All posts by Bernd Pulch

Demographic Profile of Terrorists Post-9/11 Reveals Screening Implications

The following is a draft report from Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Intelligence that was obtained and published by Foreign Policy.

Page Count: 4 pages
Date: January 2018
Restriction: For Official Use Only, Law Enforcement Sensitive
Originating Organization: Customs and Border Protection, Office of Intelligence
File Type: pdf
File Size: 45,021 bytes
File Hash (SHA-256):CE410209C50668E2A75D5E002B2728EB4549C565CBCA1ED3FFC3D9DCAD12E177

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(U//FOUO/LES) CBP’s Office of Intelligence produced this document by request from CBP’s Commissioner on 19 December. This product examines 29 perpetrators of 25 terrorist incidents in the United States from October 2001 through December 2017 whom CBP/OI assesses were driven by radical Sunni Islamist militancy.1 This assessment covers the demographic profile of the perpetrators, consisting of age, citizenship, gender, immigration status, national origin, international travel and religious background. This assessment is intended to inform United States foreign visitor screening, immigrant vetting and on-going evaluations of United States-based individuals who might have a higher risk of becoming radicalized and conducting a violent attack. This information is cut-off as of 22 January 2018.

(U) Source Summary

(U//FOUO) We place moderate confidence on assessments discussed herein due to our reliance on information derived primarily from analysis of law enforcement databases, independent think tank studies, scholastic publications, and United States press reporting. We lack specific details on the perpetrators path to radicalization that would have contributed a higher confidence in our assessment.

(U) Key Findings

(U//FOUO/LES) The national origins of all but six of the perpetrators traced to the Middle East, South Asia or Africa, possibly reflecting the long-term difficulty for some Muslim immigrants to integrate into United States society.

(U//FOUO/LES) Most perpetrators resided in the United States for a significant period of time, signaling the need for recurrent screening and vetting over a long period of time.

(U//FOUO/LES) The presence of all of the perpetrators in the United States was lawful, highlighting that illegal immigration was not a factor in these cases.

(U//FOUO/LES) Despite the prominent role Muslim converts have played in radical Islamist terrorist incidents occurring in the West, only six of the perpetrators converted to Islam.

(U) Gender

(U//FOUO/LES) Males were involved in all of the attacks highlighted in the assessment, despite growing concerns, such as assessments by the Combatting Counterterrorism Center at West Point, regarding the increasingly prominent, and sometimes operational, role women play in radical Islamist militant circles, including their use by the Islamic State of Iraq and ash-Sham (ISIS).(2) There was only one incident, where a female, the wife of the male perpetrator, was also involved in carrying out the attack.

(U) Ages

(U//FOUO/LES) Case studies over the past few years conducted by both federal and private entities yielded similar age-ranges after reviewing various comparable subsets of individuals. Our study found the average age of the 29 perpetrators was 28 years, ranging from 17 to 49 years of age at the time they were arrested or killed. The average age of perpetrators who conducted attacks in North America and Europe following ISIS’ declaration of its self-proclaimed caliphate in June 2014 was a similar 27.3 years old, according to independent think tank findings.(3) According to one scholastic publication, the average age of United States individuals arrested due to their associations with ISIS was 26. (3) We assess that 14 out of the 15 individuals born outside the United States spent approximately 10 years in the United States prior to their attacks; the remaining foreign born perpetrator was a Canadian resident visiting the United States.

(U) National Origins

(U//FOUO/LES) The national origins of all but six of the perpetrators traced to the Middle East, South Asia or Africa, likely reflecting the long-term difficulty for some Muslim immigrants to integrate into U.S. society. Just over half of the perpetrators were born outside the United States and over four-fifths (86%) of those immigrated as a minor or resided for a significant period of time (approximately 10 years) in the United States, indicating that the radicalization of these individuals likely occurred after immigrating. The remaining perpetrators born outside the United States resided in the country for two years or less, suggesting that they could have arrived in the United States already radicalized. The presence of all of the foreign-born perpetrators in the United States was lawful, highlighting that illegal immigration was not a factor in these cases and that possibly some militants are heeding calls by ISIS and AQ to take up arms in their Western countries of residence as opposed to traveling abroad to participate in foreign conflicts.

• (U//FOUO/LES) Eight of the 14 U.S.-born perpetrators are first-generation descendants of South Asian, Middle Eastern or African immigrants. Of the six other U.S.-born perpetrators, five are of African-American heritage and one is Caucasian.

