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  • During the Cold War, the Soviet Union was North Korea's lifeline, providing weapons,

  • supplies, training, and even some limited military assistance to the North Korean government.

  • While US and Soviet troops never clashed on the ground on the Korean peninsula, Soviet

  • fighters provided some limited cover over certain parts of North Korea, though refused

  • North Korea's requests to fly frontline combat support against American jets.

  • Without the Soviet Union, North Korea would have fallen to the South, and today the hermit

  • kingdom and the Kim family would not exist- a very obvious win for all of humanity.

  • Today, Russia engages in only minor trade with the internationally shunned kingdom,

  • and no longer directly finances or supports it.

  • With North Korea owing its existence to the old Soviet Union though, could North Korea

  • repay that favor by teaming up with modern Russia against its greatest international

  • rival: the United States?

  • Could North Korea and Russia team up to destroy the US?

  • We've looked at a potential conflict between the US and Russia before, and already determined

  • that the Russian military is simply not capable of winning a war against the American military.

  • The modern Russian military is made up of just over 1 million active-duty personnel,

  • with US forces numbering at about 1.4 million.

  • There isn't just a numbers disparity though, as there is also a training and morale disparity

  • between the two militaries- despite attempts to move to an all-volunteer force by the Russian

  • military, it is still overwhelmingly made up of conscripts, versus an all-volunteer

  • military fielded by the United States.

  • Conscripts historically greatly underperform versus volunteer military forces, and suffer

  • both from morale and training issues- two things which would be of grave concern to

  • a Russia fighting an uphill war against a more technologically capable opponent.

  • However, what if North Korea lent its forces to the fight, bolstering Russian numbers so

  • that they dwarfed America's?

  • With an active-duty military of 1.3 million, Russian and North Korean forces combined would

  • number at 2.3 million, outnumbering the US by 700,000- a significant advantage.

  • Of course in a real conflict neither side could use its full military in a conflict

  • against the other, as both sides in this hypothetical war would need to maintain military presences

  • in other strategically important areas.

  • Russia would still need to secure its eastern border against NATO's counter-attack upon

  • declaring war on the US, as NATO's charter states that an attack on one is an attack

  • on all, automatically triggering a declaration of war by the entire alliance on the aggressor.

  • Without the US's homeland and overseas forces stationed outside of Europe though, NATO would

  • be unable to prosecute a war against Russia, as Europe's militaries are simply too weak

  • to stand up to Russia in anything but a defensive war.

  • To make matters worse, some countries, such as Canada and Germany, are experiencing serious

  • logistical issues which leaves large parts of their forces combat ineffective.

  • In 2019 the German Air Force was incapable of sustaining the type of air operations needed

  • in a conflict against Russia due to a lack of equipment and maintenance issues with its

  • planes, with Canada suffering a similar issue and a fighter shortage that left it unable

  • to fulfill its commitments to North American aerospace defense.

  • Still, with Russian forces elsewhere, NATO could pose serious problems for Russia, and

  • thus Russia would need to retain a significant bulwark to deter against NATO aggression on

  • its eastern front.

  • North Korea also has strategic concerns that would leave it unable to fully commit its

  • forces to a fight against the US, as despite being the 25th most powerful military in the

  • world, it faces South Korea directly across the DMZ which is currently ranked as the world's

  • sixth most powerful military.

  • The United States perhaps though has a worse strategic picture than either of these two

  • nations, as its military forces are deployed around the world in a variety of strategic

  • hotspots, and very often its these military forces that ensure regional peace and stability.

  • Its large commitment in the Middle East ensures that conflict does not arise between historical

  • rivals such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, which would have devastating consequences for the

  • global economy.

  • Iran's strategic goals in a potential conflict against Saudi Arabia or the US is to shut

  • down the Persian Gulf oil trade, which thanks to the geography of the Gulf of Oman it could

  • easily do by threatening oil tankers with long range stand-off weapons that the US or

  • any of its allies could do little about.

  • Iranian special forces could even scuttle a tanker in the Suez Canal, yet another military

  • objective of Iran in case of war, which would choke off one of the world's most important

  • trade arteries for weeks, possibly months.

  • In the South Pacific, US forces help maintain the balance between China and its neighbors,

  • with China being a particularly bad actor in the region and bullying or outright stealing

  • territory and resources from nations like the Philippines, Vietnam, and others.

