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.