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‘Why Is the US Even There?’ Anti-War Critics Question American Presence in Niger

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201710201058390465-us-presence-niger-anti-war/

‘Why Is the US Even There?’ Anti-War Critics Question American Presence in Niger

United States Forces Korea (USFK) soldiers line-up during a display of military equipment at Yongsan US military base in Seoul. (File)

‘Why Is the US Even There?’ Anti-War Critics Question American Presence in Niger

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After a bloody militant attack in Niger that killed four US soldiers and five Nigerien service members earlier in October, US foreign policy critics have questioned why the US has a troop presence in countries like Niger in the first place.

Brian Becker and Walter Smolarek of Sputnik Radio’s Loud & Clear were joined by anti-war activists Rory Fanning and Cindy Sheehan. Fanning is a former US Army Ranger who fought in Afghanistan before becoming a conscientious objector and public speaker, while Sheehan became a vocal opponent of the US military following the death of her son, US Army Specialist Casey Sheehan, in Iraq in 2004.

“It’s not bad enough that our loved ones were killed in one of the many illegal, immoral wars that the US empire wages, but then we get so mistreated,” Sheehan complained. “After we’re used as political cannon fodder, then we are just pretty much just discarded by the country that supposedly is so grateful for our service.”

On Thursday, Trump allegedly told Myeshia Johnson, the pregnant widow of slain Green Beret La David Johnson, that the soldier “knew what he signed up for,” a comment for which he received enormous flak. The White House denied Trump said any such thing, and accused Representative Frederica Wilson (D-FL) of fabricating the story.

According to Sheehan, the political mistreatment of Gold Star families spans the political spectrum: the family of Humayun Khan, a US soldier killed in Iraq in 2004, was “used by the Democrats” during the 2016 election, as hers has been.

“My grief and the power of the antiwar movement was used by the Democrats,” she said. “The question nobody is answering is: ‘Why are there special forces in Niger anyway?’ Why is the US even militarily involved there?”

The US military claims that its presence in Niger is to train Nigerien troops and deploy surveillance drone missions in the fight against Islamic terrorist groups in neighboring Mali, where US-ally France has been waging a war against Al-Qaeda affiliates since January 2013. Eight hundred US troops are deployed in Niger, with the permission of Niamey.

Niger is far from the only African nation to have a rarely discussed US troop presence. According to Fanning, the United States has been “conducting military operations in 49 of the 54 African countries since 2011 alone. Sixteen years of this, and unfortunately all these incidents only take away focus from the fact that many thousands of American soldiers have died since 2001, plus hundreds of thousands of people around the world, the majority of them innocent civilians.”

Fanning then turned the topic of conversation to his speaking engagements in schools about his time in the Rangers. “I spend a lot of time, when I can get in front of the students here, in the Chicago public schools talking to them about the military. Chicago has 10,000 students signed up to JROTC [Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, a US military program aimed at high school students] which is more than any other school district. I’m in a county that’s 50 percent black, 45 percent Latino. When you talk to them about the military you’d be surprised by how little they can tell you about the last 16 years.”

“When they do say why they’re all wearing a uniform once a week for these JROTC classes, they say that they’re looking for a little bit of structure, they’re looking for opportunities to pay for college. Eventually they’ll say ‘We want to make sure the world is a safer place, fight for freedom and democracy.’ I go in front of them and tell them about my experience, and the world is a far more dangerous place as a result of the last 16 years. Between 1980 and 2001, there were 381 suicide bombings around the world, only 10 percent aimed at the US or US interests. Since 2001 there’s been as many as 3,000 suicide bombs around the world, with up to 90 percent aimed at the US or US interests.”

“The world is a far more dangerous place, so signing up for the military is not necessarily making the world safer, it’ll make it more dangerous,” said Fanning. “As far as freedom and democracy goes, national sovereignty seems to exist just for the United States. It doesn’t really apply to any other country. The fact that the US is conducting military operations in the vast majority of African countries, let alone other places around the world — that’s not freedom and democracy for those people. It’s about making a small percentage of the population wealthier and controlling various regions of the planet.”

“The conversation we need to be having is: Why are people still being killed?” Sheehan asked. “Why is the US still a military empire with Trump threatening North Korea, Iran and Venezuela militarily? We just have to be more vocal, and it doesn’t matter who’s president. Obama bombed seven countries, he was at war every day of his presidency, he dropped almost 27,000 bombs in his last year. We need to stop being partisan politicos and really start opposing US empire as much as possible.”

