China is the real power behind the “animal” it has bred – North Korea – in the view of Retired Air Force Lieutenant General Thomas G. McInerney. And if necessary, the United States should be prepared to use nuclear weapons to neutralize the threat that North Korea represents to the United States.
With the crisis situation involving North Korea leading the news on Thursday, one of the more interesting, provocative, and sobering analyses I heard was offered by Gen. McInerney, who retired in 1994 after a distinguished 35 year career in the military that began after he graduated from West Point in 1959. During the Vietnam War, McInerney flew over 400 combat missions and then served in a variety of high level command positions around the world. In recent years, he has been a contributor to Fox News and he appears often in the media. On September 6, 2016, along with 88 other retired US generals and admirals, McInerney endorsed Donald Trump for the presidency.
On Thursday, August 10, McInerney appeared on Sean Hannity’s radio program and gave his opinions on the North Korea situation. The transcription of Hannity’s Q&A with McInerney is my best effort based on the program’s audio podcast that went online after the show aired.
SEAN HANNITY: All these years of appeasement haven’t borne any fruit, have they?
GEN. McINERNEY: No they haven’t, Sean. This is President Trump’s Cuban Missile Crisis. Because it’s a balance of power that the Chinese have been breeding and growing the North Koreans to do this, just as the Russians have been working with Iran. Iran and North Korea are nuclear proxies for both Russia and China. What does that mean? Let’s say that they [North Korea] have 50 or 60 nuclear warheads. And they get 50 missiles in the ground which the Obama administration would have said they could do and we just use the strategy of Mutual Assured Destruction. Let’s say they fire off 50 of them, we knock out 40, and ten of ‘em hit U.S. cities. And we destroy North Korea. What do you think the Russians and the Chinese are going to do?
[Post attack] Our economy is in shambles. We’re a mess after ten nukes hit us. The Russians and Chinese are sitting there smiling because we paid to arm both Iran and North Korea with nuclear weapons. This is insane! And we finally have a president that is coming to grips with it. The American public or media does not want to admit that it is a balance of power shift. It is his [President Trump’s] Cuban Missile Crisis. He’s going to have to stand up and we’re going to have to do a number of things to make this change and be successful. One of them is to recall the Congress today. Get them back and make them pass the FY 18 defense bill because we cannot continue our build up on continuing resolutions. We have to form a Pacific Area Treaty Organization, just like NATO, to contain not only North Korea but to contain China. China is the problem. They are breeding this animal that we have in North Korea.
HANNITY: Is there any good option, General?
HANNITY: What is it?
McINERNEY: Go back on nuclear alert at Guam with B2s and B-52s. Negotiate with South Korea and put our theater of nuclear forces back on alert in South Korea as they had when I was at Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations Intelligence for Pacific Air Forces. Increase our THAAD [Theater High Altitude Area Defense] force structure in South Korea. Build up our Air Force and Naval and Marine Corps forces in the region and declare any missile launches from North Korea are hostile because of what Kim Jong-un said about attacking Guam, and we will hit them as a target before they get airborne. He must be sure that we will no longer tolerate that he launch any more missiles because of his declaration that he will hit Guam and we don’t know where they’re going to go until they’ve been in the air for awhile.
So we have no choice. And by the way, if one artillery round comes out of North Korea on to Seoul, he [Kim Jong-un] gets our full nuclear retaliatory capability. Make sure he understands that. That artillery is no longer valid, because when we retaliate we’re going to retaliate with nuclear weapons.
HANNITY: Am I right that millions could potentially die here?
McINERNEY: Yeah, but they will be mostly North Koreans.
HANNITY: What about the South Koreans, what about the Japanese, what about nuclear fallout making its way to China?
McINERNEY: You can contain that.
HANNITY: How can you contain nuclear fallout? How do you do that?
McINERNEY: You contain it with air bursts and the size of the weapons. Look [at the nuclear] weapons we dropped on Japan – and we were in there weeks later. I’m not saying it’s not going to be a problem, but it’s a problem that we can handle compared to nuclear weapons hitting U.S. cities. This president has been left with zero options in my opinion. And the fact is that unless he starts taking these actions and except for recalling Congress and creating PATO – the Pacific Area Treaty Organization – I would do it all in secret. The Russians and Chinese will pick it up with their satellites.
Peter Barry Chowka is a veteran journalist who writes about national politics, media, popular culture, and health care. He is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. His latest website is AltMedNews.net.