War Stories

Bill Broad and David Sanger seem to have nothing else to do in the twilight of their New York Times careers than beat the North Korea anxiety drum. In the tradition of Drew Middleton, who never met a general whose bugle he wouldn’t blow on page one, they continue to pen the creative nonfiction prologue of war with Kim Jong-un. Today’s installment, citing military and intelligence sources who do not rise to prominence in their profession by thinking thrice, fleshes out a narrative of high-level American nonchalance that let canny Kim join the nuclear club. If only all those national security careerists had been as motivated as Broad and Sanger, we wouldn’t be in this mess. Even dear old Dick Garwin, 89, the last of the H-bomb fathers, gets hauled out for a pipesmoke comment about “enormous advances” in computer modeling. And cars run better than they used to, too, readers. The one sure thing that will come from this ongoing Clancy-esque oeuvre is more money from Congress for the spooks and brass, who would be cashiered tomorrow morning if they dared feed any other message besides urgency to the Daily Planet.

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