Tillerson’s Wobbly War Assurance
| October 17, 2017 | 8:50 pm | Analysis, China, Donald Trump, DPRK, Russia | No comments

https://sputniknews.com/columnists/201710161058289164-tillerson-north-korea-trump/

Tillerson’s Wobbly War Assurance

U.S. President Donald Trump (R), trailed by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, arrives to speak to reporters after their meeting at Trump's golf estate in Bedminster, New Jersey U.S. August 11, 2017

Tillerson’s Wobbly War Assurance

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It doesn’t inspire confidence when US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attempted to give assurances that the American government is not seeking war with North Korea.

After weeks of numerous menacing messages from President Donald Trump warning the “total destruction” of North Korea, the White House’s top diplomat was obliged to go public and calm growing concerns about a war breaking out.

Tillerson told American news outlet CNN: “President Trump wants to avoid violence… He is not seeking to go to war.”

He said Trump was committed to diplomacy, contrary to recent comments made by the president saying that Tillerson was “wasting his time” in pursuing diplomatic efforts with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Following that earlier snub to his top diplomat, Trump then added that “only one thing will work!”

Rex Tillerson’s assurances of no war plans are not very convincing. With a curious choice of words, he said at one point in his interview with CNN: “Those diplomatic efforts will continue until the first bomb drops.”

Those cryptic words “… until the first bomb drops,” strongly suggest that there are indeed concrete plans for military action by the US against North Korea; and that the diplomacy – the little of it there is up to now – is but a prelude for eventual war.

In the same interview, Tillerson admitted that “military options had been perfected” for the president’s consideration towards North Korea.

That can only mean that the US is ready to deploy military force if “diplomacy” does not succeed. And what does Washington mean by “successful diplomacy”? Trump has said he will not tolerate a nuclear-armed North Korea threatening the US or its allies. (North Korea has always maintained its weapons are for self-defense and deterrence.)

In other words, the only “diplomatic” outcome acceptable to the US is the complete capitulation by Kim Jong-un to American demands for dismantling the country’s nuclear weapons program. That is not going to happen, as the North Koreans have repeatedly affirmed, pointing to the examples of Libya and Iraq where defenseless countries are attacked mercilessly by the US.

Randy Martin, a US-based international political analyst commenting for this column, said Washington’s stance is tantamount to “holding North Korea hostage” under the threat of war. “The US is giving the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea an ultimatum: either submit to our demands for disarmament or face annihilation,” said Martin.

So far, Washington has spurned appeals from Russia and China for multi-party talks and a “double freeze” on all military actions by the US and North Korea.

That rejection of Russia’s and China’s reasonable appeals for negotiations underlines the deep misgivings about American intentions and why Washington’s assurances on diplomacy and avoidance of war are so wobbly.

For its part, the government in Pyongyang appears convinced that the US is moving towards an all-out war footing. The watershed moment was Trump’s speech before the United Nations General Assembly last month when he threatened to “totally destroy” the northeast Asian nation.

This week, the US is to carry out another major naval exercise off the Korean Peninsula along with its South Korean ally. The previous exercise was only a few weeks ago. This time, a second US aircraft carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan, has arrived in the region to partake in the drill. So too have two missile destroyers and the nuclear-powered submarine, USS Michigan.

This follows last week’s maneuver when American nuclear-capable strategic B1-B bombers flew over the Korean Peninsula on live practice sorties, accompanied for the first time ever by both South Korean and Japanese fighter jets.

Washington claims these repeated maneuvers are “defensive”. While North Korea has long protested they are rehearsals for war. Pyongyang also points out that the US has moved nuclear weapons into the region in a reversal of policy. The absence of a peace treaty to mark a definitive end to the 1950-53 Korean war – mainly due to American refusal to sign such a treaty – is reasonable grounds for Pyongyang’s concern over ongoing military maneuvers.

Adding to these concerns is that the US drills this week also involve evacuation exercises of non-combatant Americans in South Korea. There are nearly 30,000 US troops stationed in there. Their families are part of the evacuation drill taking place this week. That has reportedly prompted fears among South Koreans that it is “a sign that the United States might be preparing for military action against the North”.

If a war breaks out between the US and North Korea it will be a global catastrophe, as Russian President Vladimir Putin has previously warned. For, in that event, such a war would quickly escalate to the use of nuclear weapons.

