North Korea: the Aircraft Carrier Strike Crew That Went the Other Way

The Hill has an article on how the Doomsday Clock is 2.5 minutes to midnight, in part due to President Trump’s comments on how he might deal with any possible North Korean threats. But before the article in The Hill mentions John Wolfsthal - who belongs to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board; the group which manages the Doomsday Clock - they bring up key evidence of how Nuclear Anxiety in big capital letters is coursing through America’s veins:

A few SNL skits.

Yes, if you want to understand how close the world is to nuclear armageddon, make sure you watch Saturday Night Live. And you will therefore have a solid factual base on which to criticize any policy position that Trump's administration may be taking on North Korea.

After citing SNL the rest of the piece in The Hill basically takes a "please don't get them mad" approach without even getting into the details of what a conflict on the Korean peninsula would mean for America's steadfast ally, South Korea. But there's another data point that The Hill might want to focus on, that Reuters brought up:

The location of the aircraft carrier strike group that President Trump announced was headed to the waters off of the Korean peninsula in order to provide support for American and South Korean forces and to demonstrate a credible response to the crazed regime in Pyonyang.

Unfortunately for credible threats that are needed to back up a policy of deterrence, the aircraft carrier strike group this past weekend was headed to the Indian Ocean on a planned maneuver with Australian forces. A little out of range as far as Pyongyang goes. They are now - or will be soon - headed to the "Western Pacific" to take up their responsibilities with regard to North Korea. We hope.

In other words, it looks like Trump got ahead of his Navy command, and tweeted out a few days too soon. And that does perhaps dent the credibility of any further promises or threats that America and her allies may direct North Korea's way. North Korea is a dangerous game. How dangerous is hard to tell with failed missile tests on the one hand, but apparently successful nuclear tests on the other, making it hard to get granular on what the DPRK's military strike capabilities actually are. Of course, the real threat is not a load-bearing missile landing in Hawaii or San Francisco or Alaska - although that is an increasingly possible scenario - but rather millions of South Koreans in Seoul dying during a war with North Korea. Along with American military, and their support staff.

Almost all of us - and arguably even those in command positions at the time - don't really know how close America came to war with North Korea in 1993-1994. Signaling in a game of conflict is a tricky proposition which must be handled with care. As well as resolve. Both qualities are key in managing a process like this. Let's hope President Trump uses a little care along with a good deal of resolve.

Posted by Keeley at April 19, 2017 2:40 PM
Comment #415439

Trump has Spicer lie for him about the lost armada. What is wrong with these guys? Why does Trump feel compelled to lie about everything? It is just… just… gross incompetence. Are the generals even listening to Trump? If the Commander-in-Chief says the USS Vinson is heading north towards Korea when things get tense, then the carrier had damn well better turn around and start heading north, not continue going south for a training exercise. Ugh.

Trump’s approval rating with Pew just hit an all time low, 39%.

Posted by: phx8 at April 19, 2017 5:35 PM
Comment #416586

I have never like him… I do not know who chose him for president ;d

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