Donald Trump’s available options to deal with North Korean tensions were examined by Cedric Leighton
In an exclusive interview with Express.co.uk, CNN military analyst Cedric Leighton warned that the US President acting on his persistent claims to bring “fire and fury” on Kim Jong-un’s regime would have “many faults” in reality.
He said: “Donald Trump’s rhetoric at some points in time would indicate that he would be open to the idea of a quick military conflict.
“The problem is that the idea of a quick military conflict has many, many faults.
“Usually the conflicts end up not being quick, they end up being protracted and in any protracted conflict there is the risk of the unexpected result.
“You look at recent American experiences in Iraq, you look at the whole Vietnam situation, you look at all the different wars that the United States has fought in the 19th and 20th century, you know both the US and the UK, you know the idea of 100 years ago in World War One that we’d be home by Christmas.
“You know that kind of mentality is, I think, faulty because there are so many unknowns any time you start committing forces into battle.
“I do think that President Trump’s advisors certainly have had experiences with warfare and they understand that any type of movement towards conflict would have unforeseen consequences and unforeseen results and I think they would in many cases do their best to try and avoid getting us into a situation like that.”
The military expert also explained that a number of systems remain in place to ensure that Donald Trump would be unable to start World War 3 without unequivocal support.
Mr Leighton added: “The hope is that in the end better wisdom will prevail.
“The other part of this though is that there are a lot of control mechanisms in place that should prevent the unleashing of a war in an area at a time where we don’t want to fight that kind of a war.
“So it becomes a big issue, but one in which there is certainly precedent for taming the desires of some people to go to war, but that would be a decision that should be taken very, very carefully and should be avoided as much as possible.”
The military analyst examined what he believes is the most plausible solution to the ever-increasing tensions between the US and North Korea.
He stated: “Well both sides have painted themselves into a corner but I think at some point there will be a negotiation.
“The North Koreans will want to be recognised as a nuclear power and the truth of the matter is, independent of any government position or wishful thinking, North Korea is a nuclear country and that of course calls into question such things as the international nuclear non-proliferation treaty.
“It calls into question really the entirety of US policy in the region for the past several decades but at some point we have to deal with reality.
The military analyst warned of a ‘substantial risk of miscalculation’ during a negotiation period
“So what I believe will happen is the North Koreans and the Trump administration will find a way to communicate with each other, whether that is through China or other means but until that point they will use this time to throw a lot of rhetorical barbs in each other’s faces.”
However, the military analyst warned of a “substantial risk of miscalculation” during a negotiation period and declared that having the “cool heads” in the room prevail will be essential in diffusing tensions with the hermit kingdom.
Mr Leighton went on: “However there is also the substantial risk of miscalculation, but if they continue to just talk to each other or just talk at each other in this case and use the kind of rhetoric that they have used up until this point would be unsettling but it will not necessarily lead down the path toward war.
North Korea carried out a test of its most powerful missile last week
“What I think will happen is when they do realise that the best option is to actually talk, the talks will be conducted and there will be a tacit recognition that North Korea is a nuclear state, they will probably be asked to allow for some international controls of their nuclear programme, they had in the past agreed to a controlled regime which of course has fallen through.
“But that’s the kind of thing I believe will happen, it is really in the interest of both sides not to let this get too far out of control.
“But there’s always the risk that the rhetoric will spill over into actual action and people will begin to act not only based on what they should do rationally but also out of anger and that is the point where you need to be very careful and let as many cool heads as there are in the room prevail over both leaders who I think have a tendency to be a bit hot headed with their rhetoric.”