Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Has Kim Jong-un Set Up a 'Dead Hand' System to Attack the US If the US Attacks NK or Kills Him?

Given that North Korea has set off another ICBM test and President Trump, in response, told reporters that he will take care of things, here is a sobering thought from Daniel Ellsberg in a recent interview with Richard Perlstein for Esquire:
Daniel Ellsberg became a household name—and, according to Henry Kissinger, “the most dangerous man in America”—in 1971, when he leaked the Pentagon Papers, a massive study of how the U. S. blundered in Vietnam that Ellsberg himself had helped compile as a RAND Corporation analyst. But before he was a disillusioned expert on Vietnam, he was a disillusioned expert on America’s “command and control” structure for nuclear war. He tells the story in his new book, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner (Bloomsbury), a groundbreaking and nightmare-inducing account of how the whole mad system works. Esquire spoke to him this fall, just after Donald Trump began tweeting threats to North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and just before Senator Bob Corker warned that the president might be leading us toward World War III...

DE: The war games we run against North Korea, which have been leaked, are always described as involving “decapitation.” And there have been news stories about the South Koreans developing a special “decapitation team.” Now, what can we expect? First, we can be virtually certain that Kim Jong Un has made provisions so that it would not paralyze his system just to kill him. That’s true of every nuclear state. But now let me add something that’s much less obvious. I’m pretty convinced—this is speculation, but it’s based on history and experience—that Kim has, in fact, also made provisions for massive retaliation if he is killed. A “dead hand” system.
And here is Ellsberg on the problem with Trump's response:
DE: The American people are being led to believe that they have to fear a surprise attack from Kim, which is crazy. It would be an act of self- annihilation if he did that. What he wants is a deterrent. Trump is threatening to do something crazy. Now, unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that it’s totally incredible. Both sides are cultivating an image of impulsivity and backing it up with a readiness to use massive force. It really does have a chance of blowing up, and that’s the theme of my book. We should not be talking about or threatening or preparing to go to war against Kim Jong Un any more than he should be preparing to go to war against us. What does that leave? Negotiation.
Trump is going to get us all killed. If Defense Secretary James Mattis is to be believed, this test shows that Kim can hit any spot on the planet.



  1. North Korea is no threat at all to the United States or allies unless they are backed into a corner by the NeoCons and left no other options.

  2. Beavis and Butthead End the World

  3. 30 years of appeasement has brought us to the current situation. The sooner little rocket man is killed, the better for the rest of us.

  4. It sounds like BS that North Korea can hit whatever targets it wants. But to the military industrial complex and North Korea it is mutually beneficial BS so it will pushed as if it were not.

    However, if NK really can do it, it is the result of US fedgov meddling in the Ukraine. Putting the missile engineers in the Ukraine out of work.

  5. Ellsberg makes good points but at the risk of under estimating NK, I doubt their ability to fund the necessary technology and the R&D to develop and build the software and hardware needed to successfully arm, launch and hit targets throughout the glob. Therefore I am skeptical (as Jimmy Joe Meeker seems to be) that NK has the weaponry we are told they have.

    I don't believe that Kim and the NK regime are crazy, so agree that we do not have to worry about them attacking first. I believe the responses from Trump are tactical; as Ellsberg suggests, "Both sides are cultivating an image of impulsivity...". Because the objective of NK is to stay out of the cross hairs of the USA, Trump's tactics are more likely to lead to military action than would diplomacy or ignoring NK.

    The Kim regime understands having the threat of nuclear weapons is their best bet against the USA. NK does not have an anti-nuclear weapon ideology like Iran so will not negotiate them away; that ship has passed. Due to decades of bumbling US handling of NK the world will now have to live with a nuked up NK.

    Good job "leaders of the free world".