There was utter confusion on the so-called pre-emptive strike on North Korea by the United States with the involvement of the movement of the US aircraft carrier Carl Vinson into the Sea of Japan. It is now revealed that there were huge gaps in communication between different agencies in the administration that led to panic situations in the Korean peninsula.

How the events unfolded

New York Times reports that the White House had declared that sending an American aircraft carrier into the Sea of Japan would act as a deterrent to North Korea and would throw up additional options for President Donald Trump more options.

In fact, the president himself had indicated that he would send in an armada. However, Carl Vinson was, at the time, headed to participate in joint exercises with the Australian Navy in the Indian Ocean and the venue was 3,500 miles southwest of the Korean Peninsula.

Moreover, the defense secretary, Jim Mattis confirmed that a flotilla was headed toward the waters off North Korea. That led to a panic situation because the media in East Asia went to town with the news of a pre-emptive military strike by the United States. People saw it as evidence of the President’s bold style of functioning following the missile attack on Syria.

Things began to happen too fast for comfort and the Pentagon officials were clueless on how to rectify the damages.

How to control such situations

The actual facts were revealed only when the US Navy posted a photo online. In that photo, Carl Vinson is shown sailing south through the Sunda Strait which separates the islands of Java and Sumatra. The photo was apparently taken four days after the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, had described its mission in the Sea of Japan.

Anyway, the Carl Vinson is at last headed towards the Korean Peninsula but officials of White House have refrained from making any comment on this confusion. It feels the Pentagon would be in a better position to issue clarifications.

This is obviously a case of over-enthusiasm on the part of certain sections of the administration and can be likened to the saying of too many cooks spoil the broth.

Donald Trump is new to the job but those who handle the administration must rise to the occasion and take corrective measures to ensure that any message that goes out is unambiguous. They must always provide authentic information to the highest level of the hierarchy to avoid embarrassments. In this instance, action would probably be taken against those who erred but, the fact remains that the damage is done. It was an avoidable incident and must not be repeated.