I have not heard or read from either pundits, egghead academics, letter-to-the editor know-it-alls, or even military geniuses, these salient facts: The United States is still in a “state of war” with North Korea and China. (Disclaimer: I fought all of 1951 in Korea as a Marine infantry officer)
The 1950-1953 Korean War was a continuation of World War II as the opening gun of the Soviet’s Cold War to test the West’s resolve to resist its expansion that President Franklin Roosevelt at the Tehran Conference voted to allow Joseph Stalin against the wiser Winston Churchill.
Wars usually were concluded with peace treaties.
The end of WW I was a year after the 1918 Armistice; WW II was concluded by unconditional surrenders of both Germany and Japan in 1945. The generosity of America was demonstrated immediately by its starting to rebuild both enemies.
In Korea, the U.S. and some 20 other free nations had fought for the first time under the banner of the newly-formed United Nations, in which Red China was not a member at the time. Thus when a cease fire was signed on July 27, 1953, it never evolved into a peace agreement — consequently, the war has continued for over a half century. Question? Does that give the U.S. the right to respond now to any North Korean aggression with any preemptive or counter measures? How about to China?
President Trump’s preemptive strike
The long-overdo Tomahawk cruise missile strike against Syria was designed as a signal to our allies and as a warning to adversaries and rouge nations — especially North Korea and Iran — that there would be repercussions should they attempt to strike the U.S. The U.S. had done this before in Libya, Afghanistan and Yemen. Israel in 1981 had destroyed Saddam Hussein’s nuclear plant by air, and again, Syria’s newly-begun nuclear facility in 2007.
Unfortunately, before the U.S. attack into Iraq in 2003 — during a two-week hiatus — President G.W. Bush had allowed Hussein to transfer his chemical weapons of mass destruction — which he had used against his own people — to Syria, thus providing Syrian dictator Bashar Assad the use of them against rebels, and most recently, the aerial gas attack against innocent civilians that prompted Trump’s cruise missile response.
World reaction to the U.S. missile attack
Both in this country and abroad, most favored the preemptive attack as the U.S.’s reentry into world leadership and a warning that the Obama losing game was now over. Trump brilliantly conceived the plan to attack at a precise time when the Premier of China was dining with him, not only as a demonstration of the return of U.S. power, but as a strong hint for him to tame China’s puppet, North Korea. Also, strategically this was forewarning to Russia to stay out of the way. Trump thus trumped Putin and put him off balance, demonstrating what might be in store for any untoward action by him.
Let Putin and Xi Jinping fume and bluster — that’s all show. The U.S. must act in its own interests and seek support from well-intentioned allies.
Threat of all-out war
Neither Russia nor China would risk setting the world aflame again; each would have too much to lose. Xi Jinping is not about to see Beijing destroyed, nor is Putin to see Moscow or St. Petersburg obliterated. Neither is a Mao or Stalin mass killer. Only North Korea led by its egotistical, ignorant, insane leader would venture such a move. The Iranian Ayatollah, in his own abysmal ignorance, might also try something with his evolving nuclear arsenal, but why, then, would he buy a dozen giant airliners from Boeing? To refit for bombers? I think not. He has no intention of targeting either the U.S. or Israel. Were he to do so, there would be no hesitation on either of the latter’s part to retaliate overwhelmingly and reduce Iran to rubble. I doubt the good people of Iran would stand for that and would rebel beforehand.
Besides, both Russia and Iran know full well that the U.S. has 90 submarines in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Indian Ocean with their arrays of multiple, nuclear-tipped cruise missiles aimed at them.
Ultimately, after the defeat of ISIS, I foresee the Middle East being reshaped to correct the egregious errors after WW I of Lord Balfour and Lawrence of Arabia, both of whom should have known better than to disregard tribal domains and draw the arbitrary demarcation lines of present Arab countries that now exist. Of course, the Brits did that purposely to maintain some vestige of colonial control.
The only way to defeat ISIS
As I have written before, a mighty Navy-Marine ESG (Expeditionary Strike Group), consisting of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier group shepherding a 35-assault ship Marine Air-Ground Task Force at the eastern end of the Mediterranean would insert by air a Marine Expeditionary Brigade (10,000 man MEB) right smack into the heart of ISIS at Raqqah to form a 360-degree Tactical Area of Responsibility from which to spread out and destroy the disparate elements of those rag-tag militants. Another Marine Expeditionary Unit could be inserted into the north Iraqi and Kurdish oil fields to protect them and assist the Kurds.
Thank god Trump has three Marine generals at the helm that know how to fight that kind of warfare. Secretary of Defense James Mattis led the Marine Expeditionary force into Afghanistan.
What kind of war is possible?
Wars of invasion on the scale of WW II are no longer feasible or even thinkable. The only examples being Russia trying to gobble up former neighboring states. The “force-multipliers” of today’s weaponry with a single Navy ship more powerful than a flotilla of ships 75 years ago and bombers more powerful than past air armadas; intercontinental missiles reaching any part of the globe, satellite targeting, unmanned vehicles, laser and supersonic electro- magnetic rail artillery, etc. The only war now possible that can knock a country out with one single blow is not a nuclear confrontation, but a cyber one.
A single digital hack from an adversarial or rogue nation could knock out the entire U.S. —or any country’s electrical grid, communications, or financial systems — causing the cessation of all activity both individual and commercial, security, medical, transportation, and every aspect of daily life.
Any major nation would think twice before doing that because it could be replicated in retaliation onto themselves — or responded by mutually assured destruction by nuclear responses, which neither the U.S. nor Israel would hesitate to use.
The danger would be from a rogue nation like North Korea (if it developed the wherewithal) or Iran, if not stopped by internal rebellion. But, who knows what other entity bent on evil might emerge?
Will the Free World be able to stand united?
With the re-emergence of U.S. leadership and possible stability in store in the resurgence of “nationalism” rather than “globalism,” perhaps those troubled migrant hordes will once again return to their homelands rather than propagate by forcible miscegenation as the Koran tells them to do.
President Trump has reawakened this country and is fast building back its robust economy, its pride, its leadership — and its greatness. “America First” for a change.
If he is given the chance to do that without the destructive animosity of the LibDems and Hillary losers, this country will again prosper and an interlude perhaps of peace awaits the world.
That over time will dwindle again if the populace fails to educate itself and compete intelligently with the rest of the world; then the U.S. will deteriorate and other, smarter countries will overtake us.
God help us if we do not see the wisdom in remaining at the top, of leading, and resisting those who would destroy us, both externally and internally.
Avery Chenoweth is a resident of Perry.