A message from our Editor

By John Mecklin | June 25, 2019

I’d like to call your attention to an important article we’ve just published from the July/August issue of the subscription magazine, “What do Americans really think about conflict with nuclear North Korea? The answer is both reassuring and disturbing.” The article is free-access for two months.

Written by Stanford University experts Alida Haworth, Scott Sagan, and Benjamin Valentino, this piece reviews the results of a public opinion survey conducted this year that examines American attitudes toward a proposed preemptive war against North Korea.

Some of the findings:

  • Most Americans do not want the United States to launch a preventive war against North Korea.
  • But a large, hawkish minority—about a third of respondents—approves of a US preventive strike across scenarios—even when US use of nuclear weapons could be expected to kill 1 million North Korean civilians.
  • Americans are deeply misinformed about US offensive and defensive military capabilities, including the ability to find and destroy North Korean nuclear weapons without a ground invasion and whether missile defense would be certain to protect against North Korean nuclear missiles.
  • Trump supporters are particularly likely to hold dangerous misperceptions about war with North Korea.

Although it is good news that most Americans do not support preemptive war against North Korea, far too many don’t hesitate to approve, even if nuclear weapons are used in the attack. And far too many Americans are mistakenly convinced that such an attack would not result in harm to US citizens.

Please read this important article and share it widely. As always, we welcome your thoughts; you can reach us at [email protected].

The link to the article, published at Taylor & Francis Online, is here.

To subscribe to the bi-monthly magazine, click here.

John Mecklin

Together, we make the world safer.

The Bulletin elevates expert voices above the noise. But as an independent nonprofit organization, our operations depend on the support of readers like you. Help us continue to deliver quality journalism that holds leaders accountable. Your support of our work at any level is important. In return, we promise our coverage will be understandable, influential, vigilant, solution-oriented, and fair-minded. Together we can make a difference.

Get alerts about this thread
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments