Retired Military Chiefs Caution Trump Against North Korea Strike

Retired military officials warn that even a limited strike could have devastating consequences.

Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of America's Joint Chiefs of Staff, visits Beijing, China, July 11, 2011
Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of America’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, visits Beijing, China, July 11, 2011 (DoD/Chad J. McNeeley)

The Financial Times quotes four retired American military officials cautioning President Donald Trump against attacking North Korea.

  • William Fallon, former commander of Pacific Command: “If we’re serious that we will not allow North Korea to have a nuclear capability, then you better be prepared to go all the way and I don’t know how you can do that without sending ground troops.”
  • Timothy Keating, another former head of Pacific Command: “I hope that calm heads would prevail and explore any and every diplomatic option short of military activity.”
  • Michael Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff: “If I was Japan or South Korea, I would be asking ‘What are we, chopped liver?’ The US is supposed to be protecting them.”
  • James Stavridis, former NATO supreme allied commander, sees “no military options which would result in fewer than several hundred thousand casualties and perhaps as many as two to three million.”