The United States has started preparations to place its B-52 nuclear-armed bombers on combat alert for the first time since the end of the Cold War, according to the Defense One news outlet, citing US Air Force Chief General David Goldfein.
In an interview with Sputnik professor emeritus of political theory at Cambridge who has a long-standing interest in the politics of the Korean Peninsula, John Dunn, has said that both North Korea and the United States are playing an “extremely dangerous” game.
“It is very bad for any American presidency to have any other country that doesn’t have any other clear and mutual understanding about nuclear weapons to be in a position, in principle to attack the United States,” Dunn said, adding that now North Korea is probably capable of firing a nuclear device that could reach Guam.
“The United States has no coherent plan for what to do about North Korea. It is actually difficult to know what to do with rogue nuclear state, which has new other ways to securing continuation of its political safety,” Dunn said.
According to Defense One, Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana, home of the 2nd Bomb Wing and Air Force Global Strike Command, is currently being renovated and could soon house nuclear-armed B-52 bombers at the ready.
Goldfein and other senior defense officials stressed that despite the alert having not yet been given, it could come. If ordered the measure would be unprecedented. Nothing like this has been seen since 1991, the end of the Cold War.
Goldfein’s statements come on the heels of a new spike in tensions on the Korean Peninsula due to Pyongyang’s missile launches and a nuclear test as well as Washington’s repeated threats to resolve the crisis with force. In particularly, US President Donald Trump has threatened to take a "devastating" military option and "totally destroy" North Korea, while North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has warned Washington of "hardline countermeasures" against possible aggression.