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Title: At Least Eight Reasons Why the Talk of North Korea Leveling Seoul Is Simply Wrong
Source: RedState via HotAir
URL Source: http://www.redstate.com/streiff/2017/08/09/north-korea-level-seoul/
Published: Aug 9, 2017
Author: Streiff
Post Date: 2017-08-10 10:01:32 by Tooconservative
Keywords: None
Views: 464
Comments: 23

War is destruction and death. It’s serious business. So the facts should be taken seriously and measured accurately.

I’ve touched on this subject in the comments several times in the past here at RedState, but have put off writing about it because I’ve discovered there is an inverse relationship to how long it takes me to write a story and the interest it gets. However, the North Korea crisis makes this appropriate and necessary I think.

I’ll use as my point of departure a Washington Post story from today titled Twenty-five million reasons the U.S. hasn’t struck North Korea. It discusses the idea that if war breaks out between North Korea and the United States and South Korea that Seoul, South Korea’s capital will be obliterated.

The  25 million in the title is the population of Seoul. This is the premise:
If the United States were to strike North Korea, Kim Jong Un’s regime would retaliate by unleashing its conventional weaponry lined up on the demilitarized zone that has separated the two Koreas for about seven decades.

And that conventional weaponry is reliable, unlike North Korea’s missiles, and could cause major devastation in South Korea, which is a staunch ally of the United States.

This is the map that is used to make their point:

north-korea-artillery
North Korea has “a tremendous amount of artillery” right opposite Seoul, said Joseph S. Bermudez Jr., a senior imagery analyst at 38 North, a website focused on North Korea.

The Second Corps of the Korean People’s Army stationed at Kaesong on the northern side of the DMZ has about 500 artillery pieces, Bermudez said. And this is just one army corps; similar corps are on either side of it.

All the artillery pieces in the Second Corps can reach the northern outskirts of Seoul, just 30 miles from the DMZ, but the largest projectiles could fly to the south of the capital. About 25 million people — or half of the South Korean population — live in the greater Seoul metropolitan area.

Before we get started let’s clear away two falsehoods in this pullquote. North Korea has about 700 artillery systems, tube and rocket, that can shoot 30 miles or more. There are perhaps 200 rocket systems that can cover the full 44 miles shown on the map. The tube artillery can barely hit Seoul’s northern suburbs. There are not “similar corps” on either side as the west side of the map is ocean. See the map of DPRK Army corps below if you doubt me.

north-korea-army-corps

Geography is hard, and as we will see, math is harder.

Fallacy #1. Seoul is within easy artillery range of North Korea.

This is simply not true. Thirty miles is extreme range for tube or rocket artillery. The entire North Korean Army has, at a high end estimate, a max of 500 artillery systems and 200 rocket systems that can range Seoul’s northern suburbs and Seoul from what is now North Korea. Only one-third of Seoul can be hit by any type of tube artillery. The drawing of a 44-mile circle and implying that there are hundreds of artillery pieces which can range as far as the heaviest North Korean rocket systems is just dishonest in the extreme.

Fallacy #2. All of these long range pieces are within range of Seoul.

Dispersion between artillery systems is going to be at least 50 meters. Math alone tells you once you start dispersing that you quickly run out of usable real estate. Why disperse? The blast radius for a 500-lb bomb (the B-2 carries 80 of these) is 50 meters. That means it will kill 50% of everyone within that zone. Even troops in bunkers will be killed or injured by the combination of overpressure and vacuum rupturing hollow organs. If you drop 1000-lb bombs, increasingly the weapon of choice, the 50% lethality radius exceeds 200 meters. If you want your artillery to survive more than the first air strike you will want them dispersed and in hardened positions. While the 44 mile radius on the map is cute, many of these weapons will be out of range of Seoul because clustering dozens of pieces up on the DMZ within easy range of ROK infantry and armor doesn’t make sense.

One intrepid soul used Google Earth to identify likely artillery positions by type, this is what he got:

north-korea-artillery2

Fallacy #3. North Korea will use all of its artillery to target Seoul.

