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Marine Vet Turned Politician Calls For Pre-emptive Strike Against North Korea
Rep. Duncan Hunter said that the United States needs to launch a preemptive strike against North Korea in order to prevent the rogue nation from harming the U.S. first.
“You could assume, right now, that we have a nuclear missile aimed at the United States, and here in San Diego. Why would they not aim here, at Hawaii, Guam, our major naval bases?” Hunter, a California Republican, said during an appearance on San Diego’s KUSI television station Thursday.
“The question is, do you wait for one of those? Or, two? Do you pre-emptively strike them? And that’s what the president has to wrestle with. I would pre-emptively strike them. You could call it declaring war, call it whatever you want,” Hunter continued.
Hunter, a member of a House Armed Services Committee and the subcommittee with jurisdiction over the United States’ nuclear arsenal, did not say if the military should strike North Korea with conventional or nuclear weapons.
Hunter or his spokesman could not be reached for further comment Thursday night.
Congressman Duncan Hunter, chairman of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, learns about the missions of Coast Guard Maritime Safety and Security Team 91109 in San Diego March 11, 2015.U.S. Coast Guard photo
His comments come after President Donald Trump, in his first address to the United Nations General Assembly, said that the U.S. is prepared to attack North Korea.
“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” Trump said.
Hunter called the president’s remarks “great” and not “wishy-washy.” He added that North Korea should join the United Nations in order to bring them into a dialogue with stable countries. He also said that would expose North Korea officials to New York City, the home of the U.N. headquarters, and show them the prosperity they could achieve with reforms.
A pre-emptive strike on North Korea would likely involve an assortment of military hardware, including surface ships and submarines armed with Tomahawk missiles stationed in the Western Pacific, bombers flying sorties out of Guam, and attack aircraft based in South Korea.
In addition to possibly attempting to use long-range missiles, North Korea would likely try to attack Seoul, a city of nearly 25 million people located about 30 miles from South Korea’s northern border, with long-range artillery, according to military experts.
Attacking North Korea comes with risks. When he was an adviser in the White House, Steve Bannon told The American Prospect that the United States has no viable military option for North Korea.
“Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.”
There are also concerns about what response a pre-emptive strike would bring from China and Russia.
Defense Secretary James Mattis said a war with North Korea would be “catastrophic” and that Seoul would be thoroughly shelled. He said the United States and its allies would win, but at a tremendous cost.
“It will be a war more serious in terms of human suffering than anything we have seen since 1953,” he said. He was not speaking specifically about a pre-emptive strike.
North Korea has successfully tested nuclear weapons as well as missile systems that could deliver a warhead, but analysts aren’t sure that they have fully developed the technology needed to attack mainland United States.
Doubts are greater that North Korea has built a nuclear warhead compact enough to fit into an intercontinental missile and that they can keep the warhead intact during its violent descent toward a target.
Hunter acknowledged that North Korea’s nuclear capabilities might not be fully mature, and likely lack precision.
“They can reach the U.S. mainland. They might be able to hit it within a block radius. They may be aiming for Coronado but hit El Cajon,” he said.
But the United States needs to assume that North Korea is capable of a successful nuclear attack, he said.
“I don’t know how much more reckless (North Korean leader Kim Jong Un) needs to be and what the United States needs to see,” Hunter said. “This is a clear and present danger.”
©2017 The San Diego Union-Tribune. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
'It just happened' — the Iraq War’s first living Medal of Honor recipient recalls his harrowing fight against 5 insurgents
On Nov, 10, 2004, Army Staff Sgt. David Bellavia knew that he stood a good chance of dying as he tried to save his squad.
Bellavia survived the intense enemy fire and went on to single-handedly kill five insurgents as he cleared a three-story house in Fallujah during the iconic battle for the city. For his bravery that day, President Trump will present Bellavia with the Medal of Honor on Tuesday, making him the first living Iraq war veteran to receive the award.
In an interview with Task & Purpose, Bellavia recalled that the house where he fought insurgents was dark and filled with putrid water that flowed from broken pipes. The battle itself was an assault on his senses: The stench from the water, the darkness inside the home, and the sounds of footsteps that seemed to envelope him.
With the Imperial Japanese Army hot on his heels, Oscar Leonard says he barely slipped away from getting caught in the grueling Bataan Death March in 1942 by jumping into a choppy bay in the dark of the night, clinging to a log and paddling to the Allied-fortified island of Corregidor.
After many weeks of fighting there and at Mindanao, he was finally captured by the Japanese and spent the next several years languishing under brutal conditions in Filipino and Japanese World War II POW camps.
Now, having just turned 100 years old, the Antioch resident has been recognized for his 42-month ordeal as a prisoner of war, thanks to the efforts of his friends at the Brentwood VFW Post #10789 and Congressman Jerry McNerney.
McNerney, Brentwood VFW Commander Steve Todd and Junior Vice Commander John Bradley helped obtain a POW award after doing research and requesting records to surprise Leonard during a birthday party last month.
Hundreds of Marines will join their British counterparts at a massive urban training center this summer that will test the leathernecks' ability to fight a tech-savvy enemy in a crowded city filled with innocent civilians.
The North Carolina-based Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines, will test drones, robots and other high-tech equipment at Muscatatuck Urban Training Center near Butlerville, Indiana, in August.
They'll spend weeks weaving through underground tunnels and simulating fires in a mock packed downtown city center. They'll also face off against their peers, who will be equipped with off-the-shelf drones and other gadgets the enemy is now easily able to bring to the fight.
It's the start of a four-year effort, known as Project Metropolis, that leaders say will transform the way Marines train for urban battles. The effort is being led by the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory, based in Quantico, Virginia. It comes after service leaders identified a troubling problem following nearly two decades of war in the Middle East: adversaries have been studying their tactics and weaknesses, and now they know how to exploit them.
WASHINGTON/RIYADH (Reuters) - President Donald Trump imposed new U.S. sanctions onIran on Monday following Tehran's downing of an unmanned American drone and said the measures would target Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Trump told reporters he was signing an executive order for the sanctions amid tensions between the United States and Iran that have grown since May, when Washington ordered all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil.
Trump also said the sanctions would have been imposed regardless of the incident over the drone. He said the supreme leaders was ultimately responsible for what Trump called "the hostile conduct of the regime."
"Sanctions imposed through the executive order ... will deny the Supreme Leader and the Supreme Leader's office, and those closely affiliated with him and the office, access to key financial resources and support," Trump said.
While it can be difficult to peg down just how star-spangled a state is, one indicator is the rate at which citizens enlist in the military, especially during the United States' longest period of sustained conflict. At least, that's the thinking behind WalletHub's new study, 2019's Most Patriotic States in America.