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Posts Tagged ‘north korea’

USA Lacks Realistic Strategy Towards DPRKs Nuclear ICBM Program: 2

September 26, 2017 2 comments

In the previous post of this series, I had made the point that DPRK’s desire to obtain a nuclear deterrent capability against civilian targets on mainland USA is highly rational and an inevitable consequence of the behavior of american establishment towards that country. I also pointed out the massive speedup of both nuclear weapon and ICBM program under Kim Jong-un is largely a consequence of how someone from his generation sees the world. While he may be ruthless, it hard to deny (except if you a “ivy-league educated” think-tankist) that he is highly pragmatic.

With that in mind, let us talk about the “strategy” or what passes for strategy of USA towards these more recent developments. We can begin by dissecting Barack Obama’s hilariously delusional strategy of “strategic patience” towards DPRK. OK.. to be fair, it was a bit less dangerous than whatever cockamamie “options” Trump and his generals are busy deluding themselves with. But nonetheless, there were enough idiots.. I mean “ivy-league educated” think tank critters who believed that DPRK would come apart because Kim would not be able to establish his leadership.

But it gets better.. many of the comfortably sinecured DPRK “experts” in USA believed that a plot as ludicrous as that depicted in a CIA-funded movie known as “The Interview” would bring down Kim Jong-un. Yes, you read that right.. there are people who have made many millions by posing as DPRK “experts” in USA promoting the idea that Kim Jong-un’s regime would magically collapse and North Korean people would welcome USA with open arms as liberators. Wonder what they were smoking.. but more importantly- who pays them to push that crap? and why?

Let me also point you to a think-tank funded site called ‘38North‘ which pretends to be informed, competent and objective. Peopled by a mixture of american and south-korean academics, arms control-types, proliferation “experts” and assorted think-tank critters, its articles on DPRK borrow the linguistic tricks of NYT and the Economist to make educated-sounding assertions which have a habit of being almost totally untrue or severe underestimates. As late as the beginning of 2017 “experts” at that site maintained that the KN-14 ICBM would fail. About two years ago, “experts” at the same site were confident that developing a H-bomb was out of DPRKs technological abilities.

The point I am trying to make is that american analysis of DPRK’s abilities, capabilities and strategy is driven by a peculiar mixture of racism, orientalism, wishful thinking, ivy-league credentialism and other factors which have little (if any) connection with objective reality. To further complicate matters, the way Kim Jong-un sees the world is sufficiently different from his predecessors that what “worked” in the past is largely irrelevant.

And this brings me to part where I have to restate the obvious, which is that any significant attack by USA on DPRK will almost certainly result in the later use nukes (including H-bombs) against large population centers in South Korea and Japan- and that is the ‘best case’ scenario. The simple fact is that there is no viable defense against an intense barrage of short to medium range ballistic missiles, especially if only a few of them contain nuclear warheads. And 10-20 nukes is all that it will take to kill many tens of millions in the Seoul and Tokyo metropolitan areas. Never mind subsequent massive socio-economic costs and an intense backlash in both countries against USA for creating that outcome.

But why would that occur? Why would DPRK use nuclear weapons if attacked first? Well.. firstly, because that is what deterrence is about. Secondly, the regime in DPRK would assume that its main members have no real future and therefore decide to take out as many of those it holds responsible for that outcome aka ‘scorched earth’. And this brings me another popular delusion of the american establishment concerning DPRK.

Almost every single strategy of establishment in USA is centered around the childish assumption that DPRK would not use nuclear weapons even if they were attacked using nuclear weapons. Alternatively they believe that the totally hyped anti-ballistic missile defense systems could work with 100% success rates against intense barrage of missiles with many dummy warheads and other simple but effective countermeasures. In other words, the american establishment actually believe that DPRK does not have the balls or brains to use nuclear weapons under any set of conditions. Alternatively, they don’t care if large cities in South Korea and Japan are ruined for decades.

The other implicit, if rarely stated, assumption of “intellectuals” in american establishment is that the chain of command for use of DPRK’s nuclear weapons will crumble if the orders to use them are actually given. I think otherwise, and here is why. You can bet a lot of money that Kim and his associates have gamed that scenario to the point where every single person in command of those weapons is a loyalist with no future in an alternative government of any kind. To put it another way, the chain of command to use DPRK’s nuclear weapons is very likely full of hard-core loyalists with sufficient autonomy to use them without approval from above if they are credibly attacked by nukes.

