Raptors over Korea: A Tactical Mistake


US responds to DPRK’s military provocations by sending more state of the art planes, without actually realizing that through this application of deterrence, the Norths are enraged even more. The samurais had a saying: “One sword keeps another one sheathed” but either the Norths don’t get the notion of deterrence or we don’t know-at least not yet-how many swords are going to be drawn in this escalating drama.

The F-22s arrived on Sunday March 31st and they are there to stay. Previously there was a “probing of the enemy” carried out by the US by sending the older B-52s along with the tip of the spear in terms of their bombing capabilities, the B-2 spirit, which flew over the Korean peninsula in a roundtrip going back to the US after it was refueled in the air. As we discussed in a previous article in regard with the B-2s the move by the US was a typical probing tactic, in order to test the regime’s reactions, which became worse by declaring war on South Korea, cutting the last lines of communication and threatening to close down the common industrial area in which both the Norths and Souths work jointly.

Since the enemy was probed, the deployment of the F-22s constitutes a mistake. We’ve already mentioned that the Norths don’t seem to understand much about deterrence at this point or there’s something else going on, as for example being backed by China. Be that as it may, the F-22 has limited bombing capabilities and we don’t even know whether those types that were sent to South Korea formerly stationed in Japan at Kadena air base are the upgraded ones, which possess enhanced air to ground capabilities. In times like these, the US is going to miss the “Powell doctrine”, according to which, if it was applied, the US would have sent several tank and artillery battalions instead of an airplane, which can only provide air superiority. The Norths, one way or another, possess ancient Soviet technology, air force included, so what’s the point in sending an F-22 against-best case scenario-Mig 29s, is a waste of firepower. US could have easily sent “Super Hornets” to do the job or even F-15s, but that is not the only inappropriate choice in terms of tactical decisions.

The US may want some additional warships bearing the AEGIS system just in case the missiles “start raining”. It is evident that it is not their intent to escalate, but to deter, evidently though the North Koreans have not shown the same “mood” and they are willing to escalate at will. The DPRK has 1.2 million soldiers at its disposal and in terms of casualties the more they die the better, according to the regime. 1.2 million people, even if they use “slings” as weapons are a force which has to be reckoned with. That translates into more mechanized divisions needed from the US-allied side in order to cope with the flood which is going to start pouring from the North. At the moment the Americans are pursuing their deterrence objectives through the annual exercise codenamed “Foal-Eagle”, but we are afraid that the operational theater is going to deteriorate into a “foiled-eagle” situation full of negative surprises. We should not forget the Middle Eastern front as well, the Americans whether they want it or not are still engaged there.

Best thing to do at the moment is to cross fingers so nothing happens, the lack though of “heavy armored units” definitely leaves a whole in the US’s defensive approach when it comes to continental forces, be it North Korea or just like the ’50s China and North Korea operating jointly!