For many years, the United States military along with its allies have war-gamed and simulated a contingency with North Korea as was recently the case with the annual exercise, Ulchi Freedom Guardian. In fact, often these simulations involve dual contingency warfare with North Korea and other unspecified countries where the United States and our allies conduct full scale war in two theaters of operation at the same time. Never in the history of these war games and simulations has the likelihood of war with North Korea been greater.
The war games always utilize the current known military capabilities, technology, weapon system inventories and war fighting doctrine of our adversaries based on the best intelligence. These games have been going on for decades and of course take into account the military might and realistic effectiveness of American forces that varies based on current real time administration priorities and national defense policies.
As of this writing, with the threat of military action against North Korea looming, the North Korean regime under Kim Jong Un continues to conduct provocative and belligerent actions in terms of its intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) testing and ongoing nuclear program that has proven to be more advanced than was previously thought. While we wargame, they warmonger; while we have gamed North Korea, North Korea has gamed us – for years- over the sanctions and then eventual “talks” that have allowed them to continue to improve their missile and nuclear capabilities behind the scenes while giving the impression that they were willing to compromise.
The Trump administration stands willing and determined to confront the problem that no other administration would over the past 25 years. As Secretary of Defense James Mattis said in September, “We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea, but as I said, we have many options to do so.” Because of the passivity of prior administrations, North Korea has steadily and secretly expanded their nuclear, missile and cyber capabilities to bring us to the point that we are at today, where they represent a direct threat to their neighbors and the United States.
There is no question that the resumption of hostilities from history’s longest cease-fire would be costly on both sides, but the outcome is certain. The North Korean regime may have finally met their match with a President whose red line does not move or change colors.