• (U//FOUO/LES) Among the 14 foreign-born perpetrators who immigrated to the United States, 4 entered the United States before they reached 10 years of age; another 5 perpetrators were between 13 and 17 years of age when they migrated. Four perpetrators migrated to the United States after the age of 18 and were residents for approximately 7 years. Only one perpetrator over 18 years old had been in the United States for a year or less.

(U//FOUO/LES) Fourteen of the foreign-born perpetrators were lawful permanent residents (LPR)2 of the United States and one was a lawful resident of Canada visiting the United States under a U.S.-Canada Trusted Traveler Program. Of the fourteen foreign-born individuals who were residents of the United States, 7 acquired permanent residency in the United States and 7 were naturalized citizens.

(U) Immigration Channel

(U//FOUO/LES) Of the 14 U.S. LPRs, five immigrated to the country as children of asylees; two were refugees; two acquired diversity immigrant visas, one was the child of a U.S. citizen; one was the spouse of a U.S. citizen; one was the child of an alien family member of a U.S. citizen; one was the child of an alien with an advanced professional degree; and one immigrated on a fiancé visa.

(U) International Travel

(U//FOUO/LES) Nine of the perpetrators traveled outside of the United States, within one to two years of the incident, to countries in the Middle East, South Asia or Europe, suggesting the travel may have played a role in their path to radicalization. Four individuals traveled to the Middle East or South Asia within three to four years of their attacks. Five out of the 14 U.S.-born perpetrators traveled to the Middle East or South Asia within 4 years or less of the incidents.

(U) Religious Conversion

(U//FOUO/LES) We assess that only six of the perpetrators-or about 20 percent converted to Islam, which is in line with a 2017 independent think tank that found 23-percent of United States Muslims are converts (4)- despite the prominent role Muslim converts have played in radical Islamist terrorist incidents occurring in the West, according to a body of academic, media and anecdotal reporting. (5) (6) (7)

(U) Outlook

(U//FOUO/LES) CBP/OI assesses that the factors contributing to an individual’s decision to perpetrate an act of terrorism reflect a highly personalized set of circumstances. The cohort of perpetrators represents migrants to the United States, U.S.-born citizens, including six converts to Islam with backgrounds that are comparable to other Sunni Islamist extremist cohorts. Demographic factors such as age, national origin, length of residence, immigration status or travel history can inform evaluations, but are not determinative, when assessing an individual’s susceptibility to violent extremism. While the sense of perceived marginalization of some Muslim immigrants may represent an important factor in the radicalization process, we assess with low confidence that the motivations of at least some of the perpetrators centered on their failure to assimilate in United States society.

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TOP SECRET – U.S. Army Threat Tactics Report: North Korea

Page Count: 53 pages
Date: October 2015
Restriction: None
Originating Organization: TRADOC G-2 ACE Threats Integration
File Type: pdf
File Size: 2,690,302 bytes
File Hash (SHA-256):345786D6CBC1D7FFEA6FC3D4854FFEE7EF825AFBF92F765C5123221FCF5D20A3

Download File

The Korean peninsula is a location of strategic interest for the US in the Pacific Command (PACOM), and many observers note that North Korea is an unpredictable and potentially volatile actor. According to the Department of Defense in its report to Congress and the intelligence community, the DPRK “remains one of the United States’ most critical security challenges for many reasons. These include North Korea’s willingness to undertake provocative and destabilizing behavior, including attacks on the Republic of Korea (ROK), its pursuit of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles, and its willingness to proliferate weapons in contravention of United Nations Security Council Resolutions.” Some of the latest evidence of irrational behavior is the elevation of Kim Jong Un’s 26-year old sister to a high governmental post late in 2014, the computer hacking of the Sony Corporation supposedly by North Korea during late 2014 over the possible release of a film that mocked Kim Jong Un, and the April 2015 execution of a defense chief for allegedly nodding off during a meeting. Over the past 50 years, North Korea has sporadically conducted operations directed against its enemies, especially South Korea. These actions included attacks on South Korean naval vessels, the capturing of a US ship and holding American hostages for 11 months, the hijacking of a South Korean airline jet, electronic warfare against South Korean signals including global positioning satellites (GPS), and assassinations or attempted assassinations on South Korean officials including the ROK president. The attempted 1968 Blue House Raid by North Korean elite military personnel resulted in the death or capture of all 31 infiltrators involved in the assassination attempt as well as the death of 71 personnel, including three Americans, and the injury of 66 others as the North Korean SPF personnel attempted to escape back to DPRK territory.

