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Modern Wars & Warfare General discussion on war. Topics that are not covered in any of our sub-forums below. .

View Poll Results: Whose nuclear and missile/space programs are more of a threat to the US?
Iran 16 29.63%
North Korea 13 24.07%
Same Risk 6 11.11%
Depends on time frame being considered 10 18.52%
Don't know 2 3.70%
Don't care 7 12.96%
Voters: 54. You may not vote on this poll

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  #31  
Old 30 Apr 12, 12:53
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As soon as North Korea make a working missile, I'll see them as a threat. But that could be a while
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  #32  
Old 30 Apr 12, 13:14
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Philip,

the U.S. has been 'less than an inch' from war in Korea ever since nthe armistice went inton effect in July 1953. Yet we have dropped our military presence from a large Corps sized force, to a single Corps, to a single infantry division, and now that has a single understrength brigade with its 3 other brigades based outside Korea, from where it had been rotating through Iraq and Afghanistan.

The rhetoric is fine, but if Panetta really believed we were within a inch from war, wouldn't our Korean presence be a bit larger than a single combat brigade backed up by support and service personnel whose principal mission is to evacuate dependents prior to war's start, and receive and stage arriving forces, who do not arrive instantaneously but over a period of months.

The U.S. is holding on to its Korean presence in the belief that a land presence is necessary in Asia. They see it as having contributed to East Asia's stability and economic development. They close their ears to any suggestions that reunification of the Korean Peninsula spells the end of that presence, ignoring shifts in Korean public opinion that indicate precisely that.

The U.S. military in Korea is no longer the lean, austere living, ready to go to war force that it once was. The agricultural Korea of yesteryear has been replaced by large, modern cities where the living is good. Korea south of the DMZ is a great place to live and work these days. For the past twelve years it has been the best kept secret in the U.S. military.
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  #33  
Old 20 May 12, 15:17
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A load of nonsense really. The USA has nuclear power stations, all the bad guys need to do is blow a power station apart. One of the nice things about Osama Bin Laden was that he deliberately chose to go for the World Trade Centre rather than the power stations (its to do with Islamic law). Had he chosen 3 nuclear power stations the results would of been far more catastrophic.

A nation that has nuclear power station defeats the purpose of having nuclear weapons. Blow up a nuclear power station with conventional weapons and you get much the same effect as a small nuclear strikr
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  #34  
Old 24 May 12, 18:01
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I still believe that North Korea is the immediate threat. We may have reduced our troop levels there but this should surprise no one when we think of what our forces have gone through in Iraq and what is still going on in Afganistan. I think Obama is making a serious mistake with his handle of reducing our forces across the board. North Korea has one ready to go. It all comes down to whether or not it's young leader has taken his prozac or not. Besides, Isreal will deal with Iran when it hits the fan.
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  #35  
Old 25 May 12, 08:53
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Iran is the greater threat to world peace. The North Koreans are nothing more than a family dictatorship which is supported by thousands of the "elite" while millions live in crushing poverty. The power structure has one goal; to remain in power. The nuke allows them to extort aid from the US and others to sustain the regime. The South could easily defeat the North in a conventional war but that nuke guarantees that the status quo will continue for years.

Iran's possession of a nuke will all but guarantees that the entire Middle East will arm up. A war would be all but certain.
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  #36  
Old 25 May 12, 11:40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd Rangers View Post
Iran is the greater threat to world peace. The North Koreans are nothing more than a family dictatorship which is supported by thousands of the "elite" while millions live in crushing poverty. The power structure has one goal; to remain in power. The nuke allows them to extort aid from the US and others to sustain the regime. The South could easily defeat the North in a conventional war but that nuke guarantees that the status quo will continue for years.

Iran's possession of a nuke will all but guarantees that the entire Middle East will arm up. A war would be all but certain.
And in preparation for that war, your gas bill will rise accordingly.
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  #37  
Old 25 May 12, 11:53
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I find North Korea to be much of a threat given that much of their population and military is malnourished, plus a large part of the country has no electricity. Which begs the question, if they have technology for a nuke, you would think they would get some food and electricity for the people.
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  #38  
Old 25 May 12, 12:12
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Neither. The threat greater than both is Pakistan. The sheer number of variables in play there renders the threats posed by both Iran and North Korea insignificant.
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  #39  
Old 25 May 12, 13:14
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True but the OP is about nukes and missiles and Pakistan a bit constrained in it's use of both. As a breeding ground for general mischief and a potential source for a lose nuke, Pakistan is indeed a very dodgy place. But as far as a deliberate nuclear launch at the direction of the senior leadership? I'm not so sure.

