No Good Options

Here is a depressingly thorough look at the problem of North Korea. It examines four things the U.S. might do: 1) pre-emption à la Thucydides; 2) smaller-scale military pressure; 3) decapitation of the Kim regime; or 4) more of what we’ve done so far, namely nothing.

Not one of these choices is appealing. It is common these days to imagine that every problem has a solution. Some, however, don’t.

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  1. The problem with NK has always been China. Luckily that may be less of a problem in the near future as China implodes, but the West will probably not exist in anything but third-world form at that time. Costs of reunification might destroy South Korea anyway, so letting North Korea starve itself to death might be the only option.

    Posted June 24, 2017 at 4:10 pm | Permalink
  2. Jacob Silver says

    I’d have to concur with Brett on this score. NK is China’s problem and SK will be soon as well. America has less than a generation left before she demographically implodes and Trump is not capable of changing that trajectory.

    Sending soldiers to NK would be a historic waste of life although I wouldn’t put it past the neocons to try. Southern blood is cheap.

    Posted June 24, 2017 at 7:48 pm | Permalink
  3. bob sykes says

    Every assessment I have read of the options open to the US v.v. North Korea assumes that China and Russia stand aside and do nothing. However, China will intervene and support North Korea militarily just as it did in the first Korean War. It is also probable Russia will intervene, too.

    The assessments also assume that the US can defeat North Korea. That is dubious in the extreme. We would require months to build up our forces, and we would have to strip them from other theaters, such as the Middle East. A preemptive North Korean strike on the South is certain, and likely to succeed. Even if it eventually failed (after months of very heavy fighting), South Korea would be devastated. Japan, too, would suffer serious damage and many civilian casualties.

    The consequences of military action against North Korea are so severe that it both Japan and South Korea would veto any American action.

    Posted June 25, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink
  4. Malcolm says


    We would require months to build up our forces, and we would have to strip them from other theaters, such as the Middle East.

    Here’s a plan: perhaps we could strip them from other theaters, and then NOT invade Korea.

    Posted June 25, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

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