The purpose of this North Korean Threat Tactics Report (TTR) is to explain to the Army training community how North Korea fights including its doctrine, force structure, weapons and equipment, and the warfighting functions. A TTR also identifies where the conditions specific to the actor are present in Decisive Action Training Environment (DATE) and other training materials so that these conditions can easily be implemented across all training venues.

Executive Summary

  • North Korea is an oligarchy with Kim Jong Un as its supreme leader.
  • The DPRK is a militaristic society with about 1.2 million active duty personnel in uniform out of a population of 24 million with another 7.7 million in the reserve forces.
  • All military personnel serve under the umbrella of the Korean People’s Army (KPA); the Korean People’s Air Force (KPAF) and Korean People’s Navy (KPN) primarily support the KPA ground forces.
  • The KPAF focuses on homeland defense and close air support to the KPA.
  • The KPN’s primary mission is to protect the North Korean coastline and support the KPA special purpose forces (SPF) in mission execution.
  • Much of the equipment in all military branches is old and obsolete, but the KPA has concentrated its modernization efforts on missile technology that may provide the means to successfully launch a nuclear warhead.
  • North Korea possesses a nuclear weapon and is modernizing its missile fleet in order to increase the attack range for its nuclear arsenal.
  • North Korea possesses both chemical and biological weapons.
  • The KPA practices both passive and active camouflage to hide its units, headquarters, and other important resources from the air.

Weaknesses

Although the North Korean military may feature some positive attributes as a fighting force, the KPA also suffers from many weaknesses as well. Much of the military’s equipment is old and obsolete. The North Korean military consciously refuses to rid itself of any equipment and still operate tanks that date back to World War II. This wide range of military hardware from many generations of warfare also generates logistical issues. The KPA’s supply personnel must not only find the spare parts for a large variety of equipment, the KPA maintenance personnel must be well-versed in the repair of a great assortment of vehicles and weapons. In addition, the DPRK lacks the logistical capability to support the KPA beyond a few months. Due to the shortage of fuel and the cost to operate vehicles for a cash-strapped country, many of the KPA soldiers find themselves involved in public works projects or helping farmers bring in their rice crops. Any time spent in non-military support is less time that the KPA soldiers can spend training for combat. Even the mechanized and armor forces, due to resource restraints, spend much of their training time doing light infantry training instead of mounted operations. While KPA soldiers may be well trained in individual skills or small unit tactics, the amount of time spent on larger exercises pales in comparison to most Western militaries. Without adequate time and resources to practice large scale military operations, the KPA will always face a steep learning curve when the KPA is forced to perform them in actual combat for the first time.

The DPRK’s unorthodox use of provocation in order to obtain concessions from its enemies—especially the US, South Korea, and Japan—is a danger. One never knows what North Korea will do next as, in the past, the DPRK has sanctioned assassination attempts on South Korean political leaders and conducted bombings when South Korean contingents are in another country, unannounced attacks on ships by submarines, unprovoked artillery attacks, or has tunneled underground into another country. US military personnel stationed in South Korea must be prepared for the unexpected from the DPRK.

One of these incidents could ignite the Korean peninsula back into a full-blown war. While an armistice has been in place since 1953, an armistice is just a ceasefire waiting for a peace treaty to be signed or for the resumption of hostilities. Any conflict between North and South Korea would inevitably bring the US into the conflict as the ROK has been an ally for over six decades.

North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons and the missiles to transport it up to 9,650 km makes it a threat to US forces stationed in Korea, Japan, Alaska, or even the west coast of the continental United States. Even more concerning was the DPRK’s first successful test launch of a KN-11 missile from a submarine on 23 January 2015 since, in the near future, the North Korean submarines could silently move closer to their targets before launching a nuclear missile that would give the US less warning time. If the DPRK thought that the survival of its country or the Kim regime was at stake, North Korea might use any nuclear weapons at its disposal. The KPA also possesses chemical weapons and its doctrine calls for their employment. The DPRK is also involved in biological weapons research and would likely use those with offensive capabilities. US military personnel training for deployment to South Korea must be prepared to fight in a chemical, biological, or nuclear environment.

