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tastywheat

War is brewing in Asia

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There's been additional escalation in tension between the US and China overnight, with Pyongyang essentially threatening the US with a Nuclear strike:

 

North Korea has warned of a nuclear attack on the United States, as a US Navy strike group steamed towards the Korean peninsula and US President Donald Trump tweeted that the rogue nation was "looking for trouble".

 

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Key points:
  • North Korea says its "revolutionary strong army is keenly watching" US moves
  • Donald Trump has urged China to do more on the North Korea issue
  • North Korea is set to celebrate the 105th anniversary of Kim Il-sung's birth
  • Mr Trump, who has urged China to do more to rein in its impoverished neighbour, said in a tweet that the United States would "solve the problem" of North Korea with or without China's help.
US Navy strike group heads toward Korean waters amid North Korea nuclear threat
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Key points:
  • A US Navy statement says the aircaft carrier USS Carl Vinson left Singapore on Saturday
  • President Donald Trump and his South Korean counterpart agree to stay in close contact about North Korea and other issues
  • The move follows North Korea's recent ballistic missile tests and continued pursuit of a nuclear program

[source]

 

[Disputed] China 'deploys 150,000 troops to deal with possible North Korean refugees over fears Trump may strike Kim Jong-un following missile attack on Syria'

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Key points:

  • Trump's Syria strike Friday was widely interpreted as a warning to North Korea
  • China, which was left shocked by the air strikes, has deployed medical and backup units from the People's Liberation Army forces to the Yalu River
  • The troops have been dispatched to prepare for pre-emptive attacks by the US

[source]

 

This news article is disputed by China, who argues it's South Korean propaganda.

 

 

Under different conditions, I'd dismiss these developments as the usual sabre rattling. Each of these things have occurred multiple times in the past, and nothing has come from them. However, there are a few key points of concern over the current situation.

 

The first is obviously the Trump factor. I don't trust him to put the interests of the world above his own ego. The current political climate in the US doesn't seem to have the grit to reign in an unhinged leader, and Trump seems to have surrounded himself with enablers. It also wouldn't be the first time international conflict has been used to distract Americans from domestic issues. Maybe Trump is a war president. He makes decisions from the Oval Office on foreign-policy matters with war on his mind.

 

The second is the tension in China from the recently installed THAAD missile defence system in South Korea. This has caused national boycotts of all things Korean in China, who have accused South Korea of being a US puppet, and disturbing the balance of power. If you look at the history of the move, which the US has been pushing for since at least 2013, I think there's room for a little bit of skepticism. North Korean missiles are poorly developed, but they certainly still represent a threat, so it's hard to deny that the system serves a defensive purpose. The furore is that the placement also potentially compromises China's ability to retaliate against the US. If the rumours are true that THAAD systems will also be installed in Taiwan, it could potentially allow the US to strike China with ICBMs, with minimal fear of counter-strikes.

 

China completely selfishly supports North Korea as a buffer state between it and a close ally of the US, mitigating the potential for a land based invasion. The relationship has become uneasy over the last few years as Beijing has come to realise that North Korea could just as easily turn on the hand that feeds it.

 

A final point of consideration is that the dictatorship in North Korea is violently oppressive, and truely represents a threat to stability in the region. If there was ever a case for military intervention, this is probably it. Part of the reason this hasn't happened is because it's essentially a Mexican standoff. Any move to disarm NK will most likely result in the destruction of Seoul, and the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives. We don't have a countermeasure for artillery. There's also a very real risk of it developing into war with China, which even if you downplay the human cost and threat of nuclear apocalypse, would be disastrous for the world economy.

 

The preferable solution from my perspective would be to isolate all forms of support, offer asylum to any North Korean who asks for it, and wait patiently for the regime to collapse. It'd still lead to tragedy, but hopefully less so than conflict. This could be forced through mutually damaging trade sanctions on states that still support the regime, but it's a sacrifice I'm guessing most would be unwilling to make given our dependancy on China.

 

I'd be interested to hear alternative thoughts, particularly on what strategies military intervention could use to avoid collateral damage in South Korea, or all-out-war with China.

Edited by tastywheat

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One aircraft carrier isn't enough.

Most if not all of Seoul looks to be within artillery range. NFI what they've got but I imagine it'd be a mix of bunkered in emplacements as well as mobile units which essentially could fire then move 50 metres adjacent in a matter of seconds. How to deal with that? Probably best done with a lot of strike helicopters and A-10s with top cover from F/A-18s. And chances are the whole battlefield would be saturated with SAM sites.

Lesson to be learned with SAM is to keep them mobile and not turn them all on at once. Whether they'd do that is hard to say.

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It's not JUST an aircraft carrier Ry, it's a carrier group and the carrier alone is carrying well over 100 aircraft plus at last count there were around 300 aircraft on immediate call in SK and that does not include the SK air force which is far from insignificant. It's not being advertised but there is another carrier group on the opposite coast within strike distance - after all the US has 10 of them and only one is in maintenance at the moment.

