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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » North Korea Missiles (Page 1)

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Author Topic: North Korea Missiles
Stephan
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quote:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will announce at 3 p.m. (1900 GMT) on Friday a plan to bolster U.S. missile defenses in Alaska to counter the growing North Korean threat, a U.S. defense official said.
The official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, did not offer additional details.
But a top Pentagon official said on Tuesday the United States had the ability to swiftly deploy up to 14 additional ground-based missile interceptors, if needed, in Alaska.

http://news.yahoo.com/u-bolster-missile-defenses-counter-north-korea-threat-171256313.html

I'm a little confused. How are we not already well defended? Other than a short period of time with Cuba in the 60's, hasn't every real threat from missiles come from that general area of the world anyways?

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Boris
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Not really. Most of the missile plans during the cold war planned for the majority of missiles flying over the Atlantic. Russia (and the old soviet union) spans about a quarter of the planet. Launches from Moscow would travel a much shorter distance over the Atlantic than the Pacific. Only bases in Eastern Russia would have been able to hit the US, and those still have to go about 6000 miles or more to hit any major metropolitan areas. Remember, the Pacific takes up almost half the planet. The Atlantic is much smaller.
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Lyrhawn
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I'm not sure what the rush is. Neither Iran nor North Korea are ready to launch nuclear tipped missiles at the mainland.
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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I'm not sure what the rush is. Neither Iran nor North Korea are ready to launch nuclear tipped missiles at the mainland.

Didn't North Korea launch some test missles a few years back that landed off the coast of Alaska?
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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I'm not sure what the rush is. Neither Iran nor North Korea are ready to launch nuclear tipped missiles at the mainland.

Maybe they are (or will be soon), and the public is just ignorant of it. Besides those missile defense systems are not even close to perfect. I am definitely comfortable with having backups for our backups when it comes to the real possibility an unstable regime might throw a bunch of stuff our way to see if anything hits.

[ March 16, 2013, 06:55 PM: Message edited by: BlackBlade ]

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by stilesbn:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I'm not sure what the rush is. Neither Iran nor North Korea are ready to launch nuclear tipped missiles at the mainland.

Didn't North Korea launch some test missles a few years back that landed off the coast of Alaska?
Most experts think that North Korea is behind on two aspects: Miniaturization and guidance. Of course their most recent big missile test to launch a satellite was a total flop. But their nuclear technology needs to make another leap or two until they can make the nuke small enough to fit on the tip of a missile. They also don't have the guidance system ability or reliability to give it the sort of pinpoint accuracy you need for a city buster. ICBMs travel at tens of thousands of miles an hour and cross half the globe to hit their targets, and even with city busters you can't miss by more than a mile or two and still do your damage, which means you really need to be absolutely spot on. NK just isn't there yet. And for that matter, even their most advanced nukes can't even hit Seattle, the closest major city. With their current technology, even if you got over the miniaturization and guidance issues, the best they could do is Juneau or Fairbanks. Not something I'd be willing to part with, but it's also not really worth nuking.
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Szymon
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They don't have to hit a city. Unless they hit a desert or a middle of a forest, wherever the bomb goes off there will always be at least a hundred of fatalities, let alone radiation. I don't think Korea would care that much what they really hit.
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Dan_Frank
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It's not as though a nuclear bomb makes an area an irradiated wasteland incapable of supporting life, Syzmon. There's no point in sending a nuke if you aren't targeting something significant.
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Mucus
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North Korea also has to hit something worth trading getting their whole country nuked like ten or twenty times over.

That said, I approve. This is probably the best case scenario for military spending, it will probably never be used, the money doesn't go into needlessly bombing people, it's hard to use a missile defence system in anger, etc. If the money has to be spent on weapons, let it be spent on this.

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Lyrhawn
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Szymon,

Yeah, what they said. They do in fact need to hit a city, but I think that's irrelevant. Your statement works from the expectation that North Korea is completely irrational. You think they would use a nuke to blow up nothing just for the hell of it, knowing we'd turn their country into a parking lot? Nope. Don't think so. North Korean leadership have been masters of manipulation for years. China uses them as a foil, albeit an annoying unpredictable one because they keep the Pacific Rim from focusing on China exclusively, they're a thorn in our side.

Whenever they provoke us, they get something. Either we buy them off with money or press or concessions or food shipments, or China rewards them for it. They're very calculating. They're neither suicidal or irrational.

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BlackBlade
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I'm not convinced that if we were hit with a nuclear weapon, that we would send one let alone twenty back.

I'm sure we'd do something huge, but not necessarily nuclear.

