NYT: Pentagon Is Afraid of What Trump Might Do on North Korea

Jon Chol Jin and Evan Vucci/AP

I barely know how to react to this stuff anymore:

The White House has grown frustrated in recent weeks by what it considers the Pentagon’s reluctance to provide President Trump with options for a military strike against North Korea, according to officials, the latest sign of a deepening split in the administration over how to confront the nuclear-armed regime of Kim Jong-un….The Pentagon, they say, is worried that the White House is moving too hastily toward military action on the Korean Peninsula that could escalate catastrophically. Giving the president too many options, the officials said, could increase the odds that he will act.

It’s possible, I suppose, that all these leaks are part of a carefully orchestrated plan to make sure North Korea really believes Trump will retaliate if they lob a nuke in our direction. They probably already know that, but a little extra insurance never hurts. Right?

But that’s not likely. This is not an administration known for its ability to create complex plans and keep them under wraps. Most likely, the Pentagon really is scared that Trump might decide to bomb North Korea just because it’s the opposite of what Obama did.


We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.