Politics Foreign Affairs Culture Fellows Program

The Insanity of Starting a War with North Korea

There is no way that a war with a nuclear-armed North Korea could be "worth it."

Lindsey Graham is an incorrigible warmonger:

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.

Graham’s enthusiasm for getting other people killed in unnecessary wars is not new or surprising, but his support for starting a war 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:

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.



Become a Member today for a growing stake in the conservative movement.
Join here!
Join here