To make a long story short, there are really no circumstances under which an american attack on DPRK does not turn into a nukefest in South Korea and Japan. Similarly, there are no real circumstances where DPRK is going to give up its nukes or ICBMS- as they are now absolutely essential for regime survival. Furthermore, any serious economic blockade against DPRK will escalate into them threatening South Korean and Japanese cities. Those who wish to compare this situation to the oil embargo by USA against Japan in 1941 should remember that WW2-era Japan did not have nuclear-tipped ICBMs capable of incinerating tens of millions in mainland USA and surrounding hostile countries.

In an upcoming post of this series, I will talk about how the policies of Japan and South Korea towards DPRK are also based in a strange combination of delusion and make-believe.

What do you think? Comments?

USA Lacks Realistic Strategy Towards DPRKs Nuclear ICBM Program: 1

September 24, 2017 56 comments

Let me begin this post by posing a fairly straightforward question: Is the current strategy of USA, Japan and South Korea towards the nuclear and missile programs of DPRK (let alone the government of that country) based in reality? You might have already figured out that my short version of the answer is a big “NO”.

One of my previous post on this general topic did explore how racism and magical thinking have historically shaped american policy towards DPRK. It largely focuses on how we reached this point and why miscalculations due to lazy thinking could have very serious effects on destinies of multiple countries involved in the current standoff.

But coming back to the topic at hand, let us talk about the bunch of delusions that pass for american “strategy” towards the nuclear and missile program of DPRK. I will also talk about how the delusional policies of USA reinforce the equally nutty policies of Japan and South Korea on those issues.

The official stance of USA is that it will not negotiate with DPRK unless the later agrees to give up its nuclear weapons and missiles. Now, even a half-sensible person will immediately recognize that DPRK is simply not going to give up its most cost-effective insurance policies against armed invasion or “color revolution” by USA and its allies.

Moreover, the history of interactions between DPRK and USA- specifically the unsuccessful american attempt to kill all north Koreans during the Korean war in the early 1950s and the unwillingness of USA to fulfill its end of the 1994 nuclear agreement, make it almost impossible for them to trust the USA.

It is also important to understand that DPRKs relations with China and Russia have, over the years, had their own ups and downs. This is why regime in Pyongyang has always been so obsessed with self-reliance and self-sufficiency. The concept of Juche is much more than a simple feel good slogan for them.

So now let us talk about how the USA and its east-asian allies have responded to DPRKs nuclear and missile program since 2006, when it conducted its first nuclear test. But first a little relevant history..

In late-1994, DPRK agreed to freeze its nuclear weapon program in exchange for urgently needed fuel oil, two somewhat ‘proliferation-resistant’ nuclear reactors and future normalization of political and economic relations and a future guarantee that USA would not attack DPRK or attempt regime change in Pyongyang.

However, USA was never serious about sticking to its end of the so-called “Agreed Framework” and after 3-4 years, it became obvious that they were trying take DPRK for a ride. In response, DPRK slowly but surely went about restarting its nuclear weapon program. Long story short.. by early 2002, that agreement was dead when Bush43 officially labelled DPRK as part of the “axis of evil”.

The most important lesson DPRK learned from this episode can be stated as follows: Any agreement with USA is not worth the piece of paper it is written on unless you have the ability to credibly threaten them with nuclear weapons for breaking the agreement. I would go so far as to say that after January 2002, it became virtually impossible for DPRK to ever give up nuclear weapons or the means to deliver them.

Sure.. there were a few attempts after 2002 to restart talks on that or similar agreements, but it was obvious to external observers they were not destined (or even meant) to succeed. However the biggest change in DPRKs policy in both areas came after Kim Jong-un replaced his father, Kim Jong-il. But why would that be so? Why would the son take a far more aggressive stand on these issues than his father?

I believe that it comes down to the era in which they grew up. Both Kim Jong-un’s father and grandfather grew up in an era where white people from predominantly white countries lorded over the world and appeared invincible. He however grew up in an era and environment where he was able to see that white people from predominantly white countries were no smarter, competent or better than somebody like him.

Unlike his father and grandfather, he came of age in an era where the ‘west’ is in terminal decline. He also saw that non-white countries around the world, including neighboring China, were taking the ‘west’ to the cleaners. It is therefore not surprising that after taking over from his father, he decided to pour a lot of personal and resources into the nuclear and missile program.