Iran is in the wrong place with the wrong neighbors and the wrong leadership placing it in active conflict with all sorts of interests both western and local. Their mere ability to acquire nuclear weapons is on the verge of setting off a new arms race at the very minimum.
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Old 26 May 12, 16:17
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imho-North Korea has issues getting their rockets up,obviously,if they want that to work they need to put Viagra in their rockets. Iran is more intent,and sneakier. I went with Iran. Them people is outright dangerous to everyone.
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  #41  
Old 26 May 12, 18:05
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I say Pakistan.

But for this thread, the choices are Iran and NK, then I would say Iran.
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  #42  
Old 27 May 12, 10:03
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeltaOne View Post
I still believe that North Korea is the immediate threat. We may have reduced our troop levels there but this should surprise no one when we think of what our forces have gone through in Iraq and what is still going on in Afganistan. I think Obama is making a serious mistake with his handle of reducing our forces across the board. North Korea has one ready to go. It all comes down to whether or not it's young leader has taken his prozac or not. Besides, Isreal will deal with Iran when it hits the fan.
Working North Korean missiles can reach South Korea, pieces of other Nork missiles can reach Japan in unassembled form as they fall from the sky. Assumign ROK and JSDF's local and theater ABM batteries don't knock them into even smaller pieces.

Iran has working missiles to threaten the entire gulf and middle east all the way to the med coast of Israel. The US, Israel and the GCC have ABM batteries as well, but Iran has a large stock pile of missiles from FROG type to IRBM and might very well be able to saturate a GCC target.
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  #43  
Old 12 Mar 13, 12:05
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North Korea remains the far larger threat

The reason North Korea is a far graver risk than Iran is its 3 pronged strategy as described by George Friedman of Stratfor Global Intelligence ( not a government agency so it does great work).

He writes:

On Jan. 29, I wrote a piece that described North Korea's strategy as a combination of ferocious, weak and crazy. In the weeks since then, three events have exemplified each facet of that strategy. Pyongyang showed its ferocity Feb. 12, when it detonated a nuclear device underground. The country's only significant ally, China, voted against Pyongyang in the U.N. Security Council on March 7, demonstrating North Korea's weakness. Finally, Pyongyang announced it would suspend the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953, implying that that war would resume and that U.S. cities would be turned into "seas of fire." To me, that fulfills the crazy element.

My argument was that the three tenets -- ferocity, weakness and insanity -- form a coherent strategy. North Korea's primary goal is regime preservation. Demonstrating ferocity -- appearing to be close to being nuclear capable -- makes other countries cautious. Weakness, such as being completely isolated from the world generally and from China particularly, prevents other countries from taking drastic action if they believe North Korea will soon fall. The pretense of insanity -- threatening to attack the United States, for example -- makes North Korea appear completely unpredictable, forcing everyone to be cautious. The three work together to limit the actions of other nations.



Read more: Considering a Departure in North Korea's Strategy | Stratfor
http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/consi...oreas-strategy

So crazy like a fox comes to mind. What happens when one part no longer works? Let's say they use crazy, the world this time laughs and does not throw money at it as we do now?

To protect their regime they will attack South Korea.

What happens if they fail to produce a way to shoot their nukes at us?

They just may hit Japan.

The main focus of the regime is to keep the regime in place. Strict Stalinists, because we have a generation of leaders that did not know Stalinism and were not taught about the Korean War we misread their strategy and have yet to consider what will happen if just one part of the three pronged strategy fails.

As for Iran, we had the answer. 100's of thousands of people filled the streets following the lead in Syria, that could have easily fallen into civil war and regime change. Instead, the buffoons at the State Department made it clear we would still make our main option, a joint strike with Israel the key bargaining chip. Way to rally the people back to the government.

No one wants to be bombed.
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  #44  
Old 12 Mar 13, 12:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Number 6 View Post
The reason North Korea is a far graver risk than Iran is its 3 pronged strategy as described by George Friedman of Stratfor Global Intelligence ( not a government agency so it does great work).

He writes:

On Jan. 29, I wrote a piece that described North Korea's strategy as a combination of ferocious, weak and crazy. In the weeks since then, three events have exemplified each facet of that strategy. Pyongyang showed its ferocity Feb. 12, when it detonated a nuclear device underground. The country's only significant ally, China, voted against Pyongyang in the U.N. Security Council on March 7, demonstrating North Korea's weakness. Finally, Pyongyang announced it would suspend the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953, implying that that war would resume and that U.S. cities would be turned into "seas of fire." To me, that fulfills the crazy element.

My argument was that the three tenets -- ferocity, weakness and insanity -- form a coherent strategy. North Korea's primary goal is regime preservation. Demonstrating ferocity -- appearing to be close to being nuclear capable -- makes other countries cautious. Weakness, such as being completely isolated from the world generally and from China particularly, prevents other countries from taking drastic action if they believe North Korea will soon fall. The pretense of insanity -- threatening to attack the United States, for example -- makes North Korea appear completely unpredictable, forcing everyone to be cautious. The three work together to limit the actions of other nations.



