- Believe that the current US administration may be too conservative with their approach. As I've previously indicated here, concepts like 'measured response' and 'deterrence' only work if your opponent is sane, believes that you will back down, or that you are utlimately unwilling to escalate further/quickly. Must be willing to 'ratchet up' just as quickly as down...
- Propose a 'measured response' initially but dramatically escalating when/if required (similar to past 'deterrence' policy with regards to nuclear arms during the 'Cold War'). This will ensure that they know if they attack we will respond.
- I've said that we should be more pro-active with regards to handling of 'rogue states' and I'll say it again. We need to be swifter, harder, creative, and more pro-active no matter what actions we may take as they've already hardened their economies against sanctions and other measures we are likely to take. They need to know/understand that for every provocation that they make their will be a reaction, one that is likely to destablise them as much as us. Moreover, OSINT indicates that while the regime may have about 9/10 figures in assets if they are hit hard/quickly enough they will likely collapse.
- I've always believed that diplomacy, intelligence, and defense should work in unison to help reduce the chances of longer term conflict. Number one reason is that it means that if one doesn't work you're not hamstrung in should one one of these fails. Have been thinking about this further in the context in North Korea. If we are more pro-active (and push back) we'll be better able to ascertain just how far we can push. This also means we can begin to formulate a strategy which means that we can make moves which will utlimately force them to make moves. Not enough pressure on them and they'll just stall and/or continue on their merry way. If not enough progress still push but less. Work to a timeline, don't let discussions dangle.
- The reason for the emphasis in speed is that it also gives them less time to adapt. Moreover, it's clear that 'operational security' on the 'Allied side' is often lacking. In fact, fairly recently plans for pre-emptive attacks/responses to North Korean provocations were compromised during a cyberattack (cause was basically down to procedural error). Moreover, the less time something needs to be maintained as a secret the less likely and more effective the plans are going to be.
- Number of different interpretations of answer/s that have been provided in response to calls for possible peace talks. Response indicates that earlier desire for peace was a deception, that they are willing to give up short term stability for longer term gain. May indicate that may be looking for further concessions? a desire to suss out their opponent more? unsure of how to respond? want more time to respond? Also indicates that within their framework they are limited with regards to how to respond. Remember that while the way they deliver their message may have changed ('sliced salami diplomacy' versus 'jackpot diplomacy' was probably the best/enjoyable way of describing Kim Jong Il versus Kim Jong Un) their basic intentions have not. Would like to probe further and see how they respond to actions outside of their normal realm of understanding/framework... (also known as 'Black Box' or 'Fuzz' testing in the Software Engineering world). If want to engage will have to get them to become more succint, concise, push this along...
Think that there should be more room with regards to pre/conditions for talks but need to be more focused with regards to ultimate goals though. We've been meandering around this problem for far too long.
- Pre-emptive strikes can not be ruled out but should also be taken under advisement. You'd rather an opponent with less complete/inferior weapons than one that has stretched for more time with more advanced capabilities/responses.
- North Korea and other states handling the issue of self defense badly (from external perspective but probably sures up support internally). Missile launches, nuclear tests, tearing up armistice agreements, declaring a state of war, and other rhetoric (such as threatening to 'wipe neighbours off the map', or bathing them in 'seas of fire') can only described as confrontational in most parts of the world rather than simply, 'standing up for their rights'.
Need to emphasise that every single move that Allied forces have made has mostly been defensive in nature. Drills in the past have proven to be as much of a problem? they've almost always been the provocateurs in past encounters (attacks on South Korean islands, US servicemen, etc...) Moreover, some of the measures that have been taken can only be described as prudent. Why wouldn't you deploy a missile defense shield battery (a system which is purely defensive in nature if you're aware of how many of them work) if your citizens are risk and you have the ability/resources to do so? Aegis class ships are only there as a support mechanism for the missile defense system, etc...
- 'Allied' nations have clearly made steps to reduce the tension. Believe that it's time for North Korea to return the favour and to return to peace and stability on the Korea peninsula.
- Looked further at Kim Jong Un. Some reasons for selection are obvious. Younger age, supposedly stronger character, outgoing nature which will help him to work at both the national and international level and so on...
What's also clear is that for most of his life he's always had whatever he wants? Curious to see how he reacts to provocations and other moves against him? What I'd also like to know curious about is just exactly how much of the rhetoric is actually his and how much of his messages are 'composites answers'. Hard to know without better HUMINT. Curious to know whether he is someone who can be crafted, molded, convinced (believe that most of his character is fairly set now though. However, if all these moves are actually about stablising his status believe that there may be a chance of influencing him at some point down the line)? At the moment it just seems like he does whatever he wants regardless of the consequences?
- If he's trying to solidify his grip on power then wondering whether or not this is the perfect time/opportunity to destablise his leadership? Likely response will be brutality as in the past... What happens if you can't extract concessions/consolidate power? What if our responses undermine his and ultimately North Korea's position? Is this information actually true or is it just mis-information?
- Assumption by many 'rogue states' is interesting. All seem to be making the assumption that if they are able to acquire nuclear weapons and other WMD they are able to hold others to ransom once they have acquired them. Doesn't entirely fit in with their idea that their desire for WMD is to reduce the chances/possibilities of invasion. Interesting how the implications of the North Korea standoff will have on other parts of the world.
- Obvious offramp for North Korea at the moment would be to simply end the rhetoric, reform, and work with China/Russia. Allows them to help build a better North Korea without many of the risks associated with working with traditional enemies.