This week marks the beginning of the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian exercise, an annual wargame conducted by the U.S.-South Korean alliance. The exercise comes on the heels of North Korea backing off of its threat to launch long range ballistic missiles into the vicinity of the U.S. territory of Guam, a step in its inexorable campaign to marry its nuclear weapons and its long range ballistic missile programs, a marriage that has been deemed “unacceptable” by a number of decision makers, including President Trump. Others, including former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper have advised that the United States must be prepared to accept a nuclear North Korea, as war to prevent it achieving its nuclear ICBM goals is “unimaginable.” This statement is incorrect. For military planners, including the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, such a pre-emptive military campaign is all too imaginable.
Read the full piece in The National Interest.
More from CNAS
CommentaryChallenging China’s Bid for App Dominance
Social media platforms are emerging as central to China’s efforts to shape the global information architecture....
By Kristine Lee & Karina Barbesino
CommentaryDefense Strategy for a Post-Trump World
In a recent piece warning about an emerging arms race in hypersonic missiles, The New York Times quoted Will Roper, the Air Force’s senior acquisition and technology official,...
By Van Jackson
The United States’ current diplomacy with North Korea has enduring implications for its strategic competition with China....
By Kristine Lee, Daniel Kliman & Joshua Fitt
CommentaryTrump has three options with North Korea to avoid a dangerous perfect storm in Asia
In the next few weeks, the Korean Peninsula will face a watershed moment -- one which could upend the United States' alliances in northeast Asia and regional stability as a wh...
By Duyeon Kim