Interestingly, he did the same for the civilian sectors of DPRK- which suggests that he has a pretty clear plan of action. However western “experts” spend all their time hyping up questionable accounts of his treatment of people who fell out of his favor and masturbate themselves to thoughts of him being a stupid and ego-driven person, when all objective evidence shows him to be a competent, if ruthless, leader.

That is not to say that he is a great human being, but then again Eisenhower was responsible for the death of over 3 million civilians in Korea, Nixon for 3-5 million in Cambodia and Vietnam and Bush43 for about 1 million in Iraq and Afghanistan. My point is that he is no better, or worse, than any generic american president.

In the upcoming post of this series, I will explore how the unwillingness of establishment in USA to confront the fact that they are living in 2017 rather than 1994 is making them do really stupid and useless things which are diminishing their credibility in other countries. I will also talk about how the policies of Japan and South Korea towards DPRK are also based in a strange combination of delusion and make-believe.

What do you think? Comments?

A Few Quick Thoughts on UDMH and the North Korean Missile Program

September 21, 2017 34 comments

A few days ago, I came across a series of articles in the MSM about the use of UnSymmetrical DimethylHydrazine (UDMH) in newer long-ranged North Korean IRBMs and ICBMs. As expected, they were full of sensational and hilariously ludicrous disinformation. But why take my word for it? Have a look at all the bullshit published by supposedly reputable news outlets: The Rare, Potent Fuel Powering North Korea’s Weapons; North Korea’s secret weapon REVEALED – how China supplies Kim Jong-un with ‘Devil’s Venom’; North Korean missiles powered by Russian ‘devil’s venom’. Readers can find reprints of these and similar articles in many other news outlets.

All these articles, which seem to be have been derived from one original post, make a number of incorrect and misleading claims such as: 1] Synthesis of industrial quantities of UDMH is very hard or complex. 2] North Korea is not totally self sufficient in UDMH production. 3] Russia does not use much UDMH for its ICBM or space launch programs nowadays. 4] China is the main source of UDMH used in North Korean IRBM and ICBM programs.

So now let us go through each of the major claims by these posts, one by one.

Firstly, the chemical structure of UDMH is very simple (see below) and routes for its synthesis are remarkably easy and straightforward. One of older process to make it and other simple organic hydrazines on an industrial scale is over 100 years old.. so yes, it was possible to make UDMH on an industrial scale even before WW1. However, this specific compound had little to no industrial use before the development of hypergolic rocket engines in the 1950s. And yes, while it is reasonably toxic and volatile enough to pose hazards if handled carelessly, it is no more problematic to handle on a large scale than highly concentrated inorganic acids or compounds capable of releasing releasing chlorine.

Which brings us to the second claim made by those sensationalist propaganda piece in NYT, namely that North Korea might not be totally self sufficient in UDMH production. As you might have realized by now, large scale synthesis of UDMH is not much involved than any other moderately dangerous industrial chemicals which are nonetheless synthesized by the thousands to millions of tons. North Korea has enough educated and competent people (including process chemists), is extremely willing to provide them enough resources to do their job properly and has more than enough appetite for small accidents. Furthermore, they are highly unlikely to remain dependent on external sources for such an important requirement of their missile program.

The third claim made the sensationalist post in NYT was that UDMH and hypergolic fuels are rarely used by countries other than China. Well.. that is news to me. The fact is that one of two major space launch rockets uses by Russia (aka Proton), all the space launch rockets used by India (PSLV, GSLV-2, GSLV-3) in addition to almost all major space launch rockets used by China use hypergolic fuels in one or more of their large primary stages. In other words, the idea that China is the only major user of hypergolic fueled rockets is utter nonsense. The only reason some countries import UDMH from China has more to do with saving money for small scale usage.

By now, you have probably figured out that the fourth claim made by original article in NYT, namely the China is the major supplier of UDMH to North Korea, is laughably ridiculous. While its is certainly possible that the North Korean chemists who operate facilities for making UDMH might have learned their trade in China, it is laughable to believe that the North Korean government would not do everything in its power to fully indigenize production of UDMH and Dinitrogen tetroxide used to fuel the hypergolic engines in their IRBMs and ICBMs.

The simple fact is that almost all “scholarly” analysis of North Korea missile and nuclear program by western “experts”, so far, has occurred though the lens of racism and orientalism. These sophistic and out-of-touch idiots do not want to believe that non-white countries are capable of technological and scientific achievements. That is, also, why Trump can call for the genocide of North Korean in front of the UN without severe criticism by the corporate MSM in USA. The problem with such attitudes is that they are too divorced from reality to work. Of course, I don’t think that Trump or establishment in USA will learn other than though public failure and humiliation.

