US Navy SEAL’s Audacious Plan for Defeating North Korea

A former US Navy Seal has come up with a potential strategy to take down North Korea from the inside without putting a single American boot on the ground. How? Cell phones.

Jocko Willink, a former Navy Seal turned author, motivational speaker, and podcast host recently answered how he would solve the North Korean threat. His answer is as unconventional as you would expect from an unconventional warfighter.

Image result for jocko willink

When asked what he would do to solve the North Korean threat, he offered an elegant solution.

“Drop 25 million iPhones on them and put satellites over them with free wifi.”

So why is this worth our consideration?

North Korea’s current state is one where the majority of the people are kept ignorant of the outside world through a strict police state’s control of all news media. Just as terrible, they are kept blind to the violations to their own rights that occur daily.

Yun Sun, a Stimson Center expert on North Korea argues that the plan might work:

“Kim Jong Un understands that as soon as society is open and North Korean people realize what they’re missing, Kim’s regime is unsustainable, and it’s going to be overthrown.”

Consider the effects of nearly every person in North Korea getting a smartphone capable of not only learning of the outside world, but also to share what is going on in the deeply opaque dictatorship.

Pros:

It doesn’t surprise me that a special forces guy would make the argument for insurgency. Much of the role for Special Forces is to be trainers, equippers, and coordinators of local forces. The hardest part of this is coordination for actions, intelligence sharing, and finding out who would be willing to fight in adequate number. By handing out phones that can be watched by our CIA, the activity of the would be insurgents can be tracked and prodded along to connecting with others. Every person who uses the banned devices would automatically be considered a potential agent. Whoever controls the system can hand pick people to introduced to one another, connecting potential rebel military units and commanders with civilians to aid them via a means that they would never survive in the current atmosphere of extreme paranoia and brutal rule.

Apps can also make it possible for information to be requested and captured, automatically sent to intelligence agencies for analysis. Effectively, the hardest nation on the globe to penetrate would suddenly be inundated with hundreds of thousands of spies reporting back anything they think might be damaging to the despotic regime.

Additionally, in the event of an invasion, there would already be cooperative leaders in place to take over. One of the key failures of the War in Iraq was that the leader which the American forces wanted to prop up was unreliable and was too deeply disconnected with the Iraqi people after a long period of exile. If the potential leader of a coup were a local member of a nationwide fifth column, that would provide legitimacy so that the nation’s human assets fall quickly into place, preventing a breakdown into chaos.

As for costs, let’s just play the game of saying everyone got a iPhone X and its $1000 pricetag. That’s $25B plus another $500 M for a satellite, plus let’s add another billion to create the headquarters and operations staff to run it, as well as assume another billion to create all the background applications for the people to use. They are going to have to find a way into the country, so whatever, let’s just throw a billion there, as well. Those are broadly conservative estimates already, but let’s round it to $30 B. For a point of reference, the Iraq War cost the United States some $1.7 trillion, and the last Korean War came out to $341 billion in today’s dollars. That said, paying a tenth of that to completely disrupt the Korean state, a much, much deadlier entity today than it has ever been in such a way that puts few American lives at risk sounds like a good investment in a conflict the world knows is coming eventually.

Cons:

Even if this is considered non-violent, North Korea will view this as an act of war. They may even retaliate far, far too quickly for any networks to form, forcing the United States to intervene anyway in what may be a reaction to North Korean strikes against South Korea and allies around the region. This is not to mention the very slim possibility of an attempted attack on US soil.

How China will respond is also crucial. They’ve made statements before that if North Korea attacks the United States, such as in Guam, the Chinese will not prevent US retaliation, however, if the US strikes first, China gave vague warnings that they would prevent a US takeover of the peninsula. This being an obvious attempt at destabilizing the country by the United States, I have to assume China wouldn’t take it too well.

Beyond that, many North Koreans are going to die. The North Korean military has over 1 million soldiers. You don’t keep that many men in a country with only 25 million people if you aren’t planning to use them to subdue the population. The military is the crucial cog of the Kim regime’s ability to keep their population under control, even amid the nation’s horrific human rights record. They haven’t been sitting around waiting for fifty years, feeding all those soldiers, for the next war with America. Sure they say they do, but the military of North Korea is a force of subjugation. That said, when a major coup is orchestrated by the Americans, the North Koreans will come down on their people in any attempt to smash the insurgency before it can begin. Rife with paranoia and a justice system willing to shoot first and ask questions later for traitors, even among the General officers, many people are going to die for even being suspected of involvement in the plan.

In the worst case scenario, this may trigger the North Koreans to fully commit to war as a show of force to its people. Estimates hold that artillery could see over a million citizens of Seoul killed in the first hour alone and a full scale ground war would visit devastation unheard of in the 21st century.

Conclusion:

Whatever the case, this would bring about the war we’ve all been fearing for fifty years. What form that war could take is anyone’s guess. While brilliant, I have doubts that there would be enough time for the phone bomb to build the kinds of networks necessary for an insurgency to grow out of the ground, making way for a US led invasion. It would need to something coordinated to happen along with such an invasion for it to have any potency. What the world would like after that, heaven only knows.

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If the US Marines are the Navy’s assault force, why are they used for long-term missions like Iraq/Afghanistan?

