ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on April 14th, 2010 at 7:00 am

Debating the Future of the US Military Presence In South Korea

Joshua Stanton over at One Free Korea has an article published in the New Ledger that I recommend everyone check out that is very timely considering USFK Commander General Walter Sharp had just commented about the transformation of USFK into KORCOM by 2012:

Because South Korea, now one the world’s wealthiest nations, expects up to 600,000 American soldiers to arrive protect it from any security contingency, successive South Korean governments actually cut their nation’s defense rather than modernizing it and building an effective independent defense. Consequently, South Korea still has a 1970-vintage force structure, designed to repel a 1970-vintage threat, equipped with 1970-vintage weapons. This is partly the legacy of ten years of leftist administrations, but it’s also the legacy of military welfare that allowed South Korea to defer upgrading its equipment, building a professional volunteer army, and organizing an effective reserve force to deal with security contingencies. Worst of all, South Korea diverted billions of dollars that should have been spent on modernizing its military into regime-sustaining aid to Kim Jong Il, to be used, as far as anyone knows, for nukes, missiles, artillery, and pretty much anything but infant formula. To this day, South Korea continues to resist accepting operational control over its own forces in the event of war.

The U.S. Army presence in Korea is an anachronism, defending against the extinct threat of a conventional North Korean invasion. The far greater danger is that if Kim Jong Il assesses our current president as weak, he will choose more limited or less conventional means to strike at our soldiers and their families. Given the reported presence of Taliban operatives in Seoul, he might even plausibly deny responsibility for an attack.

Thus, while I don’t go so far as to accept the Princess Bride Doctrine (”never get involved in a land war in Asia”), I do not believe it is wise for us to have our forces within easy artillery range of Kim Jong Il, such that he may freely choose the time, place, and manner of our involvement.  [The New Ledger]

Click the link to read the rest of Joshua’s recommendations, but this topic has been getting increasing attention lately for whatever reason.  As I have stated consistently, I do not advocate for the removal of US forces in Korea.  The US military presence on the peninsula is too important for maintaining regional stability.  The region has seen 60 years of stability for a reason and that is the US military presence.  However, do we really need 28,000+ servicemembers on the peninsula? 

The most obvious unit that I can think of that could best be used elsewhere is the remnants of the 2nd Infantry Division that remain in Korea.  The division once had the mission of the being the tripwire that ensured US involvement in a 2nd Korean War.  With the division scheduled to move to Camp Humphreys that will no longer be their mission, which begs the question; what is their mission then?  The fire power the 2nd Infantry Division commands is miniscule compared to the size of the ROK Army; so the division will not make any difference in the outcome of a 2nd Korean War.  What will make a difference in a 2nd Korean War is the United States’ air, naval, intel, and command & control assets.  This is what needs to remain in Korea to keep a strong deterent in place to prevent any North Korean agression. 

I think the US Army should take the approach of the US Marines and rotate soldiers to the peninsula for training exercises to maintain training cohesion with the ROK Army without having to leave a big force footprint.  They could be housed at a small camp set up near the Korea Training Center for example.  I think at some point it should also be explored closing Kunsan AFB once the ROK Air Force has reached a capability to off set what the US Air Force currently provides from Kunsan.  There should be other capabilities looked at as well that the ROK military could take over in the future.  That would leave the future KORCOM with military hubs around Camp Humphreys and Osan AFB with a force structure probably under 15,000.  It just seems to me the cost savings would be huge not to mention the freeing up of thousands of soldiers to support other US military missions. 

Maybe there is a sound reason for keeping 28,000+ troops on the peninsula but I haven’t seen it articulated yet.  You can read more about the current USFK transformation plan here

Please feel free to discuss your views on the future of USFK in the comments section. 

Over at the Marmot’s Hole and One Free Korea there are already some pretty good discussion going on about the article as well.

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  • USSR
    3:33 am on April 14th, 2010 1

    The U.S. will slowly have to reduce it's presence around all of Asia, especially since it's going broke, thus the Empire will fade. I can see once CH is finished then the 2ID will shortly move out after that. My big question is what will happen to Taiwan, China wants that back and the U.S. won't want to give it up without a fight.

  • Retired GI
    4:14 am on April 14th, 2010 2

    You went broke, and look at you now. :grin:

  • JohnT
    7:47 am on April 14th, 2010 3

    Yeah, really! Idiots think the US is just going to instantly fall apart or something. Britian didn't just instantly fall apart and neither did Rome.

