ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on December 26th, 2006 at 6:54 pm

Korean Government Cuts Funds for USFK Relocation

While the Pentagon has remained silent about the announcement from the Korean government that they plan on delaying the USFK relocation until 2013, the Korean government has gone ahead and cut funding from next year’s budget for the project:

The government’s request for 158 trillion won in general accounts was reduced by 1.46 trillion won, while 110 billion won was added to its original request for 6.7 trillion won in special accounts.

Some of the significant cuts came from requested funds for inter-Korean cooperation and social employment, which were each cut by 150 billion won from original requests.

The Assembly also cut by 198 billion won the fund allocated for the relocation of U.S. troops stationed here.

So basically since the Pentagon hasn’t come out and vigorously defended the agreed upon the timeline the Korean government has been able to go ahead and cut funding which means that if the USFK relocation is to happen on time by 2009 the US government will have to fund the move itself. 

USFK said last week the move was going to happen on time, but I don’t see how that can happen when the farmers haven’t even been given a deadline to move off the annexed land and now there is no money available to fund the move.  I’m beginning to wonder if the Pentagon is getting ready to approve some money for a move, not to Camp Humphreys, but to CONUS.

HT: Nomad

  • StKY
    12:29 am on December 28th, 2006 1

    Oh, our service men/women are leaving Korea for CONUS without a doubt. CONUS via Kuwait/Iraq.

    We are outta here for the most part mentally already as far as the Pentagon is concerned.

    The speed of our withdrawl really will depend on how much the US gov't wants to be used in the upcoming S. Korean elections as ammo for President Noh's successor.

  • GI Korea
    3:48 am on December 28th, 2006 2

    I hope you are right but people have been saying we are going to be out of Korea since the Carter administration and guess what USFK is still there. It will take determined political leadership in DC to make it happen and right now everyone is so distracted by Iraq the Korean government sees this as an opportune time to play the delay game again to keep the status quo.

  • usinkorea
    5:04 am on December 28th, 2006 3

    The silence from Washington tends more to make me think that the post-Rumsfeld Pentagon is going to revert back to the status quo – which is exactly having plans sit on the shelf until they are so old, they have to be reworked —-

    —-and Yongsan and the US Embassy remain in place year after year — and used a couple of times a year as a way to complain about the US presence in SK.

  • Misuchan
    12:37 pm on December 29th, 2006 4

    My Sergeant Major said the other day (who has been in Korea the majority of his career – 30 years) that they have been talking about moving down to Humphreys his entire career. I do agree with usinkorea, but with the current administration, I see a lot more than just sitting on the shelf. General Bell is many things, but one thing he is not, is a punk. Gen. Bell may not have very much say so in the consolidation, but his voice is heard by someone higher. Even though I don't really support Bush, obviously the man tries to follow through with his decisions, moronic, selfish, or not. I think that all it will take is Roh to piss Bush off a couple more times and it's all over.

  • GI Korea
    10:53 pm on December 29th, 2006 5

    The problem is that President Bush isn't the one that was really pushing the USFK move, it was Rumsfeld. Rumsfeld was dead set on making this move happen, where with President Bush I believe it is more of peripheral issue that he is not following to closely and would be more than happy to pass th buck on this to the next administration just like every other prior US administration.

    Sec. Def Gates is the one that needs to take up this issue as strongly as Rumsfeld did and right now he isn't saying anything because like Bush he is solely focused on Iraq.

    As long General Bell doesn't have the political support from Washington his hands are tied no matter how strongly he wants the move to happen.

  • usinkorea
    6:08 pm on December 30th, 2006 6

    I think we all agreed the move would not happen by 2008.

    So, all of the reformation of USFK was always going to take longer than Bush's term.

    That is why I have never really tipped the balance in my thinking to believe Yongsan was going to move or USFK leave.

    Rumsfeld set things in motion a whole lot — but did he create a thing that has a momentum all its own? I can't tell. I doubt it.

    We have a new congress with the democrats having more power than at anytime since the big moves in Korea got started under Bush. The republicans are on the defensive and will be looking to set a new message and tone and look at everything – including overseas defense posture.

    Another key factor — Rumsfeld had problems within the Pentagon and out in the field himself. It was bound to happen. Any civilian appointed Sec. of Defense who tries to shake up and reform such a beheamouth is going to run into opposition.

    A key question:

    How many Rumsfeld-like top brass was Rumsfeld able to move into positions that they will maintain after the next election?

    Is there a new breed of leaders who want out of Korea? Or, were there already a lot of top brass who would favor reshaping USFK who just needed a Rumsfeld for a few years to light the fire and make it seem possible to reshape USFK.

    Some of the long time jounalist Hollaran's notes over the last few years have shown signs that the top brass who does speak to him have not been thrilled about USFK's position in Korea.

    I do not see anyone —– democrats, republicans, of top military people bringing to the table a strong policy of keeping USFK as it has been.

    I mean, I don't see the powers that be doing like they did with Carter and fighting against massive changes in USFK.

    But, the problem is ——-

    to fundamentally alter something as massive (and political) as USFK —

    requires people with power and influence pushing them hard, and it is still an uphill battle.

