Pentagon Unveils Plan For "Pre-Emptive Strike" On North Korea

Tyler Durden's picture

Just hours after Trump made his famously heated vow to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea if provocations by the Kim regime continued, the US Air Force issued a very clear statement in which it explicitly said that it was "ready to fight tonight", launching an attack of B-1 bombers if so ordered:

“How we train is how we fight and the more we interface with our allies, the better prepared we are to fight tonight,” said a 37th EBS B-1 pilot. “The B-1 is a long-range bomber that is well-suited for the maritime domain and can meet the unique challenges of the Pacific.”

Now, according to an NBC report, it appears that the B-1 pilot was dead serious, as the Pentagon has unveiled a plan for a preemptive strike on North Korean missile sites with bombers stationed in Guam, once Donald Trump gives the order to strike. Echoing what we said yesterday that war "under any analysis, is insanity", the preemptive strike plan is viewed as the "best option available" out of all the bad ones:

"There is no good option," a senior intelligence official involved in North Korean planning told NBC News, but a unilateral American bomber strike not supported by any assets in the South constitutes "the best of a lot of bad options."

The attack would consist of B-1 Lancer heavy bombers located on Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, a senior acting and retired military officials told NBC news.

Of all the military options … [President Donald Trump] could consider, this would be one of the two or three that would at least have the possibility of not escalating the situation,” retired Admiral James Stavridis, former Supreme Allied Commander Europe and an NBC News analyst, said.

Why the B-1?

Military sources told NBC News that the internal justification for centering a strike on the B-1 is both practical and intricate. The B-1 has the largest internal payload of any current bomber in the U.S. arsenal. A pair of bombers can carry a mix of weapons in three separate bomb bays — as many as 168 500-pound bombs — or more likely, according to military sources, the new Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile — Extended Range (JASSM-ER), a highly accurate missile with a range of 500 nautical miles, allowing the missile to be fired from well outside North Korean territory.

There is another important consideration: according to one senior military officer, "the B-1 has also been selected because it has the added benefit of not being able to carry nuclear weapons. Military planners think that will signal China, Russia, and Pyongyang that the U.S. is not trying to escalate an already bad situation any further."

The plan explains why in recent weeks pairs of B-1s have conducted 11 practice runs of a similar mission since the end of May, the last taking place on Monday, around the time Trump and Kim were exchanging unpleasantries in the media, with the training has accelerated since May, according to officials. In an actual mission, NBC notes that the non-nuclear bombers would be supported by satellites and drones and surrounded by fighter jets as well as aerial refueling and electronic warfare planes.

There are currently at least six B-1 bombers on Andersen Air Force base, which is located some 3,200km from North Korea. If given the command, these strategic bombers would target around two dozen North Korean "missile-launch sites, testing grounds and support facilities" according to sources cited by NBC.

Asked about the B-1 bomber plan, two U.S. officials told NBC News that the bombers were among the options under consideration but not the only option. NBC points out that "action would come from air, land and sea — and cyber."

Of course, as we elaborated yesterday, striking North Korea is certain to prompt an immediate and deadly response that could involve targets as near as Seoul, just 40 miles from the border, or as far away as Andersen AFB, according to Adm. Stavridis.

"The use of the B-1 bombers to actually drop bombs and destroy Korean infrastructure and kill North Koreans would cause an escalation," said Stavridis. "Kim Jong Un would be compelled to respond. He would lash out militarily, at a minimum against South Korea, and potentially at long-range targets, perhaps including Guam. … That's a bad set of outcomes from where we sit now."

"Diplomacy remains the lead," said Gen. Terrence J. O'Shaughnessy, the U.S. Pacific Air Forces commander, after the B-1 bombers' late May training run. "However, we have a responsibility to our allies and our nation to showcase our unwavering commitment while planning for the worst-case scenario. If called upon, we are ready to respond with rapid, lethal, and overwhelming force at a time and place of our choosing."

Separately, Defense Secretary James Mattis said military strategists at the Pentagon have a military solution in place to address the growing threat emanating from North Korea, but they are holding their fire in favor of ongoing diplomatic efforts. The Pentagon chief said any military option would be a multilateral one involving a number of regional powers in the Pacific.