Revealed – US Army Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC) Moroccan Travel Control Detachment

US Army Counter Intelligence Corps (CIC)
Moroccan Travel Control Detachment – Arbaoua Section
French MoroccoCIC Agent Reports   JANUARY – OCTOBER 1944

6JAN44THE CIC FUNCTION IN TRAVEL CONTROL

23APR44Request for Aerial Survey along the Border

10MAY44Anti-Allied Sentiments

13MAY44Escaped Italian Prisoners of War

14MAY44Spanish Deserters

16MAY44French Deserter

30MAY44Clandestine Crossing of Frontier: Alleged French Agent

30MAY44Lack of Tires, B.S.T, B.S.M., Souk el Arba

7JUN44Spanish Deserters

7JUN44Spanish Fishing Boats off Moulay Bou Selham

7JUN44Illegal crossing of the frontier

20JUN44Ouezzane Espionage Ring

22JUN44Radio Sonde Transmitting Equipment Found

25JUN44Closing of Moulay Bou Selhem to Vacationists

9JUL44Frontier Guard System: Relaxation Frontier Controls

17JUL44Expected Parachute Landings: Capture Parachutists Algeria

17JUL44General Giraud Clandestine Crossing into Spanish Morocco

20JUL44Expulsion from Spanish Morocco

20JUL44Spanish Deserter

22JUL44Presence of ex-Collaborationists in Frontier Zone

24JUL44Re-establishment Strict Control Vicinity Souk el Arba

24JUL44Contraband Horses Destined for German Army in France

2AUG44Contraband Horses: Correction

2AUG44Anti-Allied Propaganda

5SEP44Arrest of Suspected German Agent

5SEP44Arrest of Suspected SRA Courrier

10OCT44Attempted Crossing of American Naval Officer

17OCT44Renewed Attempt to Cross the Frontier

13OCT44Documents by Spanish Information Service (OSS)

20OCT44GENERAL SITUATION REPORT: RELATING TO FRONTIER ZONE

LVMPD Preliminary Investigative Report 1 October / Mass Casualty Shooting

On October 1, 2017, over 22,000 people came together to enjoy a country music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada. On the third and final night of the festival, a lone gunman opened fire into the crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. The gunfire continued for over ten minutes, resulting in the deaths of 58 innocent concert goers and injuring more than 700. With law enforcement closing in, the suspect took his own life.

It is not standard practice for the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD) to issue an investigative overview related to an open case. Due to the magnitude of this investigative response and the number of victims associated with this incident, Sheriff Joseph Lombardo felt it was important to author an overview of all investigative work accomplished in the aftermath of 1 October. This report is not intended to be a comprehensive and final account of the facts and evidence gathered but rather an overview of the investigation. The investigation into this incident is on-going and a full comprehensive report will be released upon its completion.

This report will reflect the number and identities of victims known to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department to date. This information is vital in order to grant assistance, properly categorize the level of crime and most importantly, honor those who fell prey to this horrific act of violence.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department would like to recognize and thank all our local, state and federal law enforcement partners for their assistance with this investigation.

Incident

On October 1, 2017, at approximately 2118 hours, Mandalay Bay Security Officer Jesus Campos was assigned to check several Hotel Service Optimization System (HotSOS)1 alarms from various rooms inside the hotel. Room 32-129 was the last of the rooms Security Officer Campos was assigned to check.

Security Officer Campos was on the 30th floor and responded to the 32nd floor via the stairwell in the north end of the 100 wing. Security Officer Campos attempted to enter the hallway to the 100 wing but the door would not open. He took the stairs to the 33rd floor and used the guest elevator to access the 32nd floor. Once on the 32nd floor, Security Officer Campos entered the foyer leading to the stairwell. He discovered an “L” bracket screwed into the door and door frame which prevented it from opening. Security Officer Campos called his dispatch center with the house phone located in the foyer to report the discovery. The security dispatch center then called the engineering section to have the door checked.

Security Officer Campos heard what he described as a rapid drilling sound coming from room 32-135 after he hung up the phone. As he walked down the 100 wing hallway, Campos heard what he described as automatic gunfire coming from the area of room 32-135 and realized he had been shot in the left calf. He took cover in the alcove of rooms 32-122 and 32-124 and utilized both his cellular phone and radio to notify his dispatch he was shot. Security Officer Campos advised he was shot with a BB or pellet gun. While waiting for other security personnel to arrive Security Officer Campos continued to hear gunfire coming from the room.

Engineer Stephen Schuck finished fixing a leak in room 62-207 when he was directed to respond to the 32nd floor reference the bracket preventing the stairwell door from opening. Engineer Schuck used the service elevator in the 200 wing to access the 32nd floor. When he arrived on the 32nd floor, he gathered his tools and equipment and walked from the 200 wing to the 100 wing.

