I know nothing ever seems like it will happen until it happens, but as much as North Korea has stamped its feet to get concessions in the past, the latest signs are very aggressive and are in the context of Kim Jong Il apparently being almost dead. So, the pretenders to the throne have to show they haaard.
The Koreas, along with Kashmir, are the two most important danger zones in the world. Whatever you think of the war in Afghanistan (I have always supported it), it at least gives us a footprint in the latter zone. We’ve, of course, long been present in Korea and have substantial forces nearby in Japan and other Pacific islands.
But what would we do in the case of total war between the North and South? Would we be more likely to go nuclear because we have fewer troops there than we used to, with so many in Iraq? I don’t know.
But I don’t think you can question that the burden on the military in Iraq—which was never any kind of threat to us—ongoing to this day has made it very hard for us to deal with other more dangerous places, Afghanistan included.
This is what happens when you get into a war/peace dichotomy. Saying you should fight no wars isn’t real. Saying that every war makes sense is stupid. We elect our leaders to be smart… Bush’s failures will be a problem for a long time yet.