Army chief: US able to fight NKorea if necessary - Yahoo! News
Army chief: US able to fight NKorea if necessary
By ANNE GEARAN, Associated Press Writer Anne Gearan, Associated Press Writer – Thu May 28, 8:09 pm ET
WASHINGTON – The United States could fight an old-fashioned war against North Korea if necessary, even while newer forms of conflict against terrorists and extremists continue, the Army's top officer said Thursday.
Asked whether the United States would be prepared to fight if war broke out between South Korea and North Korea, Gen. George Casey replied, "The short answer is yes," then added that "it would probably take us a little bit longer to shift gears" away from the type of counterinsurgency fighting that now occupies the Army.
Casey said his usual rubric for how long it would take the Army to gear up for a new "conventional" war is about 90 days. That doesn't mean it would take 90 days for the U.S. to effectively fight the North's million-man army, he said.
"We'd move forces as rapidly as we could get them prepared," Casey said during an appearance at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
North Korea has threatened war following condemnation of its underground nuclear test this week, and the United States has a long-term commitment to South Korea's defense.
"This is a combat-seasoned force" that can pivot quickly, Casey said.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, speaking to reporters as he traveled to the Far East for a conference with defense ministers, said North Korea's actions have not reached a crisis level that would warrant additional U.S. troops in the region.
"What we do have, though, are two new developments that are very provocative, that are aggressive, accompanied by very aggressive rhetoric," Gates said. "And I think it brings home the reality of the challenge that North Korea poses to the region and to the international community."
Casey, the Army's chief of staff, suggested that war with the nuclear-armed North might not be the old-style land war that U.S. forces stationed in South Korea were envisioned to fight. He did not elaborate, but he was presumably referring to the possibility that the North might use or threaten to use its proven nuclear capability.
Casey focused on his plans to rearrange the Army around the "reality scenario" of sustained counterterrorism conflict. The reality of permanent war means the United States should have 10 Army brigades and Marine Corps regiments available for overseas conflict worldwide, he said.
"It's not just Iraq and Afghanistan," Casey said. Including Iraq in his contingency planning is not to say that the United States won't honor its agreement with Iraq to pull forces from the country by 2012, he said.
"We will execute the draw down plan that has been executed between our governments," he said.
"I don't know that anyone knows what the security relationship and force level will be, if there are any, in Iraq," after the scheduled withdrawal of combat forces," he added. "That's very much to be determined."
Re: Another War!
Gates says no reason for military build-up in South Korea, but Army brass Chief says we're ready to gear up for a new "conventional" war in 90 days if conflict breaks out between North and South Korea.
Re: Another War!
We have been fighting these wars since the Beginning of Man. It is Man's desire (as well, as GREED and Envy) to show the rest of the world "Who's Boss".
To me, war is only a small fraction of what really goes on behind the "political curtains". Its just an excuse to start various conspiracies - along the way.
Re: Another War!
Most MEN desire peace.
The CONTROLLERS thrive on conflict/war.
Re: Another War!
North Korea represents a very large financial market that is somewhat annexed from exploitation. All they want is a piece. Just a small piece is all they need.
Re: Another War!
First, war is a necessity. It is the means that the strong assert themselves and the weak are defeated. Obviously, if the world was a rosy place that was perfectly fair, it would not be necessary. However..it isn't.
Machivelli and others properly understood the role of war in "real politicks", not the moralistic handwring you engage in. Yes, it would be nice if we could all join hands and sing in harmony, but that isn't the nature of the world nor human nature.
Of course, the greatest weakness in your analysis lies that you seem to not see the same dynamic in every society. The strong ALWAYS get their way and it is the fate of the weak to tolerate what they must. Even if you got us not to fight nation to nation, we would still be battling each other on socio-political grounds.
Lastly, war is simply evolution in progress. Think of it this way; the fall of one nation or empire is the rise of another one. This world is a gian laboratory with ideologies and belief systems in conflict. War is simply the application of force to acheive the political or ideological goals of that belief system or ideology.
If the belief system or dieology lacks the ability to adjust, adapt and overcome it is destroyed. From the ruins of that ideology or belief system a NEW belief system, ideology or paradigh arises. Without war, there would be no conflict and out dated, as well as inefficeint and weak ideologies and belief systems would linger on as obsolete dinosaurs.
If war comes, it comes. Perhaps it will be a final referendum on the strengths & weaknesses of democracy vs. the strengths and weaknesses of Communism. Whatever the outcome, we can be confident the more adaptable ideology will win out and overcome it's rival.
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Could the U.S. Be Drawn into a New Korean War? - Yahoo! News
Could the U.S. Be Drawn into a New Korean War?
AP – By MARK THOMPSON / WASHINGTON Mark Thompson
Washington – 22 mins ago
To fear a new Korean War is historically inaccurate, because, in fact, the last one never ended: the world's most dangerous border, across which some 2 million North Korean, U.S. and South Korean troops face each other along the 38th parallel of the Korean Peninsula is, in fact, simply an armistice line. On July 27, 1953, the U.S. and North Korea signed a truce pausing, but not ending, a war that claimed more than 2 million lives, including those of 36,940 U.S. troops. And the North's recent nuclear and missile saber-rattling has many growing nervous about the potential for a resumption of hostilities.
North Korea, in fact, announced on May 27 that it was withdrawing from the armistice. It declared it could no longer guarantee the safety of ships sailing through the Yellow Sea off its western coast, and would no longer respect the legal status of several islands off South Korea's coast. It also vowed to attack South Korea if North Korean vessels suspected of smuggling nuclear and missile components are stopped and searched by a U.S.-led U.N. naval armada - a proposal currently under discussion. (See pictures of North Koreans at the polls.)
