North Korea war could 'kill 10,000 US troops within days' - Nicola Smith
A war with
North Korea could result in about 10,000 American combat-related casualties in
the first few days alone, according to US military planners.
classified military exercise last week, attended by Army chief of staff General
Mark Milley and head of Special Operations Command General Tony
Thomas, tested hypothetical scenarios of how US troops would mobilise and
strike if ordered to into a potential war, reported the New York Times.
“tabletop exercise”, held over a few days in Hawaii, thrashed out the
challenges that could hamper a US assault on North Korea’s sizeable
determined that US casualties could be amplified by the Pentagon’s limited
ability to evacuate injured troops daily, and by the possibility that Pyongyang
could retaliate with chemical weapons.
casualties would far outweigh the initial toll on US troops, and could
potentially reach hundreds of thousands, commanders were told.
While the US stations about 28,500 troops in South Korea, the
capital, Seoul, a city of about 24 million, lies within range of the formidable
firepower of North Korea’s artillery stationed along the border.
potential human costs of any war were so high that, at one point in the
exercise, General Milley remarked that “the brutality of this will be beyond
the experience of any living soldier” said the Times.
Pentagon chiefs cautioned that the planning session did not mean
that a decision has been made to go to war with the intention of curbing
Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions.
On the back of a diplomatic détente with South Korea during the
Winter Olympics, Pyongyang indicated that it was willing to open up dialogue
Trump’s response that “we want to talk also” but “only under the right conditions”
has created a glimmer of hope of a diplomatic solution. But America’s
insistence that denuclearisation must be on the table remains an entrenched
unpredictable situation has sparked fears among US military leaders of a “ladder
of escalation”, where a stray incident could cause a military crisis to spiral
out of control.
Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has said a war with North
Korea would be “catastrophic” but has reportedly ordered top Pentagon officials
to be ready for any possible military action.
plans discussed last week was the redeployment of a large numbers of
surveillance aircraft from the Middle East and Africa to the Pacific to support
also looked at how American forces stationed in Japan and South Korea would be