National Security Brief: U.S. Scaling Back Show Of Force In Korea

The Wall Street Journal reports that the United States is beginning to dial back its show of force toward North Korea, fearing that the insular regime might misunderstand U.S. intentions thus inadvertently triggering a deeper crisis.

“The concern was that we were heightening the prospect of misperceptions on the part of the North Koreans, and that that could lead to miscalculations,” a senior administration official said.

Meantime, the U.S. announced that it will deploy a missile defense system to Guam within the next two weeks.

In other news:

  • USA Today reports: Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Wednesday his intent to “reform and reshape” the military — from paying personnel to buying weapons — to deal with deep budget cuts the Pentagon faces.
  • The Hill reports: Iraqi intelligence officials are considering allowing U.S. armed drones to carry out airstrikes along the country’s volatile border with Syria as the civil war in that country continues to spill over into neighboring nations.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports: Syria’s main rebel command began touring Middle East capitals this week, and plans to visit capitals in Europe, to outline specific needs for arms and logistics as it plans to amplify the fight in Damascus, rebels involved in the meetings said.