U.S. officials are concerned that political instability inside the Pyongyang regime may raise the danger of confrontation. "Dear Leader" Kim Jong Il has been weakened by a stroke suffered late last year, his 26-year old heir apparent is not yet ready to take the reins and the North Korean military is eager to maintain its preeminence in the coming political succession. "Any time you have a combination of this behavior of doing provocative things in order to excite a response - plus succession questions - you have a potentially dangerous mixture," said U.S. Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair on Monday.
Despite the rising tensions, however, a number of factors militate against a new chapter being opened in the Korean War. South Korea, backed by the U.S., doesn't want war, because the North has some 13,000 artillery tubes aimed at Seoul and the more than 10 million South Koreans living within 30 miles of the DMZ. North Korea, backed by China, doesn't want war because if it comes, it all but guarantees the collapse of Kim's regime, which is also the family business. (See pictures of the rise of Kim Jong Il.)
Washington has made clear that it wants to solve this latest flare-up via diplomatic channels. "Our focus is now - and has been and likely will continue to be - on coming up with diplomatic and economic pressures that will persuade the North to abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons and the platforms to deliver them," Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell said June 8. And if that fails? "We all need to be prudent about our planning for defensive measures." That suggests neither Washington nor Seoul is going to take preemptive military action.
The immediate priority of the U.S. and its allies is to prevent North Korea from spreading its nuclear know-how around the world. And their own lever is China's influence over the hermit regime. "There's a view that if you want to get the Chinese to act on North Korea, you need to signal a willingness to take military action," Scott Snyder, a Korea expert with the Council on Foreign Relations, said last week. "But at the same time, how do you do that - especially in conjunction with allies - without the Chinese feeling that you're trying to manipulate them tactically?"
China's role will be key, according to Larry Wortzel, who served two tours as a U.S. Army military attachÉ in Beijing. "China will not let North Korea collapse," he was told by several top People's Liberation Army officials during the Clinton Administration, according to his account in the latest issue of the U.S. Army journal Parameters. Beijing will help Pyongyang survive any sanctions. "There are limits to what the United States and its allies can do," he warns, "unless they want a complete break with, or to invite conflict with, China." China's motives are twofold: keep North Korean refugees from flooding across the border, as well as keep a U.S. ally from emerging on China's doorstep.
If it came to war, however, a key goal of any large North Korean attack would be to launch as many shells and rockets toward Seoul from its artillery tubes and launchers, many self-propelled or on railcars. The goal of U.S. and South Korean forces would be to destroy that artillery capability before too many rounds could be launched. While North Korea would build any attack around its 1.2 million–strong army, the U.S. and South Korea would rely more on their air and naval forces.
The Pentagon has largely refrained from saber-rattling, and is not planning to reinforce the 28,000 U.S. troops now in South Korea, or the 35,000 stationed in Japan. When pressed, U.S. military leaders concede that even their defensive plans will be tougher to implement given the fact that they currently have roughly 175,000 troops deployed in Afghanistan and Iraq. "There would have to be a level of ad hoc conglomeration of forces," General James Conway, the Marine commandant, told a Senate panel
June 2 "But in the end, I am convinced we would prevail."
Re: Another War!
SKorea says NKorea fires 2 missiles off east coast - Yahoo! News
SKorea says NKorea fires 2 missiles off east coast
By KWANG-TAE KIM, Associated Press Writer Kwang-29 mins ago
SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea fired two missiles off it eastern coast Saturday, South Korea said, in yet another provocative move after U.N. sanctions were imposed on the communist regime for its May nuclear test.
The missiles were fired between 8 a.m. (2300 GMT) and 8:30 a.m. (2330 GMT), South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement. It did not say the range of the missiles.
"Our military is fully ready to counter any North Korean threats and provocations based on strong South Korea-U.S. combined defense posture," the statement said.
A Yonhap news agency report said North Korea fired two short-range missiles that appeared to be Scud missiles. The agency quoted a South Korean government official it did not identify. Yonhap originally reported the missiles were mid-range.
North Korea fired four short-range missiles off the east coast on Thursday.
Speculation had been high that the communist country might launch more missiles in coming days. North Korea had warned shipping to stay away from its east coast effective through July 10.
South Korea's military said Friday it was closely monitoring North Korean military sites, believing more missile launches were likely.
Saturday's launches came on July 4, or U.S. Independence Day. The North has a record of timing missile tests for the U.S. national day.
In 2006, Pyongyang fired off a barrage of missiles, including a long-range Taepodong-2 that broke apart and fell into the ocean less than a minute after liftoff. Those launches while Americans were celebrating the Fourth of July holiday also came amid nuclear tensions with the U.S.
The bigger question is whether the North will attempt a long-range missile launch toward the United States, a move that would directly flout a U.N. sanctions resolution punishing Pyongyang for its May 25 nuclear test.
Firing a ballistic missile on July 4 would be a snub to Washington, which has been trying to muster international support for a tough enforcement of the U.N. resolution that bans Pyongyang from any further nuclear or ballistic missile tests.
Despite early speculation fueled by Japanese media and the North Korean warning to shipping, spy satellites have apparently not detected any of the preparations that would normally presage a launch.
Meanwhile, the chief of U.S. Naval operations, Adm. Gary Roughead, said the American military was ready for any North Korean missile tests.
"Our ships and forces here are prepared for the tracking of the missiles and observing the activities that are going on," Roughead said after meeting Japanese military officials in Tokyo on Saturday.
Associated Press writer Yuri Kageyama contributed to this report from Tokyo.
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