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Lyrhawn
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I think it would depend entirely on the situation. But US operational procedures call for a nuclear response for any weapon of mass destruction attack on a US geographic or strategic asset, which means it's US policy to do so.

The problem with North Korea is that we could blow their civilians out of the water with conventional weapons, we could probably kill all of them. But they have the most advanced extensive bunker system in the world. Killing the leadership and the military would require nuclear bunker busters.

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BlackBlade
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Right. But lets say the nuke landed 30 miles South of LA, and detonated into the ocean. A few thousand folks in the water were killed, but the weapon clearly did not land where it was trying to go.

I don't think the response would be a nuclear bomb on Pyong-Yang. We'd send the navy to blockade the country, use our airforce to bomb all their facilities, and perhaps a ground army to invade through the ruins and hand Korea to the South Korean government. I'm not sure a nuclear weapon would be used. Now of course, us not being willing to use one might make us look weak, in which case I could be entirely wrong.

I just feel like Hiroshima and Nagasaki left a bad taste in our mouths, and sending another nuke to Asia, especially against an unstable crazy government would make a nuclear strike a hard sell.

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Lyrhawn
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Under those circumstances? I probably agree. Or maybe a series of very, very small tactical nukes to take out their main bases. But yeah, if the death toll is that low, I also doubt a major nuclear strike. We'd take them down conventionally.

I think the key phrase here is "proportional response."

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Mucus
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I feel like we'd probably disagree about what the American public would feel is a "proportional response." I think for rational people, what the two of you are saying would be perfectly reasonable.

However, after seeing the totally out of proportion national bloodlust invoked by 9/11, inflicted on many people not even related to the perpetrators of the crime, I'm not nearly as optimistic. Let's just say, I hope you're right but I wouldn't bet on it.

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Stephan
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Any ground response in North Korea would be a disaster for everyone involved.

Japan is debatable.

Less lives would be lost with a couple of nukes in response to North Korea.

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Xavier
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The real problem with nuking North Korea, is how China would feel about it. Obviously they have a more rational leadership than NK does, but if we "turn NK into a parking lot", I don't think that would sit well with them. Even if it was a response to the US getting nuked ourselves.

And China has the capability to pretty much destroy the US with their 90+ ICBMs and MIRV technology. As far as I know, anyway.

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Lyrhawn
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China knows that if they nuked us in response to us nuking NK, we'd nuke China as well. Is China willing to let themselves become parking lots as well just to avenge their annoying neighbor?

I think the answer is no.

If we nuked them capriciously, maybe, but if we answered nuke for nuke? They'd swallow it. They'd have to.

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Destineer
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Would it even be consistent with China's no-first-use policy for them to attack the US in response to a US attack on NK?
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Szymon
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I can agree that NK is not entirely irrational, but the language their speaking right now is that of madmen. This is also sth that you can feel in the air when you talk to Chinese people, right here right now. That NK is so poor they'd like to die, killing as many with them as possible, like kamikaze. Nuking SK and Japan, and US if possible. That is the reason why I posted that I posted. Beccause Im surrounded by this opinion that NK is like a humiliated boy who will do whatever, kick and bite, in it's irrational frenzy.
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JonHecht
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It seems like Chinese relations with NK have been deteriorating lately anyway. They were never exactly a happy couple, but it looks like it's getting worse.
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steven
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NK's leadrship is not entirely crazy. They know that, one way or another, nuking us would mean the end of their government and their military, the deaths of their leader and higher military leaders, and automatic reunification (under south Korean rule) with South Korea.
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Jeff C.
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NK is crazy. Look at them over there, stirring up trouble, acting a fool.
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Mucus
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quote:
The madman theory was a primary characteristic of the foreign policy conducted by U.S. President Richard Nixon. His administration, the executive branch of the federal government of the United States from 1969 to 1974, attempted to make the leaders of other countries think Nixon was mad, and that his behavior was irrational and volatile. Fearing an unpredictable American response, leaders of hostile Communist Bloc nations would avoid provoking the United States.

Nixon explained the strategy to his White House Chief of Staff, H. R. Haldeman:

I call it the Madman Theory, Bob. I want the North Vietnamese to believe I've reached the point where I might do anything to stop the war. We'll just slip the word to them that, "for God's sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about Communism. We can't restrain him when he's angry—and he has his hand on the nuclear button" and Ho Chi Minh himself will be in Paris in two days begging for peace.[1]

In October 1969, the Nixon administration indicated to the Soviet Union that "the madman was loose" when the United States military was ordered to full global war readiness alert (unbeknownst to the majority of the American population), and bombers armed with thermonuclear weapons flew patterns near the Soviet border for three consecutive days.[2]

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madman_theory

I'm not saying its the same, but it is a known strategy.

