Using Twitter Friday Trump once again used aggressive rhetoric toward North Korea in a tweet.
President Trump tweeted Friday that U.S. military plans are “locked and loaded” and ready to go “should North Korea act unwisely.” In fact, the Pentagon has had detailed plans in place for another conflict since the first Korean War ended in 1953.
“The military has planned for the worst case for decades,” said David Maxwell, the associate director of Georgetown University’s Center for Security Studies and a retired Army colonel who served five tours in South Korea.
While the Pentagon never reveals its plans and the many updates it has made over the past 64 years, analysts say there are several broad options:
The United States might initially try to destroy North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missiles in a first strike but any action could easily escalate into a ground, air and sea war that would lead to tens of thousands of casualties, even millions if nuclear weapons were used.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has said a war on the Korean Peninsula would be “catastrophic,” which is why he added that the main focus remains on diplomacy to curb North Korea’s nuclear and missile development programs.
Mark Milley, the Army chief of staff, said the U.S. and South Korean military would “utterly destroy the North Korean military, but that would be done at high cost in terms of human life, in terms of infrastructure.”
If the U.S. military were to strike first, it might target North Korea’s missile sites and nuclear processing plants. The problem is the U.S. intelligence agencies may not know where all of them are and some may be in…