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Thread: Mattis: War with North Korea would be 'catastrophic'

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Mattis: War with North Korea would be 'catastrophic'

    Mattis: War with North Korea would be 'catastrophic'

    Published August 10, 2017 Fox News

    Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that war with North Korea would be "catastrophic." (AP)

    Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Thursday that war with North Korea would be “catastrophic,” casting a dire tone after President Trump unleashed a string of warnings to the rogue nation.

    "The American effort is diplomatically led, it has diplomatic traction, it is gaining diplomatic results and I want to stay right there right now," Mattis said while speaking with reporters in Mountain View, California.


    "The tragedy of war is well-enough known it doesn't need another characterization beyond the fact that it would be catastrophic," Mattis continued.


    Secretary Mattis’ remarks followed days of escalating threats between North Korea and the U.S. When asked about the United States’ readiness if North Korea were to take action against the U.S. or another country, KNTV reported that Mattis replied: “I don’t tell the enemy in advance what I’m going to do … We’re ready.”


    JAPAN READY TO PROTECT GUAM, DEFENSE MINISTER SAYS


    Mattis pointed out the United Nations Security Council’s unanimous vote last week to characterize North Korea’s statements as a “threat to the world’s community.”


    “How often to do you see France, China, Russia, the U.S. voting unanimously on any issue?” Mattis asked.


    Earlier Thursday, President Trump turned up the heat on North Korea by threatening stronger consequences if the regime were to attack Guam.

    “Let’s see what he does with Guam,” Trump said of North Korea leader Kim Jong Un’s threats to hit the U.S. pacific territory. “He does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody has seen before – what will happen in North Korea.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/world/2017/08...astrophic.html

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    It would be catastrophic for North Korea, the US, and the entire world.

    What is this all about? Are there people who actually think it would be a good idea to start another war? Don't we have enough going already?

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    MW
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    Knocking North Korea in place probably wouldn't take much more effort than you or I would expend crushing an irritating gnat. However, it is the probable involvement of China that poses the real problem. When they call a war with North Korea "catastrophic", I imagine they're considering China's probable involvement in such a conflict. Just my opinion.
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    Even the Most Precise Strike on North Korea Could Prompt Retaliation

    By MICHAEL R. GORDON and ERIC SCHMITT AUG. 10, 2017



    An American A-10 Warthog landed at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, on Thursday. CreditYonhap, via Associated Press

    WASHINGTON — North Korea’s threat on Thursday to test-fire ballistic missiles soon near the American territory of Guam deepened the challenge confronting the Trump administration: how to defang Pyongyang’s missile programs without risking all-out war.

    President Trump has made clear that his goal is to deny North Korea the capability to field a long-range nuclear-tipped missile that could strike the United States.


    And though the Pentagon still hopes for a diplomatic solution, highly classified military options are at the ready, last seriously debated when the Clinton administration pondered pre-emptive action to try to thwart North Korea’s nuclear program.


    Even a limited strike against a North Korean missile on its launching pad or the shooting down of a missile in midair would pose risks that the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, might retaliate, setting off a spiral of escalation that could plunge the Korean Peninsula into war.


    “In the event of a first strike against Kim, even a non-nuclear option, it is highly likely that Kim would retaliate at least conventionally against South Korea,” said James Stavridis, a retired four-star admiral who is now dean of Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. “This almost certainly would create an upward spiral of violence which would be extremely difficult to manage or to mitigate.”


    The Trump administration’s first recourse has been diplomacy. Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson sought to head off North Korea’s missile program this week by suggesting that the United States could open talks with Pyongyang if North Korea would halt its missile tests.

    GRAPHIC


    What Can North Korea Reach With Its Missiles?

    North Korea’s ballistic missile program has recently accelerated faster than expected.

    OPEN GRAPHIC

    On Thursday, however, North Korea raised the stakes by saying that it was considering a plan to test-fire four intermediate-range Hwasong-12 missiles in international waters near Guam, home to American air and naval bases as well as a Thaad antimissile system.

