N Korean nuclear strike could cause chaos in US

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by DesktopCommando, Mar 26, 2013.

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  1. Caught sir.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Unless it's very picky about the kinds of atmosphere it hangs around in?
  3. That's a very interesting document and well worth reading in full. Here's a few highlights from it:

    If war were to start, it would likely begin with a US air offensive which would result in North Korean retaliation using conventional, chemical, and possibly nuclear weapons. A full scale invasion of North Korea would likely follow.
    Casualties would be in the hundreds of thousands even without nuclear weapons. The global economy would be malleted due to South Korea's importance in the global supply chain.
    If the US attacked North Korea without South Korea agreeing to it, this would be seen as the US being willing to sacrifice Seoul. This would make it likely that US troops would have to leave Korea as part of the post-war settlement.

    To summarise in general, the author thinks that it would be difficult for the US to conduct war strictly on its own terms. A limited attack on North Korea would cause the North Koreans to escalate, causing the US to escalate in turn to avoid losing face.

    South Korea would be devastated, and the US would be led to invading North Korea, largely using South Korean troops under American command, in an attempt to suppress the North Korean retaliation. In an attempt to preserve their interests, China would invade from the north and end up occupying the main nuclear sites (which are in the northern part of the country).

    North Korea's army would collapse after months, or possibly even weeks, but this would be followed by a long running insurgency. In an attempt to avoid this, the US may attempt to reach a negotiated accommodation with North Korea's elites in order to preserve their interests within a nominally united Korea.

    Ultimately however, the result of the war and its aftermath could result in US troops being squeezed out of a united Korea and US influence in north east Asia seriously diminished.

    The author recommends that the UK not offer unconditional support for the US in any such war and that the UK pay close attention to the interests of South Korea and Japan (the author thinks that their interests diverge sharply from those of the US in this matter).

    The author also thinks that China need to be brought on side in any viable settlement, and that this won't happen if the Chinese think the US are seeking to improve its strategic position in Asia.

    To understand the full extent of the arguments it is necessary to read the full document. The author spent a great deal of time looking at the broader picture rather than playing top trumps in terms of planes and guns. It's well worth reading.
    • Informative Informative x 7
  4. mercurydancer

    mercurydancer LE Book Reviewer

    Great post mate. Thank you. It eloquently explains that a conflict in Korea needs to be avoided. No one gains, but the impact would be huge if it goes hot.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. The sad fact is that open war, rather than the rather prolonged ‘amnesty’ with North Korea, becomes harder to avoid by the day, in the face of North Korea’s increasingly unacceptable behaviour by any standards.

    At some stage, someone, has to say no.

    Ideally it would be a global consensus, and non violently. We do not however live in an ideal world.

    There are a few truisms learned the hard way by most of us as we grow.
    Life is not ‘fair’.
    If it can go wrong, it will.
    Just a couple that may soon apply.

    Criminal instability generally ends up badly, if not checked, or terminated, in time.
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Thanks. Not that I know people who have wargamed such scenarios.... However, the big question in such exercises always is how do you stop Seoul ceasing to exist? Leaving alone the CBRN and just conventional munitions. As is mentioned, is the US prepared to ‘sacrifice Seoul to protect NY?’

    The second big question is how do you stop the WMDs? Be it nuke, CW or BW? Again, the report addresses some of these issues.

    Thirdly, what about the multitude of nuke (and CW/BW) sites? What do you do with them? I believe some you just can't turn off and need people (and time) to maintain or run them down. I note mention is made of two to possibly be occupied by China but there are many.

    Fourthly, DPRK C2. Tubby III. where is he? Who takes over on his demise? What 'promise' do you give that people don't think they'll be up before the Hague? Again, the report hits the nail on the head with the de-Ba’ath’ificatiin programme.

    Fifth, the end game. What is it you want to achieve and how to withdraw, at least back to the 38th parallel? Again, the report addresses some possible scenarios.

    None of my points above addresses the two main ‘opposition’ players in the region ie what China and Russia would do. I know they are mentioned and the possible guarantees they could be given, but as von Moltke says "No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy". I have mentioned ‘secret’ deals on the thread as well.

    Much of what is said in the report has been mentioned a great many times on this and other threads. It is worth reading in full and to be honest I printed it out to read away from the computer and the distractions that brings as I found it interesting and I generally like RUSI products.