This is probably the crux of the issue. Why would the North Koreans concentrate all of their artillery close to the border to bombard Seoul. If they level Seoul it doesn’t mean they win the war. And if the guns are aimed at Seoul they can’t aim at Allied troops. Likewise it will use its missiles to hit Osan and Pusan, the airfield and seaport, respectively, through which US forces will flow. If a war breaks out, North Korea will have to use its artillery in the conventional role of providing support to the infantry and armor units it sends south. You have to achieve a 3:1 power (troops, equipment, firepower) ratio to have a 50-50 chance of taking a defended position. You need at least a 5:1 ratio if you want to achieve a breakthrough attack. The only way the North Koreans can achieve that force ratio is to throw 100% of their artillery at the Allied units holding the line closest to the DMZ. They aren’t going to screw around shooting several months of ammunition production at Seoul.

Fallacy #4. North Korean artillery will be able to hit Seoul even if it is in range.

In November 2010, the North Koreans shelled the South Korean island, I say again, island, of Yeonpyeong.
On November 23, the island was hit by two barrages totally 170 rounds of 122-millimeter rockets—and possibly some rounds from nearby 76.2-millimeter coastal artillery units. Republic of Korea (ROK) return fire was limited by an inoperative counter battery radar, which was repaired in time to direct a strike on North Korean rocket launcher units. Two civilians and two ROK Marines were killed in the attacks. Curiously, the rocket battalion should have been able to fire a total of about 288 rockets, but only 170 actually landed near the island. Of those 170 rockets, only 80 landed on the island itself, the rest in surrounding waters.

They were able to hit with 47% of the rockets. Of the hits, about 20% were duds. Most of the rockets that hit the island did not strike actual military or civilian targets. Keep in mind that this was an island that was easily observed from North Korea and is only 7 miles from North Korea. The South Koreans did not begin counterbattery fire until 18 minutes after the attack began and no airstrikes were flown. In short, this is the best performance you are going to get from North Korean artillery.

Once you compound this with the fear and uncertainty of air strikes and hostile artillery firing back, accuracy is going to suffer. Without the ability to spot fall of shot accuracy after the first volley is going to get progressively worse. How, for instance, will a gun know the area it has shelled has been destroyed? Without eyes on the target the result is either overkill, and a waste of ammunition, or ineffective damage.

Fallacy #5. North Korean artillery will shoot thousands of rounds at Seoul.

The North Koreans simply don’t have the ability to store the numbers of rounds it would take to destroy Seoul with the artillery pieces and, once the shooting starts, the only resupply coming forward will be carried by human porters (don’t laugh, the US Army in Korea will use the Korean Service Corps, I know I did). There will be no live vehicles moving on the roads in North Korea after the first few hours. The artillery that is positioned to target Seoul are in positions known as Hardened Artillery Site (HARTS). For HARTS to be effective, the artillery piece has to retreat after each firing to reload and then be run out again.  As an aside, these positions are much more night lights and comfort blankets for the gun crews than they are militarily significant. During the first Gulf War we saw video of Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) going down the ventilator shafts of bunkers. The B-2 can carry 80 500-lb JDAM and each is independently targeted.

If you recall, again during the Gulf War, the bombing of the Amiriyah bomb shelter that killed over 400 civilians. This shelter was thought to be impervious to bombs–hence the name ‘bomb shelter’–but it wasn’t:
At 4:30 a.m. on the morning of 13 February, two F-117 stealth fighter/bombers each dropped a 2,000 pound GBU-27 laser-guided bomb on the shelter. The first cut through ten feet of reinforced concrete before a time-delayed fuse exploded. Minutes later the second bomb followed the path cut by the first bomb.[4] People staying in the upper level were incinerated by heat, while boiling water from the shelter’s water tank was responsible for the rest of the fatalities.[6]

The artillery that we have mapped, which is most of it, will be gone within a very short period of time. The rest will die after the first round breaks mask and is detected by counterbattery radar. This is a JDAM refresher for the doubters. Check the attack on the aircraft revetment at 2:00.

There is simply no way to build a shelter than can defeat a 500- to 1000-lb–or even larger–weapon dropping on the weakest points: the door or the ventilator. These guns will fire a handful of rounds each, not hundreds or thousands, before they are silenced.

