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The Insanity of Starting a War with North Korea

Lindsey Graham is an incorrigible warmonger [1]:

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said this week that a war with North Korea would be “worth it” in the long term.

Graham made the comments in an interview with CNN.

“All the damage that would come from a war would be worth it in terms of long-term stability and national security,” the senator told CNN.

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Graham’s enthusiasm for getting other people killed in unnecessary wars is not new or surprising, but his support [2] for starting a war [3] with North Korea is unusually strong even for him. He has been agitating for an attack for quite a while, and when he is confronted with the staggering costs that would come from a war he dismisses them by saying that they would happen “over there.” His reflexive hawkishness would scarcely be worth mentioning except that Trump seems to be thinking along similar lines [4]:

The Trump administration is considering military action against North Korea if the rogue regime successfully builds a nuclear missile capable of hitting the United States, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the administration’s latest thinking. Senior national security officials believe a nuclear armed Pyongyang represents an unacceptable risk to the US.

Insofar as Trump is listening to the worst hard-liners in his own party, he may be inclined to think that starting a war with North Korea is a good idea. So long as the president buys into the insane notion that North Korea’s mere possession of an ICBM with a nuclear warhead justifies attacking them, he could very well be willing to order an attack in a flagrant violation of the Constitution and international law.

There is no way that a war with a nuclear-armed North Korea could be “worth it,” and saying that it would be shows a monstrous disregard for the lives and well-being of tens of millions of people on the Korean Peninsula. A war with North Korea would be an unmitigated disaster for everyone on the Korean Peninsula, and it would be extremely costly for the U.S. and the surrounding region. In the worst-case scenario, a U.S. attack could precipitate the very nuclear attack on American soil that it is supposed to “prevent.” If the U.S. gives the North Korean government reason to think that they have nothing to lose, that scenario is not so far-fetched.

Beyond the immediate massive loss of life and property, the damage to the global economy would be extensive. The region would be dangerously unstable for many years and probably decades afterwards. Even if we assume that China stayed neutral in a major war on its doorstep, tensions with China would be very high for a long time to come. If China chose to intervene on North Korea’s side as they probably would, the U.S. might even lose the war or be forced into another stalemate at great cost. Victory in a war with North Korea would be Pyrrhic, and could not possibly be “worth” the price that it would cost.

12 Comments (Open | Close)

12 Comments To "The Insanity of Starting a War with North Korea"

#1 Comment By HenionJD On March 3, 2018 @ 3:18 pm

>>when he is confronted with the staggering costs that would come from a war he dismisses them by saying that they would happen “over there.”<<

And that is their argument in a nutshell. Attack North Korea now before they are truly capable of hitting the U.S. even though collateral damage will be the deaths of millions of the people whose protection is the very reason were are in conflict with North Korea in the first place.

#2 Comment By clairence On March 3, 2018 @ 3:27 pm

“All the damage that would come from a war would be worth it in terms of long-term stability and national security”

— He meant, let’s just get it over with so POTUS can move on to other things. At least, that’s how I read it.

#3 Comment By Taras 77 On March 3, 2018 @ 6:17 pm

There is just no way, no rationale, no arguments for security, stability, that could justify starting a war with North Korea. Period!

Graham is a madman in so advocating!

#4 Comment By Viriato On March 3, 2018 @ 10:51 pm

In addition to all of the above reasons why a war with North Korea would be catastrophic, one should take into account the biological effects of the radiation from the nukes.

Graham is a nutjob. In a sane and healthy democracy, he would be regarded as an extremist crank and ignored by the media, by the White House, and by his colleagues. Instead, this fate is far more likely to fall upon those with sane foreign policy views!

I think the best solution to this crisis would be for North Korea and South Korea to reunite on a “one country, two systems” basis. A reunited Korea would be a nuclear power. The North Korean regime would be assured of its survival, at least in the medium- to long-term, and the threat to South Korea would disappear. The threat to Japan would likely be greatly reduced, if not totally disappear. All in all, tensions in the region would greatly decrease.

#5 Comment By Clyde Schechter On March 3, 2018 @ 10:58 pm

“And that is their argument in a nutshell. Attack North Korea now before they are truly capable of hitting the U.S. even though collateral damage will be the deaths of millions of the people whose protection is the very reason were are in conflict with North Korea in the first place.”

Well, it really does give the lie to any fanciful notion that our military engagement in Asia is about protecting anybody over there. It is a blatantly clear that the US is just set on total global domination and empire.

#6 Comment By Paul On March 3, 2018 @ 11:48 pm

I agree that a war now would be a disaster for all. But we also should be clear that a long period of deterrence (since Kim will never give up his weapons) will not be easy. The underlying contentions will still exist, NK will not except negotiation on its nuclear weapons, therefore, the US will improve anti-missile technology and stay in the region (at great annoyance to China. The chances for miscalculation with a fully armed NK (100+ ICBMs) will be great.

#7 Comment By Fred Bowman On March 4, 2018 @ 10:49 am

Another thing to consider is the devastating effect on the US economy that WILl happen if the US attacks North Korea, as without a doubt, China will stop all trade with the United States. And unfortunately the United States doesn’t have manufacturing capability anymore to make a quick comeback should this war occur. After WWII it took Europe over twenty years to rebuild and regain it’s manufacturing capabilities.

#8 Comment By Bruceb On March 4, 2018 @ 6:31 pm

This study
[5]

Of course, this conclusion is based on scientific analysis, which has no place in the decision making process of the current administration.

#9 Comment By CharleyCarp On March 4, 2018 @ 6:49 pm

Late October. Look for a sustained PR campaign beginning around Labor Day.

#10 Comment By bye bye bye On March 4, 2018 @ 8:56 pm

Graham’s a real throwback, a horrible reminder of the lies and terrible mistakes in Mideast policy under Bush II and Obama. Here’s hoping SC dumps him in 2020.

#11 Comment By Realist On March 5, 2018 @ 2:08 am

Little ‘men’ always talk big.

#12 Comment By Fran Macadam On March 5, 2018 @ 2:19 am

But he keeps getting re-elected. Guess it’s Manifest Destiny.

There’s a streak of hubristic madness that runs through the historical psyche of ol’ Uncle Sam.