 

NK can bluster all it wants, raise the bar and they will get their ass kicked and hard and China will not do a thing to help.

 

NK actually does not have much in the way of mobile SAMs and SAMs are very maintenance intense and I doubt they have a clue from the reports I've seen.

 

It's a mess and yes, it is going to lead to war, a very short one I suspect.

 

Cheers

 

You are absolutely correct that Seoul is very vulnerable being so close to the border, they should have moved the capital south decades ago but South Koreans can be very proud and stubborn people.

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NK can bluster all it wants, raise the bar and they will get their ass kicked and hard and China will not do a thing to help.

 

What makes you so sure of this?

 

Obviously, a war between China and the US would be an economic disaster for both sides. But that doesn't rule out a war by poxy to protect their interests within the Korean peninsula.

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NK can bluster all it wants, raise the bar and they will get their ass kicked and hard and China will not do a thing to help.

 

What makes you so sure of this?

 

Obviously, a war between China and the US would be an economic disaster for both sides. But that doesn't rule out a war by poxy to protect their interests within the Korean peninsula.

 

Hmm,

 

Mostly the present mood in Washington, a lot of people have had enough of Kim fuckwit, there will not be much mercy.

 

I don't think it to be very healthy but Tasty I have been doing this for a very long time, all the signs are there.

 

The US has massive interests and military assets in SK, China tends to regard NK as a necessary but expendable embarrassment.

 

You don't see any SK citizens fleeing to NK now, do you ?

 

Cheers

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China doesn't want a war in that area as it would severely affect shipping considering near NK is itself, Japan and South Korea.

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Oh for heaven's sake Malcy ! Get in there and play the moderator. Stop these fuckheads from being total, um, fuckheads.

If you play your cards right ( Malcy) you might get to don better, sharper gear than Abbott did, and maybe get to do something super constructive while your at it.

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Mostly the present mood in Washington, a lot of people have had enough of Kim fuckwit, there will not be much mercy.

 

The US has massive interests and military assets in SK, China tends to regard NK as a necessary but expendable embarrassment.

 

I guess I'm coming at it from the other side.

 

The reaction to South Korea installing the THAAD system has been close to hysterical here in China. The CPC shutdown a South Korean supermarket chain somehow connected with the land the THAAD system was installed on, and there was serious talk of trade sanctions (which were quietly dropped for obvious economic reasons).

 

China behaves like a petulant child when it comes to issues of sovereignty and defence, which I attribute to the '100 years of shame' caused by the opium wars and Japanese invasion. The fact that they prefer sharing a border with a nuclear armed, unstable dictatorship, to an American ally, is valuable insight into the logic of the CPC.

 

Even if the Chinese government behaved sensibly and permitted a strike, there's a good chance it would cause the nationalistic programming of Chinese people to backfire, which would force the CPC to respond in order to maintain their authority.

 

China certainly has no respect for North Korea, but I can't imagine that they would permit any sort of rational military intervention without flipping out.

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THAAD is a purely defensive system so I have to assume the Chinese media is being very duplicitous.

 

Just why, that's probably a completely different story.

 

Cheers

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THAAD is a purely defensive system so I have to assume the Chinese media is being very duplicitous.

 

There's definitely some of that going on, but to be fair (and as mentioned in the OP), the ~400km diameter circle of defence each launcher provides are directly in the path that a large number of Chinese ICBMs would take to the US. This gives the US an offensive advantage, compared to the previously stable MAD.

Edited by tastywheat

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Kim Jong-un orders 600,000 out of Pyongyang

 

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un recently ordered the deportation of nearly 600,000 Pyongyang residents to the suburbs, a local source told the JoongAng Ilbo Monday.

The deportation represents one-fourth of Pyongyang’s current population of 2.6 million. It is not known when they will be forced to move or to where.

"Population control was the pretext of the latest order,” said the source, who asked for anonymity, “but in reality, the purpose is to ‘purify’ the North Korean capital and allow only the loyal elite class to live there.”

A South Korean government official said the North has sporadically kicked a few dissidents out of the capital in the past, but never a group as large as this.

[source]

 

Difficult to verify this sort of stuff, but it certainly seems to be a departure from normal behaviour.

Edited by tastywheat

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Seems par for the course for communist crapholes.

 

I remember when Moscow had the Olympics in 1980 - supposedly in the leadup they removed all the kids from Moscow. Unsure if it was just city centre and the venue areas or the whole city, but still, goes to show the lack of freedom that existed there.

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I remember when Moscow had the Olympics in 1980 - supposedly in the leadup they removed all the kids from Moscow. Unsure if it was just city centre and the venue areas or the whole city, but still, goes to show the lack of freedom that existed there.

 

To be fair, it seems every government hides their ugly parts in preparation for the olympics, though countries with a history of human rights violations definitely take the oppressor crown:

 

Sydney's poor forced out in Olympic crush (Sydney, 2000)

With Olympics Came New Laws to Sweep up Homeless (Athens 2004)

Beijing to evict 1.5 million for Olympics (Beijing, 2008)

Prostitutes 'cleaned off the streets ahead of the Olympics' (London 2012)

Favela poor evicted as city spruced up (Rio, 2016)

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In the end, money is king.