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Blayne Bradley
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Lyrhawn, and MacArthur and many others thought the Chinese wouldn't do anything when the US Army crossed the Parallel either; if the Chinese send their Ambassador to pressure the US to not use nuclear weapons beyond the minimum needed for bunker busting its something that I give a good likely hood as being listened to. Especially given that the South Koreans likely won't like seeing their northern brothers being nuked either; especially as the South might likely be performing occupation duty and reintegrating them.

quote:

Killing the leadership and the military would require nuclear bunker busters.

From what I've read there's plenty of sub nuclear bunker busters in the US inventory that would likely do the job assuming complete air superiority. The problem with the current inventory is the lack of munitions that could be carried successfully over Tehran.


Regardless, I think North Korea's days are largely numbered, as I've said a few years back the Chinese want a united Korea under Seoul while the North is an increasing liability that could undermine their economic growth. A possibility I've seen from North Korean I've seen is a possible intervention by the PLA and setting up a puppet government in the North, almost gauranteed if North Korea does something to provoke a military regime change response from the US.

China isn't Breznev's USSR so they likely won't be keeping garrisons for very long; I don't think they'll be willing to perform a Hungary 1956 under any circumstances, handing it over to South Korea under their terms while reaping the benefits for minimal cost and effort. The US and South Korea spends the bombs to soften them up while Commander Zhang Youxia with the 16th, 39th and 40th Group Armies finish the job.

It would be interesting to see if North Korea breaks the peace in a serious way if the US and China cooperate for peacekeeping.

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JanitorBlade
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quote:
Lyrhawn, and MacArthur and many others thought the Chinese wouldn't do anything when the US Army crossed the Parallel either;
I don't think Lyrhawn was alive at the same time as MacArthur...

Also, MacArthur didn't think the Chinese to come, but he also believed if they did, we'd just use our nukes, which was why he operated the way he did. Unfortunately for him, Truman was not on the same page.

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Blayne Bradley
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Obvious grammatical goof is obvious.

I do believe the historical record disagrees with that assessment, you're getting your events mixed up. Copying liberally from Wikipedia as I don't have my Korean War books at my apartment:

quote:

On 27 September, MacArthur received the top secret National Security Council Memorandum 81/1 from Truman reminding him that operations north of the 38th parallel were authorized only if "at the time of such operation there was no entry into North Korea by major Soviet or Chinese Communist forces, no announcements of intended entry, nor a threat to counter our operations militarily..."[134] On 29 September MacArthur restored the government of the Republic of Korea under Syngman Rhee.[131] On 30 September, Defense Secretary George Marshall sent an eyes-only message to MacArthur: "We want you to feel unhampered tactically and strategically to proceed north of the 38th parallel."[134] During October, the ROK police executed people who were suspected to be sympathetic to North Korea,[135] and same massacre carried out until early 1951.[136]
On 30 September, Zhou Enlai warned the United States that it was prepared to intervene in Korea if the United States crossed the 38th parallel. Zhou attempted to advise North Korean commanders on how to conduct a general withdrawal by using the same tactics which had allowed Chinese communist forces to successfully escape Chiang Kai-shek's Encirclement Campaigns in the 1930s. North Korean commanders did not utilize these tactics effectively.[137]
By 1 October 1950, the UN Command repelled the KPA northwards, past the 38th parallel; the ROK Army crossed after them, into North Korea.[138] MacArthur made a statement demanding the KPA's unconditional surrender.[139] Six days later, on 7 October, with UN authorization, the UN Command forces followed the ROK forces northwards.[140] The X Corps landed at Wonsan (in southeastern North Korea) and Riwon (in northeastern North Korea), already captured by ROK forces.[141] The Eighth United States Army and the ROK Army drove up western Korea and captured Pyongyang city, the North Korean capital, on 19 October 1950.[142] The 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team ("Rakkasans") made their first of two combat jumps during the Korean War on 20 October 1950 at Sunchon and Sukchon. The missions of the 187th were to cut the road north going to China, preventing North Korean leaders from escaping from Pyongyang; and to rescue American prisoners of war. At month's end, UN forces held 135,000 KPA prisoners of war.
Taking advantage of the UN Command's strategic momentum against the communists, General MacArthur believed it necessary to extend the Korean War into China to destroy depots supplying the North Korean war effort. President Truman disagreed, and ordered caution at the Sino-Korean border.

