Can America Avoid a Military Confrontation with North Korea?
Thanks to North Korea, a military confrontation continues to ratchet up in that part of the world. North Korea’s belligerent rhetoric, constant military boasts and threats, as well as the on-going launching of ever more potent ICBM’s seem to be driving an ultimate military confrontation. Let’s look at the situation in detail and assess the likelihood of avoiding a major military operation against North Korea.
What’s the Current Situation that’s Driving the Crisis with North Korea?
The most recent ICBM missile test now shows that the North Koreans might be able to drop a nuclear bomb on San Diego, Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, New York and Boston. The North Korean ICBM missiles might even be able to hit Washington, DC. What is important to our national security is the fact that the North Korean dictator seems intent on threatening us. He appears to be serious.
The latest intelligence shows that North Korea has moved anti-ship cruise missiles onto Wonsan guided missile patrol boat. There is no evidence that they want to de-escalate the military situation. In fact, this action might signal further missile testing plans.
This week North Korea has threatened to teach the U. S. a “severe lesson.” It also said it would not negotiate away its nuclear or missile programs
What Just Happened at the U. N. ?
Last weekend, the United Nations imposed new and harsher sanctions on the North Korean government. The sanctions, if actually carried out, would cost the North Koreans about $1 Billion in trade with its partners (out of about $3 Billion annually). The sanctions deal with mineral resources such as coal and iron, as well as seafood exports and use of North Korean laborers.
Problems with the sanctions include whether or not other countries follow the sanctions, and how quickly they implement any sanctions that are imposed. In the meantime, North Korea continues to threaten the U. S.
What’s Happening from a Military Perspective?
Almost immediately, President Trump sent the USS Carl Vinson carrier strike group into the region. A carrier strike group typically includes about 7,500 personnel, an aircraft carrier with about 70 aircraft, a guided missile cruiser, two guided missile destroyers, and one or more supply ships. Also, tasked to the Korean peninsula was a Trident submarine capable of wielding up to 48 nuclear missiles.
According to one news source, a South Korean news source called Yonhap indicated two other carrier strike groups are being sent to the Korean area as well. These are the USS Ronald Reagan carrier strike group whose current home port is Yokosuka, Japan and the USS Nimitz carrier strike group whose home port is Everett, Washington.
From published reports, Trump is moving military assets into place. Recently, two supersonic B-1B bombers from the U. S. Pacific Air Force Command in Guam made a run to the Korean peninsula along side a South Korean fighter escort. THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) system missiles have been successfully tested at least 15 times as well.
THAAD is a missile defense system capable of defending against both short and medium range hostile missiles up to about 120 miles away and up to about 90 miles high. The cost to deploy and operate one THAAD system is $1 billion.
It appears that the president will pressure the Chinese and Russians to reduce the current threat to the U. S. If it appears America is in imminent danger, an American surprise attack might be deemed absolutely essential to prevent a nuclear bomb from being dropped on a U. S. city.
Trump has promised the threat “will be handled.” Gen. Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, U. S. Pacific Air Forces commander, has been quoted in the press as saying: “If called upon, we are ready to respond with rapid, lethal, and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing.”
Apparently, if diplomacy fails, military plans are available and are being developed further.
For More Information
Coming in January 2018
A new book by Dr. Lameiro on President Trump, the Congressional elections, and key political developments in 2018 and 2019 is planned. Watch for more information.