The Korean War continues; while there was a cease fire in 1953, there was never an official end to the war. Since then, endless years of negotiation between The US, North Korea, South Korea, China, Russia, and Japan has failed to achieve a “peace” between North Korea and her neighbors. And the ante continues to go up as North Korea has demonstrated her capability to have and explode nuclear weapons as well as deliver them by long range missiles. Threat #1.
Afghanistan is a worthless piece of dirt with no strategic value to the United States. Russia finally understood this and pulled out of their nine year war in that country with their tail between their legs. We are on our tenth war year there and still haven’t learned that lesson. But the big problem in that part of the world that gets confused with the war in Afghanistan is Pakistan. Pakistan has nuclear weapons. They have an unstable government and they have lots of ethnic relationships with the insurgent fighters of Afghanistan. Can you imagine what would happen if the government of Pakistan failed and the Taliban/al-Quida fighters of Afghanistan took over that country and acquired those nuclear weapons? Threat #2.
The Middle East has been relatively war free since the middle 1970’s. Sure, there have been some border incursions, rocket attacks, and isolated bombing incidents surrounding Israel, but all-out war, like that region of the world saw in 1967 and 1973, has stopped. Why? Simple, as that is when Israel developed a nuclear weapons capability and let it be well known to the world that 1. They had the capability, and 2. They would use nuclear weapons if the survival of Israel was ever threatened again. Whoa, new ball game. Since none of the Muslim states had a nuclear capability of their own, they quickly determined that any attack on Israel would likely result in the destruction of their own country. Thus deterrence was established and the Middle East remained “calm”. But now Iran, a Muslim country whose leader has publically said that Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth, is close to developing a nuclear capability. The US, and many other countries, believes this capability is for the development of nuclear weapons. If this happens, then deterrence is destroyed and the Middle East becomes wide open for all-out warfare. Threat #3.
On 9-11, 2001, the US was attacked by a group of Islamist terrorists. Since then we have had our armed forces heavily involved in two wars; Iraq and Afghanistan. We have also had our Homeland security forces focusing on preventing a repeat of 9-11. These forces have been very successful in uncovering and preventing additional attacks on our homeland. But we face a determined enemy. They have stated their goal is to destroy Western civilization, kill the infidels (those who are not Muslim) and establish Sharia Law throughout the world. They continue to plot against the US and other countries and thus far, these plots have been detected before they can be successfully implemented. However, it is estimated there are about a billion and a half Muslims in the world. Of this group, about 6-8 percent is thought to be made up of the radical Islamist extremist terrorists. If true, then ninety to one hundred and twenty million terrorists are focusing on hitting the United States and the rest of the Western world. Threat #4.
How likely are these threats to become reality? Never underestimate a potential enemy; their plans could become devastating reality with the advent of a single misstep or intelligence lapse. Thank our military and our Homeland security forces for all they have done to prevent that reality from happening to date.
Jerry Hogan is a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel and current County Judge elect of Rockwall County, Texas. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org