    Funny how people piss on the US, but in times of strife, who they cry for?! Maybe the US should no longer help those hypocrites who do so.

    Even if the US could instantly fall, it's done what these so called "old" countries have NEVER been able to do. Look how young the US is and it's NUMBER ONE!! China didn't do it, Korea didn't do it, Britian didn't do it! What other country has done it?

    So for all the US haters out there, if the US were to instantly collapse and burn, it did something you have never done and probably will never do. This is something that can't be denied. Like it or lump it, that's the truth.

    Being a young country, if the US were to fall apart, there's time for it to bounce back. I know that's something most people don't want to believe, but a lot can happen over the centuries.

    Time for the US to look for ways out of Korea and let China have it back. Time to let the sponges take care of themselves.

    By-the-way, the Great Depression didn't kill off the US, do all those scum bags who hate the US think this recent financial crisis will?

  • Tom
    8:17 am on April 14th, 2010 4

    We'll see about that in few years when the US is a Third World country.

    In the Great Depression, the US didn't have a massive trade deficit. The US didn't have a 13 trillion dollars and counting foreign debt. And they certainly didn't have a $70 trillion dollars in liabilities debt obligations. And they didn't print paper money like it was free.

    The US, during the Great Depression was in far better shape than the Third World USA 2010. It's because of arrogant people like you that the US is such a bad shape.

  • Thomas
    8:23 am on April 14th, 2010 5

    Tom, you seem to revel in the idea of a failed US. Just keep in mind that, as the US goes, so goes the WORLD. Sure, in your deluded mind you don't want to believe that, but let's face it; without the US there is no market for the world's products. Who will buy Korean goods? The Chinese? How, they won't be making money off of sales to the USA, so where they going to get their money to buy products? How about the ME? I doubt it; they're mentality is stuck in the 10th century and nothing is going to move them beyond that as long as they hold onto their belief structure. That leaves Europe… nope, the socialist European countries will continue to just trade with themselves… well, there is Japan… but their population is declining precipitously… damn, I guess there's always norK. Sure, that's it. KJI and his minions will buy 1,000's of Hyundai's with all the money they have in reserve. Never mind, the ROK is secure. My bad.

  • Thomas
    8:26 am on April 14th, 2010 6

    Tom, you seem to revel in the idea of a failed US. So tell us what that would mean for Korea? Do you like to delude yourself into thinking it will make Korea a world superpower? How could that be when there will be nobody to buy your Hyundai's?

  • Hamilton
    9:18 am on April 14th, 2010 7

    You missundertand, Tom is Chinese. What is bad for the US is bad for Korea and good for China. Korea will become the third smallest province in New China when the US is gone. :razz:

  • Tom
    9:20 am on April 14th, 2010 8

    And you guys seem to revel in the thought of failure of Korea, like the above poster said: "Let China have them". And you wonder why get deserved reactions. Don't give me that BS that you're a a victim. You hate me, I hate you back, so what's the problem?

  • Thomas
    9:23 am on April 14th, 2010 9

    Tom, you don't know me. I don't hate Korea. A matter-of-fact, I LOVE Korea (I dislike some Koreans, but hell, I dislike some Americans) and I consider Korea my second home. I travel there often and have many, many Korean friends.

    My point is that you shouldn't want America to fail any more than I should want to Korea to fail. But I'm also pragmatic and realize that if Korea fails, it won't be nearly the disaster to the rest of the world as it will be if the US were to fail.

  • Tom
    9:28 am on April 14th, 2010 10

    During the 1997 Korean economic crisis, there were plenty of Americans who were laughing at Korea. When Daewoo went bust, I remember one American netizen who gushed with amusement that it was one of the greatest corporate failures in world history. I remember all the lectures doled out by Americans, lecturing Koreans on how to let uncompetitive companies go bust. Talk about ironies of all ironies… when you look at these hipocrites today, I'll be damned if they don't listen to their own lectures about letting bad companies fail. Instead what do we see? They print more money so that they can bail them all out. What happened to all the lectures and lessons that you guys gave out Korea, back 13 years ago? Third world USA.

  • Hamilton
    9:30 am on April 14th, 2010 11

    No Tom we just hate you, not Korea. I can see how you would confuse the two, but I've come to the revelation that you are not Korean.