“Do I have military options? Of course, I do. That’s my responsibility, to have those. And we work very closely with allies to ensure that this is not unilateral either … and of course there’s a military solution,” Mr. Mattis told reporters en route to meet with senior leaders in the technology sector in Seattle and California.

However, as the Washington Times reports, Mattis reiterated that the administration’s diplomatic efforts to quell tensions on the peninsula remained the top priority for the White House.

“We want to use diplomacy. That’s where we’ve been, that’s where we are right now. and that’s where we hope to remain. But at the same time, our defenses are robust” and ready to take on any threat posed by the North Korean regime, Mattis said.

* * *

Finally, should the worst-case scenario be put in play, and conventional war is launched, here is what Capital Economics predicted would be the drastic economic consequences from even a contained, non-nuclear war.

  • North Korea’s conventional forces, which include 700,000 men under arms and tens of thousands of artillery pieces, would be able to cause immense damage to the South Korean economy. If the North was able to set off a nuclear bomb in South Korea, the consequences would be even greater. Many of the main targets in South Korea are located close to the border with the North. The capital, Seoul, which accounts for roughly a fifth of the country’s population and economy, is located just 35 miles from the North Korean border, and would be a prime target.
  • The experience of past military conflicts shows how big an impact wars can have on the economy. The war in Syria has led to a 60% fall in the country’s GDP. The most devastating military conflict since World War Two, however, has been the Korean War (1950-53), which led to 1.2m South Korean deaths, and saw the value of its GDP fall by over 80%.
  • South Korea accounts for around 2% of global economic output. A 50% fall in South Korean GDP would directly knock 1% off global GDP. But there would also be indirect effects to consider. The main one is the disruption it would cause to global supply chains, which have been made more vulnerable by the introduction of just-in-time delivery systems. Months after the Thai floods had receded in 2011 electronics and automotive factories across the world were still reporting shortages.
  • The impact of a war in Korea would be much bigger. South Korea exports three times as many intermediate products as Thailand. In particular, South Korea is the biggest producer of liquid crystal displays in the world (40% of the global total) and the second biggest of semiconductors (17% market share). It is also a key automotive manufacturer and home to the world’s three biggest shipbuilders. If South Korean production was badly damaged by a war there would be shortages across the world. The disruption would last for some time – it takes around two years to build a semi-conductor factory from scratch.
  • The impact of the war on the US economy would likely be significant. At its peak in 1952, the US government was spending the equivalent of 4.2% of its GDP fighting the Korean War. The total cost of the second Gulf War (2003) and its aftermath has been estimated at US$1trn (5% of one year’s US GDP). A prolonged war in Korea would significantly push up US federal debt, which at 75% of GDP is already uncomfortably high.
  • Reconstruction after the war would be costly. Infrastructure, including electricity, water, buildings, roads and ports, would need to be rebuilt. Massive spare capacity in China’s steel, aluminium and cement industries mean reconstruction would unlikely be inflationary, and should instead provide a boost to global demand. The US, a key ally of South Korea, would likely shoulder a large share of the costs. The US spent around US$170bn on reconstruction after the most recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. South Korea’s economy is roughly 30 times larger than these two economies combined. If the US were to spend proportionally the same amount on reconstruction in Korea as it did in Iraq and Afghanistan, it would add another 30% of GDP to its national debt.

Naturally, should North Korea manage to successfully launch a nuke, the devastation, economic and otherwise, would be orders of magnitude greater.

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Robert Trip's picture

Lest we forget.

All of this North Korean talk is nothing but bullshit.

We all know Iran is the target.

Trump tipping his plans for North Korea prove North Korea isn't the target.

This is an ass-licking Zionist Presidency.

Bibi doesn't give a shit about North Korea.

Bibi gives a hugely bigly shit about Iran, particularly now with his personal problems and all.

NO news out of the M.E. for weeks means only one thing.

The shit is about to hit the fan, big time.

The President has always said he would never give an enemy advance notice.

besnook's picture

nk does not recognize israel so there is that. the israelis are more psycho than sane.

besnook's picture

israel is currently bombing the shit out of gaza on the pretext of another bottle rocket shot into israeli desert.

HRClinton's picture

IDF forces cry out in pain, as they strike Palestinians in Lebanon. 

Or is it cries of joy?  Not sure.  Check Tel Aviv rooftops for dancing. 

cherry picker's picture

Every President since 'read my llips' Bush say things they don't do.   Talkers not walkers to a T

Conscious Reviver's picture

Robert Trip. You read my mind waves at 11:24-25. Are many Xeros saying the same thing? Will go see.

