In a public letter to amerikan lawmakers, which was quickly funneled to international news agencies, top pentagon officials talk deliberately on options in deploying military force against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. In the letter, Rear Admiral Dumont, vice director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, makes clear that “The only way to ‘locate and destroy—with complete certainty—all components of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program’ is through a ground invasion.” At first glance this may seem to be a threat, and it would be a mistake to assume such a threat is beyond their reasoning, but given the context of the letter it appears rather to be a warning. We should take notice of the letter’s public nature, having been released directly to amerikan lawmakers rather than the executive, which holds supreme military command. The discussion of a “ground invasion” runs directly contrary to the over-confident imperialist bluster coming from the president, who has advocated an airborne effort to ensure the desired effect with few amerikan casualties.
The pentagon is being realistic, and unfortunately for the united $tates at this time, realism is a form of pessimism. We should not congratulate the pentagon on their honesty, but rather we should point out that it is the work of the DPRK which has made this pronouncement true. It is their weapons program which has assured that they cannot be assailed effectively by the united $tates without horrific consequences. They have developed an economic strategy that is highly resistant to the UN-imposed sanctions regime, and have become a beacon for what is possible in the realm of resisting imperialism. The pentagon, realizing this fact, has sought to hopefully avoid the potential catastrophe that the executive seems to be barreling carelessly toward, and to attack his bravado in doing so. This just adds greater evidence to the utter disarray of the amerikan political system, wherein business as usual can no longer be conducted. We are used to this in the halls of congress, but now it has taken the whole political system. Amerikan imperial misrule has never been so blatant.
Those who contributed to this letter and its circulation knew that neither the amerikan people nor congress were willing to accept another 200,000 soldier—or more—commitment in a foreign campaign. They are currently facing a difficult enough time justifying the new surge in Afghanistan, which has seen the increased involvement of amerikan soldiers in anti-Taliban operations. The pentagon not only stated that a significant ground force would have to be rallied to secure the nuclear stockpile and infrastructure, but underscored the impossibility of predicting casualties that may result from such an endeavor, citing the probability of chemical weapons being employed against the united $tates military by the Korean People’s Army. Further, the significant artillery force that exists within striking distance of the entire demilitarized zone and Seoul itself—home to more than 25 million people (half the RoK population) in its metropolitan area.
Amerikan lawmakers, who are still debating the renewal of the act enabling expanded executive war powers bestowed under George Bush, are now more inclined to think very hard about their decisions regarding any future military program. Trump, which has repeatedly made threats of war and extermination, backed up by the Secretary of Defense Gen. Mattis, may now be bitten by the flimsy u.$. Lawmakers unwilling to accept such a high cost for their military campaign. The amerikans have gotten used to imperialism-made-easy with the foreign policy of the past decades, wherein they simply bombed and assaulted defenseless countries and used economic sanctions to break up their internal unity, leveraged with the help of a passive UN, of course. Now, things are a bit more difficult and the adversaries have bite. They do not like this one bit, and while they would love to make the DPRK go up in smoke, it simply isn’t feasible, and they admit it.
What the DPRK has done works. We need to spread the news, make people aware that there is a way to push back that matters, and we may be able to avoid the catastrophic results of an invasion after all. If Third World unity around this strategy could be achieved, then the united $tates and its imperialist bloc could not continue on as it does now, and we can see that even the DPRK, a poor and isolated country, has struck such an intense and vital blow against their hegemony. Firmly within the camp of the DPRK, we as socialists, communists and anti-imperialists should make an effort to propagandize in favor of this model to oppose amerikan imperialism and establish peace in the ruin caused by decades of amerikan warmongering. Additionally, within the broader anti-war and movements in the united $tates and europe, it is an immediate responsibility that we take the findings of this letter and make them as available as possible, and with an explicit message demanding amerikan demilitarization in the region.
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