What do you think? Comments?

The Next Likely Escalation in USA vs North Korea Conflict: Sep 12, 2017

September 12, 2017 13 comments

As regular readers of this blog know, I have written a few posts about the ongoing ‘situation’ between USA and North Korea over the previous year. For those who are relatively new to this blog, here are a few examples: On the Inability of USA to Stop North Korean Nuclear Weapon Program; Reports of Cyberwar against N. Korean Ballistic Missiles are Likely False; A Quick Analysis of the First North Korean ICBM Test: July 5, 2017 and most recently Continued Inability of USA to Stop N.Korean Nuclear Missile Program.

I have also written a few posts about the factors behind the genesis and continuation of this particular confrontation: The West Has Always Lost Against Determined Adversaries Since WW2; Why was USA Unable to Win Korean War in the 1950s: Apr 22, 2017 and How Racism and Magical Thinking Could Lead to War with North Korea.

To make a long story short, it is my opinion that a mixture of american ego, hubris, racism and magical thinking have been the main factor which created and then sustained this conflict. Now this does not imply that the North Korean regime (especially the Kim Dynasty) are great human beings, to put it mildly. But it is quite clear that their behavior and actions over the previous seven decades have been consistently and highly rational.

I should also point out that USA never had any qualms being super friendly with despots, assholes and mass murderers such as the Saudi dynasty and other Gulf Emirs, Saddam Hussein (before 1989) and Bin Laden (before 1993). In other words, the idea that USA cannot get along with the Kim Dynasty and North Korean regime because of personality cultism and totalitarianism is utterly ridiculous since there is tons of evidence that USA has no problems with despotic regimes, as long as those relationships are profitable to american corporations.

But back to the topic at hand. As you might have heard, yesterday the USA has gotten the security council to approve one more in a seemingly endless series of economic sanctions against the North Korean regime. Of course, these sanctions which were not vetoed by China and Russia were significantly diluted from the first drafts. They do however pose an open challenge to Kim Jong-un and the NK regime, in the wake of their successful hydrogen bomb test.

Based on how things have unfolded till now, I think that North Korean regime will respond in a somewhat unique way. To be more specific, they will test an ICBM at almost-full range such that its warhead will land in the Pacific Ocean off the west coast of USA (or Mexico) just outside the Exclusive economic zone of either country. In other words, they will test an ICBM which will overfly Japan (something they have already done) to land about 250-300 miles of the west coast of USA- likely near its southern border with Mexico.

But it gets better.. I think there is a real chance that they will use a live nuclear warhead (likely a H-bomb instead of a A-bomb) and make it go off over the target area. Yes.. you heard that right. I think that there is a pretty good chance that North Korea will test a nuclear warhead tipped ICBM off the west coast of USA in a way such that it does not violate any of the maritime boundaries and zones of either USA or Mexico.

Here is why I think they will do it..

1] The North Korean regime understands that its survival is linked to the possession of a credible nuclear deterrent- specifically one that can wipe out at least a few large cities in USA. Perhaps more importantly, they know from their previous interactions during the Bill Clinton presidency that the USA cannot be trusted to honor any agreement, treaty or promise it makes with the North Korean regime. So far the USA has been able to bullshit and lie to its citizens that North Korean nukes cannot reach the mainland of USA.

A live nuke-ICBM test will show that all anti-ballistic missile systems deployed by USA are expensive boondoggles. Also, the american government and its “credentialed experts” will no longer be able to claim that North Korean ICBMs and Nukes are not technologically advanced enough to work reliably. After that, USA will not be able to hide behind “expert” techno-babble and other linguistic sophisms designed to minimize the nuclear capability of NK in the eyes of its citizens.

2] As long as the warhead explodes 50-100 km outside the exclusive economic zone of USA or Mexico, neither country can credibly claim that it was an act of war. A nuke going off over the ocean 50 km outside the economic zone of USA is legally no different from a failed satellite or spacecraft crashing into the same point on ocean. Also, the regime in NK has withdrawn from any international treaty which would limit its ability to conduct an atmospheric nuclear test. While the fallout from such a test might reveal some details about the nuclear device being used, it will only bolster previous claims made by North Korea about their nuclear capabilities.

