid of their nuclear capability and accept inspections, though.  They could ask for a peace settlement and recognition, but they'd have to accept the Northern Limit Line.  And to keep the pressure on, we'd probably have to be doing something in the meantime, like sinking their submarines.
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#48
(04-17-2017, 07:16 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(04-17-2017, 11:17 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(04-17-2017, 08:50 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: Far better to take action now, when most of Kim's missiles are blowing up on launch, than to wait until he has missiles that can actually reach their destinations.

Right now, he probably can't hit us.  He can likely hit South Korea and Japan.  So, if we go now, it's only (insert racial slurs here) Asians that get clobbered, rather than Americans.  

You've been following Kinser's theory on tribes?  If members of your tribe are OK, what happens to other tribes doesn't matter?  More truth to that than I'd like, especially for those with red values.  America First, Huzzah!

Right now, Aegis ships and THAAD can still make intercepts.  If we wait for North Korea to develop more sophisticated nuclear weapons, South Korea will eventually lose millions of people instead of thousands.

But hey, given Kinser's theory, I can see why white people who talk about "only Asians that get clobbered" might not care about that.

Do you think North Korea and its Dear Leader would launch a nuclear attack against the South, even after what it considers a provocation, knowing that it would mean the certain end to his government and his life?

We should certainly make crystal clear to them that this would be the price.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#49
(04-17-2017, 10:19 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: Right now, Aegis ships and THAAD can still make intercepts.  If we wait for North Korea to develop more sophisticated nuclear weapons, South Korea will eventually lose millions of people instead of thousands.

But hey, given Kinser's theory, I can see why white people who talk about "only Asians that get clobbered" might not care about that.

Do you think North Korea and its Dear Leader would launch a nuclear attack against the South, even after what it considers a provocation, knowing that it would mean the certain end to his government and his life?

We should certainly make crystal clear to them that this would be the price.

1.   Uh, Kinser's right you know.  Tribe und kin are what usually matter wrt loyalties.

2. Wrt "Dear Leader", he's pretty much a sociopath. Sociopaths are quite interesting, really. A lot of folks fall for them, to their collective demise. Sociopaths have the tongues of serpents, the minds of foxen, and the glamor of elites [which they may or may not be ].

3.  Tribes look out for their own [genetics and all].  It fits the Darwinian model.
---Value Added Cool
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#50
(04-17-2017, 11:19 PM)Ragnarök_62 Wrote:
(04-17-2017, 10:19 PM)Eric the Green Wrote: Right now, Aegis ships and THAAD can still make intercepts.  If we wait for North Korea to develop more sophisticated nuclear weapons, South Korea will eventually lose millions of people instead of thousands.

But hey, given Kinser's theory, I can see why white people who talk about "only Asians that get clobbered" might not care about that.

Do you think North Korea and its Dear Leader would launch a nuclear attack against the South, even after what it considers a provocation, knowing that it would mean the certain end to his government and his life?

We should certainly make crystal clear to them that this would be the price.

1.   Uh, Kinser's right you know.  Tribe und kin are what usually matter wrt loyalties.

2. Wrt "Dear Leader", he's pretty much a sociopath. Sociopaths are quite interesting, really. A lot of folks fall for them, to their collective demise. Sociopaths have the tongues of serpents, the minds of foxen, and the glamor of elites [which they may or may not be ].

3.  Tribes look out for their own [genetics and all].  It fits the Darwinian model.

1. Yes, among those still stuck in the ancient, stone-age purple/Mercury vMeme.
http://philosopherswheel.com/planetarydynamics.html

3. Darwinian model is only one model; only partly-correct.

(first two paragraphs in the above quote of me are by Warren Dew)
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#51
(04-17-2017, 10:19 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(04-17-2017, 07:16 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(04-17-2017, 11:17 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(04-17-2017, 08:50 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: Far better to take action now, when most of Kim's missiles are blowing up on launch, than to wait until he has missiles that can actually reach their destinations.

Right now, he probably can't hit us.  He can likely hit South Korea and Japan.  So, if we go now, it's only (insert racial slurs here) Asians that get clobbered, rather than Americans.  

You've been following Kinser's theory on tribes?  If members of your tribe are OK, what happens to other tribes doesn't matter?  More truth to that than I'd like, especially for those with red values.  America First, Huzzah!