    However, for me the report falls down in a couple of areas. I was quite surprised to see the omissions as well based on previous RUSI reports.

    Firstly, it only talks about the UK response if the US does a ‘surprise attack’. I don’t fault the logic of the advice in Chapter IV. I may not agree with all of it, but it fails to mention the possible UK response if the US or allies are struck first. Be it missiles without WMD or even with. The report does mention for example missiles fired at Guam but no UK response to a US strike in those circumstances. A5 (Europe & N America) may not be appropriate but can you really see the UK standing by when its principle ally is attacked?

    The current UK/US relationship in the forces from what I’ve seen is still very strong. I can think of numerous examples where we have asked for assets and they have been provided. The fact that our CH47s rotors cannot fold is a seperate matter. Whether Parliament are made aware of such instances in a vote I don’t know. I assume that it will be (some of the) part of the evidence for their support in any vote.

    Secondly, other than mentioning Russia and the calling of an emergency meeting of the U.N, little attention is paid to what Russia’s actions and response to any possible US assault is. Recently China (and some posters) have been pushing the whole ‘its not all down to China’ route. That Pyongyang would take far more notice of Putin over Xi and has in fact snubbed Xi. Russia would obviously collaborate with China but that’s not to say they should not also be considered to be a major player in the Region. Would they make ‘dash’ for their own ‘buffer zone’? Support DPRK even? They would definitely want to be part of any ‘peace plan.’

    I don’t think Chapter 1 really comes to a conclusion. Maybe it’s me, but the end of ‘strategic patience’ and ‘mutual deterrence’ not seeming to be a possible COA, it doesn’t leave many options. Either wait for sanctions to (if ever) have a material effect, sit back and hope the regime does retain stability (and if it does show signs of instability to support it?). If anything, the final paragraph seems to suggest that the US making a preventative strike ie before ICBMs is the best option? Echoing in fact the last sentence ie ‘now or never’. It certainly seems to surmise that ‘strategic patience’ failed. I personally can’t see the regime being ‘supported’ by the US without implementation of UNSC Resolutions and we’ve seen both sides fail to keep their part of any agreement in the past.

    What war would look like. we all know it would make Granby, Telic and Herrick (for the UK) pale into comparison. In fact it would be on a level of the large scale exercises in Germany but for real and for months. I’ve no reason to doubt any figures and war would lead to a catastrophic loss of life on all sides. I would say that plans for a longer campaign than the report envisages particularly the seeming early collapse of the KPA should be made.

    The report makes a very good point on how Iran (and subsequent self acquiring members of the nuke club) will see any US action and Trumps views on the JCPOA are well known. It may be a U.N. Resolution that the IAEA are already querying and Russia has already set its stall on, but it hasn’t, unlike treaties with Russia, been approved by the Senate. I think this area shows for me how weak the U.N. really is. Some posters seem to believe the NPT should be ripped up and everyone can have what they want irrespective of what internationally recognised terror groups they support and what kind of regimes they represent.

    Obviously, as above, other posters have different views depending on their feelings towards the US, PRC, Russia and the DPRK. Mine may not coincide with theirs but then I’m a Brit and I’m still a very small part of the British Army.

    I agree with the Executive Summary particularly the last point and the views of Japan and RoK. They are the likely receivers of any ‘bad news’ in the first (and subsequent) place(s) and I would hope, not least for Britain’s place in the world after leaving the EU, that we would support militarily and politically their wishes.

    Executive summary below:
    Thanks for bringing the report to our attention.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
  7. Small quake rattles North Korea nuclear testing grounds, not manmade: South Korea
    Not man made according to RoK weather agency. Possibly another aftershock after the last explosion destabilised the testing ground region:
  8. Despite the bluster, at least the short term looks free of something that Bruce Willis needs to save us from.
  9. [​IMG]
    • Funny Funny x 1
  10. Unfortunately the geography cannot be changed.
    Short of evacuating all of SK......and this is not realistic.
    There may come a time when NK have to be stopped with force, and SK will have to be sacrificed.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Absolutely. And also perhaps Japan and/or Taiwan and/or Australia...
  13. As long as China and/or Russia are not threatened, nothing militarily will happen with UN approval.