Where’s My Present, Kim?

Bill Neinast


Where is it?  What happened to it?

Two months ago, Kim Jong Un, North Korean’s Supreme Leader, promised us a Christmas present.  But December 25 came and went without a package under the tree.

Some said he was waiting for the Orthodox Christmas. But January 7 passed without a present also.  So where is it?

The best guess is that it is sitting on a launch pad somewhere in North Korea.

Most of the speculation about the “present” was that it was going to be the launch of a new or improved long range missile that could wreak havoc on the continental United States.  Our spies in the sky would have recorded such a present.  No new missile, however, has been recorded.

If the scenario that Kim Jong Un had planned to test fire a new missile on Christmas Day is correct, the fact that none flew is a preview of the next war.

The Korean conflict of the 1950s was the last war of the ages.  It was the last time massed armies faced off against each other along well defined battle lines.

Vietnam ushered in a version of guerrilla warfare where relatively small units engaged in hit and run conflict.  Although there was a brief throwback to armies facing off in the two Iraqi wars, guerrilla warfare continued to evolve.

Today, the new version of guerrilla warfare is everywhere.  In the modern version, the warriors are frequently not in uniform and identifiable as soldiers.  They are civilians flying planes into skyscrapers, planting bombs in roads, and committing suicide by wearing concealed bombs into groups or driving bomb laden vehicles into occupied buildings.

That type of warfare that can be found throughout history is actually being replaced.  The emerging methods of war are replacing humans as the aggressors.

Start with the gathering of intelligence, or spying.  Seventy five years ago, our eyes in the sky were high flying airplanes piloted by humans.  Gary Powers, for example, was the pilot of the spy plane shot down over Russia.  Today, we have unmanned satellites criss-crossing the universe with extra sensitive cameras only dreamed of years ago.

In aerial bombing in WWII, a bomb that fell within 300 yards of the human bombardier’s target was considered a direct hit.  Today, unmanned drones can pinpoint targets as small as individual automobiles.  The recent killing of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in Iraq is the best example of that type of non human aggression.

A much better example of waging war without humans facing humans in trenches or fox holes, however, is cyber warfare.  This involves computers fighting computers.

A good example is the rumored disruption of the Iranian computer systems managing its nuclear development program.  The disruption was not discovered for a relatively long period and set the development program back by many months.

Assuming that rumor is true, it is not hard to assume that a Korean missile was on a launch pad ready for blast off on December 25 but that its launch and guidance systems were mysteriously disrupted on December 24.  All of this without a single human in sight.

This short history will explain why the Stars and Stripes reported on August 9, 2019: “The Pentagon will establish a new military service focused exclusively on space by 2020, citing the need to combat recent advances in space capabilities by rival nations, Vice President Mike Pence announced Thursday.

The new Space Force would defend America’s satellite systems in outer space at a time when adversaries, including Russia and China, have worked to develop technology aimed at disabling or jamming them, Pence said during a speech at the Pentagon at the same time the Defense Department released a study of its space operations….

“‘The time has come to establish the United States Space Force,’ Pence said to a Pentagon audience filled with uniformed military and civilian leaders. He added later: ‘Our adversaries have transformed space into a war fighting domain already and the United States will not shrink from this challenge…’”

So here’s the perspective.

The days of requiring large standing armies may be drawing to a close.  There is no longer a need to have soldiers squaring off on battlefields large or small.  Lethal force will be unleashed from unmanned aircraft or satellites under the control of some human thousands of miles away.

That does not mean there will not be carnage and bloodshed.  Actually, there may be more than ever.  Direct hits of bombs and missiles will be pinpoint strikes, not something 300 yards away as in WWII.

And this is probably why we did not get a Christmas present from Kim Jong Um.



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