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From our Expert Voices conversation on war with North Korea.

Any military option to strike North Korea's nuclear arsenal would be more likely to result in its use than its elimination. Doing so would endanger millions in South Korea, Japan, and, now, the U.S. — and possibly draw us into a war with China.

The Trump administration's flirtation with military options and their hopeless pursuit of denuclearization has caused it to neglect the primary military objective: maintaining stability. This means deterring a nuclear North Korea, assuring American allies, and eschewing threats that could provoke the regime to start a nuclear war.

North Korea must be convinced that it cannot degrade allied posture by acting out and that it cannot cover conventional aggression with nuclear blackmail. Our allies must believe that the United States will not abandon them if they are attacked.

Bottom line: The U.S. must undertake new deployments of unambiguously defensive systems to guard against North Korea's submarines, missiles, and special operations forces. Neither we nor our allies should threaten North Korea's stability or its leadership. At the same time, a direct approach to Pyongyang could trade symbolic B-1B flights for limits on missile tests and deescalate the situation.

Read the other experts:

Go deeper

Updated 6 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Omicron variant lifts Moderna's stock price — CDC strengthens COVID booster recommendation.
  2. Politics: Biden says fight against Omicron won't include "shutdowns or lockdowns."
  3. States: Federal court blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for health workers in 10 states — NYC urges masks indoors "at all times" regardless of vaccination status — New York declares state of emergency amid concerns over Omicron.
  4. World: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating worldWHO warns against travel bans on southern African countries — First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Updated 15 mins ago - Sports

College football gone mad

Former Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly walks in front of his players. Photo: David Madison/Getty Images

In the span of two days, the head coaches of two of the biggest college football programs in America have jumped ship, wooed by even greater challenges — and the almighty dollar.

Driving the news: Lincoln Riley is ditching Oklahoma for USC in a deal reportedly worth $110 million. LSU poached Brian Kelly from Notre Dame with a reported 10-year, $100 million contract.

Media startups anxiously await BuzzFeed’s stock market debut

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Digital media companies considering going public are watching BuzzFeed's expected stock market debut next week to see how investors will respond.

Why it matters: A slowdown in SPACs (special purpose acquisition companies) earlier this year pushed some digital media companies that were considering going public via SPAC IPOs away from the idea, such as Vice.