  • China and Japan, long-time rivals, also rely on the US presence to maintain stable relationships,

  • with the threat of American firepower backing up its Japanese allies keeping China's behavior

  • in check.

  • Realistically, both sides could only count on perhaps half of their total military power

  • in a conflict against the other, though in this regard the US has an advantage as it

  • has long operated its military under a doctrine that states it must be able to fight and defeat

  • two near-peer adversaries simultaneously, anywhere in the world.

  • For this reason the US maintains the world's largest sea and airborne mobility fleet, allowing

  • it to quickly move forces around the world to any conflict, but also giving it the advantage

  • of quickly replacing frontline forces in need of rest and recuperation with reserve forces

  • stationed elsewhere on peacekeeping duties.

  • This ability will insure the integrity of US frontline forces better than North Korea

  • and Russia, who both have major shortfalls in mobility and will be forced to leave their

  • frontline forces in-theater for longer, wearing on morale, equipment, and unit integrity from

  • casualties.

  • Mobility though is a major challenge for the Russian-North Korean alliance.

  • North Korean mobility is all but nil, with only a token air or sea-mobility force used

  • to counter South Korean advances into its territory.

  • Russia operates a far larger mobility command, though it is on its own barely enough to move

  • Russian forces in significant quantities anywhere around the world, and far short of what would

  • be needed for a major offensive against a military power such as the United States.

  • With only 12 of its heaviest transport aircraft, the Antonov AN-124 in service, the only aircraft

  • capable of moving heavy military equipment in significant quantities, Russia would be

  • hard-pressed to quickly move critical tanks, air defense assets, and artillery to the North

  • American continent for an invasion.

  • Its fleet of 109 Ilyushin II-76 aircraft could supplement that airlift capacity, but on their

  • own these aircraft would be able to move perhaps a platoon's worth of soldiers and their equipment

  • and one main battle tank per flight.

  • At sea, the Russian navy doesn't fare much better, with a fleet of only about 20 landing

  • ships with another two in reserve.

  • Each of these ships could carry around 20 tanks and up to 425 troops, and even if Russia

  • could muster its entire mobility fleet at once- which is not realistic as due to maintenance

  • and retrofit requirements no navy on earth ever has full use of all its ships at any

  • one time- Russia could still only move 440 tanks and perhaps two regiments of infantry

  • per sortie.

  • Even with no casualties amongst the landing ships, and no equipment breakdowns through

  • perhaps some miracle, it would take over six months to move the entire North Korean and

  • Russian military to North America.

  • Deciding on where to land in the US though would be vital for the Russian/North Korean

  • alliance, and there are few good options.

  • Even if we ignored the reality of NATO or South Korea, Australia, and Japan coming to

  • the US's defense, and Russia could concentrate its forces for an assault on North America,

  • it would still need to get through the teeth of the American navy.

  • An invasion of America would require months of preparation, moving naval and air assets

  • to Russia's west coast- which would afford the US just as much time to prepare to counter

  • such an invasion.

  • With the US concentrating its naval forces in the Pacific, the most direct route would

  • be the best route, with Russian/North Korean forces striking directly into Alaska to secure

  • a foothold on North America.

  • Anchorage would be the most ideal target for an invasion, as it holds a large deepwater

  • port that would make it possible to quickly offload forces.

  • An assault against any other part of the Alaskan coast would require the use of landing craft,

  • something which is also in short supply in the Russian navy.

  • Invading Alaska poses several problems, as the Japanese found out in World War II.

  • First, it's too far away from the American heartland to pose any serious economic or

  • industrial risk to the US's warfighting effort.

  • While oil-rich, the US would easily be able to supplement its consumption via the Gulf

  • of Mexico or even overseas sources, and the seizure of Alaskan oil fields would result

  • in extremely minor economic harm to the US economy.

  • Still, with such limited mobility assets, Alaska would be the best bet for the alliance

  • to gain a vitally important foothold in North America.

  • Russian invasion craft however would face the full wrath of the world's largest submarine

  • fleet, in an environment that is keenly suited for submarine warfare thanks to the turbulent

  • nature of the Bering Sea.

  • Even in summertime the Bering can be treacherous to cross, and winter operations for heavy

  • military cargo craft would be all but impossible.

  • Anti-submarine operations in rough seas are an extremely dicey proposition, and while

  • Russia does maintain a capable attack submarine fleet, it's dwarfed in size and capabilities

  • by the American fleet.