It is imperative for all parties to scale back the rhetoric and commit to exclusively peaceful means to resolve a decades-old conflict on the Korean Peninsula. It is unacceptable that the US refuses to sign a peace treaty with North Korea to mark the end of the 1950-53 war. It is also unacceptable that the US has for decades shirked a genuine diplomatic engagement with North Korea, as Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov remarked this week.

President Trump’s relentless warmongering threats in the context of a massive military buildup by US forces on North Korea’s borders are not just reckless; they constitute acts of aggression which violate international law.

His Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, appears to be lately involved in a public relations exercise of trying to give the impression that Washington is all about diplomacy, and not about war. But this “prettifying” of the grim situation is like putting lipstick on a pig.

Washington is criminally derelict in legal obligations to prioritize diplomacy with North Korea. Are we supposed to believe that Trump’s 3am Tweet-storms mocking North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as “Rocket Man” are a serious effort at diplomacy?

No, the truly disturbing thing is that the US is foisting its war plans on North Korea regardless of international law, morality, and the risk of a nuclear war. This in itself is criminal conduct by Washington.

Surely, Russia and China should draft a resolution at the UN Security Council demanding implementation of their diplomatic roadmap. If the US vetoes then it stands to be exposed as an aggressor.

A war with North Korea is completely unnecessary. It is a gratuitous calamity in the making.

The only thing “necessary” about such a war is for the necessity of the US to “justify” its monstrous spending of $700 billion every year on military and weapons. Wars are to the US what a fix is to a drug addict.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

Americans pushed into pro-war frenzy by elite-controlled MSM & NATO – Max Blumenthal

https://www.rt.com/usa/406059-msm-nato-americans-war-support/

Americans pushed into pro-war frenzy by elite-controlled MSM & NATO – Max Blumenthal

Americans pushed into pro-war frenzy by elite-controlled MSM & NATO – Max Blumenthal
Years of Russia hysteria and North Korea fearmongering led by the US mainstream media and NATO propaganda have built support for war among Americans, making them ready to “fight and die” in overseas lands, author and journalist Max Blumenthal told RT.

READ MORE: Red Scare redux? US imposes World War II-era ‘foreign agents’ designation on Russia media

A recent study by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs has pointed at a shift in the collective thinking and feeling of Americans, when it comes how they view global conflict.

The study was conducted over the last two years leading up to the elections in 2016 and found that Americans seem to have found a new appetite for war.

Blumenthal, who co-hosts the “Moderate Rebels” podcast focused on US interventions and is the Senior Editor of AlterNet’s Grayzone Project, spoke to RT America’s Manila Chan about these developments.

RT:What do you make of this Chicago Council study?

Max Blumenthal: The Washington Post in a commentary framed these numbers as kind of the failure of Donald Trump’s America First policy. And I think Trump has done a pretty horrible job selling his policy. There was a non-interventionist component that he campaigned on, which proved pretty popular, particularly in places like the Rust Belt.

However, I really think that if you look at these numbers, you should look at the internals, and look at when the poll was taken, and when the numbers started to shift. They started to shift when the election campaign began. They reflect a concerted campaign by the mainstream media and by the national security state, which has unprecedented access and control over mainstream media – particularly CNN and MSNBC – to bring the American public’s views in line with the elites’ [views] of our interventionist bipartisan foreign policy consensus in Washington. Two years of non-stop red-baiting, Russia hysteria, and fearmongering over North Korea have done the trick, particularly among Democrats.

READ MORE: Senate found ‘zero’ evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, time to do ‘other things’ – White House

RT:Speaking of the mainstream media, why do liberals tend to support interventionist policies at higher rates than even Republicans? It’s unusual, isn’t it?

MB: Yes, it is unusual. We should just talk about some of the numbers first. From 2015 to this summer we saw a 20 percent surge in the number of Americans who would support sending troops to defend South Korea. We also see, for the first time in history, a majority of Americans willing to send US troops to fight and die for Latvia against Russia, and that is a reflection of their support for NATO.
Liberals disproportionately support these militaristic policies, which seem to suggest support for a hot war with Russia, and even hot war with China. It would be disastrous if they took place. So why didn’t that take place? Because of the partisan war against Trump, who has been portrayed as an enemy of NATO – even though he is now as supportive of NATO as ever; as someone who is a Manchurian candidate of Russia, who is controlled by Putin’s nine-dimensional chess and has colluded with Russia. So, Democrats tend to see Russia in a negative light, and they support interventionist policies.

