Mosquitos and Tigers
I know everyone is all concerned about a possible flare-up with the North Koreans and possible ballistic missile shots tipped with a nuclear weapon. Just some real world military perspective here:
- The text of the Alert read, “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” Nowhere in that statement do I see a reference to North Korea or that this was a nuclear tipped missile. Thankfully, a retraction alert went out 38 minutes later. People get a lot of exercise by jumping to conclusions.
- The DPRK’s technology isn’t to the point of fitting a nuclear warhead onboard a missile.
- The DPRK’s ability to fire a missile that would actually come anywhere close to actually striking an intended target with any sort of accuracy, especially at the range of Hawaii, hasn’t been achieved. Why do you think they are doing test shots? This basically makes your chances of being hurt about the same as being hit by some toilet blue ice falling from a passing airliner. I would be more worried about the Chinese miscalculating the ultimate landing area of the Tiangong-1 when it burns up on re-entry in the next few months. Kim Jong-un is just playing silly buggers in order to 1) further his own position with his own people so they don’t string him up and, 2) further his own position on the world stage bluffing that he can play with the big boys, again in order to save his own hide.
- If and when North Korea gets around to a functioning nuke plus a reliable delivery system, they aren’t going to waste a shot on the States. It will be held in reserve for the all-out response or attack involving South Korea. A long shot towards the States will just invite the chances of it missing or being intercepted. Wiping out Seoul or a similar large population/military concentration will be the preferred shot. This is the entire strategy of North Korea. Their conventional weaponry is massive thus deterring a first strike from their enemies. An eventual nuke is just another tool in the deterrent war-box in order to keep the Americans from coming after Chubby №1 Leader. He learned his lesson from watching what happened to Gaddafi and Hussein.
- There are however about 4000 operational nukes on reliable delivery platforms, mostly between Russia and the US, with about 1800 ready to go short notice (mostly on boomer submarines) and they are all pointed at one another ready to release nuclear Armageddon. No point being that worried about a mosquito when there is a tiger in the room.
- What may happen, is just like 9/11, scared Americans who were never really in any significant danger are apt to overreact causing untold devastation to the Korean peninsula. About 3000 deaths from a terrorist strike on the US has resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, untold misery and the utter devastation of at least Afghanistan, Iraq, and large swathes of the Middle East with no end in sight. Plus of course the treasure and blood spent on these so-called ‘revenge’ crusades has been staggering. There are already plenty of calls for a first strike against North Korea to take out their nuclear arsenal, such as it is. No matter that Seoul with its 10 million inhabitants are only about 25 km from the DMZ and would suffer incredible casualties. No matter that the North Koreans themselves would suffer incredible casualties. But don’t worry about the yellow man as long as there isn’t a hair harmed on some fair headed American.
If I was a South Korean, I would be somewhat worried about the northern neighbors. If I was that same South Korean, I would be absolutely terrified of the Americans going off half-cocked especially because they are so wound up over such a tiny threat. America has no skin in the game other than waning influence in the South Asia/Pacific region because of the ascension of the Chinese. The South and North Korean people are just seen as expendable cannon fodder by the larger players.
Slowly, more information is coming out over how this mistake was able to occur. Until the FCC produces their final report, I suggest you read this analysis from an industry expert, Jared M. Spool.
Meanwhile, if I was vacationing on Hawaii with my parents right now, I would be worried about what to wear at the next luau and making sure I had enough rum for my pineapple. Next time there’s an ‘ Ballistic Missile Alert’, it’s either a hoax, mistake, or the real thing. In all those cases, there’s absolutely nothing you can do so there isn’t much point in getting worked up.
My advice is to have another one of those rum and pineapples.
Blair is a personification of a ‘Jack of All Trades and Master of None’. He has held several careers and has all the T-shirts. Time to add the title Blogger to the list.