Dangerous Idiot Category: "It’s Time to Bomb North Korea"

Edward Luttwak, an armchair foreign policy idiot, proposes bombing North Korea.

It’s Time to Bomb North Korea says Edward Luttwak, idiot of the day for Foreign Policy Magazine.

Check out his rationale:

It’s true that North Korea could retaliate for any attack by using its conventional rocket artillery against the South Korean capital of Seoul and its surroundings, where almost 20 million inhabitants live within 35 miles of the armistice line. U.S. military officers have cited the fear of a “sea of fire” to justify inaction. But this vulnerability should not paralyze U.S. policy for one simple reason: It is very largely self-inflicted.

OK so let's not worry about 20 million people, disruption in trade, or the threat of starting WWII involving Russia or China for the very simply reason that if the US starts the war it will be "largely self inflicted."

Luttwak's Predictions

Wikipedia has an interesting list of Luttwak's Predictions.

  • In 1983, Luttwak pronounced the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan a success.
  • Luttwak thought it likely that the Soviet Union would launch a limited war against China, especially if the West increased its military power (as it did in the 1980s, under President Ronald Reagan).
  • Just a few months before the Berlin Wall came down, Luttwak was worrying that Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev’s policies of glasnost and perestroika would augment the military power of the Soviet Union. Instead, those policies precipitated the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union".
  • Luttwak predicted, shortly before the first Persian Gulf War, that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein would evacuate Kuwait "after a week or two of bombing (the bombing continued for six weeks without inducing him to do so).
  • Luttwak warned that the use of ground forces ‘could make Desert Storm a bloody, grinding combat with thousands of (U.S.) casualties.’ On August 23, 1990, in a Reuters article, Luttwak told reporter Jim Wolf: "Don't think that your precision weapons and your gadgets and your gizmos and your stealth fighters are going to make it possible to reconquer Kuwait without many thousands of casualties." The ground fighting lasted only four days, rather than the minimum of two weeks that Luttwak predicted, and U.S. casualties were minimal.
  • Most recently, Luttwak assessed the results of a Donald Trump presidency in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal arguing that "his foreign policies are unlikely to deviate from standard conservative norms," withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and Iraq, avoiding involvement in Syria and Libya, eschewing trade wars, and modestly reducing spending.

People listen to that guy?

Despite not getting anything right, Luttwak, a Romanian, served as a consultant to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, the United States Department of State, the United States Navy, United States Army, United States Air Force, and several NATO defense ministries.

Open Secrets

Finally, please consider an excellent article by Major Danny Sjursen, a US Army strategist and former history instructor at West Point: American Warfare’s Giant Open Secret

Sjursen served tours with reconnaissance units in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Unlike Luttwak, Sjursen knows what he is talking about.

Foreign Policy magazine brutally disgraced itself publishing Luttwak's article.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (19)
No. 1-19
Sechel
Sechel

I read a similar story that Donald Trump wants to do this very thing but the Generals are against it saying there's no way to know for sure how North Korea would react, some giving the odds as high as 10% that North Korea would retaliate with nukes.

I'm more scared to think that Donald Trump really wants to do this, than reading about Luttwack. Additional problems are not knowing how China would react to a U.S. military strike. And if Trump is warming to this idea, it speaks to the different risk tolerance of someone who is more entrepreneurial like Trump versus the U.S. military or even a CEO at a fortune 500 company

El_Tedo
El_Tedo

I'd prefer we withdraw all of our troops from Korean and SELL nuclear weapon systems to Japan & South Korean. Just the threat of that might make China remove their proxy.

Sechel
Sechel

@El_Ted0 , I'm interested in a 3rd option. Attempting to shoot down the next missile North Korea launches. It's provocative, but no less provocative than what North Korea is doing.