CIA Director: "We Are Not On The Cusp Of A Nuclear War"

Tyler Durden's picture

How close is the US to war with North Korea? That was the question several top military and national security advisors struggled to answer over the weekend, mitigating fears of an imminent nuclear war even as Trump raises geopolitical tensions and boosts bellicose rhetoric with every public appearance.

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday", and walking a fine line of backing Trump's tough talk but not wanting to raise the alarm at home, CIA Director Mike Pompeo said there’s no indication war will break out.

“I’ve heard folks talking about that we’re on the cusp of a nuclear war. I’ve seen no intelligence that would indicate that we’re in that place today.” As Bloomberg adds, Pompeo also said that the nation’s intelligence watchers - who have monitored recent ICBM tests and North Korea’s improved ability to manufacture nuclear weapons - “have a pretty good idea” about their near-term intentions. "This administration has made our policy very clear. We’ve engaged the world to support that policy," Pompeo told host Chris Wallace.

In his first Sunday show interview since becoming the head of the CIA, the former Republican congressman from Kansas emphasized that the era of “strategic patience” with Kim Jong-Un is over. "Each time they test another missile, or if they should conduct a nuclear weapons test, they develop expertise. They expand the envelope,” he said. In a later interview with CBS's "Face the Nation," Pompeo said containment does not make sense for a North Korea policy.

"President Trump finds that unacceptable," Pompeo said according to The Hill, referencing an op-ed by former national security adviser Susan Rice that said the United States could "tolerate" a nuclear North Korea.

Pompeo's sentiment was echoed by national security adviser H.R. McMaster who appeared on ABC’s “This Week,” said “we’re not closer to war than a week ago, but we are closer to war than we were a decade ago."

Asked if the US is "locked and loaded" as Trump tweeted last week, McMaster responded that "the United States military is locked and loaded everyday."  McMaster also added that the threat from North Korea to the world is "very, very clear." "It demands a concerted effort by the United States, but with our allies and with all responsible nations". "And this is what you've seen the president do is bring together all nations." 

The president "made clear that the United States will not tolerate our citizens or our allies being threatened by this rogue regime," McMaster added and said that "there's a much greater danger if there were to be any kind of degree of ambiguity in connection with the kind of response that Kim Jong Un could expect if he were to threaten the United States or our allies."

Separately, just days after Trump's abovementioned comment that military options against North Korea were “locked and loaded,” General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, plans to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday. Dunford will also meet with senior military officials along with Moon, according to an official with South Korea’s Blue House Bloomberg reports. He will head to China next on the previously scheduled visit, Yonhap News Agency reported, citing an unidentified military official.

The visit comes as fears grow that a war of words between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un will create a miscalculation that sparks an actual military conflict. In a call with Trump on Saturday in Asia, Chinese President Xi Jinping called for all sides to maintain restraint and avoid inflammatory comments. A tweet from the joint chiefs on Sunday showed him arriving at Yokota Air Base in Japan.

Dunford said the purpose of his Monday visit to Seoul, which sits just 35 miles south of the border with North Korea, is to reassure a critical ally. He is expected to examine the options the U.S. and South Korean militaries could execute if a conflict were to come to pass, officials said.

In his first public remarks since the crisis escalated with North Korea’s launch of a second intercontinental ballistic missile late last month, Dunford said that “as a military leader, I have to make sure that the president does have viable military options in the event that the diplomatic and economic pressurization campaign fails."

“Even as we develop those options, we are mindful of the consequences of executing those options, and that makes us have more of a sense of urgency to make sure that we’re doing everything we absolutely can to support Secretary Tillerson’s current path,” he said quoted by the WSJ. He declined to provide an assessment of the current situation until he had met with officials on the ground. But while the U.S. military in the region is prepared for war, it isn’t necessarily preparing for war, other military officials said.

Dunford is also set to discuss with Mr. Moon the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or Thaad missile defense system. After extensive discussion between the U.S. and South Korea, a Thaad battery was deployed near a golf course in South Korea this spring to help defend against any missile launches from the north. Only two of the six launchers were deployed and the U.S. and South Korea are now in talks to deploy the system with its full complement of launchers, U.S. Pacific Command officials said. Meantime, the U.S. and South Korea will soon begin their annual joint military exercises, known as Ulchi Freedom Guardian, a two-week command and control exercise that primarily tests the integration of U.S. and South Korean forces.