As Engineer Schuck walked up the hallway of the 100 wing, he observed Security Officer Campos poke his head out of an alcove. Engineer Schuck then heard rapid gunfire coming from the end of the 100 hallway which lasted approximately 10 seconds. When the gunfire stopped, he heard Security Officer Campos tell him to take cover. Engineer Schuck stepped into an alcove and gunfire again erupted down the hallway coming from room 32-135. The gunfire lasted a few seconds then stopped. The gunfire started again after a brief pause but Engineer Schuck believed it was directed outside and not down the hallway.

Inside the Las Vegas Village over fifty LVMPD personnel were on overtime assignments for the Route 91 Harvest Festival. The initial gunshots were heard on an officer’s Body Worn Camera (BWC). Officers and concertgoers initially believed the gunfire to be fireworks. As Paddock targeted the concertgoers with gunfire, officers quickly determined they were dealing with an active shooter and broadcast the information over the radio.

The crowd inside the Las Vegas Village started reacting to the gunfire and Jason Aldean ran off the stage. Officers and concertgoers began treating victims who were struck by gunfire. They also tried to get concertgoers out of the venue in a safe manner. Officers determined the gunfire was coming from an elevated position, possibly from the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Medical personnel were requested for multiple people struck by gunfire.

As the active shooter incident was occurring, two LVMPD officers were in the security office of the Mandalay Bay handling a call for service reference two females who were in custody for trespassing. The officers heard the radio broadcast of gunfire at the Route 91 Harvest Festival. Both officers, along with security personnel, exited the security office and responded towards the Las Vegas Village. As they were making their way through the casino, security personnel advised the officers of an active shooter on the 32nd floor of the hotel. The officers then directed security to escort them to that location. The officers and security personnel entered the Center Core guest elevators and were again advised the shooter was on the 32nd floor. The officers made a tactical deciscion to respond to the 31st floor and take the stairwell to the 32nd floor.

LVMPD officers converged on the Las Vegas Village and Mandalay Bay. Officers formed multiple Strike Teams and entered the Mandalay Bay from various entrance points. A team of  officers including a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Operator reached the 32nd floor via the stairwell in the 100 wing. Officers did not hear gunfire coming from room 32-135. Officers were able to manually breach the “L” bracket on the stairwell door and gain access to the hallway. Officers immediately observed a food service cart which had wires running from it to room 32-134 and prepared themselves for the possibility of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). The decision was made to use an explosive breach to make entry into room 32-135.

After a successful breach of the doors to room 32-135, officers entered the room and found Paddock deceased on the floor. Paddock appeared to have a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Officers cleared the remainder of the room and observed multiple rifles in various locations throughout the room as well as hundreds of expended casings. A second explosive breach was utilized to gain access to room 32-134 through the connecting doors. Immediately after the breach a SWAT officer negligently discharged his rifle. Officers cleared room 32-134 finding several rifles in the room.

Officers, medical personnel, and concertgoers continued the evacuation of victims in the Las Vegas Village venue. Several triage sites were established in the venue and surrounding area. Injuries ranged from being minor in nature to fatal. Hundreds of wounded were transported to area hospitals by ambulance and privately owned citizen vehicles.

The Killer Boss – Markus Wolf – The Movie

EXPOSED – U.S. Army Threat Tactics Report: North Korea

The Korean peninsula is a location of strategic interest for the US in the Pacific Command (PACOM), and many observers note that North Korea is an unpredictable and potentially volatile actor. According to the Department of Defense in its report to Congress and the intelligence community, the DPRK “remains one of the United States’ most critical security challenges for many reasons. These include North Korea’s willingness to undertake provocative and destabilizing behavior, including attacks on the Republic of Korea (ROK), its pursuit of nuclear weapons and long-range ballistic missiles, and its willingness to proliferate weapons in contravention of United Nations Security Council Resolutions.” Some of the latest evidence of irrational behavior is the elevation of Kim Jong Un’s 26-year old sister to a high governmental post late in 2014, the computer hacking of the Sony Corporation supposedly by North Korea during late 2014 over the possible release of a film that mocked Kim Jong Un, and the April 2015 execution of a defense chief for allegedly nodding off during a meeting. Over the past 50 years, North Korea has sporadically conducted operations directed against its enemies, especially South Korea. These actions included attacks on South Korean naval vessels, the capturing of a US ship and holding American hostages for 11 months, the hijacking of a South Korean airline jet, electronic warfare against South Korean signals including global positioning satellites (GPS), and assassinations or attempted assassinations on South Korean officials including the ROK president. The attempted 1968 Blue House Raid by North Korean elite military personnel resulted in the death or capture of all 31 infiltrators involved in the assassination attempt as well as the death of 71 personnel, including three Americans, and the injury of 66 others as the North Korean SPF personnel attempted to escape back to DPRK territory.