    Mr. Trump hinted broadly later in the day that he has his own military options in mind. “Obviously we’re spending a lot of time looking at, in particular, North Korea,” he told reporters, “and we are preparing for many different alternative events.”


    But few of the military options are straightforward, and some former Pentagon officials involved in war planning for North Korea pointed to the complexities.


    A major consideration would be whether and when to evacuate American and other allied civilians, which is no small feat as Seoul, a city of about 10 million, is within range of North Korea’s rockets and artillery and the North Korean military is also armed with chemical and biological weapons.


    “With all this talk, what I worry about is a serious miscalculation,” said James D. Thurman, a retired Army general who served as the top United States commander in South Korea from 2011 to 2013. “Before we start talking about all these military options, we have to decide what are we going to do with the U.S. citizens over there.”


    He estimated that at least a quarter-million Americans would have to be moved.


    If the United States was prepared to go beyond a limited strike, it could conduct a surprise attack on North Korea’s missile garrison and weapon storage areas, using American aircraft stationed in Guam, in Japan and on aircraft carriers as well as strategic bombers that would be refueled in flight.


    American officials, however, do not have high confidence that the military could find and destroy North Korea’s entire arsenal of long-range missiles and nuclear warheads.

    It would be up to American missile defenses to knock out any that survived and that North Korea might use to attack the United States or its allies.


    How North Korea Managed to Defy Years of Sanctions




    Chinese reluctance, legal loopholes and thousands of laborers sent abroad have sustained Pyongyang’s economy in the face of often-painful restrictions.

    North Korea could also use its artillery, rockets and special operations forces to attack South Korea. To better defend against the threat, the United States could deploy more of its own artillery, counterbattery and reconnaissance aircraft to South Korea and send more air and naval forces to the region. But that would forfeit any element of surprise.

    “I can’t underscore enough how unappealing all the military options are,” said Christine Wormuth, the Pentagon’s top policy official at the end of the Obama administration. “This wouldn’t end well. The U.S. would win, but it would be ugly.”


    Diplomatic efforts are also deeply complicated. Unless China believes the United States is serious about using military options to head off North Korea’s emerging missile threat, it may be difficult to gain the cooperation from Beijing needed to fashion a political solution.


    “I am 100 percent sure from a number of conversations that, as a last resort, he would use military force to deny them the capability to strike the homeland with a nuclear weapon,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, who met privately with Mr. Trump on the issue a month ago.


    “He has convinced me,” Mr. Graham added. “Now it is up to him to convince the Chinese and North Koreans.”


    To prevent nuclear attacks from elsewhere, namely Russia and China, the United States has relied on its potent nuclear arsenal. Some experts say the approach could also work with North Korea — a “least-bad option,” said Jeffrey A. Bader of the Brookings Institution.


    But Mr. Trump has indicated that he does not want to rely on deterrence for a country he sees as bellicose and unpredictable.


    Discouraging the enemy from massive escalation has worked even in the midst of war. During the 1991 Persian Gulf war, the administration of George Bush led an effort to push Iraqi forces out of Kuwait while dissuading Saddam Hussein from employing chemical weapons.

    The Iraqis were warned shortly before the conflict by Secretary of State James A. Baker III that they would pay a heavy price if they used weapons of mass destruction. The Iraqi government interpreted that as meaning that the United States would rush to Baghdad to topple their government.


    The United States could try a similar approach: attacking North Korea’s missiles while warning Mr. Kim that his government would be the next target if he dared to strike back.

    But few analysts are confident he would be restrained.


    Those urging firmer action assert that a military buildup in and around South Korea could give economic sanctions and diplomacy more time to work while providing American negotiators with more leverage.


    Mr. Graham asserted that diplomatic efforts would fail unless the United States made clear that North Korea’s deployment of an intercontinental missile would cross a “red line” and that military options were available if the talks faltered.