U.S. defense officials said the exercise isn’t expected to amount to a large show of force and that there are no plans for expansion under the current circumstances. Ulchi Freedom Guardian, or UFG as it is called, typically sees an additional 200 to 300 U.S. troops here for the next couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, suggesting that war is indeed not imminent, the WSJ adds that no additional forces have been sent to the Korean Peninsula as a result of the crisis, and there has been no new deployment of ships or submarines. The more than 28,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea haven't been put on special alert, military officials said. And, the fact that Gen. Dunford and his wife, Ellyn, are traveling in the region this week reinforces the sense that there is no imminent threat of war.

Still, as Mr. Trump continues to tweet about U.S. posture, saying the military is “locked and loaded” and ready to fight, the military hasn’t shied away from sending its own signals. In recent days, the U.S. touted a flyover by a pair of its B-1B strategic bombers, an event it rarely announces publicly.


And, in the wake of each of North Korea’s two intercontinental ballistic missile launches last month, the U.S.’s Eighth Army blasted missiles using the Army Tactical Missile System, or ATACMS, to counter the threat. South Korea simultaneously launched its own Hyunmoo Missile II system.

Even as the U.S. military keeps its cards close to its chest, declining to talk publicly about what it might do militarily, a pre-emptive strike on North Korea remains unlikely, military officials have said.

Finally, as people on Guam prepare for the potential of an attack, U.S. military officials acknowledge quietly that Pyongyang’s capabilities make it unlikely Kim could fulfill his pledge to lob missiles toward the island and get them anywhere close. The North Korean leader hasn’t proven he can make the technology work with any precision, an official said. But North Korea has moved faster to develop its capabilities than the U.S. believed it would. Pacific Command officials said they have to take Mr. Kim at his word.

“They have proven through these recent launches that they have increasing range there,” the U.S. Pacific Command official said. “We have to take these threats seriously.”

So while the rhetoric of an imminent war appears to be far ahead of actual process, all that can change should Pyongyang launch yet another ballistic missile test. As reported earlier, satellite images taken in recent days suggest that this may indeed be the case.

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VWAndy's picture

 We are on the cusp of inslaving the planet. Wake Up!

Looney's picture


We Are Not On The Cusp Of A Nuclear War

I won’t be convinced, until somebody shakes a vial with some powder in front of the cameras.  ;-)


tmosley's picture

I don't like the guy saying it, but I have to say that he is pretty accurate with his assessment RE "no closer than a week ago, but closer than ten years ago".

But maybe that is just my bias speaking, because I don't think there will be any war, outside of perhaps a few missile launches that we will try to intercept.

El Vaquero's picture

I concur.  I think that there is a very good chance that jack and shit will happen.  Maybe.  

JRobby's picture

Just an opportunity to contradict Trump. Deep State game.

This guy will say anything for the Deep State cause. CIA needs "disassembly"

Arnold's picture

"We Are Not On The Cusp Of A Nuclear War"
"Here cuz hold my beer."

--Quotes from "Famous Last Words of West Virginia".

Sir Edge's picture


We are on the cusp of more and more USA Bullshit... Non Stop USA Propaganda... All ZioNews Distractions...

For This Reason...

Do ANY Americans remember the Boston Tea Party... The Founding of the US Constitution...

Anybody... Anybody... Bueller ?

War with North Korean... War With Venezula... Trade War With China...

Fire.. Fury... Death... Missles Incoming... Duck... Kim is Crazy Evil... Assad is Evil... All Bullshit... Fire Up The B1 Bombers 

Not gonna happen... !


Just the continuous loss of American and World Freedom due to the Israeli Tribes death grip around the throat of free men in the USA and other first world countries via their polictial and monetary and communications control.

This is a fact... (((Google))) It... Read about it on (((Facebook)))... etc.

toady's picture

Sounds like something someone on the cusp of a nuclear war would say....

