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The Guns of August Risk is Very High...

Aug. 11, 2017 (EIRNS)—"If you watch cable news or follow the President’s Twitter feed, you might be under the impression that the United States is heading to war with North Korea. But somebody, it seems, forgot to loop in the U.S. military," reports the Navy Times in an article posted today. The fact is, there is no mobilization of the U.S. military currently underway, despite the white hot rhetoric flying between Pyongyang and Washington. In Yokosuka, Japan, the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Ronald Reagan is at pier side, along with the 7th Fleet command ship, the U.S.S. Blue Ridge. No Marines are being loaded aboard amphibious ships, no sailors are being recalled from shore leave, no ballistic missile defense ships have been sortied to the waters around Korea, Japan or Guam, and no evacuation orders for family members of U.S. military stationed in South Korea or Japan have been issued, according to three sources who spoke to the Times. And while there’s been a lot of talk about B-1B bombers flying pre-emptive strikes against North Korea missile sites over the last few days, an Air Force spokesman told the Times that there have been no B-1 missions to Korea and Japan since Aug. 7.

What we’re seeing is the latest example of the war rhetoric far outpacing the facts on the ground, a U.S. official said on background this morning. "This may come as a shock, but the rhetoric doesn’t match reality," he said. "[I’m] worried about a ’Guns of August’ scenario, where we stumble into a conflict."

What the Times is attributing the whole scare of this week to, is the Washington Post report of Aug. 8 claiming that U.S. intelligence believes that North Korea can now fit nuclear warheads onto missiles.

"We went from 0 to 100 miles per hour because somebody decided it was a good idea to tell the Washington Post about an ... intelligence assessment and the President reacted to the story in the media,"

said one former Obama administration official who spoke on background. In fact, nothing has really changed. "We’ve known for years that Kim Jong-un has sought to miniaturize nuclear warheads," the source said. "What we are seeing is how echo-chamber of hyperbole can spin out of control to the point where the entire Korean Peninsula is on the edge of a nuclear crisis. That’s the power these leaks have now."

The "Guns of August" risk is, in fact, very high, as the United States has not canceled military exercises with Korea and Japan that are scheduled for this month. Not only is the U.S.-South Korean joint exercise Ulchi Freedom Guardian still scheduled to begin on Aug. 21, but Exercise Northern Viper 17 kicked off in on Hokkaido, Japan’s northern most island, on Aug. 10, involving 500 U.S. Marines and 18 U.S. F-16s from Misawa Air Base along with 3,000 Japanese troops. That exercise is scheduled to run through Aug. 28.