They are not going to risk Soul (sp?) so easily.

Conscious Reviver's picture

This confirms nothing will happen. Since when do you pre-announce a preemptive strike?

What would Sun Tzu say about that?

Roger Rabbit's picture

He would say baste your body in blood and then try to corner a tiger without weapons!

NuYawkFrankie's picture

re Pentagon Unveils Plan For "Pre-Emptive Strike" On North Korea

This can only mean ONE thing:

The Pentagon "can't account" for another missing 2 or 3 $TRILLION....


Stay Tuned for the Official Announcement 5mins before the fireworks start


HRClinton's picture

Ooh, how astute of you! 


africoman's picture

Merchants of WAR kept looking for hot war.

Is this a contest for bluffing? If so i am getting entertained.

Belerophon's picture

I thought Trump's policy was "not to telegraph my punches."  This is sabre rattling.

besnook's picture

so, an attack on north korea is a win, win for japan and even china as the peninsula will reunite.

shankster's picture

Nothing say's secret preemptive strike like televising your plan on cable TV.

ironmace's picture

Came here to say that.

So instead; if it looks like a pile of dogshit, don't pick it up to make sure.

Byrond's picture

Nothing like the televised Iraq shock and awe, and when the journalists were traveling with the military into Baghdad.

belogical's picture

This is so stupid. We have to redact talking points from the tarmac meeting, but we are going to announce a massive military strike?

Complete BS, don't believe it and if they do it. Trump really is an idiot

Ntoxic8ingWave's picture

This shit is never going to happen... If it was a serious plan, they wouldnt have told us about it. The real issue is on the border of India and China.

Conscious Reviver's picture

Disagree on China and India. Nothing will happen there either.

China is trading not fighting. India cannot invade China over the Himalayas. China took the high ground when they took Tibet to prevent such a possibility. Modi looks like another captured globalist stooge.

rwe2late's picture

 Hopefully, you are correct

but never underestimate the stupidity of US-backed "allies".

e.g ,Saakashvili thought he could take on Russia.


cherry picker's picture

My life belongs to me, not Trump or Fat Boy.

I won't murder innocents or help with any of it.  Even if I have to quit working so .gov doesn't get my taxes.

It should be a crime to start a war and it is.  Preemptive is not self defense, it is another word for everyone is going to lose.

Trump and all the other leaders on this planet who chose guns over peace can fry in hell and if a nuke war is started, I hope the ones that started it gets fried first so the rest of us can live in peace.


Harry Lightning's picture

Its imbeciles like you who get us sane people killed. 

Bend over sir, you may have another.

cherry picker's picture

I don't know any North Koreans.  I don't trust the news.  America is no longer free.

It is people like you who chant USA, USA, USA and don't fear getting a taste of your own medicine.

Just wait till it comes knocking at your door.

And you call youreslf sane?

Ha, ha, ha, ha, .....

Conscious Reviver's picture

"I won't murder innocents or help with any of it."

Ever heard of Syria? You're soaking in it already as Marge used to say. Are Korean innocents more worthy than Syrian?

If you are paying taxes and voting you are neck deep in it already.

cherry picker's picture

I'm not contributing to that fiasco in Syria.

Never have nor will.


Sky flyer's picture

I'm sure the massive hard on McCain is getting must be effecting his chemo at this point.

Conscious Reviver's picture

I read McStain is against it. Apparently his owners interests aren't engaged. Another tell that nothing will happen.

But slaughtering people in various ME locals, yes that gets McStain and his handlers off.

bjax's picture

North Korea was bombed into the stone age through 21000 B52 bomber missions. All their shit is under ground now. No one can have nukes only the US, the only country who has ever used them, and that was on civilian populations. Go US !!

Byrond's picture

The US bombs other countries every day. Why is it so hard to accept that we're going to bomb North Korea? There's even global support, and support from the vast majority of Americans.

Conscious Reviver's picture

Why? Because NK would retaliate. We're not talking Monica Missles into Sudan.

williambanzai7's picture

-this would be one of the two or three that would at least have the possibility of not escalating the situation,” retired Admiral James Stavridis,

Dr Strangelove lives...


debunker's picture

In the inimitable last words of Slim Pickins.....