  • Leon LaPorte
    9:37 am on April 14th, 2010 12

    You better hope the US doesn't fail. While you might have some smug satisfaction it would destroy Korea's economy. In the unlikely event America fails, Korea and many other countries, will go down as well.

  • Hamilton
    9:37 am on April 14th, 2010 13

    There is plenty of discusion in the US about letting bad companies fail, something the Democrats will not allow happen. The US is very good about introspection, and there was no gloating in 1997. Koreans on the other hand still cite the IMF loan as the cause of the collapse that required the loan, and you wonder why people look down on you Tom. You have no ability to think logically, you cannot separate advice from criticism and most importantly you are a mean little man who delights in the misfortune of others.

    Fortunately you are not Korea Tom. Korea learned from the 1997 meltdown and came back stronger than ever when rats like you fled the ship. Korea has much to be proud of and I am happy for it and amazed at the progress it has made much more than the degenerat mental decay some of its citizens (or chinese posers) still display. Still every tree has a few bad apples, US and Korea, for Korea it's You.

  • Thomas
    9:38 am on April 14th, 2010 14

    Tom, you're not being intellectually honest. If you were, you'd know that there are MANY of us in America (as expressed in MANY posts on this website alone) that do not agree with our government's handling of the current economic crises and that believe we should let failing businesses in this country fail just as we told Korea they should back in 1997. There is an entire movement in the US called the Tea Party movement that has this premise as one of the base points of disagreement with our current government as well as with the past administration. So your argument holds no water.

  • Thomas
    9:39 am on April 14th, 2010 15

    I’ve come to the revelation that you are not Korean.

    I came to that revelation myself a while back.

  • shadowboxer
    9:49 am on April 14th, 2010 16

    The US should realize from the current conflicts (Iraq and Afghanistan) that having allies really doesn't amount to much. The US definitely does not reap a tenth of allied support than what the US puts towards safety/security for allies.

    With the advent of unmanned aircraft, intercontinental missiles, a comprehensive submarine fleet, and missile shields; what good is having a base on Okinawa, Korea, Italy, etc..? With the possible exception of the UK, all US foreign policy should revolve around the payback to the US. If a country wants security/protection AND it fits into the goals of the US, then the US should talk not about cost sharing rather profit. Forget the days of the professional military, it is time for a mercenary military.

  • Marcus Ambrose
    9:53 am on April 14th, 2010 17

    What would Korea do without a place to export?

    According to the U.S. census bureau: U.S. exports to S. Korea in 2009 was $28B.
    http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/pr

    Korea exports to the U.S.: $39B
    http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5800

    China is Korea's Biggest customer:

    "Sales to the United States, South Korea's No.2 overseas market behind China, grew 24.4 percent in February from a year earlier, the fastest rise since October 2007, the Korea Customs Service said"
    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSSEW00218320100

    The total trade deficit is $10B per year.
    http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/balance/c5800

    So, cutting off the U.S. might not kill Korean markets, but it would hurt. The U.S. would also have to find markets for their products.

  • Marcus Ambrose
    10:14 am on April 14th, 2010 18

    Tom, I don't hate Korea, I like it. My top 2 friends in the world are 1 American and 1 Korean. However, I have come to hate you, but it's your pig headed intellectual lies and inability to have an honest debate that caused it. You bring hate to the board, not debate. It may be because of your cultural or historical sensitivities, but you refuse to have any honest prospective about Korea, probably because you think that if you admit even a little bit that korea isn't perfect then it's a problem for you.

    Just for funsies: Please tell me a few things wrong with Korea (without involving the U.S.: saying 'we let the U.S. stay here' doesn't count). I don't think you can, or will, do it.

  • Hamilton
    10:45 am on April 14th, 2010 19

    You are asking Tom to divide by zero. I honestly think he doesn't realize he is a hateful racist bigot without any logical integrity. It's like trying to have a conversation with a scorpion, it is what it is without the possibility of growth.

  • Hamilton
    11:06 am on April 14th, 2010 20

    MA,

    Those who gleefully await the demise of the US are pretty nearsighted. The loss of Korea's number two export partner would be devasting by itself. The fall out of China's number one exporter no longer importing would greatly cut their imports of Korean goods. This is a double whammy these morons are actually cheering on.

