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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Looney's picture


The "carrot and stick" approach is a deeply flawed theory.

If someone uses a carrot and a stick at home, it is called Domestic Violence.


hedgeless_horseman's picture


I must have missed something.

Why, exactly, are we going to attack North Korea?

HenryKissingerBilderberg's picture

Why, exactly, are we going to attack North Korea?

they do not have a (((central bank)))

HenryKissingerBilderberg's picture

now that NK will nuclear wipe samsung... this means double plus  good for AAPL...

FrozenGoodz's picture

Don't give daddy diapers options unless you want him to take them 

Bill of Rights's picture

More secret code word postings? Fucked up individual .

BennyBoy's picture



"There is no good option"

How about leaving them alone.


FKostanza's picture

Nah, let's have some good old shock and awe! That shit has proven to work great! Last time was a cakewalk, is this time a kimchi wok?

The Black Bishop's picture

There is never such a thing as a "little bit of war". The "its probably ok if we just bomb a little here and there" aproach is so fucking stupid one wonders if its April 1st already.

Mango327's picture

This will be the only just war in the entire modern era. Godspeed, brothers.


hedgeless_horseman's picture


This will be the only just war in the entire modern era. 

Why, exactly, would it be just?

You don't have a good answer, do you?

You're just another brain-dead parrot, aren't you?

Do you really think God wants to speed the murderers of innocent people?

Sir Edge's picture


Remember EBOLA... EBOLA... EBOLA... EBOLA... EBOLA... and then Poof It Was Gone... Poof... 

Now its... North Korea... War... Fire... Fury... North Korea.. War... Fire... Fury... Nort... and then Poof...

It Will Be Gone... Wait For It...

There will be NO WAR with North Korea... North Korea can take out 90% of ALL South Korean Manufacturing with ONLY Artillery in a few hours...

International Computer & Other Electronics Parts... That Number in the Millions... Critical Components of US, NATO, etc Computers and Electronic Devices around the world would no longer have parts or supplies or replacements...

War With North Korean Is Not Profitiable For US/NATO War Crime Machine... So Its Not Happening...

Is this a diversion... What is really on the Zio Docket... WTF is All This War Porn... ??



nope-1004's picture

You had me at EBOLA.


winged's picture

So, we have a plan to bomb N Korea which did nothing to the US, but have no plan to END THE FED which is destroying America's monetary system and economy. Mm! ---------

jeff montanye's picture

yes, that's about it.

and don't call me napoleon but are b-1 bombers from guam the best idea?  it's 2100 miles from guam to north korea and the b-1 flies at 630 mph.  that's over three and a half hours.  gone with the wind and lawrence of arabia are out but kim jong has time to go to the movies, watch psycho and still have nearly two hours to attack south korea to the worst of his abilities.  

even starting from the 200 mile international border would take twenty minutes.  and here i find an indication of how little the u.s. is ready for unlimited war with north korea (or, really, anyone with decent armed forces).  while trying to run down reload times for artillery i could not find anything, even if it sounded like real old style artillery, that wasn't just talking about video games at bottom.  so how many times do you think north korean artillery could reload in twenty minutes?

missile submarines seem a quicker choice but peace is surely a better one.

and while we are contemplating peace, let me nominate forensicator, et. al. for the nobel peace prize:

and, note, it's the nation.  they endorsed bernie sanders.  

the noose is tightening on the dnc and the cia/nsa/etc.

Manthong's picture much for “unpredictability”  I  guess

Sir Edge's picture

Nice Points Jeff... 

... Maybe pack Two (2) Donkey's with dynamite bag filled saddles and stampede them into the heart of the North Korean Captial and name them US Fire and US Fury ?

Slack Jack's picture

Why doesn't Trump try to fix a problem that will destroy millions more American homes than any nuclear war with North Korea?

So, why is the global rise in temperatures so worrisome?

For one thing, as temperatures rise good farmland will become desert (e.g., dust-bowl conditions will probably return to the American Midwest).

Another major problem is sea-level rise.

Have a look at

The U.S. Geological Survey people claim that;

The Greenland ice sheet melting will raise sea-level 6.55 meters (21.5 feet),
the West Antarctica ice sheet melting will raise sea-level 8.06 meters (26.4 feet),
the East Antarctica ice sheet melting will raise sea-level 64.8 meters (212.6 feet),
and all other ice melting will raise sea-level 0.91 meters (3 feet).

For a grand total of about 80 meters (263 feet).

