Closing the South Korean Crisis Management Gap: The Maritime Contribution

By Robbin Laird

With North Korea working hard to pose an existential threat to the United States via its nuclear weapons development, the United States clearly needs to focus on deterrence and warfighting at the high end level, namely, nuclear use.

It is clear that the North Korean leader focuses on nuclear weapons to preserve his power and that of his regime.

But in relying on nuclear weapons to do so, he has changed the calculus for the United States from reinforcing South Korea in case of a North Korean conventional assault, to one of nuclear deterrence.

And to be blunt about that is about nuclear use.

What are the best options for the use of a nuclear knock out strike in case of North Korea crossing the nuclear threshold?

Frankly, this has little to do with planning for the defense of South Korea.

Defending against a major North Korean conventional assault is the primary responsibility of the South Koreans.

And without a more concerted creation of integration between South Korean and American forces at the C2 level, U.S. options even to reinforce in a short time frame conventional defense of South Korea is limited.

This then means that there is a stark challenge facing South Korea: Enhance your crisis management capabilities and training to deter, deflect and defeat any North Korean conventional incursions designed to destabilize South Korea or its relationship with the United States.

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South Korean Defense

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