The purpose of this North Korean Threat Tactics Report (TTR) is to explain to the Army training community how North Korea fights including its doctrine, force structure, weapons and equipment, and the warfighting functions. A TTR also identifies where the conditions specific to the actor are present in Decisive Action Training Environment (DATE) and other training materials so that these conditions can easily be implemented across all training venues.

Executive Summary

North Korea is an oligarchy with Kim Jong Un as its supreme leader.
The DPRK is a militaristic society with about 1.2 million active duty personnel in uniform out of a population of 24 million with another 7.7 million in the reserve forces.
All military personnel serve under the umbrella of the Korean People’s Army (KPA); the Korean People’s Air Force (KPAF) and Korean People’s Navy (KPN) primarily support the KPA ground forces.
The KPAF focuses on homeland defense and close air support to the KPA.
The KPN’s primary mission is to protect the North Korean coastline and support the KPA special purpose forces (SPF) in mission execution.
Much of the equipment in all military branches is old and obsolete, but the KPA has concentrated its modernization efforts on missile technology that may provide the means to successfully launch a nuclear warhead.
North Korea possesses a nuclear weapon and is modernizing its missile fleet in order to increase the attack range for its nuclear arsenal.
North Korea possesses both chemical and biological weapons.
The KPA practices both passive and active camouflage to hide its units, headquarters, and other important resources from the air.

Weaknesses

Although the North Korean military may feature some positive attributes as a fighting force, the KPA also suffers from many weaknesses as well. Much of the military’s equipment is old and obsolete. The North Korean military consciously refuses to rid itself of any equipment and still operate tanks that date back to World War II. This wide range of military hardware from many generations of warfare also generates logistical issues. The KPA’s supply personnel must not only find the spare parts for a large variety of equipment, the KPA maintenance personnel must be well-versed in the repair of a great assortment of vehicles and weapons. In addition, the DPRK lacks the logistical capability to support the KPA beyond a few months. Due to the shortage of fuel and the cost to operate vehicles for a cash-strapped country, many of the KPA soldiers find themselves involved in public works projects or helping farmers bring in their rice crops. Any time spent in non-military support is less time that the KPA soldiers can spend training for combat. Even the mechanized and armor forces, due to resource restraints, spend much of their training time doing light infantry training instead of mounted operations. While KPA soldiers may be well trained in individual skills or small unit tactics, the amount of time spent on larger exercises pales in comparison to most Western militaries. Without adequate time and resources to practice large scale military operations, the KPA will always face a steep learning curve when the KPA is forced to perform them in actual combat for the first time.

The DPRK’s unorthodox use of provocation in order to obtain concessions from its enemies—especially the US, South Korea, and Japan—is a danger. One never knows what North Korea will do next as, in the past, the DPRK has sanctioned assassination attempts on South Korean political leaders and conducted bombings when South Korean contingents are in another country, unannounced attacks on ships by submarines, unprovoked artillery attacks, or has tunneled underground into another country. US military personnel stationed in South Korea must be prepared for the unexpected from the DPRK.

One of these incidents could ignite the Korean peninsula back into a full-blown war. While an armistice has been in place since 1953, an armistice is just a ceasefire waiting for a peace treaty to be signed or for the resumption of hostilities. Any conflict between North and South Korea would inevitably bring the US into the conflict as the ROK has been an ally for over six decades.

North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons and the missiles to transport it up to 9,650 km makes it a threat to US forces stationed in Korea, Japan, Alaska, or even the west coast of the continental United States. Even more concerning was the DPRK’s first successful test launch of a KN-11 missile from a submarine on 23 January 2015 since, in the near future, the North Korean submarines could silently move closer to their targets before launching a nuclear missile that would give the US less warning time. If the DPRK thought that the survival of its country or the Kim regime was at stake, North Korea might use any nuclear weapons at its disposal. The KPA also possesses chemical weapons and its doctrine calls for their employment. The DPRK is also involved in biological weapons research and would likely use those with offensive capabilities. US military personnel training for deployment to South Korea must be prepared to fight in a chemical, biological, or nuclear environment.