BBC future newsreel on a new Korean War


"Two US experts talk to the BBC about how a conflict might unfold.

You can hear more on what a potential war would mean for the region and the wider world on the BBC podcast The Inquiry here."  BBC


At the moment I see little chance of avoiding a disastrous war.  The two leaders are simian in their squawling mutual hostility,  pl

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20 Responses to BBC future newsreel on a new Korean War

  1. BabelFish says:

    Very happy that my step-daughter is no longer a resident of Seoul. If NK actually sets of nuke in the middle of the Pacific, I believe this would get apocalyptic in no time flat.
    And, I continue to wonder what form of cyber attack we could launch against the NK infrastructures and why is that not discussed as the first step? I assume the adults around the POTUS have reasoned through this process and we are capable of doing something much worse than Stuxnet.

  2. Linda says:

    NK has a whole school almost like a university, training students for carrying out cyber attacks. It is just about the most coveted school in the country. I’m not sure if we are prepared for that

  3. VietnamVet says:

    You stood the hair up on the back of my neck. You’re right too many times. My only hope that Donald Trump is surpassing Dick Nixon’s “Mad Man” performance. A billion deaths here and there will cull the herd.

  4. iowa steve says:

    The winter Olympics in South Korea begin in a little over 4 months.

  5. BrotherJoe says:

    Let’s just hope that we have some sort of super-secret Area 51 space-alien technology up our sleeves that can instantaneously neutralize incoming rockets/artillery.

  6. Norbert M Salamon says:

    find lack of reference to Russian/Chinese involvement highly suspicious – a war build up on their border and fought there and they sit like split melons????
    History teaches that the US can kill millions in Korea, history does not teach us that both Russia and China has sat out such war.
    Ergo no war except WWIII if mistakes are made by the Generals

  7. r whitman says:

    The BBC presentation is from a Western point of view. In actual practice something quite different might happen. The USA should be prepared to lose at least one city in CONUS to a nuclear weapon. It is also possible at the outset that NK will concentrate their artillery and missle fire to military objectives in SK and invade SK on a broad front immediately.

  8. charly says:

    What is more you don’t need a university for it. Script-kiddie level is enough when done on a massive scale. Especially if they attack American software where-ever it is used

  9. Lars says:

    it is a sad commentary that 2 bullies with bad hairdos can bring the world too close to the unthinkable. Either one is capable of making a terrible mistake. If any military action is taken, it will spiral out of control in a very short time.
    Can we send both to Time Out?

  10. Funny you should mention simian behavior. I just read about Jane Goodall’s comments about Trump’s actions being similar to those of aggressive chimpanzees. I’ll have to reread the reports of the Ghombe Chimpanzee War for any insights into this current Korean crisis. BTW, I had a childhood crush on Jane and still have a soft spot in my heart for her.

  11. Walrus says:

    Colonel, I listened to the BBC podcast and didn’t much like what I heard. While I agree with the presenters that a miscalculation by either side could cause a NK attack, I object to the smug assumption of the experts that such an attack would play out as it has in the annual war games.
    Given President Trumps experience of the vagaries of property development projects and military advisors who remember Von Moltkes dictum I would hope that he does not rely on things going as planned. A negotiated solution in my opinion is infinitely preferable to war on the Korean peninsula.
    To recap for SST members the games script appears as follows: The dastardly North Koreans attack across the DMZ, but we were ready for them. The plucky South Korean army, assisted by heroic efforts from American airpower blunt and then stall the NK advance. Within about three weeks America (and no doubt a coalition of the willing) starts delivering heavily equipped troops to bolster South Korean forces and prepare for a general advance North. Onwards to the Yalu! At that point the games finish and its time for coffee and biscuits all round.
    If the South Koreans falter we could see a mass of civilians and broken South Korean units fleeing South and by the time allied ground troops turn up in numbers we may face a fait accompli with the grinning fat guy in Seoul…..and that is without the tender ministrations of the Russians and Chinese.
    To put that another way; I watched a football game last night where the highly favoured Cats had their backsides handed to them by the Crows in the first five minutes of the first quarter (aussie rules football) the Cats never got ahead and lost by 61 points.
    We may not beat North Korea, not at all.