Fallacy #6. Neither the US nor ROK Air Force or artillery will engage North Korean artillery.

This is the fallacy that undercuts the scenario completely. While only a small number of North Korean guns and rocket launchers can reach Seoul, every gun and rocket system owned by the US and ROK can reach the North Korean artillery. Why is this? Because all North Korean guns aimed a Seoul have to be very close to the DMZ. South Korean and American guns and rocket launchers will also be close to the DMZ bringing 100% of North Korean artillery within range. These systems are aimed with drones and radar and are much more accurate than the North Korean systems and there are 155mm artillery rounds with terminal guidance.

“Defending Seoul against such a threat is the top priority for the alliance,” said Chun In-bum, a retired lieutenant general in the South Korean army who served as commander of South Korea’s Special Warfare Command.

“The U.S. and South Korean response would be immediate. We have assets along the DMZ dedicated for doing this job and counter-battery units trained to conduct these missions,” Chun said.

Fallacy #7. The ROK army won’t cross the border to clear out North Korean artillery.

If the ROK army decides to cross the DMZ in that area to destroy the artillery there, there is nothing the North Koreans have that can stop them.

Fallacy #8. Seoul will suffer massive civilian casualties.

The suburbs of Seoul that are within artillery range from the DMZ are the least populated. It is estimated that Seoul has the ability to shelter 20 million, that’s right, 20 million people in bomb shelters. The subway system in Seoul is designed to serve as a bomb shelter. Don’t think I’m saying civilians won’t pay a price, they will. There is no way to evacuate Seoul. All the roads south of the capital are going to be clogged with ROK Army units heading north. But the combination of sheltering in place in structurally safe bomb shelters, US and ROK attacks on artillery, and the limited number of systems that can reach them means you probably aren’t talking the tens of thousands of casualties that have been predicted.

If you want to read an excellent analysis (though I have quibbles) check this out.

I can go on and on with this but the fact is that the assertion that Seoul is going to be flattened by North Korean artillery is simply false and can easily be proven false.

None of this is to say a war with North Korea would be easy and that it wouldn’t result in widespread destruction in the northern 10% of South Korea, but don’t be fooled. The stories of an Armageddon in South Korea are simply not true. The ROK Air Force and ROK Army are not going to sit on their thumbs and allow Seoul to be pulverized. Neither will American forces. Just like we spent a lot of effort hunting SCUDs in both Gulf wars, the artillery that can shoot at Seoul will be quickly and ruthlessly hunted down and silenced.

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#1. To: redleghunter (#0)

I posted this one for all the LF members who are artillery men that served in Korea.

Anyway, it is interesting to see someone take on the shibboleth of "We can't attack the Norks".

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-08-10   10:04:01 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: Tooconservative (#1)

We can attack them and succeed. However, they will be able to reach Seoul with their Koksan guns and 240mm rockets. His range factors are off. Plus he does not take into consideration the urban sprawl from Seoul to Tongduchan and Seoul to Munsan. It's one continuous "city" along the major avenues of approach and highways. The NK artillery can still create havoc and casualties even with the author's planning factors.

I spent 3 years over there and my last assignment was with a Rocket Bn responsible to take out Koksan guns at the outset of invasion. I also served as a Divison Artillery plans officer during several exercises to include the Joint Air campaign to destroy nKPA rocket artillery.

Bottom line? The guy who wrote this has more limited knowledge than the news piece.

The positioning is off. Unit types and supposed locations as well.

His knowledge of HART sites is flawed as the shelters are in mountain sides.

He's right we have ways to defeat the HART sites. You have to catch the guns and launchers outside. Small window of opportunity especially with every ADA system blindly shooting missiles at our aircraft.

He paints an easy picture and it's not.

I'll give him the fact of the NK army is crap on maintenance and gunnery. However, their doctrine calls for mass and not accuracy. Old Soviet style.

Add to that, we don't know what the lunatic in Pyongyang will do once we have some success. All those artillery pieces and launchers are chemical capable. You don't need to be a sharp fire direction guy to have effects with nerve agent.

redleghunter  posted on  2017-08-10   21:57:57 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: redleghunter (#2)

Interesting counterpoints. I never read the comments at RedState to see if any artillery guys spoke up in the comments section as you did here.