So, what does an 80 meter (263 feet) rise in sea-level mean. Have a look at the following map of the world after an 80 meter rise. It means that over one billion people will have to be resettled to higher ground and that much of the most productive agricultural land will be under water. Fortunately, at current rates, the Greenland ice sheet will take over a thousand years to melt and the Antarctica ice sheet, much longer. However, the greater the temperature rise the faster the ice sheets will melt, bringing the problem much closer. Remember, the huge ice sheet that recently covered much of North America, almost completely melted in only 15,000 years (today, only the Greenland ice sheet, and some other small patches of it, remain). Since then (15,000 years ago), sea-levels have risen about 125 meters (410 feet), only 80 meters to go.

The ice sheets have been continuously melting for thousands of years. What is left of them today, is still melting, and will continue to melt. Human caused global warning will cause this remnant to melt significantly faster. This is a big, big, problem.

For HUGE detailed maps of the "World after the Melt" go to:

Global temperatures are increasing. And by quite a lot each year.

2016 is the hottest year on record for global temperatures.

This is 0.0380 degrees centigrade hotter than the previous record year which was 2015.

0.0380 is a large increase in just one year.

2015 was the hottest year (at that time) for global temperatures.

This was 0.1601 degrees hotter than the previous record year which was 2014.

0.1601 is an absolutely huge increase in just one year (at this rate temperatures would increase by 16 degrees in a century.).

2014 was the hottest year (at that time) for global temperatures.

This was 0.0402 degrees hotter than the previous record year which was 2010.

Slack Jack's picture

The conspiracy to hide global warming data.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is given tax money to make global temperature records available to the public. However, certain people at NOAA continually sabotage this aspect of NOAA's mandate. For example, these people have (deliberately) sabotaged the web-page that delivers the temperature records.

Look for yourself:

Go to the page: scroll down to the The Global Anomalies and Index Data section and click the download button and see what happens. Well, you get the message:

"Not Found. The requested URL /monitoring-references/faq/anomalies-download was not found on this server."

I guess that the 2017 data must be truly horrible if they have to hide it away.

Lone Deranger's picture

Hey, news flash... Everyone in the world is going to die, wait - make that every living organism willl end up perishing at some point.  Sorry to sound so pessimistic, but everything really does return to zero in the end.  In the meantime, I'm not going to worry about the tragedy of melting icebergs.  Much more interesting to watch destruction play out in fast motion when we start nuking each other.

hestroy's picture

Geez, you have some serious mental problems.

deoldefarte's picture

They are not found because the data is compromised by the "global warmists"

that tend to eliminate the lowest readings, thus promoting their aganda.

The oceans are cooling instead of warming, as per NASA.

The Gulf Stream is also cooling, so the Europe will be freezing much

faster than estimated.

If you watched the golf tournaments in GB the last 3 weeks, you would

notice how cool it was for the hottest part of the summer.

Al Gore has too much money invested in "carbon credits" to give up

on the matter. IMHO.



fx's picture

Slack jack, spare us your drivel. Climate may warm up (or not) , but it has done that many times in the past billion years (theere are clearly huge cycles observable in the ice cores). Guess what, except for the last 300 years it definitely all happened without any human contribution to it, not to speak of causation.

But somehow, you and your ilk now believe that this time, mankind MUST BE responsible? LMAO.

OH and regarding your "data hiding conspiracy": there have been lots of examples of making temperatures appear much higher than they are in reality. So if any tempering with climate data is done, it is done to the upside, to make global warming appear stronger than it really is.

You swallowed THEIR lies hook, line and sinker, idiot!

Manthong's picture


It’s f’n August in f’n Chicago ….   It’s cold

But I am saving a bunch on AC cost.

Manthong's picture


I have a 50’ Blue  Spruce with a 24 inch trunk that is at least 60 years old in the front….

I think I might cut it down and examine the tree rings  for perfesser Mann and smack jack.



I have a nifty little Husqvarna chainsaw… and I can piss off my neighbors across the street,  the tree conservationists, the idiot with the 50 year-old live-in kids next door  and the wannabe people on the golf course who toss their  cigars into my yard all at the same time.


I am not a perfessional arborist…. But

One need not be Nye the TV Fake Science Guy….

…to know how to put the cuts on a an old growth tree and stuff it the faces of maroons.


..but I will have to rent a stump remover….

I am running out of room in the garage,  with the sand blasters, arc.. wire.. MIG  welders, cement mixers and all.




fx's picture

"“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."


LMAO. Attacking a sovereign country that has done no harm (so far) to the USA and their allies would not escalate the situation? WTF? Are these clowns really that dumb? If NK did not retaliate (most likely against the south) it would be like an open invitation to the US to strike again.

