Monday, March 18, 2013

WSJ editorial notes US vulnerability to nuclear attack from North Korea, a suddenly returning epiphany

The Wall Street Journal this morning, in an editorial, called “Obama’s Missile-Defense Reversal” a “tacit admission that the U.S. will soon be vulnerable to attack”, link here

It also notes the “liberal” objection to Ronald Reagan’s Star Wars back in 1983.
One problem that seems particularly disturbing is the inconsistency in supposedly official assessments of North Korean capability.   Generally, it’s thought that North Korea cannot reach the continental US with a deployable missile, but it may be able to reach Alaska or Hawaii.  It’s pretty obvious that it would soon be able to attack South Korea with nuclear weapons if it even has one detonatable weapon.  And it has called off the armistice that ended the Korean War, meaning that technically it is in a state of war with South Korea now.
The practical threats are much more likely to involve an EMP assault rather than a fubbblown detonation, and that was the pretext of the second “Red Dawn” film last fall (My “cf” blog, Nov. 22, 2012).  Of course, the rest of that film was pretty preposterous.
The reduction on defense spending, as a result of sequester, suddenly seems dangerous.  Reduction has occurred in tandem with growing needs for entitlements.  Could North Korea’s “Un” be playing on this?  It sounds as if his attitude is one of nihilism, like that of a typical terrorist.
One implication of all of this bluster is that the “domino theory” that led us into the Korean and later Vietnam wars may not be all bunk after all.   For someone who went through the military draft in 1968 (and lived through the moral debate on deferments) this takes on a surprisingly personal aspect.   

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