A recent U.S. military assessment of a future conflict with North Korea predicts as many as 10,000 U.S. service members could be killed with civilian casualties as high as hundreds of thousands. The military assessment is just one among many generated during a large-scale virtual war game.
The war games are part of a tabletop exercise in Pentagon parlance and were conducted by several services and combatant commanders such as Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and U.S. Special Operations Command chief Gen. Tony Thomas. The war game was held at U.S. Pacific Command's headquarters in Hawaii.
The display highlighted the great cost of engaging in an all-out war with North Korea. "The brutality of this will be beyond the experience of any living soldier," Gen. Milley said after seeing the costly results. The results of the wargame coincide with the White House's recently accounted plans that all options are all the table, even military action.
Officials in the Trump administration have suggested a series of non-nuclear, preemptive strikes dubbed the "bloody nose" option in order to force the country to back down. Washington plans to move forward with the year's Foal Eagle exercises in spite of claims by Pyongyang that such a move would not be good for relations between the two countries.
U.S. and South Korean military commanders are currently deciding on a start date for the exercise known as Foal Eagle after the Olympics forced the drill to be postponed. Pyongyang warned that any military drills set to take place after the Olympics runs the risk of ruining relations altogether.
Pyeongchang also said any military action "seriously threatened, and hard-won atmosphere for reconciliation and cooperation between the north and the south were spoilt for a moment."
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