There are genuine concerns that North Korea is determined to precipitate a nuclear war, and President Donald Trump has likened it to ‘the calm before the storm’ during a meeting with top military chiefs on October 6.

Therefore, the United States Air Force has instructed its nuclear-armed bombers to be on full alert to face any eventuality. This instruction has now been given for the first time since the end of Cold War, and the departments' chief of staff General David Goldfein has confirmed this.

The nuclear-armed B-52 bombers, positioned in the Barksdale Air Force in Louisiana, have been put on battle readiness to take to the skies at short notice.

Preparing for the worst

New Zealand Herald reports that General Goldfein has indicated that work has commenced keeping the Air Force base ready to face the worst. Officers have been identified who would be responsible to take the decision to fire. The General added that keeping the B-52 bombers ready for action is one of the several options available to counter the threats of a nuclear war with North Korea.

The attitude of Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, has become a matter of concern for not only the United States but for the whole world. Kim had said in April last he would destroy America, and the military top brass feels that it must be fully prepared to face any type of threat. The force should think out of the box about the deployment of the nuclear arsenal.

It must be borne in mind that it is no longer a bipolar world of the U.S. and Russia but, there are other countries in the field who possess nuclear capabilities. This paints a grim picture of the future.

War room strategies

The Barksdale Air Force in Louisiana is home to the B-52 bombers and the place where there would be action.

This base oversees the service's nuclear forces, and the present strategy is to keep the bombers in readiness to act as deterrents in case a nuclear war does break out with North Korea. Some buildings in the Air Force base have already been renovated to accommodate the crews of B-52 bombers.

There are other bases that handle nuclear bombers.

All these bases are building storage facilities for the new nuclear type of cruise missile that is under development. It is proposed to be a replacement for the 400-plus Minutemen III ICBM. Moreover, there would be two nuclear command planes which will visit the base regularly. In the event of a war, these planes would provide the launch codes to the bombers.

The United States is taking the threats from North Korea seriously, and have prepared action plans to counter them. Kim Jong-un has already identified a few probable targets, but it is difficult to predict whether he would choose one of those or pick a new one. Hence, the task of the war planners become that much more complicated.

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