This really doesn’t make sense until you start asking yourself how Navy Frogmen became the SEALs.
The underwater demolitions unit (called the frogmen) possessed a certain number of unique skills. They were awesome divers who were used to clear the way for Marine transport landings of enemy underwater mines. So they were good at diving, explosives, and early stealth. That made them the first to look at for other teams that needed to be made, such as sneaking into enemy territory via the water for secret squirrel recon missions. From there, they picked up some marksmanship abilities and traditional fighting tactics while maintaining their same old core skills like diving. A few decades later and we have a unit that looks nothing like the divers of WWII, but something much more akin to any other ground based infantry.
In fact their role has changed so much that Chris Kyle (American Sniper), perhaps the most famous SEAL today, often joked that wasn’t really a SEAL. He was just an “L”. To understand that, you need to know that SEAL stands for SEa Air and Land. Kyle’s joke referenced how much he loathed water operations and jumping out of planes. What was odd, was that two core skill sets to the Navy Seals a few decades ago, were so completely unnecessary in the wars of today, that Kyle was able to utilize his “L” skills alone to become the killingest sniper in US military history.
Now the SEALs haven’t lost their old abilities. The killing of the Somali pirates who took over the civilian shipping liner, made famous by the movie Captain Phillips, shows clearly how modern SEALs are still able to execute naval engagements with the same lethal precision as their heritage dictates.
Still, their maneuvering into more and more based land operations asks a few questions. The first to followers of military organization is, “What about DELTA?”
Delta is the United States Army’s primary direct action special operations unit. Traditionally, all the things we think about the SEALs doing, Delta would have done. All of it. So why all the redundancy? Well, the simple reason is… redundancy.
Having two forces with the skill sets needed today hurts no one… well there is an argument about the taxpayer, but that’s another question for another day. In either case, having both units available allows for specialization and evolution of the tradecraft of warfare. For example, Delta is better at black ops, often donning masks and blending in enemy locales vastly different from their own. The SEALs do it too, but not quite as well. The SEALs have more experience with water bound insertions, which isn’t really that useful today, but will be again at some point. The point is, they can handle problems differently, which gives the military as a whole, a better chance of success and new avenues to evolve in the future. For example, the Marine Corps has even finally gotten into the game with their own special forces direct action units built off the old recon units. They are called the Raiders, and if we think about a Marine Corps version of the SEALs and Delta… well, I just hope people don’t dither too much on getting their hands up because those guys are going to kill everything so hard.
Which brings me back to why the Marines are a land force. It might interest readers to know I was a Marine who spent my entire time operating in deserts, from Southern and Southwestern California, Yuma, to my favorite one, the deserts of Al Anbar Province Iraq. Lovely place. It’s like a beach with no water and the bikinis suck.
Anyway, the reason I was in Iraq is because the Marines have a few redundant skillsets. Like the Army, we are great warfighters, and on average, many would argue better, but limited by our smaller size and budget. This is because primarily because, many moons ago, we were tasked with the role of invasion. We would go into a country, deprive the bad guys of a few key assets, bloody them up really good with a few quick assaults and basically leave them completely fragmented by the time the much stronger, and larger, but slower Army came around to secure the field and mop up. This is well demonstrated in the wayGeneral Mattis directed Marines during the invasion of Iraq in 2003 to magnificent effect.Sometimes, the Marines are set up to do this completely without the aid of the Army, relying on nothing but naval support. Hence the question.
However, it doesn’t make sense to just abandon a mission three weeks after the invasion, hop back on our boats and wave a one fingered salute to the Army, saying to our soldier buddies, “Good luck, suckers.” No. We have the skills and we have the assets to do the job, so we are going to do it too. In fact, we were often sent to the extremely difficult regions, such as Al Anbar, currently in the news for being the central zone of occupation for Islamic State forces and housing their capital in Iraq.
So having said all that, the answer to “Why are the Marines used for long-term missions like Iraq/Afghanistan?”, the answer is simply, “because they can,” and more importantly, “because someone needs to,” because there simply aren’t enough who are both willing and able to do it.
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Navy to Open SEALs to Women.

​Nearly two decades after GI Jane, a story about the first Female Navy SEAL operator, the United States Navy is officially opening its most famous, and infamous division to women.

According to the Navy Times:

The Navy is planning to open its elite SEAL teams to women who can pass the grueling training regimen, the service’s top officer said Tuesday in an exclusive interview.

Adm. Jon Greenert said he and the head of Naval Special Warfare Command, Rear Adm. Brian Losey, believe that if women can pass the legendary six-month Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training, they should be allowed to serve.

“Why shouldn’t anybody who can meet these [standards] be accepted? And the answer is, there is no reason,” Greenert said Tuesday in an exclusive interview with Navy Times and its sister publication Defense News. “So we’re on a track to say, ‘Hey look, anybody who can meet the gender non-specific standards, then you can become a SEAL.'”

This news comes on the heels of the Army Ranger School graduating its first female students and following the first female Marines graduating from the School of Infantry in late 2013.

A key determinate in these arguments, as many are noting, is the line posed that says very clearly, “who can pass the grueling training regimen.” Those who have followed the story of Women in the Military and their acceptance in front-line combat operations over the last three years, as I have, know that even the victories which have been achieved have come at staggeringly high barriers to overcome. For example, the recent graduates of the Army Ranger School were military officers picked from the Academy to try for the school. The academies offer far higher physical fitness than is routinely demanded of most soldiers. Along with this fact, the two who graduated were of a collection of nineteen candidates who began the trials. Ranger training is extremely demanding, failing a full 55% of its male candidates. This is to also include the Marine Corps, first to attempt trials to allow women into the infantry, which only graduated its first female infantry troops in 2013. More noticeably, is the absence of even a single female officer to complete the notoriously physically difficult infantry officer course since the trials began following Secretary of Defense’s decision to rescind the 1994 direct-combat exclusion rule for women in January 2013.

What this means for the SEALs, we cannot know. Their INDOC and BUDS training is famous for being among the most terrifying in the world just to survive for even the most physically fit warfighters alive. What many of the previous trials which have shown for female infantry candidates so far, women are going to have a fight to succeed in the difficult training regimen. Regardless, this week has shown great strides towards making that a reality only envisioned in movies for the last two decades.