ALL QUIET?

Note (06MAY2013): Prior to perusing this posting, you may wish to peruse the previous two postings about Korea.

Of late, news about the Syrian civil war has been occupying the media. Meanwhile, all has been relatively quiet on the Korean front. Could that quiet represent the calm before the storm?

One piece of news about The Republic of Korea (South Korea) briefly did make a headline. Reuters (02MAY2013), for example, reported the following: “South Korean spies target Australian farm trade.” Some allies . . . those South Koreans for whom The USA is willing to risk nuclear war.

Oh yes, Financial Times (06MAY2013) reported the following: “Goldman exit exposes South Korea woes.” Apparently, foreign financial firms, with one or two exceptions, cannot compete in South Korea against entrenched, giant, domestic firms. As for exports of American-made automobiles to South Korea? Don’t bother asking. Some allies . . . those South Koreans for whom The USA is willing to risk nuclear war.

In Chapter 12 of the semi-fictional novel, Inescapable Consequences, full-scale war again ignites between North and South Korea. Thus far since 1953, in actuality, such a war has not re-ignited; however, during the interval, the roguish, rump-nation of the egregiously-named Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) has acquired nuclear weapons, developed long-range missiles, and rebuilt its military. The latest missile in the arsenal is the KN-08, which, if operational, might reach the western coast of North America.

In response, dithering as usual, The USA seems to have no coherent foreign policy with regard to the Korean Peninsula. In fact, Mr. Obama seems more concerned with the Syrian civil war than threats of potential nuclear annihilation by Pyongyang.

“Nothing we do seems to work,” says Richard Weitz of the Hudson Institute about Korea. Nicholas Eberstadt of the American Enterprise Institute agrees. For that matter, the same likely will be said of pending American military involvement in Syria, should agitators such as Senator McCain have their way.

Returning, however, to the Korean situation, given the context, one might consider the following, three scenarios:

1) A North Korean KN-80 strikes Andersen Air Force Base on the island of Guam, a U.S. territory. The non-nuclear explosion inflicts considerable damage as well as a number of killed and wounded. Immediately thereafter, the government in Pyongyang issues a statement claiming that the strike merely was the consequence of a test gone wrong, weakly apologizes, but defends its position that such tests are necessary in the context of an alleged, continuing threat of American aggression against it.

2) A torpedo from an unknown source sinks a warship of the South Korean Navy. The government in Pyongyang denies any involvement. A few days later, analysis of fragments of the non-nuclear weapon indicates that its manufacturer was located in Russia. The North is known to possess such torpedoes.

3) A well-dressed woman attending a news-conference detonates a suicide-bomb, killing, among others, the South Korean President. Subsequent investigation reveals that the assassin was a Mohammedan from western China, suspected of being in the employ of Pyongyang via Iran. In the meantime, Pyongyang has denied any involvement and sent weak, official condolences to the government in Seoul.

In each of these three scenarios, how should The USA respond? If the South advocates an all-out, non-nuclear attack against the North, how should The USA respond?

Consider the following alternative, more provocative scenario: Without warning and while talking peace, having returned to the so-called six-party-talks, North Korea launches an all-out, non-nuclear invasion of the South but does not attack U.S. military installations there nor American military personnel. Concurrently, China launches an all-out, non-nuclear invasion of Taiwan while Hezbollah, denying involvement, detonates a powerful, non-nuclear device in The Loop in Chicago, inadvertently killing the mayor, Rahm “Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste” Emmanuel.

Militarily, with newly-deployed, more deadly, Chinese DF-21D missiles covering the Strait of Taiwan, American aircraft-carriers dare not enter as they did during a preceding Chinese provocation, rendering American air-cover logistically less effective. Although Chinese anti-submarine capabilities remain weak, in the shallow Yellow Sea between China and Korea, U.S. boats would be vulnerable. In other waters offshore China, the boats would be less vulnerable but still open to attack.

As described in Inescapable Consequences, economically, Beijing covertly warns Washington that, should The USA involve itself militarily, China will dump all its U.S. Treasuries onto the open-market, forcing them to be bought by the U.S. Treasury and no longer would accept payment in U.S. currency. The consequential flood of hastily printed U.S. dollars likely would destroy the dollar as the reserve-currency, a process already in progress.

The preceding scenario would be the direct consequence of what passes for American foreign policy and of the military adventurism that has rendered the country increasingly impoverished with a central government increasingly tyrannical against its own citizenry. In this context, what would an acknowledged military genius such as the Swiss Baron Jomini (1779-1869) recommend? What would his German counterpart, Carl von Clausewitz (1780-1831), recommend?

For more contemporary points of view, ones that the American electorate actually has chosen, what would Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel recommend? What would Secretary of State John Kerry recommend? In the final analysis, what would Mr. Obama II, as Commander-in-Chief, order, if anything? Were you he, what would you order?

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