McMaster: U.S. Preparing For "Preventive War" With North Korea

Tyler Durden's picture

The United States is preparing for all options to counter the growing threat from North Korea, including launching a “preventive war,” national security adviser H.R. McMaster said in an interview that aired Saturday on MSNBC. The comments come after North Korea carried out two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles in the past month and after the president said he has been clear he will not tolerate North Korea's threats to attack the U.S. with nuclear weapons.

The key excerpts (full transcript):

H.H.: Let me switch if I can to North Korea, which is really pressing. And– and remind our audience, at the Aspen Institute ten days ago, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Joe Dunford, said, “There’s always a military– option. It would be horrific.” Lindsey Graham on Today Show earlier this week said– “We need to destroy the regime and their deterrent.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday, I believe, to North Korea, “You are leaving us no choice but to protect ourselves.” And then the Chairman of the Chief of Staff of the Army said, “Just because every choice is a bad choice doesn’t mean you don’t have to choose.” Are we looking at a preemptive strike? Are you trying to prepare us, you being collectively, the administration and people like Lindsey Graham and Tom Cotton for a first strike North Korea?


H.R.M. Well, we really, what you’re asking is– is are we preparing plans for a preventive war, right? A war that would prevent North Korea from threatening the United States with a nuclear weapon. And the president’s been very clear about it. He said, “He’s not gonna tolerate North Korea being able to threaten the United States” if they have nuclear weapons that can threaten the United States; It’s intolerable from the president’s perspective. So of course, we have to provide all options to do that. And that includes a military option.


Now, would we like to resolve it short of what would be a very costly war, in terms of– in terms of the suffering of mainly the South Korean people? The– the ability of– of that North– North Korean regime to hold the South hostage to conventional fire’s capabilities, artillery and so forth, Seoul being so close. We’re cognizant of all of that. And so what we have to do is– is everything we can to– to pressure this regime, to pressure Kim Jong-un and those around him such that they conclude, it is in their interest to denuclearize. And there are really I think three critical things, came out of the president’s very successful summit with– President Xi of China that were different– that were different from past efforts to work with China, which has always been, you know, the– the desire, right, to work with China– on the– on the North Korean problem.

How many casualties will there be:

HH: In 1994, when the first North Korean deal with signed, the people who executed it, Gallucci, Dan Poneman, Joe Wit wrote a book. And they quoted a general saying, “If there is a conflict,” called Going Critical, “there will be a million casualties.” A million casualties. Is that still a good estimate of what happens if– preemptive strike unfolds in North Korea, General?


HRM: You know, one thing about war. It’s impossible oftentimes to predict. It’s always impossible to predict the future course of events. Because war is a continuous interaction of opposites, a continuous interaction between your forces and those of the enemy. It involves not just the capability to use force, but also intentions and things that are just unknowable at the outset. And so I think it’s important to– to look at– range of estimates of what could happen, because it’s clear that at war, it’s unpredictable. And so you always have to ask the question, “What happens next? What are the risks? How do you mitigate those risks?” And– and obviously, you know, war is– is– is the most serious decision any leader has to make. And so what can we do to make sure we exhaust our possibilities and exhaust our other opportunities to accomplish this very clear objective of denuclearization of the peninsula short of war?

Should Americans be concerned:

HH: How concerned should the American people be that we are actually on the brink of a war with North Korea?


HRM: Well, I think it’s impossible to overstate the danger associated with this. Right, the, so I think it’s impossible to overstate the danger associated with a rogue, brutal regime, I mean, who murdered his own brother with nerve agent in an airport. "I mean, think about what he’s done in terms of his own brutal repression of not only members of his regime but his own family," McMaster added.


On Tuesday,  Sen. Lindsey Graham said that the president told him there would be a war with North Korea if the regime continues to try to hit America with an ICBM. Appearing on the Today Show, the South Carolina Republican Senator said that President Trump has indicated to him that the administration is prepared to strike North Korea to prevent an attack against the U.S.  Pushed on by Matt Lauer on whether a viable military option exists in the region, Graham responded: "They're wrong.  There is a military option to destroy North Korea's program and North Korea itself."

The Hwasong-14 ICBM seen during its test in this undated photo released by

North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang, July 5 2017.

As reported last Friday, North Korea claimed that its latest missiles can now strike anywhere in the United States, delivering nuclear warheads. Experts have said that the country’s missile program has greatly accelerated in recent months putting it far ahead of previous predictions about when it could launch reliable long-range missiles. Speaking to Newsweek in recent days, several experts said that an attack would be the deadliest the U.S. has ever received and potentially kill more than 100,000 people if it struck in large population centers like New York City or Los Angeles.

“I’m not going to confirm [whether the latest ICBM could reach anywhere in the U.S.] but whether it could reach San Francisco or Pittsburgh or Washington, I mean how much does that matter? It’s a grave threat,” McMaster said.

He added: “It’s impossible to overstate the danger associated with a rogue, brutal regime."

McMaster cautioned that he was aware of the fact that any strike against North Korea could bring about a “very costly war” that would cause immense “suffering of mainly the South Korean people.”

Last month, CIA Director Mike Pompeo floated another option for dealing with the North Korea threat, saying that he was “hopeful we will find a way to separate that regime from this system.” North Korea responded by threatening swift and brutal consequences for any attempt to topple Kim.

“Should the U.S. dare to show even the slightest sign of an attempt to remove our supreme leadership, we will strike a merciless blow at the heart of the U.S. with our powerful nuclear hammer, honed and hardened over time,” a foreign ministry spokesman said.

Still, McMaster did not rule out such an attempt when asked whether it could be a legitimate tool. “I think it depends on the legal justifications for that. And this goes back to just war theory. And what is the nature of the risk? And does that risk justify acting in defense of your people and your vital interests?”

Last week, the local press reported that South Korea's military is preparing a "surgical strike" scenario that could wipe out NOrth Korean command and missile and nuclear facilities following an order by S.Korea's president Moon Jae-In.

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_freedom_lover_'s picture

McMaster is a neocon, globalist and deep state operative.

Blankone's picture

This is why he was selected by Trump.

TahoeBilly2012's picture

We  are fucking surrounded! Start digging.

BlindMonkey's picture



Stock up on BTC baby.


(dunno if this is sarc or not.  FWIW, I can't tell the difference anymore.)

Yukon Cornholius's picture

McMaster still gets hard thinking about rolling over all those Iraqi t-34s back in the day. Fuckin loser.

thebigunit's picture

Wait a minite.  I thought Madelaine Half-bright made the NORKS our friends.

Why would we want to go to war with them?

Karl Marxist's picture

I like tht term "Norks." One step up from gooks and chinks.

East Indian's picture

South Koreans can be storks

smacker's picture

I wonder where Mugabe's Goon Squads would fit into your likes list ;-)

UmbilicalMosqueSweeper's picture

It sorta rolls off your tongue like "slopes."

historian40's picture

A fresh de-humanizing label for the human beings the empire wants to kill.  Whatever it takes, fetus, terrorist, Nork, commie, etc.

land_of_the_few's picture

The lady that uses only a solitary "K" from her real name? The bouncing Czech? :D

The one that destroyed her alma mater (Belgrade) with a foreign airforce (the US) because she had a family grudge against Serbs dating back to childhood?

The lady who can't be Pres, like Arnie, Soros, and Sammy P ?

Find it hard to believe she has done anything peaceful.

smacker's picture

Because NK has a land border with China?

smacker's picture

Yeah, in US military and NATO terms, NK is sought after real estate!

Duc888's picture



Send this fuckstick and his entire extended family right to the front line.

DEMIZEN's picture

so is not preemptive.. its preventive like in... prevention is better than cure. i guess it must be a part of the new healthcare package;)

Catahoula's picture

IRAN LOVING CLOWN. I want my tax money back 

dirty fingernails's picture

Then grab your rifle, book your flight, and show us how its done, pussy.

ReturnOfDaMac's picture

Prolly couldn't hit a can at 10 ft.  Would definately shit his pants and run when he hears the first bullet coming at HIM.

general ambivalent's picture

How else would you get a million dollar wound?

