Tuesday, June 13, 2017

U.S. Defense Secretary Mattis: North Korea Is The New Top Threat To U.S. Security

Washington Post: Pentagon chief declares North Korea the new top threat to U.S. security

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis declared North Korea the “most urgent and dangerous threat to peace and security,” before the House Armed Services Committee on Monday night, moving Kim Jong Un’s regime past Russia as the No. 1 threat that the United States faces.

The statement was included in the defense secretary’s prepared opening statement, five months after Mattis identified Russia as first among threats facing the United States. The change comes as Pyongyang moves forward with what the United States calls an unprecedented number of tests on nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles and as the Trump administration’s connections to Russia are scrutinized by the FBI.

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More News On U.S. Defense Secretary Mattis Remarks That North Korea Is The New Top Threat To U.S. Security

North Korea 'most urgent' threat to security: Mattis -- Reuters
Defense Chief: North Korea the Greatest Threat to the U.S. -- US News and World Report
Pentagon chief now declares North Korea, not Russia, the biggest threat to US security -- South China Morning Post


Matthew Putnam said...

My assessment would put NK second to ISIS in a tier of threats to the United States. I think that its nuclear capability by default makes NK a bigger threat, and that variable is what put NK at the top in this assessment. But in terms of likelihood of attack and immediacy, the Islamic State is on top just because it is a multi-component non-state actor using asymmetrical warfare, and the precedent for attack being many existing already. Though Kim could wake up more depressed and insane than normal one morning, and decide to launch something that actuates a regional conflict, the scale of which has not been seen in decades, sure.

B.Poster said...

MP: I agree with your assessment on North Korea. I'd also place ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups ahead of North Korea and, for what it's worth, I think you are right about what North Korea might decided to do one morning but, for now, the major threats in terms of likelihood of occurring to the US are as follows:

1.)An attack on the US mainland by Islamic terrorists using "dirty bombs" and probably multiple suitcase nuclear weapons detonated simultaneously across multiple metropolitan areas. In such an attack, at a minimum millions of Americans would die and the death toll could be as high as in the 10s of millions.

2.)An all out nuclear attack on the United States by Russia. Given the substandard training our nuclear forces have received in recent years combined with the general state of neglect of our nuclear infrastructure along with Russian cyber attacks may make any kind of retaliatory strike by America problematic at best.

3.)An invasion of the US mainland by Russia, China, both of them, or those countries and some combination of their allies. Should they choose now to launch this, while I may be wrong, it is my considered opinion the invading force would win. While we may well "win", it would be extremely costly and our forces really do not seem properly deployed to give us the optimal chance of defending the nation from the invader should they choose to do so now.

While scenario 1 is the most likely, at present, scenario 2 is far more dangerous and it seems unlikely the Russians are going to contend with the insane policies of the American government toward tem for an indefinite period of time.

It is with an honest assessment of the threats faced by the United States, the danger of each one, and the likelihood of each occurring that should be taken into consideration when charting our course for foreign policy. Needless to say I am most unimpressed with General Mattis right now. I've known for a long time that generally we've been appointing a combination of incompetent boobs and political hacks to leadership positions in the US government. While I hoped the military had been spared, it seems they have not been.