Recently, I had the privilege of hearing General Vincent Brooks, whose name may someday be remembered alongside Grant and Eisenhower in the pantheon of great generals. When we remember General Brooks, however, we will likely praise how he kept us OUT of a war.
General Brooks is the commander of United States Forces in Korea. He appears to know the situation in great detail, including the names and profiles of all the North Korean officers facing the South.
He is persuaded that NEITHER side can back down from the present spitball game between our two national leaders.
Accordingly, his view appears to be that we have to rely on a serious, long- term diplomacy to manage the North Korean threat. We have worked in such a way with Russia since 1945 and China more recently.
The frequent objection to this approach is that long term accommodation is a very risky cop out. But, how different is it really than what we have been doing vs Russia in Europe so far?
Brooks did not say outright that there was no military solution and he was not asked that question. But his sophisticated and knowledgeable analysis left this observer with the view that we all had better grow up and get used to the permanent reality of a nuclear North Korea.
It takes the very best of any General’s thinking to be open and honest enough to know when to avoid shooting!