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Post 11 Sep 2017, 1:37 pm

rickyp wrote:Freeman3
You minimize the risks of doing nothing

I acknowledge that there is a risk in doing nothing.
NK might act first.
If Kim Jong Un is irrational.


That may be the core question. You may posit he's rational if you want. I submit there is no way to prove it. In fact, I'd guess a jury of 12 weighing evidence and arguments would vote 10-2 (at least) for "irrational." Sorry, but the dude is nuts. Just the stories he permits to be told about him alone are signs of insanity. He makes Trump seem modest.

This would be a nice "exhibit" in the court battle: http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/576 ... d-missiles

I mean, really, make a *case* for his sanity. Go ahead. It's total guesswork. On the other hand, there is ample evidence that he's slipped on one too many banana peels.

The damage to the Korean Pennisula if Jong Un acts first, would be just about the same if he retaliates to a aggressive act. However China would not intervene whilst NK is being destroyed (as they have said through state media) and the war would not become a global conflict.


There is the possibility someone else could take Un out--or that our first strike would be very successful.
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Post 14 Sep 2017, 10:04 pm

Ricky,

I hear you on all of your points here, and they are points to consider certainly but now the fool has gone ahead and lobbed another test missile over Japan. This marks his second test over Japanese airspace. What an effrontery to Japanese sovereignty, let alone security.

My original post was in regard to a "decapitation" decision. Surely both China and Russia must see that the guy has gone beyond saber rattling? They must see it as of today's second test?

If we wait. If we play the game and hold off on taking him out, he merely pushes the envelope even further and we all edge closer and closer to millions of innocent people in harm's way.

I'll save for another thread the failure of the so called "intelligence community" to understand how far along he was with his nuke technology. One day I wake up and the talking heads are telling me he's tested an H Bomb. Oh, really, you don't say? NK 7 - American Intelligence Community 0. But I digress.

If he strikes first and uses his H Bomb, God forbid he ever does, and people are harmed, and we look back with hindsight and realize that we could have prevented it from happening, and find consensus after the fact, that we should have prevented it from happening, you might refrain from all future Peace in Our Time posts here.

That's if he strikes first.

It is morally reprehensible not to stop him at this point in my opinion. No one gets to talk smack or better, act on their threats in a post 911 world.
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Post 15 Sep 2017, 7:35 am

dag
If he strikes first and uses his H Bomb


Consider what happens if the US strikes first. He, or his successor would certainly strike back with any and all capabilities . Including H bomb or other nuclear weapons, and all NK's other military.
This is guaranteed.
Can you guarantee that the damage from their retaliation would be any less than the damage from their first strike?
I'll reference your estimation of the intelligence community as evidence that you don't have faith in them...
dag
NK 7 - American Intelligence Community 0

If they can't keep track of development process in NK, how can they know for certain where all the assets are? If they don't get all the assets, then any retaliation by NK to a first strike will be just as devastating as if they struck first...
What will have been accomplished Dag?
You still get the destruction of the Korean peninsula and perhaps a great deal of damage to Japan. Maybe, though very unlikely, NK even manages to strike the US...
The only way to avoid that would be to have 100% effective preemptive strike...and how likely is that if the intelligence community is as lacking in insight to NK as you recognize?

There is an article in Washington Post today that i can't link. titled
The awkward history of ‘decapitation’ plots against North Korea

Perhaps it will put into perspective the reality of any attempted intervention in NK.

I still think its better to move forward relying on NK to comprehend the deterrence of utter destruction that would result if they act first... and their ultimate desire to avoid this destruction.
Its worked so far... And has worked to deter every nuclear power from first strike.. for decades.
I see now reason to lose one's nerve because NK is being provocative. I see no reason to give in to the provocations...
If any intervention is attempted it will be a large gamble, with almost certain repercussions. And not just from NK, but most likely from China.
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Post 15 Sep 2017, 8:12 am

By playing the waiting game he has only gained in his capability to do harm. That history is clearly indisputable. He is the one who has set the trajectory. No one else. Continuing the waiting game only ensures more gains, more H Bombs, more capacity to use them.

I find it amazing that you seem to dismiss this trajectory and the history that has led up to where we are today.

I was in your camp until recently. And if you recall, I called Freeman out earlier on what I viewed as a cavalier position on Seoul. However, after the lunatic lobbed a test missile over Japan, I changed my mind. And then he tests an H-Bomb? And now another test, again over one of our allies?

