potential war

A Potential Conflict



human veteran Pentagon
civilian horrible by the time
analyst leash (2) commander
guy artillery firepower
inflict literally round (2)
reserve scenario force (3)
threat external pre-emptive
regime alliance miscalculation
task unleash timeframe
stuff combat as much as we can
armor infantry stock (2)
fuel goal (2) ammunition
etc hold off accomplish
land unit (2) live off the land
rapid collapse de-escalation
conflict escalate take out (2)






What would a war with North Korea look like?

David Maxwell, US Army Korea Veteran: We will see a horrible lost of human life, probably three hundred to four hundred thousand in the first week, civilian and military. Probably over two million by the time three weeks is up.

Bruce Bechtol, Former Pentagon Analyst: If I’m a North Korean commander, I would unleash the firepower of my artillery, and inflict as much death and destruction on the South as I can.

And in the first hours, there will literally be hundreds of thousands of artillery rounds and rockets fired to the South — and many of them into Seoul.

With their reserve forces of six million, I think they’re the fourth largest army in the world.

The scenarios that could lead to war are when Kim Jong Un believes he is threatened. And this can be an external threat of a pre-emptive strike by the United States, by miscalculation of alliance military moves where he thinks the regime is subject to extreme threat.

David Maxwell, US Army Korea Veteran: Our task will be to use air power to hold those guys off, as much as we can until we can get heavier stuff in there.

The first thing you gotta do is get all your stuff combat loaded on ships: tanks … trucks … armor … artillery … infantry … all the stuff that goes with that. And that will take anywhere from three to four days with the Marine Corp guys coming in out of Japan to almost three weeks for the heavy tanks to come in all the way from Texas.

The North Koreans have about two to three weeks of stocks: ammunition … food … fuel … etc … to fight a war.

That’s all they’ve got.

So their war plan has to include accomplishing all of the goals that they have within that short timeframe — because after that, they’re living off the land.

As the war starts to go bad for them, most units will start to collapse. Once their army starts collapsing, it’s going to be a very, very rapid de-escalation of conflict.

When they know that, then what reason do they have not to use the nukes, and take out several hundred thousand Americans with them?

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1. The worse thing about another Korean conflict is how expensive it would be. True or false?

2. What would the North Korean military do at the start of a war? Why would they do this?

3. Since North Korea is a relatively small country, its military is also small. Is this right or wrong?

4. Do both North Korea and the US want to have a war with each other? Why might there be a conflict between them?

5. What is the strategy of the US military?

6. Would the North Korean military have an advantage or disadvantage, in the medium and long run?

7. Are the experts optimistic or pessimistic about the final outcome of a war?


A. Will there be a positive outcome of a war on the Korean Peninsula?

B. What do you think will happen in the future?

C. What should heads of states and other leaders do?

D. Is everyone terrified of war—or do some people want it to happen?

E. Had mistakes been made in the past?

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