Anyway, I thought it might interest you so I posted it.

As far as strategy and tactics, a battle at Korea's DMZ is a classic set piece problem for military thinkers, much as the endless old Cold War debates about the proper combination of arms and forces to stop a Soviet advance into northern Germany via the Fulda Gap.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-08-11   8:34:58 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: Tooconservative (#0) (Edited)

My over thirty years, none of which was actually in Korea, in the Corps leads me to believe that this is an exceptional report.

John_Henry_DaDum  posted on  2017-08-11   9:04:12 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: Tooconservative (#3)

I found it interesting too.

Woke something up in me, so I emailed Mad Dog an asked hi if at 83 I am not young enough to be recalled.

John_Henry_DaDum  posted on  2017-08-11   9:08:08 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: John_Henry_DaDum (#5)

Woke something up in me, so I emailed Mad Dog an asked hi if at 83 I am not young enough to be recalled.

No reason to let those young punks have all the fun.

Glad you enjoyed the article though.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-08-11   9:11:11 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: redleghunter, John_Henry_DaDum (#2)

Another view from David French of National Review on how Korean War v2.0 could unfold if all the breaks fell in favor of Fat Boy. French seems to draw on current War College thinking.

National Review, 8/9/17

Into the Abyss: A Scenario for the Next Korean War

America cannot afford to bluster.

“One principal lesson of the Gulf War is that, if a state intends to fight the United States, it should avoid doing so until and unless it possesses nuclear weapons.”

— Krishnaswamy Sundarji, former chief of staff, Indian army

To this day no one has been able to fully explain why Seoul’s raid-warning sirens didn’t go off until after the first artillery shells impacted on its northern fringe. Windows shattered across the city, and the sound of rolling thunder descended from the North. The 25 million people of the Seoul Capital Area understood that their ultimate nightmare had become a reality.

The date was September 25, 2020. The time was 1:30 a.m.

A small group of American officers experienced their own nightmare, minutes earlier, when North Korean special-forces officers wearing South Korean (ROK) army uniforms gunned them down in the middle of a late-night planning meeting. North Korea was in the midst of one of its “routine” army exercises, but sharp-eyed intelligence officers had seen some troubling signs. The last thing they heard was the sound of automatic-weapons fire ringing out all around them. They’d been betrayed.

The ROK forces near the DMZ experienced something no modern soldier had experienced in generations, a concentrated, surprise artillery barrage. The sound, the shock waves, the sheer terror was beyond comprehension. Back in America the attack in Seoul came in the middle of Manhattan’s lunch hour. The first sign came on social media, as the few, terrified American troops on the front lines inexplicably decided to livestream their indescribable hell. A few turned the cameras around and sobbed out good-byes to their families before there was a crash, then blackness.

Across the DMZ streaked short-range missiles and hundreds of antiquated North Korean jets. The DPRK knew that its air force potentially had a shelf life measured in days, if not hours, and it threw everything across the line in a desperate, massive “use it or lose it” strike against Allied airfields and reserve-troop concentrations. A few Allied planes were able to immediately get into the air, and they shot down enemy planes until their missiles ran dry, but for the time being it was like putting fingers in the holes of a collapsing dike.

Within an hour of the start of the initial barrage, DPRK troops surged across the border in vast numbers. Following carefully planned routes, they avoided most of the millions of mines laid to slow any ground advance toward Seoul. And when the Republic of Korea troops on the line, already rattled and bleeding by the surprise artillery barrage, saw enemy forces advancing in strength, they broke.

Not all of them, of course. The ones who stayed fought bravely, and their superior weaponry inflicted enormous losses on the enemy, but that enemy was advancing with the same ferocity that it did on June 25, 1950. As men fell and tanks burned, more men and tanks took their place. Their equipment was old, dozens of armored vehicles broke down, but it could still kill.

Within hours, the terrified city of Seoul was roiling with rumors and ripped apart by firefights. Men in ROK uniforms were fighting other men in ROK uniforms. Incheon and Gimpo airports were aflame. The rail lines were cut. Streets were blocked. The army wasn’t holding. The people, millions strong, began surging south, desperate to escape a DPRK army that, rumor had it, was about to roll into the city at any moment. Men and women died by the thousands.