What's the old adage Ricky? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice.....
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Post 15 Sep 2017, 11:00 am

dag
Continuing the waiting game only ensures more gains, more H Bombs, more capacity to use them.

But this doesn't change the deterrence equation does it?

Russia improved their arsenal constantly. But they are deterred from first strike use. So did China...
Even though NK improves their weaponry ... Nothing ultimately changes . If they should be foolish enough to use them ... NK will be destroyed . Without China coming to their defense.
So why would they risk a first strike with this the only result?

If there were a way to 100% guarantee that the potential for NK to retaliate from a US preemptive strike could be 100% eliminated And if one could be 100% sure China would not intercede militarily ...
then you have an option.
Until then, the only option that is 100% going to ensure the Korean penninsula isn't destroyed (and perhaps Japan and more...) is reliance upon the tried and tested "deterrence" . In the case of Russia and the US, mutually assured destruction. In the case of NK, more like NK assured destruction. (Since the US is unlikely to suffer much in comparison to the damage that could be meted upon NK)
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Post 15 Sep 2017, 11:48 am

I have been kind of wondering how NK has been proceeding so quickly in its ICBM development. This story indicates that China might be helping both Pakistan and NK.

http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/ ... m-warhead/

If China is involved in NK's recent nuclear development that puts a whole new spin on things.

By the way, a couple of things with regard to MADD: (1) Russia and China were much, much stronger than the NK so the calculus of interfering with their nukes would have been different--we have a greater capacity to deal with NK than China or Russia, (2) Russia and China may have had some very cruel leaders but they were fairly rational in their foreign relations--don't think we can say the same about NK, and (3) the more nukes proliferate, the more difficult it becomes to stop further proliferation, the more chances that someone will resort to nukes at some point.
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Post 15 Sep 2017, 2:53 pm

Ricky,

I want to go along with your take on this but I'm afraid I can not. Freeman's point is worth repeating. Neither China nor Russia ever threatened to annihilate us on a regular basis while they were testing their arsenal.

We're up against an element of crazy here.

Whose to say with 100% certitude that NK would respond to the loss of their leader by attacking? Isn't it possible that such an action would be interpreted as a means of avoiding nuclear holocaust?

No matter how you answer, no one can know with 100% certitude. That's why we are left with falling back on what we do know. And let's go over those knowns:

1. Kim has told us he will annihilate us.
2. Kim has developed nukes to do so.
3. Kim has successfully tested the delivery mechanisms for said nukes.
4. Kim has developed an H Bomb.
5. Kim has violated an ally's air space not once but twice.
6. Kim continues to threaten the US and our allies with nukes.

How many more knowns do we need here? I don't need 100% Ricky. I have enough to go on. He's got to go before it's too late.

Still, something doesn't seem ethical about it.
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Post 16 Sep 2017, 7:59 am

dag
1. Kim has told us he will annihilate us
.
So what. He can't.

2. Kim has developed nukes to do so.

The only nation with enough nukes to annihilate the US is Russia. (perhaps China) And then only if the missile defence systems of the US fail completely. Every nation, and especially NK knows that the US retaliation would be sufficient to end their nations. Mao was crazy enough to think millions of Chinese would survive and that they would then prevail. Now he WAS crazy.ANd yet he never used nukes.

dag
3. Kim has successfully tested the delivery mechanisms for said nukes.
4. Kim has developed an H Bomb.
5. Kim has violated an ally's air space not once but twice.
6. Kim continues to threaten the US and our allies with nukes.

So what.? See 2.

Dag
How many more knowns do we need here? I don't need 100% Ricky. I have enough to go on. He's got to go before it's too late.

You have no clue what you don't know. Or do, but won't admit it because your arguement falls apart then...
Do you know with any degree of certainty that NK would be unable to retaliate or motivated to not retaliate to a first strike?
You've already complained that there has been poor intelligence about NK. What on earth makes you think that if they didn't know what was being developed that they then know where everything is and how to eradicate all assets? (Please answer this as it is essential to risk assessment.Freeman. )

If you actually think NK would risk retaliation after a first strike of their own, how could you possibly imagine they wouldn't retaliate to a US first strike. If they are crazy enough to strike first,(A) they couldn't possibly be sane enough, or vengeful enough, not to retaliate.(B)
If you are right about A you have to then be wrong about B.