At this stage, the government in USA will be in a pretty odd situation where they cannot really go to war over a test which did not violate the legal boundaries of their country while having to simultaneously face the majority of their angry and scared citizenry. Perhaps more importantly, its vassal governments in South Korea and Japan will realize that any military action by USA will result in the destruction of at least a couple of their major metropolitan areas (example – Seoul Capital Area and Greater Tokyo Area) and the death of tens of millions of their own citizens.

3] While China and Russia have tried to play both sides of the conflict, their recent willingness to vote for economic sanctions against North Korea (even if they are watered down) has pissed off the regime in Pyongyang. Conducting a live Nuke-ICBM test puts both countries in a situation where they have to choose sides. As far as China is concerned, unwillingness to respond to any unprovoked military action or attempt to occupy North Korea would be perceived as extreme humiliation by a western imperialistic country- something that would seriously screw up the public image of the ruling party in that country. Also China has no interest in a refugee influx from North Korea in the event of a war or, even worse, having an american puppet regime on their borders.

Russia, too, has appeared a bit too willing to please the USA even after all the attempts by the later to humiliate it and besmirch its name. The risk of a nuclear conflict and a potential american puppet state on their eastern borders would force them to choose sides. Basically, they are put in a situation where they, like China, would have to side with North Korea to protect their own interests. All that talk about international solidarity, arms control treaties and reestablishing normal relations with USA will mean squat once the moment of truth arrives. In other words, North Korea can force China and Russia to side with it by conducting such a provocative but legally acceptable test.

The clincher, in my opinion, is that it closes off every time delaying option used by USA to prolong this conflict and hope to win by economic attrition. The only option available to USA after such a test are as follows: declare war against North Korea and expose tens of millions of people in South Korea, Japan and USA to almost certain death, in addition to drawing China and Russia into the resulting conflict OR accept that North Korea is a nuclear power and start negotiating with it. The stark and binary nature of choice in the aftermath of such a test is precisely why I think Kim Jong-un and the regime will go for it.

What do you think? Comments?

Continued Inability of USA to Stop N.Korean Nuclear Missile Program

September 3, 2017 7 comments

Almost a year ago, I wrote a post about the main reasons behind inability of USA to stop North Korea’s nuclear weapon and missile program. The main points made were as follows: a] The technology for nuclear weapons is pretty old and not especially complicated, regardless of what old white men with degrees from ivy league schools say; b] China had no interest in stopping North Korea’s nuclear program since the pros of that country possessing its own nukes outweighed the cons of that outcome; c] The North Korean regime was very pragmatic and their desire to posses nuclear weapons and missiles was about self-preservation than any future imperial ambitions.

Since then, I have written posts on developments in that area- from the self-delusions of USA being able to “hack” NK missile launches to the role played by racism and magical thinking in response of USA to North Korea nuclear and missile program. As all of you know by now- NK conducted their sixth, and to date most powerful, underground nuclear test yesterday. While we are still in the zone of incomplete, and often contradictory, information- its is reasonable to assume that yesterdays test, which registered as an earthquake of Richter 6.3 is at least 10 times more powerful than their previous test at Richter 5.2-5.3. In other words, the output of yesterday’s device was at least 150-200 kt.

You might also have seen a series of photos, released a few hours before that test, of Kim Jong-un inspecting a peanut shaped device which looks like the exterior of a thermonuclear device suitable for delivery by a missile. While many “credentialed western experts” are still trying to push the idea that device on display was not similar to the one detonated later that day, I think otherwise. Why should you believe “western experts” who have not been able to make correct, let alone accurate, predictions about the North Korean nuclear and missile program? In my opinion, it is reasonable to assume that NK possess multiple 100-300 kt ‘two-stage’ thermonuclear warheads as well as road-mobile ICBMs with a range sufficient to target large metropolitan areas on the west coast of USA, at the very least.

To put it another way, any attempt by USA to launch an attack (however limited) on North Korea is now as likely to end badly for people living in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco metro areas as it will for people living in Seoul and Tokyo metro areas. Of course, Trump and other american keyboard warriors can still attack North Korea and Kim Jong-un on Twitter by posting ‘spicy’ memes. The reality, however, is that North Korea has now exposed the hollowness of american bluffing about being able to attack it and ‘win’ any subsequent war. As it stands today, any serious war between the two sides will include many tens of millions of dead South Koreans, Japanese and Americans. Regardless of the outcome for North Korea, it is no longer possible for USA to ‘win’ a war against that country.

So will this new reality change the approach of USA in regards to North Korea? Well.. I am not sure that will happen any time soon. Here is why..

1] The vast majority of people occupying executive and administrative positions in the american government are racists who live in a make-believe world. They actually believe that they are an omnipotent and indispensable superpower, regardless of mountains of accumulating evidence to the contrary. It is very likely that they will find it hard to accept that North Korean nuclear warheads and ICBMs are real. Consequently, I expect the american administration to keep on acting as if all those nuclear and missile tests never occurred. We have seen other manifestations of this behavior in response to a number of severe setbacks such as the inevitability of defeat in Iraq, Afghanistan and in the past- Vietnam. Maybe, they will never accept the new reality until a North Korean nuke goes off above one, or more, of their large cities.

2] As many, including myself, have repeatedly pointed out- ‘elites’ in USA retain their positions despite repeated and very public failures. Consequently, a host of amazingly stupid ideas and policies keep on getting implemented and promoted as gospel. In the case of North Korea, we have seen this manifested in the form of repeated and endless talk about “more sanctions”, repeated appeals to China and other assorted ritual behavior. I mean.. if something has not worked for many decades, what makes you think it will work now? But why do all the “serious people” and “credentialed experts” keep on repeating the same talking points? Well.. it comes down to lack of imagination and ideological conformity- with a big dash of racism. The elite in USA, you see, are incapable of imagining a situation where they have to accept the reality of North Korea being a full-fledged nuclear power and negotiating with as an equal nation state.

3] You might have noticed that North Korea has stomped on every single ‘red line’ drawn by successive american administrations. It does not take a genius to figure out that this has not escaped notice by rest of the world. The inability of USA to contain North Korea as well as its defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan merely confirm what many people outside USA have noticed for over a decade now- which is that the USA is somewhere in between an old champion boxer and paper tiger. The inability of USA to slow, let alone stop, the North Korean nuclear weapon and ICBM program makes it look sclerotic and impotent (which it kinda is) to the rest of the world. While this might not be a big problem for other large countries, it is a big one for the USA since a lot of american global influence is based on others believing all the hype, bullshit and lies about american ‘power’ and ‘capabilities’.

4] On another note, it is highly unlikely that China or Russia are going to help USA in containing the NKorean nuclear and ICBM programs. As far as China is concerned, the Nkorean program are a safe and inexpensive way to keep the USA off-balance in that region. It also allows them to constantly humiliate South Korea and Japan by showing their vulnerability to such weapons in spite of american assurances of protection. Furthermore, the Chinese government fully understands that USA will not keep its end of any bargain or deal made to stop the NKorean programs. As far as Russia is concerned, the NKorean programs provide yet another way to publicly humiliate the american establishment. As many of you know, the american ‘deep state’ is itching for a conflict with Russia and had provoked it on numerous occasions in recent past. As far as Russia is concerned, a nuclear ICBM armed NKorea is another tool to make american government look stupid and impotent. While both countries might make some polite noises about containing NKorea, you can be assured that they have no interest in helping the USA.

Will probably write more about this topic in the future..

What do you think? Comments?

How Racism and Magical Thinking Could Lead to War with North Korea

August 14, 2017 12 comments

In my previous post on this topic, I pointed out how a combination of factors ranging from the nature of the North Korean regime and institutional attitudes in USA towards that country to human behavior under conditions of less-than-perfect information could start a war between North Korea and USA. Exploring this topic does, however, require us to confront some obvious, but rarely talked about, issues surrounding how the USA (as a country) views itself and interacts with the rest of the world.

Have you ever considered the possibility that most interactions of the USA (as a nation) with other countries are driven by some combination of racism and magical thinking? Well.. if you haven’t, you should consider that possibility.

Now that we have let the proverbial cat out of the bag, let us talk about why things ended up that way. The major reasons behind why the USA (as a nation) sees itself in a certain way come down to accidents of geography and history. Firstly, the outlook of the nation and its institutions was powerfully influenced by a historically long period of relative geographical isolation- both from overt influence by other countries and from the consequences of their own actions.

Simply put, the combination of relative geographical isolation until after WW2 and weak neighbors made it possible for successive governments in USA to do pretty much what they wanted in their country and immediate geographical neighborhood without having to worry about consequences of their actions. The effect of having weak geographical neighbors for most of american history gave american institutions (and the people within them) a belief that they were somehow the ‘chosen’ supermen destined to rule the world.

Perhaps most importantly, other countries in the last two hundred years which could have kicked american ass in military conflicts lay across the atlantic ocean- in an era where it took weeks to days to reach american shores. This state of affairs persisted until ICBMs and nuclear weapons were developed. In other words, the american psyche (institutional and individual) are largely the product of an era where they lacked serious or existential threats.

And this brings us to the second, and somewhat related reason for the mindset of american institutions and its ruling class. The lack of militarily strong neighbors, relative geographical isolation and the effects of various industrial revolutions resulted in a fairly prosperous country with only one significant military conflict (aka the Civil war) prior the modern era. It is also worth noting that the USA was largely an isolationist country until after it got involved in WW2.

To put it in other words, the lack of large-scale deaths due to wars on american soil is seen by many in that country as the normal state of affairs. Even supposedly “intelligent” people in various american governments throughout history have never been able to fully comprehend what such levels of casualties do to nations and societies. For example- you cannot really understand a lot of post-WW2 west European history without considering the effects of the many tens of millions killed in WW1 and WW2.

To make matters more complicated, the american empire as we know it today is almost exclusively a post-WW2 phenomena. During that time it has fought many wars (Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan) without winning against anyone larger than a Caribbean island. Of course, many millions in those countries (and tens of thousands of Americans) were killed due to those wars gave american military and policy elite the spurious belief that they could kill tons of non-white people in other parts of the world without any consequences.

That lasted till Sep 11, 2001 when it became obvious that a ragtag bunch of people with limited financial and military resources could cause hundreds of billions of immediate damage to the USA- not to mention the trillions spent on subsequent wars which the USA has since lost, even if it can cannot admit it publicly. Maybe that is why that particular day has attained so much symbolic importance in the american psyche.

And this brings me to the question of what will happen when North Korea performs further missile and nuclear tests.

As many of you must have heard by now- a few days ago, Kim Jong-Un has threatened to test a few IRBMs such that their dummy warheads would hit the waters off Guam. The american government reacted by threatening everything from preemptive strikes to full-scale war, including the use of nuclear weapons. They have also tried to pacify the american public by telling them fairy tales such as THAAD and other ABM systems being able to intercept all those missiles before their dummy warheads reach Guam.

But what happens if NK actually fires those missiles and THAAD and other ABM fail to prevent those dummy warheads from landing in the waters off Guam? As it stands right now, there are about 200k american citizens in South Korea- most of them in and around Seoul. A similar or larger number also reside in the greater Tokyo area- which is within the reach of even the oldest and most numerous North Korean missiles.

It would be foolish to believe that the NK regime would not use some of their 30-60 nukes against both those targets if they felt that they were going down. I mean, what do they have to lose in that scenario? Also, they are more likely to use them first if they believe that USA will use them. We cannot also discount the possibility that any interruption in communication between the regime and its missile forces might result in lower level commanders deciding to use them.

I wonder if enough people in current american administration have thought about consequences of even a limited nuclear exchange between the three east-Asian countries involved in this bizarre game of chicken. Do they fully comprehend the results of the South Korean and Japanese governments, which have been aligned with USA since end of WW2, being unable to stop millions of their citizens from dying or getting injured with nuclear weapons? Do they think that any defense arrangements they have with those and other governments will stand after such an outcome?

An even more unpleasant outcome is possible if even a couple nuke tipped ICBMs land on large metropolitan areas on the west coast. Do you realize the long-term psychological and financial effects of even 2-3 nukes with a 20-50 kiloton output going off over those metropolitan areas. Apart from a couple of hundred thousand deaths and injuries, such strikes will have large and irreversible negative effects on the american economy- not to mention politics, psyche and national cohesion. Sure.. you can nuke NK all you want after they hit you first (which they are very likely to), but the damage is already done.

The most important question, then, should be: Is escalating this stupid conflict really worth all the potential risks and downsides?

What do you think? Comments?

North Korea Launching ICBMs at USA is Far More Likely than Believed

August 5, 2017 19 comments

Continuing on from my previous, and subsequently shown to be correct, analysis of North Korea’s ICBM and Nuke programs- let me pose a question that many of you either do not want to think about or believe to be impossible.

Would North Korean launch nuclear weapon tipped ICBMs at large metropolitan areas in USA?

Notice that I used the word “Would” rather than “Could” since we already know that they can launch missiles carrying such payloads at metropolitan area sized targets in continental USA aka the ‘lower 48’. In other words, we have already established that they have the capacity to launch missiles which can drop a warhead of somewhere between 1-1.5 tons on large city sized targets in USA.

Also, as some of you might remember from a few months ago, they can build nuclear weapons with a yield of somewhere between 20-50 kt. While their device is more likely to be a boosted fission bomb rather than a “true” thermonuclear bomb– that difference is largely irrelevant when used against largely civilian targets. I mean.. do you really think a device with a 50 kt yield will be any less disruptive and shocking in its effects on a metropolitan area than one with a 200 kt yield?

And this brings me to the main question posed in this post- how likely are they to use such weapons against USA given the almost inevitable consequences of using them in that manner. But first, let us disabuse ourselves of the stupid belief that the North Korean regime is irrational or incompetent. That regime, is if anything, supremely rational and very aware of its own limitations and abilities.

Their decision to aggressively develop ICBMs and nuclear weapons within the previous decade is very rational since USA is only capable of overthrowing regimes which lack the capability to hit back with nuclear weapons. Deposing Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi and all those “color” revolutions were possible only because those leaders did not possess the means to deliver a nuclear weapon onto a major american city.

But how does any of this make North Korea successfully launching nuclear tipped ICBMS at metropolitan ares in USA more likely than most people would want to believe? Aren’t all those rational people in the North Korean regime afraid of the almost inevitable nuclear retaliation by USA? Shouldn’t that by itself make such an event almost impossible?

Well.. in a rational world, this assumption would be correct and the probability that North Korea would launch ICBMs against USA would be basically zero. However we do not live in a rational world and the other party to this conflict, namely the USA, has shown a general inability to make rational and consistent decisions in the sphere of international relations for some time now.

The general inability of USA to make rational and consistent decisions on international, and increasingly national, matters is due to a numbers of interacting factors. Firstly, various factions of the ruling classes no longer share common goals with each other and there is a deficiency of centralized authority. It is therefore very easy to find instances of two, or more factions, working at cross purposes- something that was rather uncommon even two decades ago.

Secondly, USA is a declining superpower in a world which can no longer support superpowers. There was a time in the 1950s, part of the 1960s and maybe part of the 1990s when the USA came close to dominating the world- but that time is over and the world has become too multipolar for us to go back to such a time. However a lot of the ruling class factions have either not gotten that message or seem to be ignoring it.

Thirdly, a majority of the ruling class (all factions) come from what I call an intellectually and culturally incestuous background. In other words, most people in each faction lived in the same cities, went to same schools and universities and for the lack of a better word- do not venture outside their little bubbles. They talk the same, eat the same, drink the same, fuck the same and most problematically- think the same. Unfortunately, their bubbles have little, to no, connection with reality.

And this brings me to the subject of bad strategic and military decisions- or more precisely, why “credentialed” leaders tend to make the worst decisions and strategic mistakes. While there are many individual reasons for this phenomena, the overarching “meta” explanation is as follows: Decision making by members of an incestuous elite is largely driven by the need to impress and dominate their peers while trying to maintain the status quo, rather than solve the problem at hand.

As far as the topic of this post is concerned, that translates into doing more of the same in seemingly new and fashionable ways. So, the establishment in USA is going to try newer sanctions, more bluster about preemptive military strikes, more “successful” tests of ineffective anti-ballistic missiles. In other words, they will keep on doing all the things that have never worked. They will however never attempt something as trivial as unconditional talks with that regime to address its real concerns.

But how does any of this significantly increase the chances of North Korea launching nukes at american cities?

Well.. it comes down to who developed these weapons and for what end. See, the north korean regime developed them to ensure its own survival and continuance. These weapons are useful to the regime if their possession keeps USA away. However they also know that they have far fewer weapons than USA and if push comes to shove, using them immediately to inflict retaliatory damage is far more preferable to waiting for USA to definitively hit them- perhaps with nukes.

It is pretty easy to see how the proverbial ‘fog of war’ and mutual provocations increase to a level where the side with fewer nukes might be tempted to use them first. I mean.. if you are going down anyway why not take your opponent with you? As I pointed out before, the nukes and ICBMs are meant to ensure survival of North Korean regime- so it perfectly logical to use them if they think they have no realistic way out.

While this might seem as fairly straight forward logic to even the casual external observer, the vast majority of “credentialed” elite and decision makers in USA seem to believe that something like what I just described above is impossible. They are simply unwilling to even consider the very real possibility that North Korean nukes could hit a few major american cities resulting in deaths of millions. Instead they would rather retreat to their bubbles where they are exceptional, racially superior and omnipotent and everyone around them believes in the same shit.

What do you think? Comments?