But if you also look at CNN and MSNBC versus Fox News, which is the de-facto channel of the Republican Party and Trump, you see non-stop contributors from the national security state – like James Clapper, Michael Hayden, the former CIA director – pushing these kinds of militaristic policies. So, these are the channels that Democrats watch. Their media, including the Washington Post and the New York Times, has really stepped up the fearmongering and militarism.

So, you see a total reversal from the Bush period, the Bush era – when Democrats were staunchly against the Iraq war, because it was Bush’s war. And now you see the people that are against guns that are against mass shooting – favoring pointing guns and committing mass shootings abroad.

RT:How do you view the posture of the American people on defending eastern European countries like Lithuania and Latvia, who are members of NATO?

MB: In 2014, Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State, wife of the neo-conservative Robert Kagan, said that Americans were ready to fight and die for Latvia. That wasn’t true at the time. Now it is. These attitudes have been manufactured.

They’ve been partly manufactured by NATO propaganda. We heard at lot – especially on CNN from figures like Jake Tapper, “Deep State Jake,” who almost every show is pushing regime change in one of the non-compliant states. We heard a lot about the Zapad [West] military exercises, thinking Romania, where Russia was said to have amassed 100,000 troops on NATO borders – even “Democracy Now!” reported that.

It turns out that Jens Stoltenberg, the head of NATO, was pushing this lie – that there will be 100,000 troops. I think less than 10,000 troops in the end appeared for these military exercises. This was supposed to terrify the states. It was absolute blaster and pro-war propaganda. We’ve seen that reflected in these attitudes.

A Chapter in a Declining Empire

A Chapter in a Declining Empire

 – from Greg Godels is available at:
http://zzs-blg.blogspot.com/

Everyone not yet anesthetized by the anti-Russia hysteria, should read Robert Parry’s The Rise of the New McCarthyism. The estimable Parry argues for similarities between today’s overheated political antics and those of an earlier time. He likens the relentless Russia-baiting of 2017 with the red-baiting of the post-war period often identified with Wisconsin Senator Joe McCarthy.

