Analysis: Is North Korea winning deterrence war with US?
Excerpt: Conventional wisdom says that if North Korea were ever to use its nuclear weapons, it would be an act of suicide. But brace yourself for what deterrence experts call the “theory of victory.” To many who have studied how nuclear strategies actually work, it’s conceivable North Korea could escalate to a nuclear war and still survive. Tuesday’s missile test suggests once again it may be racing to prepare itself to do just that — but only if forced into a corner. ... “The whole reason they developed the ICBM was to deter American nuclear retaliation because if you can hold an American city or cities at risk the American calculation always changes,” said Vipin Narang, an associate professor of political science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a nuclear strategy specialist. “Are we really willing to risk Los Angeles or Chicago in retaliation for an attack on a U.S. military base in the region?” he asks. “Probably not.” That, right there, is Kim’s big wager.