Just hours after Trump made his famously heated vow to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea if provocations by the Kim regime continued, the US Air Force issued a very clear statement in which it explicitly said that it was "ready to fight tonight", launching an attack of B-1 bombers if so ordered:
“How we train is how we fight and the more we interface with our allies, the better prepared we are to fight tonight,” said a 37th EBS B-1 pilot. “The B-1 is a long-range bomber that is well-suited for the maritime domain and can meet the unique challenges of the Pacific.”
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How would the US retaliate if North Korea attacked Guam?
As I noted on Wednesday, Guam is well protected against a prospective North Korean ballistic missile assault. But what if an attack on Guam did occur?
In that scenario, while it's impossible to know how President Trump would respond, I believe the U.S. military would recommend retaliation at one of four levels.
First, in the event that a missile strike caused no or very few casualties (less than 5), the U.S. would likely employ measured retaliation. North Korean launch sites and missile units would be destroyed, but the regime's command and control facilities would probably be left alone. Neither would the U.S. be likely to target North Korea's leadership. Instead, the overriding intent would be the removal of the ballistic missile threat and the restored U.S. balance of power. If the North Koreans attempted to reconstitute their ballistic missile program, the U.S. would destroy it again.
What if a North Korean strike inflicted casualties beyond the low digits but not in the hundreds or thousands?
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