NoWayJose's picture

I thought Trump hated telling the other guy what we were going to do????

Thom Paine's picture

This is more play acting directed at China, to rattle their cage.

If there were to be any preemptive strike on NK it would have to be massively overwhelming, taking out every military asset that can threaten SK and Japan, and include their submarines.  The US cannot afford to allow NK to get single shot off. Then there is the risk of a solitary nuke floating around out there.


The US should be out there encouraging regime change among the NK military. Saying they would be willing to negotiate with a new administration, but time is runnng out fast.  The US should also direct NK submarines to surface and surrender and be the defence force of a new NK, or die.

Now that would make Kim paranoid, and he will start killing off more senior ranks, thus ensuring they kill him off first, maybe.

vietnamvet's picture

Here's the problem with such "play acting" ... it makes you look WEAK when you fail to carry out your threats.  And dumbfuckistan (aka the US) is looking )and acting) seriously weak.

PleasedToMeatYou's picture

They forgot to mention the US submarines in the area. 

Or, maybe they did not forget. 

I hope this telegraphing of plans is for the "benefit" of China and Russia in hopes they escalate pressure on Kimmy. 

Phillyguy's picture

The American Public will be thrilled! Trumps popularity will skyrocket. Corporate media will be will be happy, too! See -The U.N. has placed more sanctions on North Korea. That’s not enough; Link:


Akdov Telmig's picture

Yeah of course, a preemptive conventional strike from strategic bombers to a country with miniaturized nukes and mobile and hardened vectors for them, with an crazy mothafuckas uncle killer at the absolute command without even aircrafts carriers battle groups dispatched in the region sounds possible?


Give me a break, I'm buying the fire and fury fucking dip all in without any fear. 

Harry Lightning's picture

Tjis is a bullshit plan that inevitably leads to hundreds of thousands of dead South oreans, all because the U does not want to launch a first strke nuclear attack. If this is their best plan, it shows they have learned nothing in the Pentagon from their mistakes in VietNam. The killer instinct necessary to win wars has been missing in the Pentagon ever since Nagasaki ended the Second World War.

rwe2late's picture

 your comment only shows you have learned nothing

about the false reasons and base motives for the criminal US war on Vietnamese peasants

and the atomic bombing of Japan.

Harry Lightning's picture

The gooks went on to murder a million of their own people after the US left and you see them as innocent peasants? Please, save it for the aparatchiks and the comrades.

rwe2late's picture

Your prejudice fuels your ignorance.

You are wrong factually.

 ... (even) the RAND analysts admit:

"In the aftermath of the war, under Lê Du?n's administration, there were no mass executions of South Vietnamese who had collaborated with the U.S. or the Saigon government, confounding Western fears.[67)"


The US took over from the French colonialists and murdered millions of Vietnamese.

Your nonsensical excuse-making for that crime is pathetic.

desertboy's picture

The comedian, Dennis Leary, made a song about you.  

VWAndy's picture

 They would carpet bomb camp snoopy if there was two bucks in it for um.

Thom Paine's picture

This is not about Iran directly.

Iran does have missiles and nukes already, as we should know.

And Saudi Arabia would not enjoy these, even tons of conventional missiles.

In response to a US attack.

rwe2late's picture

attacking a nation bordering on, and allied with, both China & Russia

 ...but the Pentagon plan

only has

the "least possibility" of escalation

(only 98% vs. 99%)


whew, for a minute I was worried

shimmy's picture

Humans are such a pathetic species that shit like this can even happen after all these years. Talk about devolution.

HRClinton's picture

Blame Babylonian Talmudists.  

Descendants of Pharisees and Kazarian converts, who morphed into Ashkis.  Who have a satanic elite, known as Global Zionists. Who claim to speak for all followers of Moses, just as DC claims to speak for all of us. 

It's now akin to "They Live".

quasi_verbatim's picture

As the Roman dude said: When pre-emption is an option, take it. For who shall pre-empt the pre-empters? Better to pre-empt now than pre-empt later, for pre-emption is a moveable feast and one pre-emption deserves another. May the pre-empter beware lest the first pre-empter is last and the last, first.

jughead's picture

and if I am Kim Ding Dong, I am gonna preempt your premption and hit you with everything I got.  

Best hope that fat little fuck doesn't think like me.