    Be careful what you wish for Tom, when the US is a third world country so will Korea and many other current first world countries. This is something no logical or decent person would wish for but you do. It's like cheering on a fire that burns down your neighbor's house even as the flames leap across to your roof.

  • Thomas
    11:06 am on April 14th, 2010 21

    True, but don't forget, if the US were to fail, China would have no market to export to and with no market to export to, how are they going to buy Korean products? So it would be worse for Korea than it would initially appear by the data provided.

  • Glans
    11:34 am on April 14th, 2010 22

    To get this discussion back on track, I propose:

    South Korea can and should defend itself.

  • Leon LaPorte
    11:52 am on April 14th, 2010 23

    As long as there is employee profit sharing. :lol:

  • Teadrinker
    1:10 pm on April 14th, 2010 24

    Maybe he should worry about how the Chinese government mismanages its own economy, too. I've been to China. Beijing was a nice blend of old and new buildings downtown, but the outskirts of the city were incredibly poor and rundown. It felt as the money spent on hosting the Olympics would have been better spent on the country's infrastructure.

  • Teadrinker
    1:19 pm on April 14th, 2010 25

    I'm sure someone who knows more about this will be able to list some good reasons for the US to remain in South Korea. But, the way I see it, it isn't necessary. The United States will defend South Korea if it is under attack and China will do the same for North Korea…North Korea simply won't be able to sucker China into joining another one of its wars and the US and China don't want to wage war with one another (would be a disaster for both countries).

  • Russian
    2:35 pm on April 14th, 2010 26

    Tom, you're right-3rd world USA. People in the USA think they're free but it's exactly the opposite. The Americans are held hostage by their corrupt political system. Americans want the government to be fiscally solvent at the same time the average citizen is massively in debt with credit cards, mortgages etc.

    American politicians, sports stars, celebrities etc. all reflect the immoral American society.

    The US isn't going to collapse quickly but it is on an irreversible track. A long, slow decline that ends in ruin.

    Meanwhile, countries like mine, China, India, Brazil are thriving. Welcome to the New World Order, get used to it.

  • Typo
    4:34 pm on April 14th, 2010 27

    I don't think Tom know's what he is either. If Korea fails he will claim to be American. He seems like nothing more than a joke on this blog, someone to make fun of. There are those guy's in life who no one likes and is always the center of jokes and Tom is one of those people.

  • Hamilton
    6:31 pm on April 14th, 2010 28

    A Russian lecturing the US on corruption or freedom is rich. Also rich is predicting an irreversible decline despite the history of Russia, up from the ashes in the 1990s. I guess no other country has the ability to re-make itself.

  • Russian
    7:01 pm on April 14th, 2010 29

    Yeah, but the US has dug a bigger hole than in history. Once the dollar devalues (and it WILL DEVALUE) then the US will officially be an empire in free fall.

    What's the future for US?: No oil, no honest politicians, no financial sense, no morals, failing infrastructure, importing everything, no JOBS, everyone is a ham faced fatty.

    Kind of funny irony-wise my friends call the US situation "No Way Out".

  • Nathan
    7:21 pm on April 14th, 2010 30

    The problem? Well, you deserve it. No one else does.

  • Hamilton
    10:39 am on April 15th, 2010 31

    Russian, I'll start with the end since it all ties together:

    "No way out" This is true and untrue.

    1. The US has significant oil reserves and enough coal for between 400 and 1000 years depending on the source, but you are correct our politicians will not allow us to dig or drill for it.

    2. Nuclear power, again we are not allowed to build new plants so you are partially correct, this could change if enough people fire their politicans.

    3. Many have morals, but they will be labeled as racist for it.

    4. The jobless rate in the US is comparable to Russia, not sure what your point is.

    5. Everyone's infrastructure is failing.

    6. Dollar devalue, you are correct, but this will help exports and curtail imports.

    7. the US has never been an Empire, unlike Russia.

    8. No financial sense, you got us there and many are pissed about it, again cue the racist calls.

    9. Ham faced fatty: I've seen quite a few Russians who fit this description as well, did you have a point other than hurling insults.

    The US has a lot going for it, the majority of problems are self inflicted, they can be un-inflicted. Or were you not being honest at all.

  • Russia
    12:58 pm on April 15th, 2010 32

    Chew on this one:
    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_obe-health-

  • ChickenHead
    1:28 pm on April 15th, 2010 33

    Thanks for the informative link, Russian.

