The New York Times is reporting that the Obama Administration was not entirely idle when it came to the North Korean missile threat. The previous president ordered a campaign of cyber and electronic attacks to disrupt missile tests being conducted by the reclusive communist country. While North Korea’s missile test program has had a great many failures, it is unclear how many of them are the result of American military action and how many of them were caused by North Korean incompetence. In the meantime, the country’s drive to develop an ICBM capable of delivering a nuclear warhead on the west coast of North America is proceeding.

The Trump administration is faced with some unpleasant options since current anti-missile defenses have been judged to be inadequate for dealing with a missile attack.

President Trump has vowed a North Korean test of an ICBM will not be allowed to happen. Preventing such a test will be a difficult proposition. The North Koreans have become adroit at hiding their missiles in caves and other hardened sites and moving launchers around by rail and truck. Barring a quick advance in missile defense technology, a first strike may be necessary to keep North Korean from threatening the American homeland with a nuclear attack. Of course, such an attack would likely lead to a second Korean War, and all that implies.

The long-term effects of the Obama-era campaign of cyber and Electronic War against the North Korean missile program have not been to stop it but to delay it just long enough so that it becomes a headache for Donald Trump and his national security team. Senate Democrats are not helping by their delaying tactics in getting Trump’s picks for the Defense, State, and Homeland Security Departments delayed.

Obama era cutbacks in military spending have also not been helpful, hence the desire by the Trump administration to increase defense funding to start repairing the damage. Just as President Obama’s inadequate efforts to deal with Iran’s nuclear and missile programs have placed America in danger from that quarter, it failed to deal with the North Korean threat, creating peril from the Pacific Rim.