Pace on a war with North Korea: 'More brute force,' less precision

Special to World
Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the 200,000 U.S. military troops in the Gulf have not diminished U.S. warfighting power and 2 million troops are on standby. “And that should not be lost on any potential enemies,” he said.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Marine Corps Gen. Peter Pace at the Senate Armed Services Committee in August. AFP/Karen Bleier
If another conflict erupted, he said, there would be more “brute force” because of a lack of intelligence for precision weapons that are currently tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan. In addition, some weapons delivery systems for precision arms are being used that could not be used in another area like North Korea.

Another conflict in Asia would involve air and naval power that is not being used in the Middle East and Central Asia, he said. But there would be more collateral damage because of the lack of precision bombs would require using less accurate gravity bombs and munitions.

North Korea's armed forces currently are stable and do not appear to be mobilizing for a conflict, he said.

“To my knowledge, the North Koreans' status of their armed forces is stable, meaning they haven't raised or lowered any particular parts of their readiness to cause any kind of alarm,” Pace told reporters.

Pace repeated his earlier judgment that he could not discern the threat posed by North Korean based on his definition that a threat is a combination of military capacity and intent.

North Korea’s military power is known with a “decent margin error,” including soldiers, tanks, aircraft, warships, he said.

“What is not knowable is the intent of the leadership in North Korea to use or not use that power at any given time,” Pace said. “And applying Western logic to the leadership in Korea is not something that I would personally want to bet my future on.”

Copyright © 2006 East West Services, Inc.

Print this Article Print this Article Email this article Email this article Subscribe to this Feature Free Headline Alerts

Search Worldwide Web Search