    And I have doubts now that Rumsfeld is gone that enough people of influence in the US government and military will make the effort needed to reform USFK along the lines Rumsfeld called for.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    10:25 pm on December 30th, 2006 7

    I know General Bell was specifically brought in to conduct USFK transformation because Rumsfeld was impressed with his efforts in Europe in transforming US forces there. General Bell has been determined on shaking things up in Korea but now it appears the Pentagon has put USFK on the back burner and it is 24/7 Iraq again.

  • usinkorea
    1:12 am on December 31st, 2006 8

    What transformation did he do in Europe?

    I have no idea, really.

    I don't think we downsized in a major way in Germany.

    Are we still in Italy? I'm pretty sure we're still in Spain since I had an uncle by marriage who was a reservist and frequently went to Spain.

    I remember hearing some talk by Rumsfeld and others about downsizing in Europe and shifting troops to places like Poland, but I never heard anything about any of it really coming about.

    That is another aspect of the whole USFK thing:

    there was that commission that took a decade-long look at US bases all over the world and was supposed to lead to a large amount of base closings everywhere including the US –

    —but the only news I remember hearing about it concerned Plans. I can't think off the top of my head of a single instance of a big base closing that I caught in the news.

  • GI Korea
    2:44 am on December 31st, 2006 9

    Units from the 1st Infantry Division and the 1st Armored Division have either already moved or currently in the middle of moving from Germany to CONUS and were replaced with the 2ACR from Ft. Lewis, WA which arrived in Germany this past summer. Removing two divisions of soldiers and replacing them with just one cavalry regiment is huge decrease in soldiers. The huge decrease allowed a number of military installations to be shut down in Germany. This all very similar with what the Pentagon wants to do in Korea. Decrease soldiers, close down camps, and consolidate what is left.

    Italy is home to the 173rd Airborne brigade and Spain is home to a small naval base at Rota which neither is going to close.

  • usinkorea
    11:07 pm on December 31st, 2006 10

    "This all very similar with what the Pentagon wants to do in Korea. Decrease soldiers, close down camps, and consolidate what is left."

    1st – thanks for the info.

    I was interested in how this would shape up when it all began a decade ago, but dragging out as it inevitably would, I can't find the interest enough to keep up with it.

    You knew from the very start, there would be pressure from all sides to drag the thing out as long as possible.

    Whether it is a community in the US or Germany or South Korea, when the reality of the economic hit an area will take when it loses a US base, and people start contemplating that big chunk of money flowing into the commuity, and jobs are lost, and shops have to think about business with no GI and family customers —- the idea of NIBY quickly goes out the window….

  • Korea’s Looking to Add to UNESCO Sites, Is Dokdo Next? at ROK Drop
    9:10 am on January 6th, 2007 11

    [...] This wouldn’t be the first time an area has been given UNESCO recognition that was controversial.  Look no further than the ancient Korean kingdom of Koguryo enshrined by China in 2004.  The claiming of the Koguryo kingdom by China has been hotly contested by Korean scholars and UNESCO enshrined it anyway in the name of China.  What better way than UNESCO recognition to settle the Dokdo dispute?  No more talk about old, inaccurate maps, no more ex-pats losing their jobs over disputing Dokdo ownership, no more people chopping off their fingers, no more bee man, no more disrespecting Japanese flags by Korean politicians, just generally no more wackiness over Dokdo.  However, I don’t see it happening because Korean politicians don’t want to settle the Dokdo issue just like they don’t want to settle the Yongsan Garrison issue either, because it provides them an issue that is easy to manipulate to promote nationalism within the general Korean population to their own political advantage.  [...]

  • The Policy of Irrelevancy at ROK Drop
    5:51 am on February 8th, 2007 12

    [...] If the Korean government cherished the US-ROK alliance so much then why did the Korean government unilaterally declare that the Camp Humphreys relocation is going to be delayed by 5 years from the agreed upon date and then not notify the USFK commander?  General Bell first found out about the decision by reading the newspaper.  If the Korean government cared about the US-ROK alliance why did they cut the agreed upon money for the upkeep of the US-ROK alliance only weeks after making a cost sharing agreement?  [...]

  • MilBlogs (Daily Archive)
    12:31 pm on August 9th, 2007 13

    [...] had some hints before that USFK was not happy about the announced Camp Humphreys delay and cutting of funds by the South Korean government and finally, the USFK commander has come out [...]

  • Operational Control Delay Game Begins at ROK Drop
    1:15 pm on December 26th, 2007 14

    [...] Rumsfeld resigned the Korean government took advantage of the change in the Pentagon in order to cancel the USFK funding deal that had been reached just weeks before, delay the Camp Humphreys relocation, and most importantly [...]

  • A Profile of USFK Camps in Seoul
    8:33 am on May 13th, 2008 15

    [...] original plan was to have the base relocated by 2008. However, technical problems and South Korean governmental delay games pushed the date of the relocation back to 2010, then 2013 and then finally back to 2012. Now there [...]

  • jaku
    11:40 am on August 26th, 2008 16

    HOW MUCH MONEY DOES KOREA’S GOVERNMENT HOLD!!!!!!!!!! :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad: :sad:


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