Subtle form of adult supervision exercised daily in both Pyongyang and Washington, D.C.

If one of these generals actually found himself in the position of having to stop Trump, he would face an agonizing decision. All his training tells him that he must obey civilian authority, and he will certainly be court-martialled if he disobeys a presidential order. On the other hand, he must not allow millions of human beings to die because of a stupid mistake.

Here’s the scenario. Late one evening Donald Trump is watching Fox News and a report comes on that North Korea is planning to launch a missile that can reach the United States. (Kim Jong-un’s regime has said it is going to do that one of these days—but only as a test flight landing in the ocean somewhere, not as an attack.) Mr. Trump misunderstands, and thinks Pyongyang is going to launch a missile at the United States.Photograph courtesy of Gage Skidmore

PUBLISHED :Monday, Oct. 16, 2017 12:00 AM

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