Not only was Chinese intervention believed to be unlikely but it was actively planned by MacArthur to cross the Yalu.

quote:

On 27 June 1950, two days after the KPA invaded and three months before the Chinese entered the war, President Truman dispatched the United States Seventh Fleet to the Taiwan Strait, to prevent hostilities between the Nationalist Republic of China (Taiwan) and the People's Republic of China (PRC).[144][145] On 4 August 1950, with the PRC invasion of Taiwan aborted, Mao Zedong reported to the Politburo that he would intervene in Korea when the People's Liberation Army's (PLA) Taiwan invasion force was reorganized into the PLA North East Frontier Force. China justified its entry into the war as a response to "American aggression in the guise of the UN".[146]
On 20 August 1950, Premier Zhou Enlai informed the United Nations that "Korea is China's neighbor... The Chinese people cannot but be concerned about a solution of the Korean question". Thus, through neutral-country diplomats, China warned that in safeguarding Chinese national security, they would intervene against the UN Command in Korea.[143] President Truman interpreted the communication as "a bald attempt to blackmail the UN", and dismissed it.

quote:

1 October 1950, the day that UN troops crossed the 38th parallel, was also the first anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. On that day the Soviet ambassador forwarded a telegram from Stalin to Mao and Zhou requesting that China send five to six divisions into Korea, and Kim Il-sung sent frantic appeals to Mao for Chinese military intervention. At the same time, Stalin made it clear that Soviet forces themselves would not directly intervene.[139]
In a series of emergency meetings that lasted from 2–5 October, Chinese leaders debated whether to send Chinese troops into Korea. There was considerable resistance among many leaders, including senior military leaders, to confronting the United States in Korea. Mao strongly supported intervention, and Zhou was one of the few Chinese leaders who firmly supported him. After General Lin Biao refused Mao's offer to command Chinese forces in Korea (citing poor health), Mao called General Peng Dehuai to Beijing to hear his views. After listening to both sides' arguments, Peng supported Mao's position, and the Politburo agreed to intervene in Korea.[148] Later, the Chinese claimed that US bombers had violated PRC national airspace on three separate occasions and attacked Chinese targets before China intervened.[149][150] On 8 October 1950, Mao Zedong redesignated the PLA North East Frontier Force as the Chinese People's Volunteer Army (PVA).

Bolded part here is not impossible, and actually probable considering the history of the US air campaign in WWII saw US bombers frequently bombing the wrong targets in the wrong country (such as Switzerland). Between MacArthur's earlier intentions and human error this is not easily dismiss-able.


And finally:

quote:

On 15 October 1950, President Truman and General MacArthur met at Wake Island in the mid-Pacific Ocean. This meeting was much publicized because of the General's discourteous refusal to meet the President on the continental US.[157] To President Truman, MacArthur speculated there was little risk of Chinese intervention in Korea,[158] and that the PRC's opportunity for aiding the KPA had lapsed. He believed the PRC had some 300,000 soldiers in Manchuria, and some 100,000–125,000 soldiers at the Yalu River. He further concluded that, although half of those forces might cross south, "if the Chinese tried to get down to Pyongyang, there would be the greatest slaughter" without air force protection.

Clearly the intention was not to use nuclear weapons to respond to a Chinese intervention, the feeling was clearly that MacArthur was convinced in US material and qualitative superiority and in American air assets would be sufficient to blunt and turn the tide.

quote:

The Chinese New Year's Offensive overwhelmed UN forces, allowing the PVA and KPA to conquer Seoul for the second time on 4 January 1951.

These setbacks prompted General MacArthur to consider using nuclear weapons against the Chinese or North Korean interiors, with the intention that radioactive fallout zones would interrupt the Chinese supply chains.[174] However, upon the arrival of the charismatic General Ridgway, the esprit de corps of the bloodied Eighth Army immediately began to revive

This wasn't until January 51' after the Chinese intervention.

The only other reference:

quote:

On 11 April 1951, Commander-in-Chief Truman relieved the controversial General MacArthur, the Supreme Commander in Korea.[182] There were several reasons for the dismissal. MacArthur had crossed the 38th parallel in the mistaken belief that the Chinese would not enter the war, leading to major allied losses. He believed that whether or not to use nuclear weapons should be his own decision, not the President's.[183] MacArthur threatened to destroy China unless it surrendered. While MacArthur felt total victory was the only honorable outcome, Truman was more pessimistic about his chances once involved in a land war in Asia, and felt a truce and orderly withdrawal from Korea could be a valid solution.[184] MacArthur was the subject of congressional hearings in May and June 1951, which determined that he had defied the orders of the President and thus had violated the US Constitution.


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BlackBlade
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You aren't proving me wrong. You are actually agreeing with me. The Chinese were openly stating their intention to be involved in Korea, MacArthur a top tier commander would have certainly been aware of this possibility. He may have gambled on it not happening, but to say he didn't even have a contingency plan for his contingency plan is to under estimate one history's brightest leaders.

