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Time to re-evaluate strategy with North Korea, Iran

For decades, U.S. military strategy could be focused on the single nation capable of launching an attack on our mainland, the old Soviet Union. A secondary, though still important, consideration was China.

There were no other major threats to Americans here in the United States.

That has changed, and more so during the past few months. North Korea now possesses missiles capable of penetrating as far into our country as Chicago. Pyongyang also has nuclear weapons and is working to miniaturize them for use as rocket payloads.

Meanwhile, Iran also has medium-range missiles and, despite a deal with former President Barack Obama’s administration, almost undoubtly is on its way to becoming a nuclear power.

Leaders of both countries hate the United States. And both North Korea and Iran are threats to every other nation in their regions.

It was clear to tens of millions of Americans during the Cold War that there could be no winner in a nuclear exchange between our country and the USSR. To a lesser extent, that is true of Iran and North Korea. Millions of people could die in a war involving either of those powers.

U.S. military officials have contingency plans to deal with virtually every potential enemy. But they admit war with North Korea or Iran, while winnable, would result in many casualties, including tens of thousands — at least — of Americans.

Clearly, it is time to reassess both our current strategies and our contingency plans involving the two rogue states. It may be time to view them with the same trepidation Americans once reserved for the USSR.