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North Korea: The Fog of War

North Korea

Through all of the wars that the United States has been involved in, there has always been something called the “fog of war.” It’s the unknown, the miscalculation, the lack of planning, the faulty intelligence. Every war has involved some level of haziness.

We used to say when I was in the infantry that our operations order only survives until first contact with the enemy. After that, we are making it up as we go along.

This is why it is somewhat disconcerting that a lot of the fog of war right now is coming from within the United States. Those folks out there trying to handicap any conflict with North Korea, especially those outside of the Pentagon, are just making it up as they go along. They are not interested in truth…they are interested in a political agenda.

I have no interest in prognosticating the conflict. Will our anti-missile systems work and stop any nuclear missile lobbed at us by Kim Jong Un? Will the North Koreans push south and put the South Korean and United States military forces on their heels? Will the initial salvos by the North Koreans into South Korea kill tens of thousands of people and level Seoul?

I can tell you that our people at the Pentagon have a good idea what the answers to those questions are. And they will make their decisions based on the data available. That is data none of us are privy to.

My concern is that United States citizens are being fed every day the horrors of a war with North Korea. So much of that analysis is flawed at best. For instance, how many of you have read or heard that most of Seoul would be under attack within minutes of the outset of the war by North Korean artillery? Did you know that most North Korean artillery cannot reach Seoul, only the northern suburbs? While some rockets and other weapons can reach the capital city and would likely cause damage and loss of life, the amount of these weapons makes the threat much smaller than the estimates that the news media likes to put out.

Added to this, much of my career in the Army was spent war gaming and training to fight North Korea. I know most of the territory, terrain, and tactics of North Korea and its army. While the initial outset of hostilities would be violent, this is not the 1950s. The North Korean military would be grossly overmatched.

In regards to the artillery question above, it would make no military sense for the North Koreans to train all or most of their artillery on Seoul, leaving U.S. and South Korean troops on the border areas unscathed. So while I said I didn’t want to really discuss the “what ifs” of a conflict…I do want to say that this idea that the North Koreans would reign down destruction on Seoul is highly inflated, in my opinion. The only exception to that would be their possible use of nuclear weapons against South Korea.

I only address this issue on artillery and what our news media is presenting in order to make a point. Americans must educate themselves on what is happening, and what the possibilities and probabilities are. When my colleague, Richard Kelsey, wrote about the necessity of war in his (North Korea: War is here … Likely), he laid out the reasons why war most likely is inevitable.

I believe our rightful efforts towards preparing for that war are being hampered due to the news media and the left “fogging up” things with unrealistic scenarios, like the issue with artillery I raised above. They want to conflate the problem to the point that it paralyzes President Donald Trump. And their goal is to make sure we do not act.

For many years, as I listened to the left and President Barack Obama talk about North Korea, I wondered what they believed the endgame is. Were they simply interested in kicking the can down the road, for someone else to deal with? Did they hope that something magical would happen, and the Kim’s would be overthrown or would decide to be “nice” people?

From where do the left get their optimism that it is okay that there is a nuclear North Korea (as Susan Rice recently stated)?  From what set of fact do some conclude that peace is possible or could be realized?

There are serious questions about North Korea that each of us needs to ask and demand to be answered.

As a soldier and a student of history, I understand that there will always be the fog of war in any endeavor. In our training in the military, we actually build into our tactics and operations the realities of uncertainty and the ability to exploit that fog.

The war that is LIKELY coming with North Korea, though, has an additional source of murkiness. And that source is the Left and their willing accomplices, the mainstream media. And that murkiness has caused paralysis and inaction by our government for decades, leading us to this point of crucial decision.

While we here at Committed Conservative have our problems with President Trump (most notably, much of his Twitter posts and his impetuousness), these “flaws” may actually be an asset now in dealing with this situation.

Why do I say that? Well, as we have seen, President Trump is not one that will take into account anything that the media has to say. Considering what the media is putting out, that is a good thing.

President Trump is likely listening very intently to the recommendations of Secretary of Defense, General James Mattis. General Mattis, and his subordinates have already seen through much of the fog of war. And I am quite certain they are ignoring the fog that is being put out by the Left in this country.

As stated in Rich Kelsey’s article, war with North Korea is likely here. The Nuclear North Korean can has been kicked down the road for so many years that we now find ourselves out of asphalt. The can is on our front lawn, and we have to wonder when it is going to explode.

What we need to do now is to rally around our President, and his military leaders, and prepare for what is almost certainly to come. And while we do so, we must understand that no war goes perfectly or is without loss of life.

We can ill afford to continue any further on the path we have been on. North Korea must be made to comply. One way or another.


Author: Jay Shepard

Jay Shepard is the Executive Editor of Committed Conservative.

Jay is currently a security analyst and business owner. Jay served 21 years in the U.S. Army, mostly in the infantry. Jay also served as an Army inspector general for four years.

Jay has a Bachelors of Science in Political Science from James Madison University, and a Masters of Public Administration (concentration National Security) from Troy University.

Jay has run several successful state-wide political campaigns, and has been an outspoken advocate for the Constitution, the core American principles, the Convention of States, and military policies.

Jay’s passion is everything to do with the founding of our country, and with baseball. Jay has coached over 30 years at the youth to prep levels.


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