  • To make matters worse, Russia only operates a single aircraft carrier, and the nation

  • severely lacks in aerial refueling craft.

  • As if that wasn't bad enough, only a portion of the Russian air force is even capable of

  • in-flight refueling, meaning that for the crossing across the Bering Sea, the invasion

  • fleet would be largely without air cover.

  • The US on the other hand has two major Air Force installations in Alaska, Eielson and

  • Elmendorf air force bases, and in the months leading up to the invasion would quickly expand

  • their capacity to host the rest of the significantly large American air force by building extra

  • runways, hangars, and maintenance facilities.

  • Even without the use of its 11 aircraft carriers, of which realistically only perhaps five would

  • be available for combat ops at any one time, the US Air Force would easily defend Alaska

  • from invasion, and with a fleet of about 450 aerial tankers- the largest in the world-

  • American jets would have the range to cover any possible invasion avenue.

  • With 31 AWACs aircraft- or Airborne Warning And Control System- in its fleet, the US air

  • force would be able to supplement its land-based radar coverage to detect Russian ships and

  • air forces at great ranges.

  • Russia on the other hand only operates about 15-19 AWACS systems, and despite their long

  • range the lack of air refueling capabilities in the Russian Air Forces would mean very

  • limited sortie rates and loitering times both.

  • In effect, a serious deficiency in airborne radar, aerial refueling, and military transport

  • would make an invasion of Alaska completely impossible.

  • The logistics simply don't exist for the alliance to make such an attempt, and with major Army

  • bases in Alaska and fast rail and airborne transport capabilities by the US, even if

  • Russian landing craft managed to make it through the teeth of the US Navy and Air Force both,

  • they would be completely overwhelmed by American land forces and destroyed in a very short

  • matter of time.

  • An attempt could be made to cross across the North Pole's ice cap, though such an attempt

  • would have to be done in winter, meaning horrible weather conditions which would wreak havoc

  • on men and equipment both.

  • Then there's also the problem of extended supply lines, and even with ad-hoc airfields

  • quickly built on the ice, the invasion force would still lack the air cover needed to be

  • protected from the American air force.

  • Even if by some miracle the alliance managed to take Alaska- which let's be clear, this

  • is a complete strategic impossibility- the United States and its warfighting capability

  • would be negligibly affected by the invasion.

  • The alliance would have to push into the continental US to seriously damage its industrial and

  • military capabilities to wage war, and that would mean pushing through Canada and adding

  • yet another combatant to the fight as Canada would under no circumstances allow such an

  • invasion force to simply stroll through its territory.

  • To make matters worse, the force would have to move through very difficult terrain which

  • would heavily favor American and Canadian defenders, and as it moved further and further

  • south, it would face even greater numbers of American air forces.

  • In Alaska, American air forces would be limited by the physical space available on air fields

  • to host them, but in the continental US, the widespread number of large civilian airports

  • and military air bases means that the vast American Air Force would be able to be brought

  • down on the invasion force in full effect, while Russian forces would still only be able

  • to operate a token number of aircraft from seized Alaskan and Canadian air fields, and

  • only operate at limited ranges due to a lack of aerial refueling assets.

  • North Korea would be able to give Russia the numbers needed to seriously challenge the

  • United States, but in terms of technology and additional assets it would offer very

  • little to the alliance.

  • If anything, the added burden of supplying and transporting North Korean troops might

  • even seriously damage Russia's own capabilities, after all there is little possibility that

  • North Korea could actually maintain the supply requirements of its vast military past a few

  • weeks.

  • In the end, as we've seen before countless times in these scenarios, America's homeland

  • could never be breached by an invading force due to the current lack of mobility and logistical

  • support aircraft and ships amongst the world's navies.

  • If any nation on earth were to attempt it, they would need to heavily invest in building

  • at least as large a mobility and logistical fleet as the US, because it doesn't matter

  • how many guns you have- if you can't move them in significant numbers quickly enough,

  • any invasion is bound to fail.

  • Wanna see how the US would fare against the entire world trying to invade it?

  • Check out our video US VS the World, who would win?

  • Or check out this other video instead!

During the Cold War, the Soviet Union was North Korea's lifeline, providing weapons,

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Could North Korea And Russia Team Up to Destroy The United States of America?

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    Summer posted on 2021/07/08
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