Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Observations From the Back Row: North Korea

By Rich Kozlovich

On May 23, 2017 George Friedman of Geopolitical Futures posted this article, In North Korea, the US Advertises Its Intentions, saying:
"signs that military action on the Korean Peninsula is increasingly likely" and that the "USS Carl Vinson has been near the peninsula for a few weeks. But now the USS Ronald Reagan, which is based near-theater in Japan, has joined it. The USS Nimitz, which is based in Washington state, is back in port, having recently completed a training exercise, as is the USS Theodore Roosevelt, farther south in San Diego. The U.S. Navy has said that the Roosevelt would deploy again soon, though it neglected to mention a destination. Dispatching three carrier groups is sensible, if not necessary, for military action against North Korea, but it’s not actually clear what role the Navy would play in the mission."
During the Vietnam War on January 23, 1968 North Korea attacked and captured the USS Pueblo a US Navy intelligence gathering ship and hauled it into Wonson harbor.

The U.S. sent a task force with the USS Enterprise to supposedly bring it back, and the admiral in charge wanted to pick and choose his targets.  The problem with N. Korea then was the whole country was a military installation - and that's not improved - and in fact it's worse because the country is full of surface to air missile batteries, meaning - as Friedman notes - "Airstrikes by F-16s alone, however, are a foreboding prospect" and that "Strikes would likely be carried out in part by stealth bombers from Andersen Air Force Base, which is located nearby in Guam."

No one really knows how far the U.S. is willing to go, but there's another big difference between 1968 and now.  China and Russia aren't so keen to help N. Korea and their little nut job dictator.  He's clearly bad for business - and China and Russia are in desperate need of business. 

Friedmen states the "North Koreans are neither ignorant nor psychotic. Strange as it may sound, ignorant psychotics don’t build nuclear weapons and missiles."  Okay, I agree, ignorant psychotics don't build nuclear weapons and missiles, but intelligent psychotics do, and it's clear Kim is intelligent and psychotic! 

At some point the military may take a look at this and realize just how clearly dangerous and psychotic their leader is and take matters in their own hands.  Not the senior leadership - they're too personally invested in Kim.  If it happens it seems to me it will be the younger next tier down who have access to all the information about how terrible conditions in their country and the potential for it becoming worse with Kim in charge and may take action. 

But as the journalist in the movie said - we'll see!


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