Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Some very innovative thinking here by George and Bob. It would not be hard to put together a team (led by George and Bob of course) from the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea to assist the President with themes and messages in 140 characters. There are few other organizations that have as much understanding of the target audience as HRNK.
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Ms. Darden misquoted me slightly (but I am sure it was the editor in order to cut down on words and to use a standard naming convention vice the subtle message I always try to get across). I specifically said "Korean people living in the north" and not "north Korean people." Please consider the difference.
What would happen if Trump went to war with North Korea?
'There is not an intelligence service in the world that can tells us what he will do' AFP
“Now that we possess mighty nuclear power to protect ourselves from US nuclear threat, we will respond without the slightest hesitation to full-out war with full-out war and to nuclear war with our style of nuclear strike, and we will emerge victor in the final battle with the US.”
That is just one of the latest statements from North Korea’s interior ministry as tensions continue to rise over its continued missile tests and nuclear weapons programme. while today the ruling Workers' party newspaper said the country's forces were "combat-read to sink a US nuclear powered aircraft carrier with a single strike". The editorial further likened USS Carl Vinson to a "gross animal".
From sending new inter-continental ballistic missiles rolling through Pyongyang in a huge parade to threatening an “annihilating strike” on its American enemies, there’s little sign of Kim Jong-un’s government responding to international pressure.
Donald Trump has attempted to strike a tough tone, threatening to “properly deal” with North Korea if China is unable to rein in its ally and sending what he described as an “armada” of warships to the region.
His orders to destroy a cave system used by Isis militants in Afghanistan using the “mother of all bombs” – which had never before been deployed – and attack a government airbase in Syria were seen as warning signals to Pyongyang.
But the attacks have raised questions over whether the President would be prepared to take the same step in North Korea and risk all-out nuclear war.
David S Maxwell, a retired US Army special forces colonel who served in Korea and Japan, said an even more powerful bomb known as the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (Mop) had been developed for American forces with North Korea’s underground facilities in mind.
“There are many targets in the world buried deeply underground and the Mop was developed for that,” he told The Independent.
“But I think you have to ask the question: Can a military action against North Korea not result in a catastrophic response by the North?”
Mr Maxwell, who is now the associate director at the Centre for Security Studies at Georgetown University, warned that if Pyongyang felt the existence of its regime was threatened it could launch a nuclear attack.
“They would not win a war with South Korea and the US, but they might believe that’s their only option,” he added.
“Even if it’s a pre-emptive strike to take out missile and nuclear capabilities, North Korea may feel it has to respond… this is the dilemma that strategists and policy makers.”
The decorated former Special Operations Command Korea policy director warned that even an isolated air strike could trigger a “catastrophic response”, necessitating the evacuation of large parts of South Korea and deployment of American forces in preparation of a ground war.
Dr John Nilsson-Wright, a senior research fellow in the Asia programme at Chatham House, believes the probability of military intervention by the US is “very low”.
“The risk of provoking a conventional conflict or worse with huge casualties in South Korea militates against such a course of action,” he told The Independent.
“Washington cannot risk alienating Seoul and Tokyo, and Trump himself appears more interested in using the bully pulpit of calculated ambiguity and rhetorical provocation than any serious commitment to full blown military action.”
Mr Trump dialled down his rhetoric on Friday, calling China the “economic lifeline to North Korea” after discussing the issue with Xi Jinping.
“While nothing is easy, if they want to solve the North Korean problem, they will,” the President added.
His tweet came after defence sources repeatedly briefed journalists that the US was not considering a military strike, with Mike Pence insisting a peaceful resolution was still possible.
“We truly believe that, as our allies in the region and China bring that pressure to bear, there is a chance that we can achieve a historic objective of a nuclear-free Korea peninsula by peaceful means,” the Vice President said on Saturday.
“We are encouraged by the steps that China has taken so far.”
The strike force, led by the USS Carl Vinson, is heading for the Korean peninsularPhoto by: AFP
Mr Pence insisted a strike group headed by the USS Carl Vinson, which had been completing a training exercise with the Australian navy when Mr Trump made his announcement, would arrive in waters off the Korean peninsula “within days”.
Like the strikes in Syria and Afghanistan, the move could merely “harden North Korean resolve” to increase its military capabilities, Mr Maxwell warned.
He said the “real wildcard” was Kim himself, who has brutally purged challengers from his inner circle in his six years of power, adding: “There is not an intelligence service in the world that can tell us what he will do.”
South Korea is on heightened alert for potential new weapons tests as the 85th anniversary of the Korean People’s Army approaches on Tuesday, with a large concentration of military hardware massed on both sides of the border.
Joseph Yun, the US’ special representative for North Korea policy, will be in Tokyo on the day for meetings with Japanese and South Korean representatives.
North Korea has previously launched missiles or conducted nuclear experiments to mark key dates, while next week also coincides with the conclusion of its winter military drills and huge joint exercises conducted by the US and South Korea.
Satellite imagery analysed by 38 North, a Washington-based monitoring group, found activity underway at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, but it was unclear whether the site was in a “tactical pause” before another test or was carrying out normal operations.
Dr Nilsson-Wright said that while there have been calls for the US to destroy North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction, its stockpiles would be difficult to pinpoint and heavily reinforced, with sites dispersed across the secretive country.
He argued that the only way the US can hope to solve the crisis is via coordinated pressure with allies – and a willingness to negotiate.
Possible measures could include economic sanctions from China, offering political concessions in exchange for a freeze on testing and peace talks involving regional actors.
Mr Maxwell agreed, saying that although Kim’s government had learned to “get around” international banking after previous crackdowns, financial action was still the most effective.
He urged the US to mitigate uncertainty and lower tensions by refusing to rise to “every missile test and every military movement with rhetoric.
“Kim acts like a terrorist and one of the things terrorists want is notoriety,” Mr Maxwell added.
The world should instead focus on North Korea’s appalling human rights record, he said, which has largely fallen off the radar since a UN investigation revealed “unspeakable atrocities” in 2014.
“When we talk about human rights, it undermines the legitimacy of the regime,” Mr Maxwell said.
“There is a moral and strategic value to informing the North Korean people that we know they are suffering.”
Friday, April 21, 2017
Max is advocating a strategic strangulation campaign. I would be happy to assist.
We should not panic, any more than we panicked when Russia and China acquired similar capabilities many decades ago. In those cases, we relied on deterrence to prevent an attack, while, in the case of the Soviet Union, implementing a containment doctrine premised on the assumption that the dysfunctional Soviet state would eventually collapse. That strategy was amply vindicated by the peaceful end of the Cold War and could usefully be followed in the case of North Korea today....From the U.S. perspective, our policy should be to hasten the regime’s demise by applying all possible sanctions, but not to risk an outright military confrontation with a state that possesses nuclear weapons and artillery zeroed in on Seoul. That seems to be the policy that H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, was hinting at when he said on Sunday that the U.S. should “take action, short of armed conflict, so we can avoid the worst” in dealing with “this unpredictable regime.” If so, then the Trump administration is taking a responsible approach—ratcheting up the pressure but stopping short of war. Let’s hope that this is, in fact, the policy going forward.
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
A great event last night led by Chris Taylor and Matt Zais who teach Hacking for Defense for our Security Studies Program. I wish the Cipher Brief had captured GEN Selva's key closing comments on cyber and lethal targeting and the requirements for ethical leadership among those who will make life and death decisions executed through cyber attacks. (My comments - cyber is not simply a video game - it will result in real casualties).
The 90 minute video can be viewed here at this link on our Center for Security Studies You Tube page. https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=TXZkClEyK9E It is worth 90 minutes of your time to watch.
If you only watch part of this please see GEN Selva's comments toward the end at 1:34:30. His comments about those who must inflict violence on our enemies are very important to keep in mind.
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Sigh...Bret, have you not been paying attention all these years? Unification has been policy since 2009. It will be interesting to see if President Trump and the new ROK President reaffirm the Joint Vision statement of 2009 as Presidents Obama and Park did in 2013 and 2015. Also, is north Korea the most sanctioned country in the world?
And China's strategy has long been to try to influence the Kim Family regime to implement Chinese style reforms. We do have to wonder if the assassination of Kim Jong-nam who had long been under the nominal protection of China was the result of fears by Kim Jong-un that the Chinese would like to install him as the new leader as has been rumored. But I am not sure the Chinese really want to take the risk of trying to implement regime change because they fear instability and collapse (and war) more than the status quo.
The first type of regime change is pro-China. Beijing has little sympathy for Kim Jong Un, who brutally purged his regime of its China sympathizers after coming to power five years ago. But Beijing’s distaste is tempered by its interest in the existence of North Korea as an independent state, mainly because it has good reason to fear the strength and example of a unified, democratic Korea led from Seoul.Pro-China regime change would take the form of a coup, in which Kim would be given the choice of exile or execution, to be replaced by a pro-Beijing figure willing to move the country from totalitarianism to authoritarianism—a Korean replay of the transition from Mao Zedong to Deng Xiaoping. The U.S. would recognize the new government in exchange for verifiable nuclear disarmament, sealing the division of the peninsula....
And if the Chinese aren’t amenable to this strategy? In that case, the U.S. should support the anti-China model of regime change, aiming not only at the end of the Kim regime but of North Korea itself.That would mean a formal U.S. declaration in favor of unification. Other steps might include cutting off Chinese banks and companies that do business with Pyongyang from access to U.S. dollars, undertaking a campaign to highlight Chinese mistreatment of North Korean refugees, and further speeding the deployment of antiballistic missile systems to South Korea. As another inducement, Donald Trump could return to his suggestion last year that the South should have an independent nuclear deterrent.
From the 2009 Joint Vision Statement (http://www.cfr.org/proliferat
ion/joint-vision-alliance- united-states-america- republic-korea/p19643)
“Through our Alliance we aim to build a better future for all people on the Korean Peninsula, establishing a durable peace on the Peninsula and leading to peaceful reunification on the principles of free democracy and a market economy.We will work together to achieve the complete and verifiable elimination of North Korea's nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs, as well as ballistic missile programs, and to promote respect for the fundamental human rights of the North Korean people.”
If anyone wants any assistance on regime change I am happy to oblige.
The bottom line is that the only way we are going to see an end the nuclear program and threats and to the crimes against humanity being committed against the Korean people living in the north by the mafia-like crime family cult known as the Kim Family Regime is through achievement of unification and the establishment of a United Republic of Korea(UROK) that is secure and stable, non-nuclear, economically vibrant, and unified under a liberal constitutional form of government determined by the Korean people.An Information Based Strategy to Reduce Korea’s Increasing ThreatUnification Options and Scenarios: Assisting A ResistanceBeyond the Nuclear Crisis: A Strategy for the Korean PeninsulaShould The United States Support Korean Unification And If So, How?Irregular Warfare on the Korean PeninsulaInformation and Influence Campaign in north Korea When, Why, and How?
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