Could be a get rich quick scheme if the Fed gets into the war room.

ReturnOfDaMac's picture

Aha, Knew there was a $ angle to it!

Omen IV's picture

NK / Ukraine / Iran - now up at bat -  given lost - Syria / Kurds / Iraq / Afghanistan all washed out as promotable by McCain / MSM /  MIC

 so sell the used equipment for ten cents since "it is too expensive to ship back to USA" - which was the mime last time

and spend $5 Trillion on the new "opportunities" or ask McCain what is best - he is the best at waaaaaaaar


and sprinkle some words like : freedom / democracy / dictators / oppression /  in the NYT and we all  set to go

Hkan's picture

Preparation diversion for Crash. Waiting for deep state get country...and...until the entire world hates US. That many enemies the Crash will be a roadbump.

directaction's picture

The USA primarily targets and bombs countries that have never attacked any other country (other than defending their borders). 

Who will the USA bomb when it runs out of peaceful countries that only want to be left alone?

You can bet the USA has a list of small nations to destroy.  

It's little wonder so many countries refer to the USA as the Great Satan. 


Akzed's picture

You can bet the USA has a list of small nations to destroy. 

"Gen. Clark, please pick up the white phone."

the cork's picture


What, are you an idiot or something?

" ... when it runs out of peaceful countries that only want to be left alone?..."

They been testing firing missiles you dumshit.

Calling you RETARDED is an insult to slow people everywhere.

veritas semper vinces's picture

Well,they are well behind Jewmerica .We tested nuclear bombs directly on people. And depleted uranium,and agent orange,white phosphorus(Israhell may be ahead here)and...

Akzed's picture

We can shoot rockets into the ocean, of course. What part of "we" does NK not understand?

dirty fingernails's picture

Yeah, and how many Minuteman democracy missiles have we test fired this year? How about Israel? Save the excuses and platitudes for those stupid enough to believe them. Let the red arrows rain.

XWeatherman's picture

An Unprovoked War of Aggression is a WAR CRIME.

general ambivalent's picture

So shoot your neighbour if he's teaching his son to shoot turkeys?

Sure, why not? Makes as much sense as anything else these days...

SantaClaws's picture

McMaster represents a bigger threat to Trump than North Korea.


Karl Marxist's picture

Washington's karma. Should have never gone in there for any fucking reason in the first place. One nuke will beget another nuke will beget another nuke. McMasters will shit himself in the glee of turning living, breathing poor people into piles of charcoal. McMasters should be arrested for inciting violence.

Doom and Dust's picture

Yes, preventive war is the stuff of totalitarian nightmares.

But not to worry, the Orange Patsy just told us today "McMaster is a good man, very pro-Israel".

It's really all that counts.


GreatUncle's picture

It is the only economic mechanism left big enough to get the needed trillion of QE into the economy.

Well they are not going to give it to the serfs for sure.


tangent's picture

And all because nobody thought of the idea of "hey, what would happen if we would just back the fuck off of North Korea for a moment, our world reputation as war-mongering bullies". Yeah, remove the 10,000 troops and work from that point. Why do I even have to say this? Its much less complicated that they make it out to be. NK only developed nukes because there are bully countries that meddle in every other country. Not fake ways like Russia against the US, but real ways like the US against every one of the small and weak countries on the planet.

Moving and Grooving's picture

Your faith in Kumbaya is touching.


It's too late for that.


Blacksunday3's picture

Destroy NK. Destroy Iran. World a better place. I know this is an anti war crowd but you can't have lunatics with ICBM nukes.

NoDecaf's picture

Lunatics with ICBMs, like Clinton Bush Obama and maybe Trump...?
McCain Graham and all the other democrats?

Yeah I agree, lunatics should not have ICBMs.

HRH Feant2's picture

I agree. Not all of us are pussies standing around holding carebears and wringing our hands. I say bring it on. It is us or them. I actually think the military is going allow NK to strike the US. That way they will have an excuse. Preemptive? Unless we are arming SK to do a strike for us. I don't know what preemptive warfare even fucking means.

smacker's picture

"I don't know what preemptive warfare even fucking means."