Read more: Considering a Departure in North Korea's Strategy | Stratfor
http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/consi...oreas-strategy

So crazy like a fox comes to mind. What happens when one part no longer works? Let's say they use crazy, the world this time laughs and does not throw money at it as we do now?

To protect their regime they will attack South Korea.

What happens if they fail to produce a way to shoot their nukes at us?

They just may hit Japan.

The main focus of the regime is to keep the regime in place. Strict Stalinists, because we have a generation of leaders that did not know Stalinism and were not taught about the Korean War we misread their strategy and have yet to consider what will happen if just one part of the three pronged strategy fails.

As for Iran, we had the answer. 100's of thousands of people filled the streets following the lead in Syria, that could have easily fallen into civil war and regime change. Instead, the buffoons at the State Department made it clear we would still make our main option, a joint strike with Israel the key bargaining chip. Way to rally the people back to the government.

No one wants to be bombed.
its important to remember that North Korea suffered a major crop failure last year - and news does 'filter in', if slowly, that Manchuria isn't starving.

At some point the NK elite does fear mass revolt.

NK is not 'classical communist'- its a strange hybrid of its own. Juiche, indeed.
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  #45  
Old 12 Mar 13, 13:06
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Number 6 View Post
The reason North Korea is a far graver risk than Iran is its 3 pronged strategy as described by George Friedman of Stratfor Global Intelligence ( not a government agency so it does great work).

He writes:

On Jan. 29, I wrote a piece that described North Korea's strategy as a combination of ferocious, weak and crazy. In the weeks since then, three events have exemplified each facet of that strategy. Pyongyang showed its ferocity Feb. 12, when it detonated a nuclear device underground. The country's only significant ally, China, voted against Pyongyang in the U.N. Security Council on March 7, demonstrating North Korea's weakness. Finally, Pyongyang announced it would suspend the armistice that ended the Korean War in 1953, implying that that war would resume and that U.S. cities would be turned into "seas of fire." To me, that fulfills the crazy element.

My argument was that the three tenets -- ferocity, weakness and insanity -- form a coherent strategy. North Korea's primary goal is regime preservation. Demonstrating ferocity -- appearing to be close to being nuclear capable -- makes other countries cautious. Weakness, such as being completely isolated from the world generally and from China particularly, prevents other countries from taking drastic action if they believe North Korea will soon fall. The pretense of insanity -- threatening to attack the United States, for example -- makes North Korea appear completely unpredictable, forcing everyone to be cautious. The three work together to limit the actions of other nations.



Read more: Considering a Departure in North Korea's Strategy | Stratfor
http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/consi...oreas-strategy

So crazy like a fox comes to mind. What happens when one part no longer works? Let's say they use crazy, the world this time laughs and does not throw money at it as we do now?

To protect their regime they will attack South Korea.

What happens if they fail to produce a way to shoot their nukes at us?

They just may hit Japan.

The main focus of the regime is to keep the regime in place. Strict Stalinists, because we have a generation of leaders that did not know Stalinism and were not taught about the Korean War we misread their strategy and have yet to consider what will happen if just one part of the three pronged strategy fails.

As for Iran, we had the answer. 100's of thousands of people filled the streets following the lead in Syria, that could have easily fallen into civil war and regime change. Instead, the buffoons at the State Department made it clear we would still make our main option, a joint strike with Israel the key bargaining chip. Way to rally the people back to the government.

No one wants to be bombed.
The article contains the answer. This is not a prediction but rather an exploration of hypotheticals. Its purpose is to refine the primary analysis, not to replace it with a sudden paradigm shift in our view of North Korea.

As part of this analysis, the author demonstrates that in a general attack, the DPRK would have to assume that it would lose its long range missile capability and probably its nuclear capability as well. In terms of this thread and its OP, that mitigates against the conclusion that the North Korean missile program represents the greater threat, although 'greater' is always relative in these considerations.

In the case of North Korea, throwing money at the problem is actually one component of effectively managing it. Money pays for ISR programs to monitor what's going on north of the DMZ, missile defense systems to defend both us and our allies, and the occasional carrot of humanitarian aid to balance the sticks of the USPACOM and CFC.

On net, the article reaffirms the weakness of the DPRKs position and the likely limits of a future conflict as all parties have strategic priorities that make a long general war something they wish to avoid. The North's missile program is only one part of this self-limiting equation.

Iran is only comparable in that they occasionally 'talk crazy' to rattle staid western politicians and garner scary headlines in the western press. Iran's goals and strategies are much different than North Korea's.
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