Politico Ponders War With North Korea

Maybe it’s just me, but it does seem to me that if Politico wants to run an article hyping a dubious poll indicating that a majority of the public favors starting a war with North Korea that they might want to devote some coverage to the issue of the possible consequences of such a war.

After all, insofar as people do favor such a step, it’s almost certainly because they don’t understand what it might entail. But a war could easily involve the deaths of millions of people and the destruction of one of the world’s largest cities. South Korea, with American assistance, would undoubtedly prevail in such a conflict but the price paid in blood would be extremely high and the impact on the global economy could be extremely grave. Meanwhile, the world would be left with the very thorny question of what to do with the post-war DPRK. In some very narrow sense of what a “politico” might care about, these issues don’t matter. But even in pretty crass political terms, public opinion would clearly be much more impacted by reaction to the actual consequences of military action than to whatever kind of weird push polling Rasmussen wants to do.


Incidentally, a few years back Bill Perry and Ashton Carter (now an undersecretary of defense) really did think that bombing North Korea would be a smart response to a missile attack. I think that op-ed belongs in the “wildly unconvincing” drawer, but just FYI you might want to give it read.