There were so many plans — plans upon plans — for dealing with this moment, but no one really reckoned with the human factor. No one could quite foresee how a modern, prosperous nation would react to an instant apocalypse. After generations of the long peace, the world had forgotten total war. We weren’t prepared, and the shock of the moment meant that the plans failed. For crucial hours, for crucial days, until the allies adjusted to the new reality, North Korea had the advantage.

Seoul fell. The unthinkable had happened. The ROK had rallied, and it inflicted horrific casualties on northern forces, but the damage from the initial assault was too great. They simply didn’t have the numbers to resist the onslaught. There were too few American troops to plug the holes, and even the steadily increasing deployment of punishing American air power — with planes streaming to Japanese and Korean bases from across the world — couldn’t completely check the DPRK advance. Once North Korean forces entered the city, bombing raids risked exacting a terrible toll among the millions of civilians who were unable to flee.

Allied commanders were shocked, but all was not lost. Far from it. Within two weeks, the North Korean air force was gone. The main force of North Korean armor was also gone. DPRK troops had died by the tens of thousands, and their elite units were all below 50 percent strength. The DPRK had gambled. It had gained more than American commanders thought possible, but it was going to lose. It was only a question of time. ROK reserve units were coming on line. The full might of American air power was already in the field. The world’s most potent ground forces were moving as fast as possible across the Pacific to form the fist that would smash the fragile North Korean line, drive it back to Pyongyang, and end the North Korean menace forever.

But then the North Koreans halted. Five miles south of Seoul, they stopped attacking. Under fire, they dug in. They transitioned to the defense, and through the United Nations came a clear and unmistakeable message: “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has sufficiently punished the criminal regime in the South and seeks a cease-fire and resumption of the armistice. If no such cease-fire is forthcoming, then the DPRK will treat any attempt to take the DPRK city of Seoul as a direct threat to its national existence and will turn Tokyo, San Francisco, and Los Angeles into lakes of fire.”

And there it was — a direct question to the American people. Do we risk San Francisco for Seoul? The troops streaming across the ocean to fight the DPRK were willing to die, but what about the millions of moms, sons, and daughters of our great cities? Must we sacrifice their lives? Must we endure the unspeakable horror of a nuclear attack? Or should we simply defend what’s left in the South, mourn our dead, learn our lessons, and perhaps one day fight again?

The citizens of the targeted American cities knew what they wanted. They wanted to live.

Since August 29, 1949 — the day the Soviets detonated their first atomic bomb and ended the American nuclear monopoly — the world has confronted the threat of a nuclear exchange. That threat has hovered over great-power relationships ever since, it’s been in the forefront of strategic, diplomatic, and moral thinking, and it’s influenced American strategic calculations in countless ways.

There was a time when American military planners thought that the U.S. arsenal provided deterrence on the cheap. A small number of conventional forces would act as the “tripwire.” If the Soviets crossed the borders between NATO and the Warsaw Pact in force, we wouldn’t fight a grinding, brutal ground war against a numerically superior force but rather escalate to nuclear blitzkrieg. We’d threaten the Soviet Union with total destruction. Therefore, they would never attack. No rational nation would.

But there were seeds of doubt. Would we really initiate global thermonuclear war if the Red Army was driving on Paris? Would we really and truly initiate an attack that would destroy or grievously wound our own civilization? Wouldn’t it be better to be able to stop the Soviets without resort to the nuclear option?

Thus began America’s Cold War conventional military expansion. We wanted the nuclear and the conventional strength to deter the Soviets. By the height of the Reagan era it was no longer safe to assume that the Red Army would win a conventional conflict in Western Europe. It had numbers, but we had the technological advantage on the ground and in the air, and our numbers were substantial enough to bring that technological edge to bear.

But what if at particular times and in particular places our enemies perceived that our conventional forces were inadequate? Would they call our bluff? Thus the emergence of a countering strategy. Take ground, hold it, and immediately place it under your own nuclear umbrella. For example, what if Russia invades Estonia, seizes it in a matter of days, and then uses its own nuclear forces to guarantee its gains? (As a number of Western strategists have discussed.) Would we be willing to risk everything for Estonia?