Manthong's picture



If Pompous-eo is saying that

….it is like Ghoul-Man Sucks saying “buy tech now”…..

I have a very deep basement  …. I truly do.  

Once you get down around 20 feet in this area you have to deal with water table issues.

I am putting on the waders… putting in new pumps…  breaking out the lower level basement and going deeper.


These people have me so freaked; I might not stop until I hit  the nice warm ground under Fukushima.



fx's picture

Of course, there will be no nuclear war, since NK right now isn't capable yet to strike with nuclear weapons. Which is why the neocon warmongers at capitol hill and in the WH are hell-bent on nuking NK now. Fuck them all, Trump, Kushner, McMasters and the entrie congress.

If The US reserves the right to strike any country "preemptively" because it feels threatened" by said country, what if other countries demand the same right for themselves? I mean, the Russians had every reason to do exactly that, no?

NoDecaf's picture

I know I'm not the only one who goes straight to the comments to get the gist of what's going on...

Who can keep up with these headlines? And this is still the weekend.

swmnguy's picture

You have to read to the end of a lot of crap-filled stories to find the punchline.  

As for the Nork Nuke Nightmare, the punchline is that the Norks don't have nuclear warheads to go on their missiles.  The reports we've heard so much about are references to a Japanese Intelligence report, which says the Japanese are pretty sure the Norks are working to miniaturize a nuclear warhead.  Usually when you achieve something you're no longer "working on it."  So they don't have them.  Yet.  They may develop them at some time in the future.  Everyone agrees that would not be good.

Of course, we all remember about Saddam Hussein, and Netanyahu's constant screaming that Iran is only 6 months away etc.  The fear campaign this time around is being done the exact same way, with vague questions asked by reporters to experts, who respond with generalizations, and the reporter uses those vague quotes to write a scare-piece.  

You have to examine the chain of argument closely to see the logical jump from "might be" to "is."  The "is" is usually implied, not stated.  This is how they can all claim they weren't misleading people.

BullyBearish's picture

I swear that these are the SAME two guys in the picture above shaking hands...


johngaltfla's picture

His statements are so not re-assuring.

Gead's picture

Way I read his words, "“I’ve heard folks talking about that we’re on the cusp of a nuclear war. I’ve seen no intelligence that would indicate that we’re in that place today.” ....... I figured that was the absolute truth. For any idiot looking for signs of intelligence in Washington D.C. is going to be sadly disappointed. Like looking for a couple of fine books that you'll never read:  "Black Yachtsmen I have known" & "Jewish Business Ethics". Same issue with the contradiction of terms embodied by "military intelligence".

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

I did not have sexual relations with...wait, wrong one.

VWAndy's picture

 I been thinkin about starting a debate website. What cha think Cog?

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

That debatable. ;-). IMHO the question is this....what are you trying to accomplish? If you are trying to win, that is the ultimate purpose of a debate. If you are trying to instruct, that is NOT the purpose of a debate. You can 'win' a debate using information that is not factual.

VWAndy's picture

 My hope is to show people how reason and logic works better than faith. We have as a society a need to stomp alot of sick and twisted dogmas. The best way to do that is by dragging the dogmatic into a level field debate.

 See how things measure up head to head?

edotabin's picture

lol..... good luck with that

detached.amusement's picture

*chuckles* you give people FAR too much credit


You better not pursue a WMD or we will use a WMD on you. 

Bunker Boy's picture

Truth Bomb: The CIA is the main deep state force behind destabilizing the world and bringing about WWIII. 

Pompeo, or Pomeii? Didn't turn out too well for them.

Bay of Pigs's picture

Both of these lying assholes (Pompeo and McMaster), are Deep State and MIC Swamp Dwellers.

jmack's picture

you would have more credibility if you knew how to spell enslaving.

VWAndy's picture

 It wouldnt make a lick of difference. If people dont like something said they will find some silly reason to ignore it. Even if they have to make it up.

chunga's picture

"It is a damn poor mind indeed which can't think of at least two ways to spell any word."