But that is not quite right. Labelling the post-war delirium, characterizing the anti-Communist frenzy of the period as “McCarthyism” places far too much weight on that sole figure. True, Joe McCarthy exploited the climate, pushing the absurdity of the times to even more absurd levels. Yet we overlook the causes of the poisoned atmosphere just as surely as we would if we labelled this moment we live in as “Maddowism,” after the woman committed to exploiting the mania for ratings, after Rachel Maddow’s prodding anti-Russian sentiment to ever greater heights.
Political fever, like that of 1919 in the US, 1920-22 in Italy, the 1930s throughout Europe, 1946 and 2003 in the US, and again today in the US, is usually driven by crises– threats or perceived threats to the system. It reflects weaknesses or vulnerabilities resulting from economic distress or international conflict. Whether the threat is real or perceived, identifiable or mythical, ruling classes use a crescendo of fear and alarm to foster an atmosphere of conformity and compliance.
During and after World War I, the Bolshevik revolution frightened the US ruling class into its first “Red scare,” an orgy of war-induced patriotism and media-crazed fear of mythical Red barbarity, an orgy resulting in mass arrests and deportations.
Similarly, the victory of the Soviet Union, the expansion of socialism, the intensifying struggles for national liberation, and a domestic left third-party challenge to two-party hegemony spurred the ruling class to spark a second Red scare. A critical mass of consensus was quickly achieved, persisting throughout the Cold War. Thus, it is misleading to say, as Parry does, that “…the 1950s version was driven by Republicans and the Right with much of the Left on the receiving end, maligned by the likes of Sen. Joe McCarthy as ‘un-American’ and as Communism’s ‘fellow travelers.’”
In fact, except for the “fellow travelers,” most of the non-Communist left and most liberals gleefully joined the red-baiting hunting party for “subversives.” Those who didn’t enthusiastically join the mob did little or nothing to diminish the campaign. Certainly, when the purges began to target the moderate anti-Communists, liberal voices did pathetically stir.
Consequently, those familiar with the history of Cold War US repression are not surprised by liberal complicity in the anti-Russia madness today. It should be no surprise that the liberals and the petty-bourgeois left betray the truth, make common cause with the forces of hate, distrust, and prejudice. In times of crisis, that’s what they too often do.
Outside of a few notable voices, liberal/left intellectuals are buying the anti-Russia frenzy. Despite the fact that US security services have an unbroken record of lies and manipulations, they are today manufactured to be the saviors of US “democracy.” The entertainment industry has cast “deep throat” Mark Felt– a crazed, disgruntled FBI official, bitter because he didn’t inherit the directorship from J. Edgar Hoover– as the hero of the Watergate debacle. Industry moguls stretch credulity to portray him as the courageous forerunner of the sleazy James Comey.
How quickly the liberals have forgotten the shame of 2003, when a ruling class-induced frenzy of lies and distortions prompted an unprovoked US invasion of a sovereign country. Have the scoundrels fabricating “evidence” against Iraq left or have they been removed from the State Department, the CIA, the FBI, etc.? Or are they still there, now busy spinning lies against Russia?
Liberals and the weasel-left should heed Parry’s warning: “Arguably, if fascism or totalitarianism comes to the United States, it is more likely to arrive in the guise of “protecting democracy” from Russia or another foreign adversary than from a reality-TV clown like Donald Trump.” Apart from flirting with war, the new consensus against Putin and Russia further erodes the remaining vestiges of democratic life in the US. Fear has brought us an Orwellian destruction of privacy and freedom, along with a murderous foreign policy and, now, a shamefully uncritical conformity.
War by Other Means
If “The New McCarthyism” is an inaccurate description of our times, what would be more suitable? Perhaps “The New Cold War” would be more appropriate since US aggression is both global and endless. The US is conducting war or war-like actions in Africa, the Middle East, South America, the Caribbean, and in Asia. Any and every country that fails to accept US global leadership becomes a target for US aggression.
This constitutes a desperate attempt on the part of US elites to maintain their place at the top of the hierarchy of imperialism, their ultimate mastery over all global affairs.
After the arrogant declaration of victory in the Cold War and the presumption of global governance, matters begin to fall apart for the champions of US global dominance. Former clients like Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and Saddam Hussein began to defy US hegemony. States like Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador choose paths independent of the US template for the global economy. Other states like Yugoslavia, Cuba, and DPRKorea refused to acknowledge that socialist economic relations were outlawed in the post-Soviet era. Still other states like Iran, post-Yeltsin Russia, Libya, and Syria reject US interference in their and their neighbors’ affairs. And, of course, the world’s largest economy (PPP)– PRChina– does not accept a subordinate role in global affairs.
In short, the US role as self-appointed world policeman has been answered with far-from-servile acceptance by the world’s people.
The US response to resistance has been violence. Uncountable deaths and injuries from invasion, occupation, and remotely-mounted attacks have been visited upon combatants and civilians alike. The stability of numerous countries has been disrupted, usually under the cynical banner of human rights. Over the last two decades or so, US imperialism has restructured its aggression, relying more and more on surrogates, drones, and economic aggression, but with the same deadly results.
Obama’s cabal of liberal interventionists has refined and expanded the tactic of imposing international sanctions, a particularly brutal, but seemingly high-minded form of aggression.
We should not deceive ourselves. International sanctions may masquerade as a mechanism of civil enforcement, but they are, in fact, acts of war– war by other means. The current world balance of forces allows the US to cajole, intimidate or manipulate UN member states to endorse strangling the economies of US adversaries under the guise of UN sanctions. The UN virtually rubber stamps the US initiatives to cut the lifelines of countries, organizations, even corporations that dare to ignore US dictates. Similarly, the EU and NATO act as sanction lapdogs.. The consequences of sanctions can be just as destructive, as death-dealing, as overt military aggression. Shamefully, even Russia and PRC– the victims of sanctions– have collaborated on these sanctions in recent years, an opportunistic approach meant to ingratiate themselves with US leaders.
At the same time, no UN economic sanctions have been imposed upon the serial human rights violator, the apartheid state of Israel– merely calls, resolutions, and condemnations.
In a toxic atmosphere of incredulous “sonic” attacks charged to Cuban authorities, provocative claims of Russian government meddling in everything from the electric grid to Facebook, allegations of Venezuelan drug trafficking, suspicions of Chinese espionage, and the many other marks of induced paranoia, the fight for truth is the only escape, the only response to the ugly throes of a diseased, embattled empire. Most assuredly, the empire is in decline, though most of its citizens are unaware, sheltered by a thick curtain of deceit.
Greg Godels (Zoltan Zigedy)
zzsblogml@gmail.com
North Korean Nukes Could Kill 2.1 Million in Seoul, Tokyo – Report
| October 5, 2017 | 7:59 pm | DPRK | No comments
Nuclear explosion

North Korean Nukes Could Kill 2.1 Million in Seoul, Tokyo – Report

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If the standoff on the Korean Peninsula breaks out into war, a North Korean nuclear attack on Seoul and Tokyo could kill 2.1 million people, reports 38 North, a website dedicated to analyzing events involving North Korea.

The conclusion was based on North Korea’s “current estimated weapon yields,” author Michael J. Zugarek wrote in an October 4 post. The researcher says that a single 250-kiloton-yield warhead detonated over the two Asian cities would also result in approximately 7.7 million injuries.

The author assumes North Korea to have 25 nuclear weapons. The terminal high-altitude area defense (THAAD) system in South Korea would intercept some of them, the author seems to assume, while other missile defense features in Japan would also take down some of the incoming threats. Tokyo does not yet have an Aegis Ashore land-based missile defense system but is in the process of acquiring one, the report states.

The Lockheed Martin product is a version of the naval Aegis Combat System, “a sophisticated collection of phased-array radars, fire control directors, computers and missiles” according to the company’s description, with elements typically mounted on guided missile cruisers.

Stanford University’s Siegfried Hecker has estimated that North Korea’s nuclear stockpile sits at about 25 warheads. Further, Hecker has projected that Pyongyang can add six or seven nukes to its cache per year, Sputnik reported.

All 25 million residents of North Korea, however, are easily reachable by America’s roughly 6,800 nuclear weapons.

US-N Korea War ‘Real Possibility’ as Risk of Military Measures by Trump Grows
| September 29, 2017 | 7:54 pm | Donald Trump, DPRK | No comments

https://sputniknews.com/analysis/201709291057801880-us-north-korea-war-report/

A man watches a television news programme showing US President Donald Trump (C) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (L) at a railway station in Seoul on August 9, 2017

US-N Korea War ‘Real Possibility’ as Risk of Military Option Grows – Think Tank

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The risk of war between North Korea and the United States is now unprecedented as Pyongyang is making rapid progress in the development of nuclear weapons and Washington keeps threatening a military solution to the crisis, an influential British think tank said in a report.

Such a conflict would likely result in “hundreds of thousands” killed and injured and there could be “far-reaching consequences” for the global economy, Malcolm Chalmers, Deputy Director-General of the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), wrote in the analysis.

The author warns that taking into account the level of tensions between Washington and Pyongyang as well as the current impossibility of diplomatic alternatives, military measures could be taken by the US president. Trump and his advisers may wish to “resolve the issue sooner rather than later.”

“War is now a real possibility. With North Korea making rapid progress in its missile and nuclear programs, time is not on diplomacy’s side,” the report said.

According to Chalmers, the war could start in a number of ways. Pyongyang could attack first if it believed Washington was preparing an attack; or the US could launch an attack if the North fired missiles into the ocean near Guam or California.

“If war were to begin, it is likely to involve large-scale US-led air and cyber offensive during the early stages, followed by massive North Korean retaliation against South Korea and US bases in the region, using conventional, chemical and possibly nuclear weapons. Under these circumstances a full-scale invasion of North Korea would be highly likely,” the report said.Tensions on the Korean Peninsula remain unprecedented as Washington and Pyongyang continue their exchange of threats and bellicose statements.

‘Erupting the Will for Revenge’

Meanwhile, a North Korean state-run outlet on Friday bashed the recent flight drill of US strategic bombers and fighters near the North Korean coast, calling it a “provocation,” according to Yonhap.

“The independent sortie of a US B-1B Lancer strategic bomber squadron over international waters in the East Sea is an extremely dangerous act, designed to drive the situation of the Korean Peninsula to extremes. … The US belligerent bravado will only fiercely erupt our will for revenge,” Uriminzokkiri, a website providing news from North Korea’s Central News Agency (KCNA), said.Over the weekend, US Air Force B-1B Lancers and South Korean F-15 fighter escorts went north of the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea in a flight route and flew along North Korea’s east coast.

On Tuesday, President Trump reiterated that the US is ready for the “military option” to resolve the crisis.

“We are totally prepared for the second option, not a preferred option. If we take that option, it will be devastating, I can tell you that, devastating for North Korea. That’s called the military option,” Trump said during a news conference at the White House’s Rose Garden.

The Heat: DPRK tensions, Puerto Rico recovery and Trump controversies Pt 2
| September 27, 2017 | 8:10 pm | Donald Trump, DPRK | No comments