Questions I keep hearing people muse over are “Will North Korea really launch missiles at (Guam, South Korea, Japan)?; will we be able to intercept and shoot down any missile launched from NK?; Can we defend against a first strike by North Korea? Valid questions, valid concerns. And unlike most in the mainland US and Hawaii, kinda less than urgent question. But to those in the zone of NK’s consideration of attack, namely for my roots, GUAM, they are very pressing and nervous questions. To me, those are first response, smaller visioned questions compared to the question on a larger scale to consider.
THAT question, is what are we (the US) prepared to do if that strike from North Korea does occur? It will not end with one or two NK launches, one or two intercept shootdowns, and then back to normal. As Sean Connery asked of Kevin Costner in “The Untouchables” when Eliot Ness asked Malone for help in getting to Al Capone, “what are you prepared to do (once Capone fights back)?” Here’s my take on how it HAS to unfold if Kim Jung Un is stupid enough to launch. Once he does fire on us, it is a point of no return. The train has left that station. No turning back. We must defend against and neutralize the launches, and then we must counterattack. We MUST. And then it is an all out war against another nation.
Kim Jung Un is not even 30 years old. His military regime is commanded and run by seniors over 3 times his age and 3 times the experience in warmongering. He is trying to prove his ruthless leadership to them to command respect and recognition. He is also the “beloved” flawless leader to his people. He launches to strike us and we shoot his missiles down. That’s egg on his face. That’s utter failure in the eyes of his military and shame on him to his citizen worshippers. He then HAS to go all out against us, Japan, and South Korea and it MUST end in victory for him. That, or he may well face a coup in challenge of his rule since he’d be a miserable failure.
That being realized, what exactly are we prepared to do when this escalation starts? As much as China and Russia are displeased with Kim’s misbehaving and troublemaking, will they stand for a US attack on North Korea? If not, what are we prepared to do? We will not have the time to debate in Congress the pros and cons, the affordability, of a declared war… no not a “conflict” or “protracted skirmish” like Vietnam, police action against a non-state sponsored combat like Iraq and Afghanistan. We would be formally declaring war against another sovereign nation.