~ Andrew Jackson

jmack's picture

Ahhh yes, good ole Andrew Jackson, the founder of the Democrat party, who played the crucial role in stopping the republican method of states sending selected senators to represent their interests and instead forcing them to be democratically elected, thus starting the ball rolling on the current shit show of a federally dominated country that we enjoy today.  I am sure he would be quite comfortable with ebonics as well.

VWAndy's picture

 Dang trumped by spellcheck again. lol

SHoffer's picture

  Radar spelled backwards is Radar. 

HRClinton's picture

Trick Q: How can you tell when a CIA Director is lying?

TheSilentMajority's picture

Carefully observe his choice of specific words....

No, "not on the cusp of NUCLEAR war".

But yes, on the cusp of a CONVENTIONAL preemptive attack on NK.

Roth-a-feller's picture
Matthew 24:6King James Version (KJV)

And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

HRClinton's picture

"Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great!

She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. 

For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.”

detached.amusement's picture

Amusing to frame things using the enemy's words

One man's demons are anothers gods

Every entity that isnt in with the juice - are all demons, per the juice, of course

Its amazing that more people dont understand such things.

Well, sad, really.

One does not defeat his enemy by praying to his enemy's "god"

jmack's picture

This is a hijacking:


   Before Google and Damore, there was another Memo, and firing....   McMaster and Higgins,

dufferin's picture


Ive heard similar stuffs before...

Like 'the market won't crash' blah blah


It is actually when I get worry...

Pigeon's picture

"Cusp of war" brought to you by the MSM. TVs in the gym - every day for weeks, the only chiron I saw was "Russia Russia Russia".  Last week was "14 minutes to Guam" "14 minutes to Guam"

So the Leftist Libtards on Facebook and social media had to change their profile photos and posts from "Russia/Trump" to "When Obama was president i never went to bed worrying about WWIII"

So fucking predictable. Next week's theme? Race, hate and whitey.

FoggyWorld's picture

You can bet the ranch that the coverage won't be about Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and her Pakistani IT team.

Sessions didn't recuse himself from this one and yet nothing at all seems to be being done.

land_of_the_few's picture

Things will get truly epic on that one after summer recess. Even the Dems are offended by it all, and our hero still has a GPS tracker and no passport. Can't imagine what kind of craziness is going on in the background.

boattrash's picture

Whew, I feel so much better now. If it would quit raining, I'd go out for some recoil therapy.

Jack Oliver's picture

Zio/US NEED NK as the fictitious ENEMY !!

NK has no ICBM - 'Empire' is just desperate after their pet 'terrorists' are being slaughtered in Syria !

US dollar is in REAL jeopardy !!

NobodyNowhere's picture

If NK was alone, acting solely out of its own accord, a military solution by superpower USA would not make much sense.

The problem is, NK is not alone.

It is a bad actor set up by one of the most cunning and capable powers on the planet for the sole aim of extracting soft victories in peace time.

Already, Trump said he would have a different view of Chinese trade practices if it could help contain NK.  In other words, PRC gets to continue its trade practices just be reigning in its own mad dog.

And America keeps bleeding.



PleasedToMeatYou's picture

McMasterbate actually said, on live internationally broadcast television:  "The US military is locked and loaded every day, and especially those who are on the Front Lines of Freedom".  Then he goes on to take 1st President G.Washington profanely out of context. 

I'll bet he doesn't let soldiers carry any weapons near him, either. 

WTFUD's picture

28,000 US Troops stationed in South Korea . . . This Kimmy fella's just Paranoid. s/c

Cluster_Frak's picture

i doubt Soviets and China will allow for all out war right at their border. There will be a lot of puffying and bluffing, but at the end of the day fat boy will get a shipment of free rice to feed his starving people.

c2nnib2l's picture

uff CIA can be trusted after all ;D

Grandad Grumps's picture

And at the same time, one has to wonder if Libya, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia and Afghanistan would have been invaded and had their countries trashed, leaders killed and people displaced if they had nuclear weapons as a potential deterrent??

Iran has not been invaded (yet) by the CIA, NATO or US military and maybe the reason is because it has sufficient nuclear technology to use against the US or Israel.

Sadaam conclusively proved that doing exactly what the US asks is the surest path to invasion and war by the US government.