Wikipedia saying "these events prompted MacArthur..." can mean one of two things.

1: MacArthur didn't even think about the concept of nuclear weapons until the Chinese got involved and there were setbacks in the ground invasion.

I'm gonna guess this is unlikely.

2: These setbacks prompted MacArthur to start looking logistically as to how to deploy our nuclear arsenal to ensure victory. An option he always had on the table as far as he was concerned. After all, we had used them to win a war less than 10 years ago.

This is what is likely, and what I already said was the case.

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Samprimary
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The North Korean government is pure evil, so I appreciate that the chinese are starting to recognize they were idiots to cooperate with pyongyang in any way, I hope it follows through to completion, and I regret the extreme difficulty that south korea will have dealing with the extremely impoverished, stupefied, malnourished north and their complete lack of workable infrastructure.
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steven
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quote:
Originally posted by Jeff C.:
NK is crazy...acting a fool.

Kim gone make make act a fool, up in here, up in here...

[ROFL]

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NobleHunter
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quote:
I regret the extreme difficulty that south korea will have dealing with the extremely impoverished, stupefied, malnourished north and their complete lack of workable infrastructure.
I'm sure the Koreans will find themselves drowning in offers of Chinese and American assistance following re-unification.
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Darth_Mauve
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My thoughts if NK thows a nuke at Alaska, Hawaii, Japan or Seoul.

A retaliatory nuclear strike is imperative in order to prove to all other nuclear nations that a nuclear attack will result in Assured Destruction. No matter who your allies or what your location, playing with nukes = devastation of your country. No quarter to that government would be given.

We want Iran, and Pakistan, and everyone else to know that even protected by China or whoever, use a nuke and you are ash.

The only limitations, other than a desire not to punish the people of NK more than necessary is the effect of nuclear fallout on nearby countries. China would be upset of we nuked NK in retaliation, but they would seek their own revenge if our Nukes killed thousands of their people with a deadly radioactive cloud.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by NobleHunter:
quote:
I regret the extreme difficulty that south korea will have dealing with the extremely impoverished, stupefied, malnourished north and their complete lack of workable infrastructure.
I'm sure the Koreans will find themselves drowning in offers of Chinese and American assistance following re-unification.
it doesn't matter. the only likely outcome at the end of this is reunification of the koreas under seoul (with special super happy friend america™ right there!) and it's just legitimately impossible, no matter what probable resources are available, to expect the process not to be a horrific drain on south korea's resources.

north korea's recovery will be a disaster no matter what. it would be like an absolutely extreme version of the problems of the german reunification. that country still has problems related to the former east german zone.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
You aren't proving me wrong. You are actually agreeing with me. The Chinese were openly stating their intention to be involved in Korea, MacArthur a top tier commander would have certainly been aware of this possibility. He may have gambled on it not happening, but to say he didn't even have a contingency plan for his contingency plan is to under estimate one history's brightest leaders.

Wikipedia saying "these events prompted MacArthur..." can mean one of two things.

1: MacArthur didn't even think about the concept of nuclear weapons until the Chinese got involved and there were setbacks in the ground invasion.

I'm gonna guess this is unlikely.

2: These setbacks prompted MacArthur to start looking logistically as to how to deploy our nuclear arsenal to ensure victory. An option he always had on the table as far as he was concerned. After all, we had used them to win a war less than 10 years ago.

This is what is likely, and what I already said was the case.

No, you specifically claimed that MacArthur didn't suppose the Chinese would intervene due to an intention to use nuclear weapons in response.

quote:

Also, MacArthur didn't think the Chinese to come, but he also believed if they did, we'd just use our nukes, which was why he operated the way he did. Unfortunately for him, Truman was not on the same page

The reality is entirely different 1) they, 'macarthur' (on laptop) or otherwise didn't believe they would intervene due to his own confidence in American conventional superiority; and 2) nuclear weapons didn't enter the narrative until [after the Americans were trounced by the PVA.

That MacArthur was dismissed by Truman was the culmination of an extended Chain of Command spats happened only significantly after Chinese intervention, not, when intervention first happened, and only after American set backs and only after MacArthur continuing to overstretch his designated command authority.

There is no historical record of MacArthur supposing that nuclear weapons are a deterrent to Chinese or Soviet intervention, your original post is factually incorrect and relies on a number of suppositions that is not born out by facts, we aren't agreeing on anything that I can see and I am confused how you can say so. Your (2) is not at all what you said.

The point is that Lyrhawn is assuming quite a few dangerous assumptions, which we know from history has led to tragic results and I hope the United States government isn't making the same assumption i.e: That the United States can freely nuke North Korea even with theatre-limited or tactical nuclear weapons as a proportional response or otherwise; but carefully study the diplomatic and geopolitical situation and respond with what is nessasary and internationally acceptable.