    But General Thurman worried that the war of words was fueling tensions and adding to the risk of miscalculation.


    “We are playing right into Kim Jong-un’s hands,” General Thurman said. “That is what he wants. He wants to be on the world scene.”


    “I really would want to tamp down this rhetoric, maintain armistice conditions, keep the force ready and,” he said, “not get the herd spooked.”


    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/10/w...T.nav=top-news
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    I disagree with you guys MW and nntrixie. I may be no war expert, but I'm thinking that if we just bomb North Korea from our warships, hundreds of miles away from North Korea's shores, there really won't be any loss of life, only complete and total destruction of North Korea's war capabilities. I may be wrong, but this is how I see it. And as for China, someone just posted something on here about China saying that they will not interfere if we bomb North Korea. I say we go for it, and get rid of this nuisance once and for all.

    And China makes a lot of money in trade with us. They're not stupid enough to destroy their economy in order to protect a lunatic dictator.

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    MW
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6 Million Dollar Man View Post
    I disagree with you guys MW and nntrixie. I may be no war expert, but I'm thinking that if we just bomb North Korea from our warships, hundreds of miles away from North Korea's shores, there really won't be any loss of life, only complete and total destruction of North Korea's war capabilities. I may be wrong, but this is how I see it. And as for China, someone just posted something on here about China saying that they will not interfere if we bomb North Korea. I say we go for it, and get rid of this nuisance once and for all.

    And China makes a lot of money in trade with us. They're not stupid enough to destroy their economy in order to protect a lunatic dictator.
    Actually, I don't really see where you disagreed with me. China has said they will get involved if we strike first. I never said bombing North Korea will necessarily cost us American lives. What I implied is, a war with China would be catastrophic. A war with North Korea without China involvement would be over very quickly. Like I said, we would crush North Korea with no more effort than it would take you or I to swat an irritating gnat. China is the wildcard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 6 Million Dollar Man View Post
    I disagree with you guys MW and nntrixie. I may be no war expert, but I'm thinking that if we just bomb North Korea from our warships, hundreds of miles away from North Korea's shores, there really won't be any loss of life, only complete and total destruction of North Korea's war capabilities. I may be wrong, but this is how I see it. And as for China, someone just posted something on here about China saying that they will not interfere if we bomb North Korea. I say we go for it, and get rid of this nuisance once and for all.

    And China makes a lot of money in trade with us. They're not stupid enough to destroy their economy in order to protect a lunatic dictator.
    They may not destroy their economy to protect him, but they may if they feel there might be some nuclear weapons used - or that Iran might come to their aid.

    Haven't we heard the speeches, it will all be over in days/weeks? Remember 'Mission Accomplished'? The only mission accomplished there was to get us in a war, that would last years. Of course, I suspect that was the 'mission' of the war profiteers, all along.

    Do we know for sure this man is a threat? Maybe he is a nutjob, but actually, he doesn't sound much worse than some of the macho rhetoric coming out of Washington.

    You see, I haven't forgotten 'we know they have WMD, we know where they are, we know what they are, and 'X; marks the spot'

    OR

    'Do we just sit and wait for the mushroom shaped cloud'.


    Goodness, we were going to wipe out Vietnam in jig time as well, and how about Korea?

    I was just looking at some figures on the Iraq war. There's a lot around, so you have to kinda take you choice or take the middle.

    I'm just thinking if the American people had said a resounding "NO' when all the drum beating began about Irag, there would be around 4,500 Americans still alive, about 900K not wounded. The figures on Iraq civilians is all over the place, but astounding and money figures are from 1.7 trillion up.

    And counting.

    There was an article that stated 77% of the American troops in the initial invasion believed Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11. I do know polls stated 50% of Americans thought he did. Finally, Dick Cheney had to admit Iraq had no involvement.

    There is no such thing as a small war -

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    MW
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    Beezer likes this.

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