N.Korea Conflict 'Would Spread Beyond the Region'

      December 16, 2015 11:03

      Joseph Dunford

      Conflicts in the future will no longer be limited to a single country like North Korea but turn into "trans-regional, multi-domain and multi-functional" war, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford warned Monday.

      Dunford was speaking at a forum hosted by the Center for a New American Security in Washington.

      "If you would have thought about the Korean Peninsula some years ago, you would have thought about a conflict that we would have hoped to isolate on the Korean Peninsula. And then as the North Koreans developed ballistic missile capability, well, obviously that's started to affect other regional actors such as Japan," he said.

      "My assumption today is that it will be very difficult for any conflict to be isolated to a region." he said. "As you start to look at intercontinental ballistic technology, cyber capabilities, space capabilities, information operations and so forth, it's pretty hard to see how even a regional conflict would actually be anything other than trans-regional, multi-domain and multi-functional."

      He said that the current conflict with extremist groups like the ISIS is one example of such a trans-regional conflict.

      But he warned the current U.S. planning paradigm "is not really optimized" for such wider conflicts.

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