According to former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (he is also a former FBI agent), talking to Jake Tapper on CNN Friday, the United States has four real options on North Korea.
The first option is “decapitation,” striking the leadership of North Korea, including Kim Jong-un “and some of the senior leaders around him and take them out of the equation.”
The second option is a limited strike on North Korea’s nuclear capability.
The third option is a “full on, let’s get it done take out” of the 8,000 or so “artillery tubes down the border or as many as” possible “and move South Korean troops over the border or over the DMZ.”
The fourth and best option is diplomacy, if at all achievable.
Jake Tapper :
Theoretically, any of the military options you just described would set off not only the death of innocent people in North Korea, but North Korea would fire into South Korea at the very least, perhaps even Japan. We’re talking theoretically thousands and thousands of innocent people killed if the US military launches a strike.
Well, depending on which option that they might take, Jake, that number is actually much higher. There are some estimates in the millions of casualties. Remember he has the ability; Kim Jung-un can launch the artillery strike of 8,000 tubes of artillery rounds, if all of them are functioning and all of them are firing, about one artillery round for every three square foot in the city of Seoul which is a city of about 25 million people.
Just that alone is devastating, let alone missiles and all the things that come after it, including biological and chemical which we clearly know that he has.
So the modelling for these things are not good.
I think that’s why you heard McMasters say, “We do have military options and we’re prepared to use them.” That’s true. We have all of the options I just described. What every person in national security debate talks about is what are the consequences of each one of those and can you mitigate it? Can you stop the violence before it escalates into something of full kinetic conflict that you can’t get out of until millions of people are dead?
And that’s all of these equations. And these have been modeled like ten ways from Sunday about what options are possible and aren’t.
I thought it was interesting: the South Koreans have just announced a decapitation brigade that they’re training. Pretty public way of sending a message to Kim Jung-un that we’re going to have a lot of specialized troops that can go in and take you out if we have to do it.
Note: The blockquoted text is accurate as near as dammit from the note I took of the conversation.