I guess it means taking pre-emptive military action to destroy NK's missile sites, other weapon systems and perhaps NK's command & control centres to pre-empt the fat guy firing off. This could be by the US and/or SK. Problem is that a huge "shock and awe" attack from numerous quarters would never destroy everything, so some would get thru to somewhere. A lot of damage.

Blacksunday3's picture

Obama sets up that fucking "nuke deal" with Iran. Full nukes in ten years. What the hell is that? There's no way that can be allowed to happen.

PrivetHedge's picture

The world's evil stems from Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Blacksunday3's picture

i'm not into the israel = evil thing. saudi arabia is clearly problematic. any place remotely associated with islam is a disaster.  

HRH Feant2's picture

I have been doing some reading on Islam. "Raising a Jihadi Generation," "Muslim Mafia," and "The Strange Death of Europe." I have read 25% of "The Strange Death of Europe." Sickening.

All the crap the MSM and leftist-run universities have pedaled over the years. All this crap about diversity is strength and how immigrants help society and how there aren't enough kids being born in Germany or the UK and people are getting old so the solution is to bring in niggers from Africa and sand niggers from the Middle East? All utter bullshit.

So many lies. LIes about how they would assimilate. Lies about how great their food would be (until you end up with Ecoli because they still have medieval bathroom habits--they are trained to wash their feet before praying but never learned how to wash their hands before preparing food).

The problems with Islam are just beginning. One thing the Strange Death pointed out is the amount of welfare consumed by the gimmigrants. The amount of public housing and medical care that has to be provided. Along with the fact that they outbreed whites. The reason white people are not having children is because of the cost! Gimmigrants have no such concern about cost because they are sucking on the government tit and the US or UK or German taxpayer is providing for the care of their many children (and mulitiple wive's with mulitiple children).

Europe has had to deal with Muslim hordes, in the past. They understood the threat! Spain, Austria, Poland, Hungary: all of those countries endured Muslim occupation or terrible wars against Muslims. Navy's were created to repel Muslim pirates. To hear stories of young Germans going to Greece to make these animals feel welcome makes me sick. Rather than learn about real history they were indoctrinated into this new world order and end of history crap. Oh there will still be history. But some of their children may end up as slaves, again.

I also agree with regard to Israel. Israel is not the problem. Islam is the problem along with the Marxists. North Korea can be dealt with fairly quickly once the decision is made. The brainwashed leftists and Muslims that belong to a death cult? Do people realize how difficult it is to deal with someone that has been removed from a cult? How difficult it is to give them new information? It is nearly impossible. And we have 1.6 billion death cult members right now that are breeding like fucking rabbits.

People need to understand that there will be war. War is coming whether the carebears fucking want it or not. Because the powers that be don't give a fuck about you or your family or your town. What part of that don't people understand? You are nothing to them. Less than nothing. Oh and the best part? You get to pay for these endeavors!

Blacksunday3's picture

word. i'm with you man. just clean up the language. once we get black people on our side the war is won. i'll check out those books. 

HRH Feant2's picture

Don't like my language? Too fucking bad.

As for niggers in the US, forget about them. Lost cause. 50 years of welfare and Marxist indoncrination have decimated the nigger population in the US. There may be a few that are decent. But look at how most niggers act. Same approach as the Muslims. Run around in packs and behave like animals. When I see slums in the Middle East and ghetto neighborhoods in the US there isn't much difference.

Rather than invest in education, land, a business, what do most niggers in the US do? Live life as part of the free $hit army sucking on the government tit. That works great until the tit runs dry. When will that happen? Surprised it hasn't happened yet. But I think the days of the USD as the world reserve currency are numbered. When the US economy implodes the next time it is going to make the Great Depression seem like a fucking picnic.

Blacksunday3's picture

Black people in the US are not a lost cause. If you get the right messenger, you can walk into those ghettos and convince large numbers to vote red. Trust me trust me trust me.