U.S. Pacific Commander: No "Bloody Nose" plan on North Korea

Matt Saintsing
March 15, 2018 - 12:40 pm

Photo by Mass Communication 2nd Class James Mullen/U.S. Navy


The head of the U.S. Pacific Command pushed back on the notion that the United States has a “bloody nose” strategy for a potential preventive strike against North Korea.

Just a week after President Donald Trump said he would meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Navy Admiral Harry Harris insisted during testimony before the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, that such a plan does not exist.

When asked about such a strike, Harris said “We have no bloody-nose strategy, I don’t know what that is.”

“I believe that if we do anything along the kinetic region of the spectrum of conflict that we have to be ready to do the whole thing.”

What “the whole thing” entails is a war that such a strike is intended to avoid. That’s because a war on the Korean Peninsula would be absolutely devastating, with some estimates of civilian casualties reaching into the hundreds of thousands.

Some critics say that the President lacks the appropriate legal authority to pre-emptively strike North Korea.

In February, 18 Senate Democrats sent Trump a letter outlining their concerns and said “without Congressional authorization, a preventative or preemptive U.S. military strike would lack either a Constitutional basis or legal authority." The letter was led by New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee.