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Analysis: CIA Directors Pompeo, Petraeus & Brennan: 3 Views on North Korea

New York (GPA– This week saw both a speech by the current CIA director Mike Pompeo and an interview with the former director David Petraeus that gave two different interpretations of the current tensions with North Korea.

First up, is the current CIA director Pompeo, who spoke on Thursday at a meeting of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies National Security Summit. Although some members of the Trump regime are pragmatic when it comes to dealing with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), Pompeo decided to go the route of his boss and crank up the fearmongering.

Related: North Korea Reportedly Hacks South, Steals Military Assassination Plans

Pompeo told the audience on Thursday that the US is “running out of time” when it comes to seeking a diplomatic solution for the Korean Peninsula. This echoes the sentiment voiced earlier in the week by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that diplomacy would “continue until the first bomb drops,” implying that a war is still an option to “solve” the Korean issue.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo
Image: Wikimedia Commons

Pompeo also sounded a lot like Trump when he spoke on the DPRK’s weapons program, saying the country was probably “months out” from being able to strike the United States. According to Pompeo, “from a US policy perspective, we ought to behave as if we are on the cusp of them achieving that objective,” and that “They are so far along in that, it’s now a matter of thinking about how do you stop the final step.”

This statement from Pompeo also came at the same time that the media had begun reporting on the possibility that the US Navy Seal team trained to carry out a “decapitation strike” on Korean leadership would be participating in the joint US-South Korean military drills. While the Trump regime would like to pretend these things are unrelated, but if you were observing news like this from Pyongyang it’s not hard to see how it could be seen as a thinly veiled threat.

Whether it happens on Tuesday or a month from Tuesday, we’re in a time where the President has concluded that we have a global effort to ensure that [North Korean leader] Kim Jong Un does not obtain that capacity,” Pompeo added.

Related: Tillerson: US Ready To Negotiate With North Korea

David Petraeus Says Trump’s Threats Aimed At China

Later in the week, former CIA Director under Barack Obama, David Petraeus appeared on ABC’s “This Week” and tried to put some of the Trump regime’s policies in context.

David Petraeus
Image: Wikimedia Commons

According to Petraeus nuclear war with the DPRK “isn’t likely.” Instead, Petraeus said, the Trump policy for the DPRK “is a communications strategy that is trying to make sure that China understands that this administration is in a very different situation from any of its predecessors,” and “that North Korea on this president’s watch could have the capability to hit a city in the United States with a nuclear weapon.”

Petraeus says the statements by the Trump regime aren’t aimed at Pyongyang but instead is intended to let Beijing know, that “This is China’s decision to take, whether they are going to do, which they did do one time before, 15 or so years ago, which was to get North Korea back to the negotiating table, halt the missile and nuclear testing where it is right now.”

Petraeus explained:

Well, China has got to understand the new strategic reality that would result, which is very uncomfortable for them. If they didn’t like the air defense system, the anti-ballistic missile system that wept into Korea, they really won’t like all the other stuff that is going to follow, or that which will go into Japan. At what point do nuclear weapons have to go back into South Korea?

At what does Japan get truly offensive capabilities? What does Japan do about the nuclear issue? Does it gets its own nuclear program?

And this, I think, is what China has to really come to grips with, and then decide that once and for all they are going to dramatically tighten what goes in and out of Korea and that Russia does the same, and they all approve the UN Security Council resolutions that should, indeed, should do just that.

Obviously, this is just the opinion of the former CIA chief, but it does line up with the power over the DPRK ascribed to Beijing by the western media and the Trump regime. continuing this exaggeration on the flagship media shows like “This Week” only helps this narrative carry on inside the government even as China has been mostly compliant with the outrageous amount of US sanctions. Even former president Jimmy Carter disputed the idea of China having control over the DPRK in an interview over the weekend.

Related: Jimmy Carter Offers To Aid North Korea Negotiations

 

There was also a third CIA director to speak over the weekend, Pompeo’s predecessor John Brennan. Unlike Pompeo and Petraeus however, Brennan seemed to be seeking ideas to reinvigorate diplomatic negotiations.

John Brennan
Image: Flickr – CC – Obama White House

Speaking at Fordham University School of Law, Brennan told an audience that “I think the prospects for military conflict in the Korean peninsula are greater than they have been in several decades. I don’t think it’s likely or probable, but if it’s a one-in-four or one-in-five chance. That’s too high.”

Related: Beating The Drum For A “Good” Nuclear War With North Korea

In Brennan’s opinion, the best route for the US to take with the DPRK now is back channel negotiations to “allow these two individuals to save face,” referring to US President Trump and leader of the DPRK Kim Jong Un. “Having this back-and-forth on the public stage is not the way to de-escalate,” he added.

So there you have it. Three CIA directors, three totally different stories on North Korea. One may be more right than the others on what the US should do next, but that isn’t really the lesson of all this. The lesson is that the CIA is incompetent (see: history) and so are the directors, regardless of if they are in office, or collecting paychecks from news networks as members of the notoriously clueless pundit class.