"No More Task Force Smiths. And we don't have a Ridgeway on the horizon.
If you don't understand those two statements, then I will flatly say you are not in any way ready to think about the Korean peninsula.
We Americans tend not to remember the War in Korea. We do not remember how devastating it was. We don't remember how difficult it was. And we do not understand, by and large, how much of a legacy of hatred it left in it's wake. Most of us are also unaware that that war never concluded--there was a cease fire, by no peace.
I believe that the current round of artillery attacks and navel engagements--don't forget that a few months ago a Republic of Korea ship was torpedoed by the Peoples Republic of Korea--are more related to the internal political climate of North Korea than any real desire to over run or attack South Korea. But I may be wrong. The North Korean Regime is ruthless enough to start a war of murderous intensity for reasons of internal political considerations.
We have treaty obligations to the Republic of Korea in this case.
Don't forget that the Clinton Administration nearly went to war on the Korean peninsula.
This will probably blow over. But if it the North, the South or the US badly miscalculate, it could be a horrible bloody war that makes the Gulf War, the Iraq War, the Afghanistan War or the Viet Nam war look like a Boy Scout game of capture the flag.
Let's hope no one miscalculates--I'd much rather that this didn't escalate into something like the last war in Korea. Let me put this in a broad brush perspective: The slaughter of WWI trench warfare was the result of field fortifications, machine guns and artillery. The state of all three on the Korean Peninsula make the western front in WWI look amateurish. It is the most heavily fortified area in human history, and the experts think the fortifications, with their thousands of troops, will hold much less than 24 hours. In an area where terrain makes armored warfare difficult, whose weather and terrain makes air support difficult.
We would be in the middle of a third generation infantry war, against a foe proven to be willing to accept horrendous casualties.
So even though I expect this is political theater played out with artillery--I also hope and pray that I am correct.
At one point, last time around General LeMay of the Air force seriously proposed nuking the enemy, simply to even up the odds in the field. It was that bad."
I'm glad to find someone else that's taking this thing seriously. My reply to his post follows because it was too long to publish on his site.
And don't forget, just like last time around, China is North Korea's number one ally. Yes, that's right, the same country that, probably, fired a missile off the West coast and partnered with Russia a few days ago to start the process of removing the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. This would be the same China that has made many statements over the last year decrying the feds actions regarding quantitative easing and has said in as many words that they consider these actions an act of war.
Now North Korea has fired once again on the South. Did China force this? It wouldn't have been hard with the enmity between the two Korea's and the mad man that leads the North.
The end result is a carrier task force heading to the Yellow Sea placing itself in harms way. Since America is BROKE and we no longer have any manufacturing capability because we've outsourced it all to China we can't go to war in Korea, for all the reasons you've stated and more. PERIOD!
Without getting its hands dirty China is about to make the point to the entire world that we are no longer the leader and we should no longer be feared or respected. We're about to get our hat handed to us and our asses kicked. Our impotence in the face of North Korean aggression will drive home the point quite nicely, thank you.
That, or we'll go to war in Korea, quickly realize we can't pay for another "police action", begin printing money at an even more obscene pace and collapse under our own hubris and China still wins.
I wrote some thoughts about this on my blog here.
It will take a great statesman to get us out of this one and Obama doesn't fall into that category, not by a long shot. I think those artillery rounds fired across the border in Korea signaled the end of the old order and the beginning of the new.
You’re right, no more Task Force Smith’s; if the cork pops on this it’ll explode with 60 years of contained rage propelling it, making any sort of delaying action worthless. And the last time we went to war with Korea we had just come off the largest wartime build up of manufacturing in the history of the world with untold tons of material stacked in warehouses ready for use and the capability of producing all we needed. Now we don’t have it and we can’t make it.
And, most importantly, the last time we went to war with Korea they didn’t have nukes.
Rather than Task Force Smith the more appropriate analogy may be the Chosin Reservoir. If this thing escalates, and our response drives the North Koreans back, even momentarily, China will once again enter the picture with troops and equipment. The U.N. forces fought brilliantly at Chosin and managed to get out of the trap, and maybe we’ll do as well this time without going nuclear. Regardless though, just as with Chosin, even if we get out the end result will still be a defeat for us and an embarrassing admission that we can’t beat China which will still serve the goals of the Chinese.
I have to wonder if I’m over thinking this or if the media is just derelict in their duty because, like so many other things, they aren’t covering it. This could be the most important story of the last 75 years.
I hope that the writer at Redneck Reflections is right and this is just another minor blowup along the border. I hope that I'm wrong and this isn't the beginning of the end for America. After all, the writer at Redneck Reflections mentioned WWI which brings to mind the spark that set it all off, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in Sarjevo, the cause of which was a battle over a border.
History has a funny way of repeating itself.
Pray for protection and wisdom. We're one minor incident away from a world gone mad.
The Huffington Post is making the case that we're causing major problems for the Chinese by sending our carrier group to the Yellow Sea.
"This weekend's arrival of a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Yellow Sea poses a dilemma for Beijing: Should it protest angrily and aggravate ties with Washington, or quietly accept the presence of a key symbol of American military pre-eminence off Chinese shores?
The USS George Washington, accompanied by escort ships, is to take part in military drills with South Korea following North Korea's shelling of a South Korean island Tuesday that was one of the most serious confrontations since the Korean War a half-century ago.
It's a scenario China has sought to prevent. Only four months ago, Chinese officials and military officers shrilly warned Washington against sending a carrier into the Yellow Sea for an earlier set of exercises. Some said it would escalate tensions after the sinking of a South Korean navy ship blamed on North Korea. Others went further, calling the carrier deployment a threat to Chinese security.
Beijing believes its objections worked. Although Washington never said why, no aircraft carrier sailed into the strategic Yellow Sea, which laps at several Chinese provinces and the Korean peninsula.
This time around, with outrage high over the shelling, the U.S. raising pressure on China to rein in wayward ally North Korea, and a Chinese-American summit in the works, the warship is coming, and Beijing is muffling any criticisms."
...Even if China's reticence holds this time, Beijing is not likely to cede the U.S. Navy carte blanche to range throughout the Yellow Sea.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei has stated that China's stance on U.S. naval action in the Yellow Sea remains unchanged. The politically influential and increasingly vocal military is also likely to keep the pressure on the leadership to take a firm stand.
Any affront to Beijing's authority or intrusion into Chinese territorial waters would inflame the Chinese public and require a government response, said Fang Xiuyu, an analyst on Korean issues at Fudan University's Institute of International Studies in Shanghai.
"We hope that the U.S. can exert restraint and not cross that line," Fang said
The last bit of the article contains the threat that I believe is the core of the issue. This is a set up and we're playing right into it. It would be one thing if the Chinese were still a well peopled but weak nation (one we still couldn't beat in the first go 'round in Korea) but now they hold our economic survival in their hands.
This is a game of chicken on an epic scale and I don't have confidence in our political leadership. I fear that we'll blink first and China will get what it wants.