So far we haven’t faced such a nightmare in part because just as we have doubts about our own resolve, our enemies have doubts of their own. Just as many millions of Americans would decide that Estonia isn’t worth an existential risk, many Russian leaders and planners make the same judgment.

North Korea, however, just might be different. An assault on the South would likely come in response to a perceived existential threat. In other words, it would attack because it believed its existence was at stake. Perhaps it could be due to internal pressures unrelated to South Korean or American actions. Perhaps it could be in response to miscommunication or perceived threats from the United States. American planners have considered and war-gamed any number of reasons for a North Korean attack.

In fact, in a strange way, our awesome military strength — in this unique context — could itself be destabilizing. As my colleague Jim Geraghty notes today, among the lessons that the North Koreans took from the Gulf War was simple: “Don’t let the United States mass its forces.” I’d go even farther — given our military advances since 1991, the lesson is more simple: “Don’t let the United States strike first.”

As I indicated in the scenario above, North Korea’s military equipment is aging, its jets are sitting ducks, and its tanks are antiquated. They can be deadly, yes, but mainly if they achieve a degree of surprise and even then only for a short time. If North Korea — accurately or inaccurately — perceives that it will lose the core of its military strength if it waits, then it may well strike.

There’s one other factor. No one knows better than the DPRK that the U.S. can be deterred. One of the more wearisome aspects of the present national conversation is the finger-pointing at various American administrations. Who “let” North Korea get this dangerous? The basic reality is this: At no point since the Korean War armistice have the American people truly been prepared to bear the horrific cost of a second Korean War.

Did we want to risk 1 million lives to stop North Korea’s nuclear program during the Clinton administration? While Bill Clinton’s triumphalism over his “nuclear deal” now looks ridiculous, and other options might have worked, any fair-minded observer would say that he was presented with a host of bad options. Any escalation in Korea has always carried incredible risk. The North knows this truth. Arguably it still exists because of this truth.

I admit, the scenario I outline at the start of this piece is worst-case. There’s a chance that a nuclear-armed DPRK would simply sit on its missiles, using them as a national-security guarantee even as much of its military equipment aged into complete obsolescence. There’s a chance that it wouldn’t share either its missile or bomb-making technology with other rogue regimes or with terrorists — even if other regimes brought it much-needed cash or other foreign aid. There’s always a chance.

But there’s also a chance that the Kim regime would take a different lesson from history — one that says that you can guarantee your gains on the ground through the threat of ultimate destruction from the air. If it faces internal collapse, it may view that it has nothing to lose from initiating one of the highest-stakes gambles in the history of humanity. After all, it’s already demonstrated that it cares nothing for the lives of its citizens.

In the Korean War, the North Korean people endured fearful losses, and North Korean troops died by the tens of thousands in sometimes-fruitless frontal assaults. Since the war, North Korean citizens have been thrown in gulags and have starved in staggering numbers. Nothing matters to the regime except the survival of the regime.

Let’s be very clear: Every single move from this point forward represents a roll of the dice. Doing nothing could mean catastrophe. Doing something could mean catastrophe. No one who is on the outside, looking in, is privy to the intelligence necessary to know which gamble has the best odds. We don’t have the best information about the disposition of North Korean forces — for example, how many of their jets can fly, or how many of their tanks can move. We have no reliable information about the true state of mind or intentions in North Korean high command. We’re all guessing. Some guesses are more informed than others, some opinions are more intelligent than others, but our thoughts and ideas await the judgment of history.

A word of caution: In times of immense risk, it can be tempting to default to a simple proposition: “Peace in our time.” Or, to quote Churchill, “To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war.” That was the impulse behind the 1938 Munich Agreement and, given the fresh horror of World War I, it might have been one of the most understandable diplomatic efforts in history. Understandable, but not ultimately justifiable. It may turn out that our best gamble is a military strike that risks the very war that we’ve desperately avoided for more than 60 years.

