Friday, February 11, 2005

A War With No End, The NorKor Campaign

With the “announcement” by North Korea (NorKor) that they have gone nuclear, the next phase in WWIV is coming into fuzzy focus. Although we all think that NorKor is nuclear we dont really "know" and will not know until a test detonation. The moment that NorKor conducts a test, a requirement to prove capability, all hell hits the fan. SoKor's President Ro is the Jimmy Carter of SoKor. He is terrified, and rightly so, of the NorKor artillery reaching Seoul. The problem is that with his appeasing (sunshine policy) and face saving, he has given Kim-insane enough room to truly believe that nuclear black mail is a feasible next step. So what would happen after a nuclear test in NorKor soil?

SoKors adults, those with enough sense to see what the results of appeasement have been, will take over. Ro was elected by a NorKor funded student movement and an apathetic voting public. When you have lived with the threat of NorKor for 50 years and have not seen it materialized it ceases to be a credible threat and you stop making decisions based on it. If you travel to Seoul, you see a bustling thriving Metropolis. Is only when you drive north of the river; that you get the sense of impending doom needed to be afraid. Without fear there is no need for action and complacency has set in. The older (over 45) and the military know the truth, but have stepped aside and have given the doves a try. After all, war is such a horrible possibility that anything else would be preferable. Now they will, too late to prevent mass casualties, understand the fallacy of that dream.

Japan will go nuclear. The Japanese psyche, affected as it is with images of Hiroshima, has not had the political and emotional will to go nuclear. The nuclear option has not been needed until now. The US has provided a credible deterrence in the region and Japan’s policies has kept them out of the cross hairs. That is over. The Japanese understand the need to fight fascism and demonstrated so by changing their constitution and providing troops in Iraq. They are also, and more importantly, within the Tae Po Dong 2’s missile range. A NorKor nuclear test would have the same effect as 9/11 had in this country. Imagine if you will, a nuclear Fidel Castro demanding money from the US, and you live in Miami. The Japanese are more than capable to produce nukes within 5 years. The thing they have lacked is the national / political will. A NorKor detonation would change all that. They also know that after the W2 administration moves on in 08, there is no telling who would step in. Another Bill Clinton would mean no assistance beyond mere words. They can’t risk placing their national security in Jimmy Carter’s hands.

Taiwan will go nuclear. Although the US would push, cajole and downright threaten Taiwan against the nuclear option, they, like Japan, can not afford a nuclear NorKor and placing their security in the future version of Madeline Albright hands. The mere threat of a nuclear Taiwan would cause a Chinese invasion of the Republic. Strategically, they can not afford to have a nuclear adversary within 5 minute missile flight time from mainland China. A nuclear Taiwan would also permanently erase all possibility of intimidating Taiwan into submission. The Taiwanese are very conscious of the threat to their west and can not afford to delay. They would not actually develop it (if they have not already done so in secret, ala Pakistan and India) but more likely buy their nukes from France. France has tested nuclear weapons recently and has no issues selling to the highest bidder

So what are our (the US) options. Bad and Worst.

Bad: Operation Korean Freedom (or whatever catchy phrase military planners give the next campaign). Special Operators infiltrate NorKor in an attempt to assassinate the chain of command. OIF has proven that spy based, 20,000 feet launched; 2000 pound solutions dont work for moving leadership targets. They do work quite well, against stationary NorKor nuclear and conventional launch sites. Marines from both MEFs assault from the east and west and converge in strategic targets along NorKor. ROK troops go across the border and occupy the first 50 miles to prevent further artillery and short range missile strikes against Seoul. ROK troops, assisted by the US Marines, take Pyong Yang . All this must happen in blitzkrieg fashion or is all for naught. Posturing, saber rattling and UN speeches would only give Kim-In-Sane enough time to wake up to the realization that all is lost and force him to launch nukes into Seoul and Tokyo. Done quickly this can cost perhaps 5,000 to 10,000 civilian casualties on both sides, 4,000 military casualties on the coalition side within the first year. Done as we have done in the past with debate, posturing and UN speeches, 500,000 – 1,000,000 civilians, 4,000 military casualties.

Worst: Operation Jimmy Carter part deux. We “negotiate” another worthless treaty, give Kim-In-Sane some money, and hope he does the “Arafat” soon. The Japanese and Taiwanese nuclear options would come into play causing the Chinese invasion of Taiwan with US and Japanese conventional responses, followed by NorKor nuclear response. 5-15 million casualties in SoKor, NorKor, Taiwan, Taipei, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Seattle and Sacramento. The US and China will not launch at each other, but will launch at the allies.

What is not an option is more conversation. The moment that a nuclear test occurs, the posturing and denial are over. If you think 5-15 million casualties are scary, imagine a now emboldened by our inaction NorKor selling nukes (their only exportable good) to the highest bidder without fear of retribution. A nuclear Castro would not just become a nightmare but a real possibility. Wahabi nukes with colorful names, like the sword of Allah, would be common place. A nuclear Pablo Escobar anyone?