The Buzz

5 Ways the U.S. Navy Could Destroy North Korea in a War

Each of the four converted boats can carry up to 154 Tomahawk missiles. Low flying and precision guided, Tomahawks have been the first wave of U.S.-led attacks since the 1991 Persian Gulf War, and were used most recently in the attack on the Syrian airfield at Shayrat. A war in Korea would be no different, with Tomahawks striking North Korean air force bases, command-and-control centers, air-defense sites and other facilities. The Ohio-class submarines are also capable of transporting Navy SEALs, bringing them and their Seal Delivery Vehicle mini-submersibles near enemy coastlines for infiltration purposes.

5 - Nimitz-class Aircraft Carrier

For more than seventy years, aircraft carriers and their air wings are some of the most versatile naval platforms around. Carriers filled an important role in the Korean War, providing invulnerable platforms for air superiority, strike and ground-attack missions that the North Koreans—and later the Chinese—could not touch. Sitting a healthy distance away from shore-based guns, aircraft carriers could launch their planes and strike anywhere in the country.

In the event of Korean War II, the Seventh Fleet’s USS Ronald Reagan, as well as any other carrier operating in the area, will fulfill a similar role. With two major U.S. Air Force bases in South Korea to cover near the DMZ, the U.S. Navy’s flattops and their four squadrons of Hornet and Super Hornet fighters can concentrate on targets farther north, or in support of a seaborne invasion. Highly mobile and capable of relocating hundreds of miles a day, they can adjust their position to support an advance by Army and Marine units across the country.

Kyle Mizokami is a defense and national security writer based in San Francisco who has appeared in the Diplomat, Foreign Policy, War is Boring and the Daily Beast. In 2009 he cofounded the defense and security blog Japan Security Watch. You can follow him on Twitter: @KyleMizokami.

Image: Reuters