You can't guarantee that China wouldn't be involved in the case of A... they've said they would. In which case B becomes a global nuclear war where the US actually is going to be heavily damaged at the very least. And the Korean Pennisula uninhabitable for hundreds of years...

dag
How many more knowns do we need here?

We actually have enough knowns, to know that the risk of nuclear war is greater if the US strikes first than if the US is patient...
We have enough knowns to know with virtual certainty that a US first strike would result in a Korean peninsula utterly destroyed
We have enough knowns to know that assured destruction has been an effective deterrent to first use of nuclear weapons for decades... And that is enough evidence to offer to support the course of action proposed. Yes, there is a little doubt. But your option has a certain result.

You and Freeman are making assumptions that directly contradict . NK can't be crazy enough to use first strike, but sane enough NOT to retaliate.
Intelligence can't be poor on tracking NK weapons development, but good enough to ensure 100% success for a US first strike.
China can't be crazy enough to support NK weapons development but sane enough not to get involved in defending NK after a US first strike.
What I know is 100% certain. No nation has used nuclear weapons since their enemies had the ability to strike back at them with nuclear weapons... And there is no evidence other than NK posturing, that they would take the risk - knowing full well what the result would be,,,
Why are you giving in to bluster ? NK bluster and posturing should not be sufficient to end US, SK and Japanese resolve.
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Post 17 Sep 2017, 7:40 pm

The only nation with enough nukes to annihilate the US is Russia. (perhaps China) And then only if the missile defence systems of the US fail completely.


What missile defense systems are you referring to?

IMO, it might not be a good idea to assassinate Kim. It's like World War II: Churchill was afraid of doing so because he would be replaced with a more competent military leader and the Allies would have lost (a coup would have bettered that situation, not a simple assassination of the Fuhrer alone). This might be the same situation here?
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Post 19 Sep 2017, 1:09 am

Interesting article on North Korea from the New Yorker.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.newyor ... -korea/amp
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Post 22 Sep 2017, 12:26 pm

Rickyp,

Are you prepared to stand by your arguments if and when nutjob lobs an H-Bomb into the Pacific Ocean?

Curious.

dh
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Post 22 Sep 2017, 12:47 pm

dag
Are you prepared to stand by your arguments if and when nutjob lobs an H-Bomb into the Pacific Ocean?


Which nut job you talking about?

If?
When?
What?

The North Korean Foreign Minister;'s statement wasn't really clear...
We have no idea about what actions could be taken as it will be ordered by leader Kim Jong-un,” said North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, according to Yonhap News

More bluster in response to the other guys bluster?
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Post 24 Sep 2017, 4:13 pm

I'm talking about the nutjob with the really bad haircut.
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Post 25 Sep 2017, 9:13 am

dag
I'm talking about the nutjob with the really bad haircut.


You're still being ambiguous...

Rocket Man or The Dotard?
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Post 26 Sep 2017, 4:00 pm

I'm talking about the nutjob with the really bad haircut.


Rickyp,

I was joking, lobbing you a softball, figuring you'd have a field day with that one.

It seems pretty clear that you are willing to simply live with a nuked up NK. Is that a fair assessment of what you've argued so far? That it would be better to live on the edge than to guarantee suffering and destruction?

If that assessment is correct, then you are ok with "bad hair cut 1" lobbing a nuke into the Pacific in order to test out his new found toy. And you are NOT ok with 'bad hair cut 2" conducting a preemptive strike in order to stop him before he has a chance to act on his threats.

I think my biggest concern about your approach is the fact that you are not factoring in the "crazy quotient."

The tome you laid out earlier doesn't take "crazy" into consideration. It's one thing to develop a nuke. Quite another to develop a nuke while threatening all along to destroy someone's country.

For you to say "bad hair cut 1" or BHC1 is simply saber rattling isn't good enough for me. And for you to point to BHC1 refraining from acting on his threats for fear of his own demise doesn't hold much water either. What if he doesn't care about self preservation? There are certainly plenty of suicide bombers out there willing to have a go at us in spite of it meaning their end. Why is BHC1 any different? Don't the suicide bombers emerge from a similar culture of outlandish threats? Thank goodness they only have grenades, IEDs and the like (sarcasm to a point). If they could strap a nuke onto their back and let it whirl they would in a New York minute. That's because "the crazy quotient" is at play in their world.

I say the same is true for BHC1.