China is smarter than that. I work with a recent Chinese immigrant; if they can see profit, thats good, they'll stick to it.

I'm quietly confident that china WOULDN'T retaliate if it would ruin their trade entirely, and it would.

 

I mean, even here in Australia, a lot of the 'Made in China' goods come FROM the USA!!!!

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THAAD is a purely defensive system so I have to assume the Chinese media is being very duplicitous.

 

There's definitely some of that going on, but to be fair (and as mentioned in the OP), the ~400km diameter circle of defence each launcher provides are directly in the path that a large number of Chinese ICBMs would take to the US. This gives the US an offensive advantage, compared to the previously stable MAD.

 

Hmm,

 

I'd query, having spent a big chunk of my life sort of maintaining it, if MAD was ever stable but you are not really correct, the Chinese ICBMS are mostly much further north and THAAD cannot tail-chase, it has to intercept head - on.

 

However just why China would even contemplate launching on the U.S is somewhat beyond me, the USN alone would destroy everything of worth in China within minutes leaving the USAF to wake-up and wonder if they were needed...

 

Cheers

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US-North Korea tensions: Japan discussing evacuation plan for citizens in South Korea

 

Japan's National Security Council (NSC) has discussed how to evacuate its nearly 60,000 citizens from South Korea in the event of a crisis, amid rising concern over North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

North Korea denounced the United States for bringing "huge nuclear strategic assets" to the Korean peninsula, as a US aircraft carrier group headed for the region amid concerns Pyongyang may conduct a sixth nuclear test.
Besides commercial ships and planes, Japan would want to send military aircraft and ships to evacuate its citizens if the South Korean Government agreed, an official said

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There's this retarded belief among a lot of people that the Chinese or North Korean or Russian forces are worth a damn.

 

They're not. And never have been.

 

War is not about numbers of people fighting, it's about the quality of the fighters, their desire to fight and the capability of their "battle systems". An American soldier is singularly better informed, better educated and has more latitude to make decisions than any non-Western soldier he may meet on the battle field. An American sergeant has more latitude of authority than a Chinese general.

 

That matters - a lot.

 

Additionally, an American soldier has the might of the American economy behind him, and American cultural power. There's a reason why America has vast bases and resources in almost every geo-region.

 

Russia, China and North Korea simply don't have the economies and cultural alliances to support such things. Russia can barely keep their army clothed and fed these days.

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There's this retarded belief among a lot of people that the Chinese or North Korean or Russian forces are worth a damn.

 

That's a very America centric position to take.

 

Neither the Chinese, nor the North Koreans represent a serious military threat to America. But South Korea, a population of 51 million people, would be seriously fucked up by any conflict that was started. Should we view these humans as disposable and inferior?

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That's a very America centric position to take.

It's a very realistic position to take. The fact that it aligns with an American view of things is of no more import than it is to observe that America complaining about electoral interference is the kettle calling the pot black - a view that aligns with (for example), Iran.

 

Neither the Chinese, nor the North Koreans represent a serious military threat to America. But South Korea, a population of 51 million people, would be seriously fucked up by any conflict that was started. Should we view these humans as disposable and inferior?

Yes, Seoul is in range of the North's artillery. But the North have no real first strike capability.

 

And their artillery is silence-able via naval and air resources. The North Koreans wouldn't be able to get across the DMZ before being wiped out.

 

Will some South Koreans die? Sure. But it'll be a short war.

 

In fact I suspect that the only reason North Korea still exists is because US/China relations are reasonably good. If The Donald makes the Chinese an offer they can't refuse - ie unification of Korea and all US troops out, would the Chinese refuse? Better to have a predictable US ally on the border than an unpredictable fatso with a messiah complex?

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Hmm,

 

Perhaps Leo you should have a read about the Korean war, the North, with assistance from China, damned near won and very nearly pushed the U.S. forces off the peninsula.

 

Would that re-occur?

 

I don't know, but fanaticism knows few boundaries...According to a now very elderly friend of mine who was there in the thick of it they just came in waves and did not care how many of them died. Insane, but I've no reason to doubt him.

 

Cheers

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Back then the USA didn't have geographic boundaries so the waves of men thing worked.

 

Now with the earthworks in the DMZ such things are effectively impossible.

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Back then the USA didn't have geographic boundaries so the waves of men thing worked.

 

Now with the earthworks in the DMZ such things are effectively impossible.

 

 

So we bomb and barrage the shit out of them from afar.

 

  1. How do we retrieve the 8 or so nuclear weapons, and distributed stockpiles of chemical weapons, so that they can be safely deactivated
  2. How do control the intellectual property used to make more devices, and other WMDs
  3. How do we deal with the millions of refugees such a conflict has the potential to create, many of whom may be actually be agents of North Korea with malevolent intentions.

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We do what we did in WW2.

 

We do what the Sri Lankan did to end the Tamil Tigers.

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