The Devil in the Details of a Korean War

June 1, 2017 North Korea’s conventional military capabilities, not its nuclear program, will determine what a potential conflict would look like.

Deep Dive

|June 1, 2017

Summary

If the devil is in the details, then war is particularly devilish because, for all its cruel drama, it’s a study in the mundane. Understanding war requires an understanding of things like supply lines, logistics, transportation, provisions, military hardware, command and control structures, and the like. Even the best and bravest soldiers in the world will have a hard time winning a war if they don’t have food or ammunition or reliable communication or any other instrument of war.

It is with that in mind that we assess North Korea. As Pyongyang, Washington and other regional players prepare for the prospect of war, North Korea’s nuclear program and ballistic missile capabilities have received undue amounts of attention. Important though they may be, they have less bearing on how the war will be fought than does North Korea’s conventional military. It boasts a large arsenal of weapons, and a lot of soldiers available to man them, but it is old and decrepit, out

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The Devil in the Details of a Korean War