reply to post by GarrusVasNormandy
The fact that North Korea has nuclear weapons, and to top that has such an aggressive rhetoric, means that the U.S. won't dare to touch it.
The consequences of doing so are impossible to predict.
The main reason we haven't done something about North Korea is because we signed an Armistice, South Korea would see it as us trifling in their
family affair, and we'd drag ourselves into a predicament with China that is just a headache. None of it's really worth taking out a country that
is, at best, a nuisance.
It's highly likely their nuclear weapons don't work.
Even if they do - they are low yield devices that are really only a threat to South Korea. It's questionable how effective the weapons would be in
that terrain, anyway. Towns sit in valleys spanned by high mini-mountain ridges. Nuclear weapons are not the be-all of destruction they are made out
Since a war with North Korea is going to involve attrition either way - the nuclear weapons are actually a rather small factor on the table. The
biggest concern with them is cleaning up the fallout from the vegetation, later. A few years of crops could easily be ruined by radio-isotope
The good news is that plants are natural scrubbers of Cesium and other radioactive compounds... the bad news is that they scrub them from the
environment by putting it in fruits and foliage - commonly consumed by people in one way or another.
However, History has showed us through several examples that a country can turn a switch on and become a serious military super-power,
especially when talking about countries of a magnitude like the U.S., China or Russia.
Here's where a war with China gets a little weird.
China doesn't have the domestic resources to support such a war effort like that of the U.S. in World War II. Their iron ore is # and requires huge
amounts of refining. Their coal is impure. About the only resource they have going for them is the world's only known mine-practical supply of many
rare earth elements like neodymium. Good for securing export contracts in the electric-motor crazed society of today - not so good for waging war.
This means they would be forced to prioritize natural resources that they believe practical to seize. Resources in Siberia, India, Nepal, Pakistan,
Malaysia, etc could be considered. Securing these resources would be essential.
Much as it was essential to Japan to expand its imperial power across the Asian Pacific in order to wage war against the U.S. Even then - their
production couldn't match our own (even though we were fighting in two massive theaters).
China has the manpower.
The problem is that, if we need to, we have conventional weapons that can drop people by the thousands. Dispersal weapon systems like the JSOW,
MGM-140 ATACMS, etc can turn an entire infantry division into mush in a frighteningly short order of time (the blink of an eye).
Taking 12,000 casualties at a time - it wouldn't take very long to reduce an enormous 4 million man army to a few battalions of bewildered and
Not sure if the inventory of those weapons could support such a series of sorties - but even if the current arsenal is small, it still sends the
message that the age old Chinese tactic of "human waves" simply won't work. We've developed several very effective anti-zergs.