Right now, Aegis ships and THAAD can still make intercepts.  If we wait for North Korea to develop more sophisticated nuclear weapons, South Korea will eventually lose millions of people instead of thousands.

But hey, given Kinser's theory, I can see why white people who talk about "only Asians that get clobbered" might not care about that.

Do you think North Korea and its Dear Leader would launch a nuclear attack against the South, even after what it considers a provocation, knowing that it would mean the certain end to his government and his life?

We should certainly make crystal clear to them that this would be the price.

1. Right now, Aegis... + North Korea and its Dear Leader....  - In a 4th turning tribalism reaches its zenith which means that [some foreign power does something provocative ] results in maximum smack down.  Here, I'd agree with Kinser's assessment. IOW, bombs away.

2. I assure you that crystal clear signals will be sent.  IOW, North Korea will be assured that assorted areas will become ashtrays. IMHO, N korea ain't worth it, but the pissy mood assures that the afterglow shall happen.

3. It is for that reason, also, that Assad is facing that self same reaction. The enemy of my enemy is my friend and all that rot.
---Value Added Cool
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#52
(04-17-2017, 10:19 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(04-17-2017, 07:16 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(04-17-2017, 11:17 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(04-17-2017, 08:50 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: Far better to take action now, when most of Kim's missiles are blowing up on launch, than to wait until he has missiles that can actually reach their destinations.

Right now, he probably can't hit us.  He can likely hit South Korea and Japan.  So, if we go now, it's only (insert racial slurs here) Asians that get clobbered, rather than Americans.  

You've been following Kinser's theory on tribes?  If members of your tribe are OK, what happens to other tribes doesn't matter?  More truth to that than I'd like, especially for those with red values.  America First, Huzzah!

Right now, Aegis ships and THAAD can still make intercepts.  If we wait for North Korea to develop more sophisticated nuclear weapons, South Korea will eventually lose millions of people instead of thousands.

But hey, given Kinser's theory, I can see why white people who talk about "only Asians that get clobbered" might not care about that.

Do you think North Korea and its Dear Leader would launch a nuclear attack against the South, even after what it considers a provocation, knowing that it would mean the certain end to his government and his life?

We should certainly make crystal clear to them that this would be the price.

You can't make that clear to him, not five or ten years from now when he has more sophisticated capabilities.

Let's say he nukes the THAAD batteries once he has nuclear cruise missiles, which is maybe a couple years off.  Are you going to destroy him, knowing he'll use launch on warning capabilities to destroy Seoul?  His history suggests that he will do it, gambling that you will not destroy him.

But if we destroy his nuclear capabilities now, leaving his regime in place, and we assume he is rational, he will most assuredly not launch an all out conventional war, because then we would destroy his regime.  He would have to satisfy himself with symbolic retaliation.

I think that's our best choice.
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#53
(04-17-2017, 12:48 PM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(04-17-2017, 12:01 PM)X_4AD_84 Wrote: In a way, I want to see an intercept.

The DPRK are where the Russians and Chinese outsource their anti social behavior to.

We can use a determined response to that bad behavior to send a message to the sponsoring states. If we can intercept the DPRK's warheads we can also intercept China's and Russia's.

The US can put Aegis cruisers in range of North Korea's launching zones, and make an intercept while the ICBM is still in boost phase.  North Korea can also only launch a limited number of CONUS targets that are in range, and have a limited number of missiles.  North Korea hasn't achieved MAD yet.

China and Russia can launch from well inland, from well away from the coast, and can thus avoid the relatively easy boost phase Aegis intercepts.  They have the range to hit all of CONUS, and can launch a large enough volley to saturate our defense.  We've got the technology for a Reaganesque Star Wars system, but have not spent enough money on it to void the MAD philosophy.  

The way the budget is heading, the priority seems to be projecting conventional force anywhere in the world rather than to break the MAD stalemate.  We spend a ton on the logistics to land and supply a force anywhere with a sea coast.  I've heard no suggestion that said priority should change.  Meanwhile, the Republican low taxes philosophy and Democratic domestic issues first philosophy would likely make both projecting conventional forces and defending nuclear economically infeasible.

FWIW, I think the MOAB we just used in Afghanistan was intended as a warning to the DPRK that their massive artillery installations are not all that reliable given sufficient motivation to take them out.  Of course, we won't, but it may be possible to save most of South Korea if push come to shove.

In the end, the Chinese need to decide just how much tension they can tolerate.  They are the DPRK's bread basket and oil supplier.  Turning off the tap is dangerous, but may seem less dangerous than a huge military escalation just next door. 

Note: there are bad options and worse ones.  Trump lacks finesse, so assume this gets handled by others.  If not, expect the worst.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#54
There is a consensus of opinion, based on substantial evidence, that familial dynasties built on raw force decline with each generation taking power.  If we assume that the current incumbent is less solidly supported than his father, then the dynasty may already be shaky.  Unfortunately, the response to loss of control is often more force and military adventurism.  

BHO had it right when he told the Donald that the DPRK is his biggest challenge.  The ideal solution would be collapse followed by ... who knows?  The Chinese want no part of the problem, but they may get it thrust on them, desired or not.  South Korea is obviously most at risk, and they know it.

This powder keg will blow at some point.  Let's hope it's internal so nukes are not involved, though that may be of limited benefit to the South.  I can't see them avoiding some major losses in the best of cases.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#55
(04-18-2017, 10:12 AM)David Horn Wrote: There is a consensus of opinion, based on substantial evidence, that familial dynasties built on raw force decline with each generation taking power.

For a second there, I thought you were talking about the Trump dynasty... Wink
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#56
(04-18-2017, 11:07 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(04-18-2017, 10:12 AM)David Horn Wrote: There is a consensus of opinion, based on substantial evidence, that familial dynasties built on raw force decline with each generation taking power.

For a second there, I thought you were talking about the Trump dynasty...   Wink

H-m-m-m.  Ivanka seems to be pretty well buttoned down.  Donald, on the other hand, is a step down from his Dad for sure.
Intelligence is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom, but they all play well together.
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#57
(04-18-2017, 03:05 PM)David Horn Wrote:
(04-18-2017, 11:07 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(04-18-2017, 10:12 AM)David Horn Wrote: There is a consensus of opinion, based on substantial evidence, that familial dynasties built on raw force decline with each generation taking power.

For a second there, I thought you were talking about the Trump dynasty...   Wink

H-m-m-m.  Ivanka seems to be pretty well buttoned down.  Donald, on the other hand, is a step down from his Dad for sure.

Ivanka has taken herself out of the running for now, for 2024. But if she changes her mind, she's an odds-on favorite for then or later, according to my horoscope score method, with a score of 16-2!

Donald Junior though, forGIT it! (6-16)
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#58
(04-18-2017, 09:32 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(04-17-2017, 10:19 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(04-17-2017, 07:16 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(04-17-2017, 11:17 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote:
(04-17-2017, 08:50 AM)Warren Dew Wrote: Far better to take action now, when most of Kim's missiles are blowing up on launch, than to wait until he has missiles that can actually reach their destinations.

Right now, he probably can't hit us.  He can likely hit South Korea and Japan.  So, if we go now, it's only (insert racial slurs here) Asians that get clobbered, rather than Americans.  

You've been following Kinser's theory on tribes?  If members of your tribe are OK, what happens to other tribes doesn't matter?  More truth to that than I'd like, especially for those with red values.  America First, Huzzah!

Right now, Aegis ships and THAAD can still make intercepts.  If we wait for North Korea to develop more sophisticated nuclear weapons, South Korea will eventually lose millions of people instead of thousands.

But hey, given Kinser's theory, I can see why white people who talk about "only Asians that get clobbered" might not care about that.

Do you think North Korea and its Dear Leader would launch a nuclear attack against the South, even after what it considers a provocation, knowing that it would mean the certain end to his government and his life?

We should certainly make crystal clear to them that this would be the price.

You can't make that clear to him, not five or ten years from now when he has more sophisticated capabilities.

Let's say he nukes the THAAD batteries once he has nuclear cruise missiles, which is maybe a couple years off.  Are you going to destroy him, knowing he'll use launch on warning capabilities to destroy Seoul?  His history suggests that he will do it, gambling that you will not destroy him.

