Former National Security Adviser to Donald Trump H.R. McMaster is at it again. As Larison notes:
Former National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster now works for the poorly-named Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD), and in his new position he is back once again to talking up the virtues of preparing for preventive war against North Korea:
However, this is not what is important inLarison's piece, it is a retort by Harry Kazianis inside Larison's piece, which goes like this:
I agree with Kazianis--he is a fool. But finally somebody states openly about virtues of proper operational planning and modelling across multi-scenario (contingency) space. Kazianis' background of course is a bizarre mix of international relations/political science field and journalism. I didn't read Kazianis' book on Chinese A2/AD issues--I seldom read "political scientists" opinions on issues of operational research, especially within new technological paradigm, which I call a REAL RMA. Yet, if Kazianis did spend "2000 hours in computer simulation" of war with North Korea, it is good that he mentions this figure--millions dead--in case of McMaster's desired preventive war on North Korea. Good for Kazianis. But the problem persists: Kazianis talks about millions of Koreans dead, but what about US forces in South Korea?
Currently there are around 30,000 US troops stationed in Korea, but I am sure, for McMaster's war on North Korea US will have to increase numbers of US servicemen and hardware dramatically. But here is the catch--those pesky China and Russia have a common border with North Korea and both are more than capable and willing, in case of "preventive war", to "help". Both have many tools for such helping, ranging from diplomatic and economic to direct supply of hardware and, highly likely, of "advisers". Obviously, McMaster being a product of non-continental warfare school of thought thinks that the United States proper will be in the same position it was during...ahem...all of its wars, that is insulated from them. This time, this might not be the case at all, because the whole thing has a very high probability of getting out of hand really fast with US forces attrition rates skyrocketing and the whole thing getting very close to nuclear threshold--the only option the United States will have should China, let alone Russia, get involved in a big way--and that is highly likely in this case. Have Mr. McMaster ever spent at least 1 hour in computer simulation if this scenario unfolds? The count may go in more than millions then but in tens of millions.
Out of all places for potential US "involvement", North Korea, due to its unique geography, is the place with the highest potential for large regional conflict going full blown global. I cannot even describe in how many ways this McMaster's war can go bad really fast with deadly consequences for all parties involved, including US proper. But what possibly can one expect from a man, as Larison describes:
No wonder former Secretary Mattis reportedly called McMaster unstable said that the then-National Security Advisor was going to get us all killed.
What an "endorsement"! When "Mad Dog" Mattis says this about you, you must be really fvcked in the head. I guess Mattis did his due diligence and spent required hours in computer simulation. But this brings us to a larger issue, as Larison states:
This is a useful reminder that every one of Trump’s National Security Advisors has been a menace in different ways, and all of them have been incorrigibly hawkish and reckless in their views about the use of force.
I can only add--how about teaching all those "advisers" be them uniformed or otherwise about REAL modern war and what it entails when not two but three superpowers may get entangled in it. Evidently, Harry Kazianis despite his radically not military background did his due diligence by studying effects of the use of force in Korean Peninsula and it is good that he gave the order of magnitude of numbers of innocent people who will die as the result. But I do have explanation for those "advisers" being reckless and hawkish--their aggressiveness is an obverse side of ignorance of the real war. and this problem cannot be solved by education only, it requires great human and statesman qualities of which current American political elites have none.