As North Korea reportedly cancels the 60-year-old armistice that ended the Korean War and toughens its rhetoric toward the United States, “we’re about as weak as we’ve ever been,” retired Army Gen. Paul Vallely tells Newsmax TV in an exclusive interview.
“We’re really seen as a paper tiger in the world — and having been over to the Middle East twice in the last six months, we’re not respected,” Vallely, who served in the Vietnam War, tells Newsmax. “We’ve lost our credibility. We’re weakening our military power and capacity as everybody knows who watches television and reads the newspaper — and they see that.
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“They see us as very vulnerable,” he adds. “Russia sees us as very vulnerable. Iran, which is a partner in the nuclear build-up also sees us very weak. They’re a partner with North Korea and they do tests together.
“I feel very uncomfortable with the lack of knowledge and strategy in Washington right now, not only in the Pentagon but the State Department, CIA, as well as the White House.”
Earlier on Monday, North Korean state media said that Pyongyang made good on its threat to cancel the armistice over South Korea’s military drills with the United States and recent U.N. sanctions — though the government itself has made no official announcement.
Pyongyang also has vowed to launch a nuclear strike against the United States.
Vallely — the co-author of “Endgame: The Blueprint for Victory in the War on Terror” — tells Newsmax that he does not see a resumption of the Korean War anytime soon.
“The threats are there, and they’re getting very, very serious with North Korea. The North Koreans are very belligerent. They use a lot of psychological operations. This recent report of pulling out of the armistice agreement was released by a newspaper in North Korea, and as of today — not officially by the North Korean government — but I would suspect the paper is a mouthpiece for the government.
“Threat upon threat, and as they see us weakening in power around the world, they seem to be more and more belligerent — especially about their missile capability, launching a nuclear missile into the United States,” Vallely adds. “But the South Korean army is on alert now. They are very strong, in many ways — much stronger and much more effective than the North Korean army.
“We also have elements of our Pacific fleet in the area. We have the Japanese, who will always be on alert — and the proxy of China is North Korea, so you’ve got that chess-board being played.”
In light of the latest developments with Pyongyang, the United States may well have to adjust its foreign-policy priorities, Vallely tells Newsmax.
“We need to have a forward strategy. There appears to be none,” he says. “What is the strategy in the Middle East? If it, in fact, is to stand by and watch what happens over there — where we still get a great percentage of our oil products, oil supply — you take the Far East with China and their cyber terrorism against America, these are not our friends and we have to understand that.
“That’s why you have to have people who have a strategic understanding of what’s happening, and we have to balance our forces and budget for our forces to counter the threats that are out there — whether they be from Iran, from Hezbollah, from Venezuela, where the Iranians are putting in capability each and every week. So our borders are a problem.
“What’s our strategy on the borders?” Vallely asks. “What is our strategy with North Korea? More sanctions? They don’t really care. They’ll work around it and China will support them. So you can’t just do sanctions. Sometimes, you have to have a strong fist and do what’s right — and you can do that by having a good strategy.
“We don’t have to put bases all over the world,” he says. “We can hit any target that’s a threat to the United States — any time, 24 hours a day.”
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