I'm constantly reading and watching the news, and being the current events junkie that I am, this North Korean nuclear crisis thing has become my Super Bowl. I find it fascinating. I've also observed this is a good time to be a retired General as they now have a steady paycheck playing armchair...uh...Generals on TV. But I've played Battleship, and seen Patton three times as well as Kelly's Hero's twice, so I know a bit about military strategy myself. Therefore here's my prognostication on who will be the last man standing:
First of all, there will be NO smoking holes in Korea, North or South, or anywhere else. No nukes will be expended in the making of this crisis. Behind-the-scenes diplomats will find a way to keep violence to a relative minimum.
Did anyone hear the report of the Chinese telling North Korea's Kim Jong Dung that they would have his back if he was attacked, but if he attacks pre-empitively, he's on his own? This is a big deal! I suspect the Chinese are actually rather scared of Kim themselves. The Chinese liked the N Koreans poking the West as it took unwanted attention away from their indiscretions, but now they're realizing the unruly child they enabled has become a nasty juvenile delinquent.
Meanwhile, the only advisers Pres Trump seems to pay attention to, General's McMaster, Mattis, Kelly, and perhaps Sec State Tillerson, will be calming the President down behind the curtain and looking for a way for the Prez to save face, without telling him what they're doing, of course. It's all about stroking his ego.
The mid-August deadline for Kim Jong Dong to fire off his missiles will come and go. The planned US/South Korean military exercises will go on as planned. Kim might launch a test missile into the Sea Of Japan, no where near Guam. Kim will go on local TV and strut his stuff, claiming he has backed down the Great Capitalist Satan.
We'll fly B-1's and B-2's back and forth south of the DMZ during our joint exercise with S Korea, shoot Kim the "Trump bird", and the President will claim on the Fake News Channels his tough talk saved the day.
The Short Fat One and the Tall Orange One will both enjoy plenty of fist bumps and back slaps at home, and things will return to the back burner where they've been for two decades.
Which will still leave Kim Jong Poop with nuclear weapons. We want him to give them up, and he'll steadfastly refuse. To Kim they're his security blanket. With those in his back pocket he knows the rest of the world won't take him out.
Our only hope will be for one of his own Generals to whack him, which we'll soon find will actually solve nothing. The N Korean's have no knowledge/history of how "democracy" works, so all we'll be doing is replacing one dictator with another. And then the new guy...let's call him Dung Slung Shit...will want nukes in his back pocket. *sigh*
Just as we'd rather there not be a nuclear China or India or anyone besides us for that matter, fact is that Genie is out of the bottle. Trump can't put it back any more than Obama or Bush or Clinton before him could. We'll just have to hope that we all understand the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction and sheath our nukes.
OK, so there's my latest prognostication. Maybe one of these days I'll get one right.