With Bannon Out, Is War With North Korea More Likely: Here Are The Scenarios

Friday, August 18, 2017
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Aug 18, 2017

When just three weeks ago today Trump fired Reince Priebus and replaced him Gen. John Kelly, we said that “with a military veteran now whispering in Trump’s ear every day, Kim Jong-Un’s days are now numbered.” Then, just two days ago, Steve Bannon himself confirmed in an interview with The American Prospect, that when it comes to matters North Korean Bannon had been the biggest “dove” in the White House, and the natural anti-neocon foil to Kelly and Mattis, both of whom are quite eager and itching to launch a some military engagement against the Kim regime with the following surprising, “off the record” statement:

Contrary to Trump’s threat of fire and fury, Bannon said: “There’s no military solution [to North Korea’s nuclear threats], forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, they got us.” Bannon went on to describe his battle inside the administration to take a harder line on China trade, and not to fall into a trap of wishful thinking in which complaints against China’s trade practices now had to take a backseat to the hope that China, as honest broker, would help restrain Kim.

Bannon said he might consider a deal in which China got North Korea to freeze its nuclear buildup with verifiable inspections and the United States removed its troops from the peninsula, but such a deal seemed remote. Given that China is not likely to do much more on North Korea, and that the logic of mutually assured destruction was its own source of restraint, Bannon saw no reason not to proceed with tough trade sanctions against China.

Of course, the implication is that with Bannon now out, the probabilities of a real war with North Korea are substantially higher. How much higher? Well, for the answer take the following analysis from Nomura of 5 specific “scenario” outcomes, and 5-10% to the bellicose ones. As they stand currently, the breakdown is as follows:

Continuation of current trajectory: 60%
“Killer” saanctions by year end: 20%
War sooner rather than later: 10%
“Out of left field” event: 10%

Consider today’s departure of Bannon to be one such “left field” event, one which skews the entire matrix in a significantly pro-war direction.

The Rest…HERE

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