Monday, June 24, 2013

U.S. should consider striking North Korea – former CIA Chief

I was a discussant on a panel recently when Ambassador Woolsey was speaking and he actually invoked the OpEd written a few years ago by former SECDEF William Perry and current DEPSECDEEF Ashton Carter (written prior to his current position) calling for a pre-emptive strike on north Korea.  My response was twofold.  One I am not smart enough to judge the efficacy of a north Korean EMP strike on the US but (with only slight tongue in cheek) if it gets people concerned and thinking about the "Korean question" then the discussion could be useful.  My real point about a pre-emptive strike was that for us to consider such an action prior to initiation we should ensure that ROK and US military forces on the highest alert, we should initiate a non-combatant evacuation order for US personnel in South Korea, and we must begin deployment of reinforcing US forces to the Peninsula as well as ROK military mobilization because we must be prepared for war in response to the pre-emptive attack.  A pre-emptive attack in north Korea is not a simple operation.  It is not Libya in 1986 nor will it be Kosovo and the Balkans.  There will be much more at stake. It would require suppression of enemy air defenses that could be perceived as not only an attack on the north's nuclear/missile capabilities but as the initiation of a broader ROK/US attack.  Furthermore, an attack on what the north considers vital to its survival would be a direct threat to its survival and the north would likely have but one option: to execute its campaign plan to unify the peninsula.  So if we are going to consider a pre-emptive attack we must prepare for war.

U.S. should consider striking North Korea – former CIA Chief

Preemptive strike plans “ought to be on the agenda for very serious consideration”


LONDON – The U.S. should “seriously consider” a surgical strike to prevent North Korea from further developing its long-range missiles and mounting an electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) attack on America, former CIA director James Woolsey said Sunday.

Talking on a WABC radio show, Woolsey said that policies laid out by former Secretary of Defense William Perry and now-Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter recommending preemptive counter-strikes against North Korean ballistic missile assets “ought to be on the agenda for very serious consideration.”

“Once you can launch a satellite into orbit, any country would be capable, if it had a nuclear weapon, of detonating the nuclear weapon while on the satellite, while the satellite is in orbit and unfortunately that is a rather easy way to create an electromagnetic pulse,” Woolsey said according to a transcription published by WND Politics.

It was not the first time the former CIA director warned of the threat of a potential North Korean EMP attack. In May, Woolsey argued in the Wall Street Journal that Obama should consider preemptive strikes against North Korean missile assets to help avert “catastrophic” EMP attacks.

But although Woolsey argues the risk of a crippling North Korean EMP attack is increasing, other experts disagree that North Korea poses much of a threat in this area.

“Yes, a North Korea nuclear weapon that detonated in space would create an EMP.  But North Korea is far away from being  able to do that,” Mark Fitzpatrick, Director of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, told NK News.
“To posit this as a reason to launch a pre-emptive war against North Korea is balmy.”

“The small satellite that North Korea put into space in December – and failed to stabilize – does not mean that North Korea could put a nuclear weapon into orbit. A much more powerful launcher would be needed, and much, much better electronics. North Korea may be able to do it someday, but there is plenty of time to pursue other options for halting the missile program,” Fitzpatrick added.

While Woolsely warned that an EMP attack could “take out a huge share of the United States’ electricity grid,” others dispute whether or not an EMP attack would ever be able to disrupt electricity grids in the way he suggests.
(Continued at the link below)

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