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BlackBlade
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Blayne:
quote:
No, you specifically claimed that MacArthur didn't suppose the Chinese would intervene due to an intention to use nuclear weapons in response
I did not say 'suppose' I chose my words carefully. MacArthur did not think the Chinese would come, but he certainly anticipated that possibility. That's what you do in war.

The fact that MacArthur was not actively pushing for nukes until late in the conflict, does not mean they weren't on the table. It just means he had several other strategies and options available to work through before he got to them.

Lyrhawn isn't making any dangerous assumptions. North Korea launching a nuke at the United States is an act of war. It's not anything less. The only thing that would save the North Koreans from us turning their country to ashes in that scenario is that the majority of the populace are slaves to a dictatorship, and don't have enough objectivity to stop such an attack.

It doesn't matter, they aren't going to launch a nuke at us, but they might very well sell one to one of our enemies. They should be crushed into submission until they stop trying to do that sort of thing.

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Lyrhawn
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Blayne,

Regardless of everything else, I think you're making a mistake by pretending nuclear war and conventional war are the same thing and require the same responses.

China responded to US crossing the Yalu by sending in troops as they threatened to, but it never really threatened the integrity of China itself, and they knew that. It was a proxy war on foreign territory. But nukes change the equation.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:

I did not say 'suppose' I chose my words carefully. MacArthur did not think the Chinese would come, but he certainly anticipated that possibility. That's what you do in war.

You do not actually know this, this is the definition of a supposition. You are assuming that MacArthur would've anticipated the possibility, because you are using the somewhat flawed predication that MacArthur was "one of the brightest commanders" hence it seems obviously reasonable to conclude he would obviously have anticipated Chinese intervention.

The fact is that he did not and made no operational or logistical preparations to account for a potential Chinese intervention, his forces were dangerously overstretched, there were no reserves for the possibility nor airforces allocated, the very reason MacArthur believed the Chinese would not intervene.

Are you claiming he *did* prepare but was defeated anyways? That's nonsense.

quote:

The fact that MacArthur was not actively pushing for nukes until late in the conflict, does not mean they weren't on the table. It just means he had several other strategies and options available to work through before he got to them.

False. "Being on the table" implies that the United States policy on the deployment of nuclear weapons was of Truman explicitly giving MacArthur nuclear release to use nuclear weapons. There is no historical evidence to support this.

In fact the United States even at this time was fairly cautious in its nuclear policy, treating them as last resort strategic weapons that they were and keeping authorization clearly in the hands of the president of the united states.

As such it would've been impossible for nuclear weapons to have been on the table because MacArthur did not have the legal authority to use them unless specifically granted it by Truman, which did not and never happened hence therefore it has been shown that MacArthur did not dismiss the notion of Chinese intervention because of nuclear weapons hence your counter argument that China today would sit idly by while North Korea gets or is about to be nuked is nonsensical based on the historical record hence people should be wary of making assumption, especially when they seem to possess a mistaken understanding of history.

Hence even if it were true you still have to deal with the fact that they intervened anyways regardless of American nuclear superiority which should strongly inform you that maybe relying on nuclear deterrence is not the cure to all things.

quote:

Lyrhawn isn't making any dangerous assumptions. North Korea launching a nuke at the United States is an act of war. It's not anything less. The only thing that would save the North Koreans from us turning their country to ashes in that scenario is that the majority of the populace are slaves to a dictatorship, and don't have enough objectivity to stop such an attack.

Totally wrong, check out MacNamara and his question about whether proportionality should be a guideline in war; the use of strategic WMD's on North Korea, even in response to a nuclear attack is a war crime.

Plus Chinese diplomatic objections, South Korean diplomatic objections, Japanese diplomatic objections, French diplomatic objections, British diplomatic objections, Russian diplomatic objects, (Vladivostok) and so on. The point is I don't think its going to happen because of a variety of reasons aside from where blame actually resides.

quote:

It doesn't matter, they aren't going to launch a nuke at us, but they might very well sell one to one of our enemies. They should be crushed into submission until they stop trying to do that sort of thing.