The Trump administration has to grow up, fast. The president can’t issue threats without consulting with military leaders. He shouldn’t confront one of the most serious American foreign-policy challenges since the end of the Cold War with a skeleton diplomatic crew. He cannot be impulsive. He has to listen. He has to be sober-minded. And his trio of generals must rise to the occasion. Maybe not now, maybe not tomorrow, but soon enough, fateful decisions will be made. May those decisions be wise. Millions of lives hang in the balance.

— David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and an attorney.

As a leading NeverTrumper, French closes with a one-paragraph scolding of Trump making threats. However, if you visit NR, you'll find a string of articles linked at the bottom of this piece on winning or losing a new Korean war.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-08-11   10:06:31 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: redleghunter (#2) (Edited)

I did go check the Disqus comments over at RedState out of curiosity.

No one there raised any real issues as you did. But streiff has been posting his articles there for years so he is a site favorite, maybe their best-known writer.

BTW, here are the other Korea articles from NR if any titles happen to tickle your fancy:

READ MORE:
Is America Really Ready for a Second Korean War?
The North Korean Red Line
We Can Defang the North Korean Threat
SLIDESHOW: The Battle of Inchon

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-08-11   10:11:58 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: Tooconservative (#7)

Thank you.

John_Henry_DaDum  posted on  2017-08-11   11:07:07 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: John_Henry_DaDum, redleghunter (#9)

As you'd expect, Bolton has made the rounds recently, arguing that America should have a pre-emptive attack on North Korea as an option.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-08-11   13:29:55 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: Tooconservative (#3)

As far as strategy and tactics, a battle at Korea's DMZ is a classic set piece problem for military thinkers, much as the endless old Cold War debates about the proper combination of arms and forces to stop a Soviet advance into northern Germany via the Fulda Gap.

NK strategy is brute force and ignorance. Attack along three major avenues of approach and reinforce success. Typical Soviet stuff.

Every major east-west and north-south road from the ROK side of the DMZ to south of Seoul has built in obstacles at choke points. Every conceivable major road and dirt rice paddy trail has them wired for demolition on a moment's notice.

redleghunter  posted on  2017-08-12   22:55:32 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: redleghunter (#11)

Every major east-west and north-south road from the ROK side of the DMZ to south of Seoul has built in obstacles at choke points. Every conceivable major road and dirt rice paddy trail has them wired for demolition on a moment's notice.

What's that old joke that our American forces are at the Korean DMZ not so much to keep the DPRK from invading the South but mostly to keep the ROK from invading the Norks?

Anyway, it seems everyone and their dog has broken out their old War College essays on war in Korea. It's the Hot New Thing for armchair generals during the dog days of the summer of Trump.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-08-12   23:01:05 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: Tooconservative (#7)

Another view from David French of National Review on how Korean War v2.0 could unfold if all the breaks fell in favor of Fat Boy. French seems to draw on current War College thinking.

Believe his brother is retired Army COL Dan French (Infantry and Special Forces). Dan was my tactics and operational art instructor at the Command and General Staff College.

The best I know on the topic of tactics at the company and battalion level with regards to Korea is Col now retired John Antal. He commanded First Tank back when I was 5-20 Infantry Fire Support officer. He was the only officer in the Army who argued Korea was "tank country." He wrote some military fiction on a 2nd Korean war which is now mandatory reading for those deploying there.

redleghunter  posted on  2017-08-12   23:04:44 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: Tooconservative (#10)

Yes the preemptive strike should be a swift destruction of command and control facilities where not one tank or artillery round is fired. Then B52s dropping loads of food for the starving masses.

redleghunter  posted on  2017-08-12   23:07:37 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: redleghunter (#13)

Believe his brother is retired Army COL Dan French (Infantry and Special Forces). Dan was my tactics and operational art instructor at the Command and General Staff College.

The personal connection does make it more interesting, combined with your own service in country.

Yes the preemptive strike should be a swift destruction of command and control facilities where not one tank or artillery round is fired. Then B52s dropping loads of food for the starving masses.

After a week or two of the regime being gone, we Americans might finally be greeted as liberators again. The last time that really happened was when we liberated Paris from the Kraut.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-08-12   23:12:43 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#16. To: Tooconservative (#15)

After a week or two of the regime being gone, we Americans might finally be greeted as liberators again.

