|Arthur Dominic Villasanta |||May 23, 2017 08:33 PM EDT|
(Photo : Getty Images) A North Korean ballistic missile.
The return of U.S. President Donald Trump to Washington next week will likely set into motion a complex U.S. military plan to attack and destroy facilities associated with North Korea's nuclear weapons development program.
George Friedman, a noted geopolitical forecaster and strategist on international affairs and founder of think tank Geopolitical Futures, assesses the U.S. is preparing to attack North Korea, probably within the next few months.
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He told his audience at the 2017 Strategic Investment Conference in Orlando that North Korea's actions such as relentless missile launches appears to have "offered the U.S. no alternative" to a punitive strike involving the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force.
He said evidence is mounting that the enmity between North Korea and the U.S. is escalating to a point war is inevitable. He pointed out clear signs of a subtle but massive build-up of U.S. naval and air power within striking distance of the Korean Peninsula over the past few months.
The U.S. Navy nuclear-powered supercarrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) will soon join another navy carrier, the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and its Carrier Strike Group One (CSG-1). The Reagan's Carrier Strike Group 5 (CSG-5) is the navy's largest and most powerful carrier strike group.
Both carrier strike groups are expected to patrol in the Sea of Japan (or the East Sea) to the east of the Korean Peninsula and await orders for action.
Friedman also noted that more than 100 General Dynamics F-16 multirole fighter jets from the U.S. Air Force and the Republic of Korea Air Force are conducting daily exercises in the peninsuls, a tactic seen before the start of Operation Desert Storm, the U.S.-led attack to expel Iraqi troops from Iraq, in 1991.
He also said Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II stealth fighters have also been deployed to the area. U.S. government representatives are expected to brief Guam on civil defense, terrorism, and Korea on May 31, an ominous sign since North Korea has missiles capable of reaching Guam.
Friedman said all these strategic moves taken together point in only one direction -- war.
"We are facing a war that is not simple," said Friedman, an admission of the complexity of the situation that also involves China and Russia.
Friedman declared North Korea is America's problem to bear.
"This is how it's going to be for America over the next decade, because we are the major global power and that power is of the sort that doesn't disappear very quickly," he said.
"We are the only country in the world with a global military capability.
"There is no other power that can conceivably -- and I include the Chinese in this -- take effective military action against the North Koreans to stop a nuclear program. That means it's either the U.S. (takes action) or North Korea has a nuclear weapon."
"Every century has its systemic wars," he said. "The odds that the 21st century will be the first not to have it are slim to none."
The website of Geopolitical Futures has an intriguing story entitled "What a War with North Korea Looks Like" written by Friedman.
"A U.S. decision to attack will be based on the severity of the consequences should the North Koreans use their weapons, if they have them. If not, the decision is based on the possibility that North Korea is close to having them," wrote Friedman.
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