You saying something factually incorrect predicated on assumptions you could not possibly know without evidence is what matters.
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BlackBlade
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Blayne:
quote:
You do not actually know this, this is the definition of a supposition.
Yes I do. MacArthur specifically warned that when Japan was defeated during WWII that Korea or China might invade the country in the short-term. Do you want me to believe he didn't consider the possibility that when he invaded North Korea that the Chinese would fight a proxy war there?

quote:
The fact is that he did not and made no operational or logistical preparations to account for a potential Chinese intervention
Because when you fight a war in a Democratic nation or as part of the UN Blayne, you have to get approval for more troops to be sent, as well as material. You don't get to unilaterally send all legions.

quote:
As such it would've been impossible for nuclear weapons to have been on the table because MacArthur did not have the legal authority to use them
. So? It's a small matter to pick up the phone and get in touch with the President when you are General MacArthur. He also viewed Truman as more a roadblock to be driven over.[/quote]

quote:
Totally wrong, check out MacNamara and his question about whether proportionality should be a guideline in war; the use of strategic WMD's on North Korea, even in response to a nuclear attack is a war crime.
Please. MacNamara? The guy who left the cabinet during Vietnam? He's the one telling us what a war crime is? I feel like your biases are bleeding through. If NK threw a nuke at us, we'd be limited to one nuke in response, and no more? It sure is a good thing we weren't governed by proportionate response after Pearl Harbor.

quote:
You saying something factually incorrect predicated on assumptions you could not possibly know without evidence is what matters.
Take your own advice, it sure would be nice about 99% of the time we discuss anything.
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Blayne Bradley
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You're just making up stuff now and not at really making a coherent point.

Look again at your original post, there is no way someone can reasonably conclude that what you said there, is equivalent to what you said further down.

Your argument, further down, is a very much different and "new" argument than your original one, you've changed your argument without acknowledging that this is the case.

Again, your original post:

quote:

Also, MacArthur didn't think the Chinese to come, but he also believed if they did, we'd just use our nukes, which was why he operated the way he did. Unfortunately for him, Truman was not on the same page

I have shown that this to be demonstrably false according to the historical record, your arguments are predicated on flawed assumptions.

And so I actually went and contacted a Phd graduate student on history and here's his response:

quote:

MacArthur didn't believe that the Chinese would invade because he "understood the Oriental mind" and knew that they ultimately wouldn't want to stand up to the might of the American army. He also ignored army intelligence, which was saying, "hey, there's an awful lot of Chinese soldiers in North Korea", army strategists who were saying "just stop at the bottleneck north of Pyongyang, those mountains are a bitch and winter's coming and we've just captured 3/4ths of the Korean population and industry" and also the Chinese themselves, who were saying (via the Indian ambassador) "we really really don't want the Americans on our border and we're gonna move to stop that if they keep advancing". But no, MacArthur just had to conquer Korea to use it (and Taiwan) as springboards to bring democracy and christianity back to China.

His reference is Halberstam, MacArthur ran his campaign in such a way as to allow his ego and racism to cloud solid military judgement.
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BlackBlade
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Your PHD student just proved everything I was saying. MacArthur did not think the Chinese would come, but he felt ready for that eventuality. He ultimately wanted a land war with the Chinese.

That nuclear weapons were a part of his mental calculus cannot be disputed. He was fired over his disagreements with Truman on this point.

I don't know why you are trying to argue that MacArthur was just somehow ignorant of what nuclear weapons were, and that we had them, and had used them when he made decisions.

I'm not arguing that MacArthur had an ego or that racism could cloud his judgement. I have only said the entire time, that MacArthur did not think the Chinese would come, but that if they did, he had the means to deal with them to. Things went poorly, and we got pushed back, which was when he went to the last option, nuclear weapons, and the ensuing disagreement with Truman cost him his job.

Meanwhile, hats off to the Chinese for guaranteeing 60 more years (so far) of North Korean misery.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:

Your PHD student just proved everything I was saying. MacArthur did not think the Chinese would come, but he felt ready for that eventuality. He ultimately wanted a land war with the Chinese.

But *not* because of nuclear weapons, as that was a political decision not under his control.

quote:

That nuclear weapons were a part of his mental calculus cannot be disputed. He was fired over his disagreements with Truman on this point.

I have disputed it very clearly with the historical record. There is no record it was a part of his mental calculus until after he started losing.

quote:

I don't know why you are trying to argue that MacArthur was just somehow ignorant of what nuclear weapons were

Strawman.

quote:

I'm not arguing that MacArthur had an ego or that racism could cloud his judgement. I have only said the entire time, that MacArthur did not think the Chinese would come, but that if they did, he had the means to deal with them to. Things went poorly, and we got pushed back, which was when he went to the last option, nuclear weapons, and the ensuing disagreement with Truman cost him his job.