A Pole  posted on  2017-08-13   3:22:44 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#17. To: A Pole (#16)

I wouldn't count either of those as successes for America. The Iraqis quickly changed their tune when they realized they were in for a civil war following our invasion. And the Kosovars were migrant squatters and narco-terrorists who supported our enemies.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-08-13   8:22:21 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#18. To: Tooconservative (#17)

What about that? :)

A Pole  posted on  2017-08-13   13:42:25 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#19. To: A Pole (#18)

The whole how-stupid-are-Americans schtick has worn pretty thin. It's pretty much a humor genre of its own on late night TV shows or some news shows on FNC.

If you go out and search for very stupid people, you will find some undoubtedly. But are they in any way a representative sample of the entire public? Seems pretty unlikely to me.

This kind of stuff is as fake as the so-called reality shows like Survivor.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-08-13   14:02:54 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#20. To: Tooconservative (#19)

I write from my small smartphone, so cannot look it up. But the numbers from years ago were that 26% can point Iran on the map and 25% Israel.

So I would guesstimate 7% for NK. Yet 50% wants to attack NK.

A Pole  posted on  2017-08-13   15:59:37 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#21. To: Tooconservative (#15)

After a week or two of the regime being gone

I'm thinking regime annihilation needs to be done within 36 hours. Max.

redleghunter  posted on  2017-08-13   23:33:09 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#22. To: redleghunter (#21)

I was mostly intending to convey that it would take weeks or months before the deeply indoctrinated public in NKorea realized the totalitarian regime had come to an end entirely.

They've lived their lives under the brutal Kim regime, a government as totalitarian as the Soviets or Red Chinese ever implemented over such a long period of time.

They are the real victims of the Kim regime.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-08-14   14:07:43 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#23. To: redleghunter, (#21)

Jed Babbin makes some observations in his latest column . To sum it up ;he compares the current situation with the Cuban missile crisis . . Castro was the Kim ;a crackpot caudillo who was (I'll be generous ) difficult to measure. The US was prepared for war ;Russia was prepared for war . But neither side wanted it and that is the only reason we did not come to blows . What we did not know at the time was that Castro was encouraging the Russians to use the missiles they had placed in Cuba . He wanted that war . Kennedy somberly laid out the reality to the American people what was at stake . It was more likely that a spark would ignite WWIII than not .We did not know that a Russian sub had our fleet in it's cross hairs .We did not know that the Russians deployed tactical nukes near GITMO .But he spelled out what we did know and what was at stake . (no I don't think Trump is up to the moment ....that was the main reason I did not vote for him. .He enforced the emperor's red line . Not sure he'd makes good on his own .) Does Kim want to avoid war ? Unknown . Should we take that chance ? He appears to be reckless in his testing ;firing over neighbor's land and territory . He has also provoked incidents against SK that have led to loss of life . His infatuation with nukes surpasses the 12ers in Tehran. So how long do we live with this threat ? Does anyone have any evidence that China can reign him in ? When do we move ? He has according to reports the ability to miniaturize nukes to fit on rockets . He has MIRV .From what I can tell ;the only thing he has not developed yet is the capability to have his rockets reenter the atmosphere . So for now his rockets only have the capacity to reach ..... oh maybe Seattle . The Chinese have taken the public position that they will remain neutral ONLY if Kim strikes first . So do we wait for the opening salvo ? I don't think so. The Kim regime has answered strategic patience by plowing ahead and gleefully ignoring the carrot gestures . It is in our national interest to remove Kim and disarm him . It has to be done with or without the Chinese approval . But we should first attempt to get their approval or assistance . How ? By assuring them that we will not be into nation building . We will tell them that we will not support any attempt by SK to reunite the peninsula . We will not attempt to 'democratize ' the NORKS . We will instead agree that the Chinese can install their own puppet to run the country . http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/aug/14/north-korea-will-never-disarm- peacefully/

If duties are too high, they lessen the consumption; the collection is eluded; and the product to the treasury is not so great as when they are confined within proper and moderate bounds. (Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 21)

tomder55  posted on  2017-08-16   17:15:55 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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