It's mind boggling what people are in charge at the Pentagon.

rmopf2010's picture

It only takes 3 planes to depart: 1 America 2 Europe 3 Asia

Pufff !!! all those unfunded entitlements are gone !

Cloud9.5's picture

A preemptive strike is not a unilateral option.   If the Norks have a nuke, they better use it.  Either way, they are apparently on the menu. 

jeff montanye's picture

i'm with slack jack.  spend most of the military on reducing pollution.  or education and healthcare.  or all three and a bunch more good things.

this is all a jobs program for some real nasty actors.  north and south korea were trying to heal wounds before seems like the last four administrations, two dems and two reps, kept trying to get in their way in case peace broke out.

i'm starting to think this most recent korea thing is a diversion from the i.t. experts at vips and disobediant media that are busting the russiagate thing wide open based on deep computer research guccifer 2.0's (poorly made) dnc email "hacks" (from romania!).  why president trump wants to protect his persecutors is uncertain but maybe he should tweet this nation article:

Cloud9.5's picture

I absolutely agree with you that we are being played.  The North Koreans are being played as well.  My point is simply this:  If the Norks have a nuke, they are being goaded into using it.  Obviously the MIC would benefit immensely in half a million people were incinerated in a nuclear flash. The body politic would be galvanized and we would march in lock step right into WW III.

TVP's picture

I remember none of that, my only concern right now is some loser DJ grabbing the skinny, bare ass-cheeks of Taylor Swift.  

just do a search for "Taylor Swift bare ass-cheeks"... 

exsanguine's picture

BEcause the pentagon obiously has no plan to take out the artillery , at all. Just leave it alone so the norks can use it. 

Yeah, that sounds logical. 



Sector Catalyst's picture

Don't worry, American allies Taiwan and Japan have a boatload of semi-conductor and other electronic manfucaturing companies ready to take over any shortfalls in supply if South Korea gets nuked.

Mr 9x19's picture

totally agree, it is a decoy to mask the fazct dollar is  iminnent explosion.


2008 has never been fixed, shadow banking is exacterbated by 10:1 more  situation than 2008.

if it blows, and it will, the world economy will not raise afterward, so you need a trigger on the other direction to watch to let the sheeple say go go go.

i can tell you there will not be any bomb droping until the UE  publish it's law about anti buankrun on all standards european bank accounts, yes ! it is coming ! they will lock account and banks will only be deciders of what can be paid , and what cannot. with a limit of 20 days of blocking, but you all excpect when someone block you money for 20 days, the 21th one you go to bank and retrieve all you can ,so it is one more tiiiiime (lol) a bullshit and your accounts are permantly  under control.

the day this option is set, you can bomb NK with pleasure, because people would never see again their money.

tmosley's picture

Communists aren't people.

What makes humans people is our respect for the rights of other people. Communists have no such respect. They are instead extraordinarily dangerous animals.

hedgeless_horseman's picture


It is clear to me that you are not able to seperate another nation's leadership from its people, but you very much have tried to seperate yourself from your nation's leadership in the past.

That seems hypocritical.

tmosley's picture

You would leave them in bondage, but I'm the hypocrite.

That's rich.

shovelhead's picture


They need some B-1 humanity lessons and we're just the guys to do it.

"How you like that 1000 lb. Hunk of Empathy, Fat Boy?"

T.Gracchus's picture

Bet you're just creaming your pants at the very thought of your own 1000lb hunk coming at you from behind?

You do not have even the slightest idea what the reality of war is like, you weapon worshipping faggot.

T.Gracchus's picture

...and you aren't really much of a person are you?

You seem to be here at ZH all the time, 24 hours a day, so one can only assume you are unemployed, disabled, or a paid troll- maybe all three.

When you are not masturbating over how Bitcoin will rule the world, you come here to disrespect humanity and cheer-lead for foreign wars that you will never ever have to fight in. I am guessing you are one of the (((chosen))), for with only half a dick, you'd surely be sore at the rest of humanity- the hundreds of millions of people better and less greedy than you. 

tmosley's picture

Heavy on words, berift of arguments.

Learn how to articulate an argument and get back with me.

Giant Meteor's picture



archaic past participle of bereave.


adjective: bereft


deprived of or lacking something, especially a nonmaterial asset.

"her room was stark and bereft of color"

synonyms: deprived of, robbed of, stripped of, devoid of, bankrupt of;



exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.

"They are instead extraordinarily dangerous animals."


BrownCoat's picture

@ tmosely,

"They are instead extraordinarily dangerous animals."

I will concede that not all humans are equal. Nevertheless, to frame your "enemy" as "animals" is an attempt to de-humanize them; a typical propaganda ploy.
In other words, "you are being played!"