Shifting the goalposts, your OP does not match this.
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BlackBlade
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Here's me talking.

quote:
Also, MacArthur didn't think the Chinese to come, but he also believed if they did, we'd just use our nukes, which was why he operated the way he did. Unfortunately for him, Truman was not on the same page.
More me talking.

quote:
I have only said the entire time, that MacArthur did not think the Chinese would come, but that if they did, he had the means to deal with them to.(sic)"
That means was,
quote:
nuclear weapons, and the ensuing disagreement with Truman cost him his job."
There's no group of strawmen coniving to move the goalposts with shouts of non-sequitors and ad-hominems.

quote:
There is no record it was a part of his mental calculus until after he started losing.
OK. So you *are* arguing that MacArthur never once considered nuclear weapons to be one of the tools he could use in a military conflict with Korea or China? The thought never entered his mind until he started losing, and then he decided nuclear weapons were around waiting to be used?

Is that where you stand?

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:

OK. So you *are* arguing that MacArthur never once considered nuclear weapons to be one of the tools he could use in a military conflict with Korea or China?

This is shifting the goalposts because your original post is that MacArthur believed he could use nuclear weapons to counter a possible Chinese intervention ergo why he felt they wouldn't attack. Not that it was somewhere vaguely in the back of his mind maybe something he could do once he started losing after exhausting all other options.

quote:

More me talking.

Are you trying to claim that your posts were simply a "progression" from your original post to your other posts? That is clearly disingenuous because I called you on factual inaccuracies in that post and instead of addressing it you are raising entirely different arguments, there's no logical relation between them; additially your ignoring the testimony that says that MacArthur had a variety of (flawed) reasons to dismiss the possibility of Chinese intervention but nuclear weapons were never recorded as being one.

The point, is that you don't get to assume he was thinking it because that is not how history works.

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Parkour
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I Got A Bingo.
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BlackBlade
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Blayne:
quote:
This is shifting the goalposts because your original post is that MacArthur believed he could use nuclear weapons to counter a possible Chinese intervention ergo why he felt they wouldn't attack.
No. I never made that claim. I did not say that MacArthur believed nuclear weapons would prevent the Chinese from being involved in North Korea. Not one time.

I only said that he did not believe the Chinese would get involved, but if they did, he had a mechanism for responding.

That's it.

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Lyrhawn
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When I was TAing for a pretty well-known military historian, he said that MacArthur had a plan to reach the Yalu and then seed the riverbed and shore with radioactive isotopes which would make it utterly impassable for decades. I can't remember why it wasn't implemented, probably because of Truman, but that's a pretty interesting plan.
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Dan_Frank
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I'm exhausted just reading this conversation. Yikes.
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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
Blayne:
quote:
This is shifting the goalposts because your original post is that MacArthur believed he could use nuclear weapons to counter a possible Chinese intervention ergo why he felt they wouldn't attack.
No. I never made that claim. I did not say that MacArthur believed nuclear weapons would prevent the Chinese from being involved in North Korea. Not one time.

I only said that he did not believe the Chinese would get involved, but if they did, he had a mechanism for responding.

That's it.

But that is not what you literally said. I can accept the fact that you misspoke and your later posts is your efforts at clarification but don't urinate on my leg and tell me its raining.

Again, lets be specific:

quote:

MacArthur didn't think the Chinese to come, but he also believed if they did, we'd just use our nukes

Ergo why he didn't think they would intervene, otherwise there was no point to responding to my Original post.

Remember MacArthur *did* not believe or plan on using nuclear weapons (contradicting your statement), nor did he at all believe that the Chinese would intervene and there is no historical record of him making any contingencies in the possibility of a Chinese intervening and when it did happen he ignored Army intelligence to that effect.


quote:

When I was TAing for a pretty well-known military historian, he said that MacArthur had a plan to reach the Yalu and then seed the riverbed and shore with radioactive isotopes which would make it utterly impassable for decades. I can't remember why it wasn't implemented, probably because of Truman, but that's a pretty interesting plan.

Again, this isn't factually correct, not in the context of initial intervention in 1950. The historical record is that MacArthur wanted to use Korea as a springboard to invade the PRC with the ROC to "liberate" it. Using nuclear weapons in the interior/border was only recorded after the Chinese took Seoul.
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BlackBlade
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Blayne:
quote:
But that is not what you literally said.
Yes it is. You need to accept that. Everything else you said is derivative of your unwillingness to accept that the point you are arguing against is not one I made.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
When I was TAing for a pretty well-known military historian, he said that MacArthur had a plan to reach the Yalu and then seed the riverbed and shore with radioactive isotopes which would make it utterly impassable for decades. I can't remember why it wasn't implemented, probably because of Truman, but that's a pretty interesting plan.

Good grief. That sounds, without exaggeration, like a plot device in the Fallout series. Heh. Didn't expect a reminder of how they modeled their setting after cultural ideas of the 1950s!
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