  12. jonst says:

    From my parochial perspective the US Foreign Policy/National Security Apparatus has specialized at setting up situations/policies that ‘maintain’ ultimately untenable policy choices. i.e. NATO, Korea, Iraq no fly zones, and, almost, Syrian no fly zones. These policies allow the *appearance* of some thoughtful, stabilizing, policy/diplomatic processes to take place. But it inevitably pushes the US to a ‘day of reckoning’. This policy locks us in to being on the ‘front lines’ when something, inevitably, goes wrong…down the road. 50 years ago this MAY have made sense. It no longer does. We should be leaving Korea to the Koreans. Iraq to the Iraqis. And NATO–especially as far as we have pushed it to the borders of Russia-to the Europeans. My suggestions, in my head, anyway, simply reflect the fiscal/and emotional limits/realities we have not only reached, but in fact over reached. We are spread too thin…in too many hot spots, and we have too many serious, divisive, issues at home. However, we have decided to reject these realities.

  13. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    George Friedman, writing at Mauldin Economics and who I assume is the same George Friedman who was the founder and former head of Stratfor, is more optimistic than you are, Colonel, primarily because of what he says is happening in South Korea:

    US President Donald Trump tweeted a message to the South Koreans accusing them of appeasement.
    In response, the South Koreans released a statement saying South Korea’s top interest was to ensure that it would never experience the devastation it endured during the Korean War.
    From South Korea’s perspective, artillery fire exchanges that might hit Seoul had to be avoided. Given the choice between a major war to end the North’s nuclear program and accepting a North Korea armed with nuclear weapons, South Korea would choose the latter.
    With that policy made public, and Trump’s criticism of it on the table, the entire game changed its form.
    The situation had been viewed as a two-player game, with North Korea rushing to build a deterrent and the US looking for the right moment to attack. But it was actually a three-player game in which South Korea played a pivotal role.
    The US could have attacked the North without South Korea’s agreement, but it would have been vastly more difficult. The US has a large number of fighter jets and about 40,000 troops based in the South.

  14. turcopolier says:

    ex PFC Chuck
    It is one thing to say that something “must be avoided” or “has to be avoided” and actually avoiding it. The simians don’t follow those thoughts when they start throwing s–t at each other. pl

  15. turcopolier says:

    I did not say that the BBC scrit was future truth. As you say, it mirrors the scenarios of various USFK war games. pl

  16. ked says:

    you’d think so, considering how much we’ve “invested” in missile defense. but you’d be wrong.
    however, the uncertainties of success on both the offense & defense, on both sides, along w/ the calculations of collateral damage & unintended consequences, might dampen the lust for killing. our problem is the quality of the leaders. single points of failure are always a fundamental non-linearity.

  17. ked says:

    me too! she served as an early lesson that hot chicks who were smart, odd & driven might also be hard-to-reach… but worth it (as I’ve very fortunately discovered in my own life).
    that article, plus Moyer’s interview of Lifton on the forthcoming book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, are bookends of our own Present-dential Crisis.

  18. FourthAndLong says:

    Kim’s latest threat to detonate an H bomb over the Pacific sounds to me like a tacit EMP threat.
    Ergo very serious business indeed. And not preceded by an “if”, as has been the case with Trump’s rhetoric. So, Colonel Lang can’t be too far off in his war prognostication.

  19. raven says:

    He can’t fight, he has bone spurs.

  20. Christian Chuba says:

    Before we do what is called a ‘preemptive war’, I would hope that there would be one really good diplomatic offer.
    When people in the DT Administration say that we are seeing where diplomacy takes us, slapping on sanctions and making threats isn’t diplomacy, it’s a stick, diplomacy it is narrowest form. I’m not against sanctions but at some point how about using the carot. The only time we actually offered N. Korea anything we got an 8yr freeze on their plutonium generating reactors.
    To avoid a military strike, one that would likely involve tactical nuclear weapons, that would start the killing at 100,000+ N. Koreans it would be unconscionable to not to make a really good offer. I’m not even going to try to sketch out any framework, that’s up to the experts to figure out a timetable to verify compliance, certainly not me.
    We want N. Korea to de-nuclearize and to stop building ICBM’s; Kim Un wants security. I’d open the checkbook (figuratively speaking), to avoid the kind of attack that a military option would require.

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