But if we destroy his nuclear capabilities now, leaving his regime in place, and we assume he is rational, he will most assuredly not launch an all out conventional war, because then we would destroy his regime.  He would have to satisfy himself with symbolic retaliation.

I think that's our best choice.

That calculus doesn't seem correct to me. It's too hard to take out all his nuclear capabilities right now. If some remain, after we attack his nucs, he is likely to retaliate by sending a nuc missile to South Korea. Without his nucs, he feels unsafe from USA attack. So take that away, and he will probably go nuts and retaliate, in any way he can. He does know that this will be the end of his regime, when the USA retaliates. But it's a dangerous gamble to make with the lives of thousands or millions of South Koreans. And he may also have the delusion that he can win a war with the USA, as he has stated.

He will never have enough capability, on the other hand, to destroy the US nuclear capability to retaliate against any nuclear attack he may make on the USA.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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#59
(04-18-2017, 03:24 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(04-18-2017, 09:32 AM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(04-17-2017, 10:19 PM)Eric the Green Wrote:
(04-17-2017, 07:16 PM)Warren Dew Wrote:
(04-17-2017, 11:17 AM)Bob Butler 54 Wrote: Right now, he probably can't hit us.  He can likely hit South Korea and Japan.  So, if we go now, it's only (insert racial slurs here) Asians that get clobbered, rather than Americans.  

You've been following Kinser's theory on tribes?  If members of your tribe are OK, what happens to other tribes doesn't matter?  More truth to that than I'd like, especially for those with red values.  America First, Huzzah!

Right now, Aegis ships and THAAD can still make intercepts.  If we wait for North Korea to develop more sophisticated nuclear weapons, South Korea will eventually lose millions of people instead of thousands.

But hey, given Kinser's theory, I can see why white people who talk about "only Asians that get clobbered" might not care about that.

Do you think North Korea and its Dear Leader would launch a nuclear attack against the South, even after what it considers a provocation, knowing that it would mean the certain end to his government and his life?

We should certainly make crystal clear to them that this would be the price.

You can't make that clear to him, not five or ten years from now when he has more sophisticated capabilities.

Let's say he nukes the THAAD batteries once he has nuclear cruise missiles, which is maybe a couple years off.  Are you going to destroy him, knowing he'll use launch on warning capabilities to destroy Seoul?  His history suggests that he will do it, gambling that you will not destroy him.

But if we destroy his nuclear capabilities now, leaving his regime in place, and we assume he is rational, he will most assuredly not launch an all out conventional war, because then we would destroy his regime.  He would have to satisfy himself with symbolic retaliation.

I think that's our best choice.

That calculus doesn't seem correct to me. It's too hard to take out all his nuclear capabilities right now. If some remain, after we attack his nucs, he is likely to retaliate by sending a nuc missile to South Korea. Without his nucs, he feels unsafe from USA attack. So take that away, and he will probably go nuts and retaliate, in any way he can. He does know that this will be the end of his regime, when the USA retaliates. But it's a dangerous gamble to make with the lives of thousands or millions of South Koreans. And he may also have the delusion that he can win a war with the USA, as he has stated.

He will never have enough capability, on the other hand, to destroy the US nuclear capability to retaliate against any nuclear attack he may make on the USA.

The same reasoning applies to his launching a nuke as to his launching all out conventional war:  if he does it, his regime will be destroyed, if he doesn't, he can survive.  I think he's rational enough to see that.

However, we have THAAD as an insurance policy.  There's a good chance that even if he has a couple nukes left and uses them, they'll be destroyed and South Korea will still not lose cities.

I think it's a bigger risk to wait let him get a much larger number of long range nukes that can reach the US.  Then he has a deterrent that lets him launch an all out conventional war while deterring US intervention, which I think he's likely to do once he thinks it can work.  Seoul won't fare any better under the conventional assault he can unleash than it would under a nuke.

There are no fully safe choices here.
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#60
No, but I don't think the USA would fail to help South Korea if it was attacked, even if we thought Kim could nuke us. If he did, of course he would be nuked quickly, and he'd know that too.

We risked Russian nuke attack when we attacked North Vietnam, of course.
"I close my eyes, and I can see a better day" -- Justin Bieber

Keep the spirit alive;
Eric M
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