    Thankfully, the problem will soon be solved and America's obesity problem will no longer be an issue here.

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_sui_rat_mal

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_abo_percap-

    http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/hea_pro_of_not_

  • Hamilton
    1:47 pm on April 15th, 2010 34

    Russia, so your entire rebuttle point by point is that America is doomed because it has the highest percentage of fat people? Let me add you to the list topped by Tom of people who cannot conduct a rational converstation.

    Great list by the way, Russia isn't even on it.(or china, india, brazil) Is that because they:

    a. couldn't find a fat Russian bwahahahaha

    b. only measured advanced countries, Mexico! bwahahahahahaha

    c. It's a crap list, although I'm sure the US will top a real list.

    Hint: C is the answer.

    Welcome to the loser pile, you couldn't refute a single point, just point out an admitted weakness. That's grade school level.

  • someotherguy
    3:35 pm on April 15th, 2010 35

    Having base's on other countries allows the US to project its military power to those regions.

    Throw around all the fancy words you want, at the end of the day if you want to hold / control / project onto something you need boots on the ground.

    Take the argument between Korea and Japan over Dokdo Island. Both countries claim it as their own, but Korea actually put troops onto it (however small). Therefor it is Korean's until Japan decides it wants it more and attempts to put soldiers there. When two rival military's attempt to claim the same piece of dirt you get a war. I doubt this will ever happen as a war is in neithers best interest, and the island is of no concern to Japan, and only a point of national pride to Korea.

    On this same line, if the USA wish's to project its influence into China's sphere, it needs military assets in that region. And don't for a second think its North Korea vs South Korea, China would ~NEVER~ allow North Korean to cease to exist. And given a vacuum of power (the US leaving) China would immediately attempt regional hegemony, most likely with the support / assistance of Russia.

  • someotherguy
    3:44 pm on April 15th, 2010 36

    The article is horribly wrong on many counts. The ROK Government does NOT expect 600,000+ US troops to arrive on peninsula to do a damn thing. This is just coffee shop tongue wagging by people who have no real idea what is going on. The US no longer really controls the coalition forces on peninsula. That role is primarily being done by the Korean's in a joint military effort. The US mostly advises them on how to plan, seeing as we have the most experience in both symmetric and asymmetric warfare.

    We also share lots of really ~really~ cool technology with the ROK's, some of it they can't even look at, but there is a lot of joint / multi-national cooperation going on. They are far from a 1970's era force, most like a early~mid 90s. Their still using older KF-16 (Korean releasable F-16) but they've been updated to their best of ability. In all honestly their perfectly built for the sort of warfare that would happen if the NK's ever get aggressive. Almost everything they got is short / medium ranged designed for close / dirty engagements and fights. Basically its a tactical minded military force whereas the USA is a strategic minded force. Their relying on the USA to provide the strategic assets needed, although honestly their primary enemy (NK) doesn't have strategic assets worth a damn.

  • Russia
    5:04 pm on April 15th, 2010 37

    Now that I have time:

    The U.S. doesn't have any cheap, easy, or even good quality oil. Even if they drilled they maybe maybe could get a million more barrels a day but even that's highly unlikely. There's coal but it can't be burned cleanly no matter what people think. The U.S. is held hostage by piece of crap countries like Saudi Arabia because of the obvious.

    There are ZERO nuclear power plants being built in the U.S. right now and the startup costs are outrageous.

    There are no jobs on the horizon for at least five years.

    Americans are BY FAR the most OBESE country in the top 30 which means a shorter lifespan than their parents.

    The devalued dollar will not be a small event, it will cause a change in every facet of American life.

    Geopolitically the U.S. will be screwed royally. China will be able to call the shots in eastern Asia and tell the U.S. to politely reduce it's military presence of which the U.S. will have NO CHOICE but to do so.

    The U.S. traditional allies are hurting just as much, actually more so those countries will move further down the pecking order.

    Slowly but surely the BRIC countries are going to be the dominant forces in the world with the U.S. as an also ran. They're infrastructure is rising, the U.S. is collapsing.

  • Hamilton
    5:44 pm on April 15th, 2010 38

    Russia, Since you are a cherry picker and you ignored the points I agreed with you without the intellectual integrity to admit the ones where you cannot back anything up, here goes:

    1-2, read my post, I agreed but you are too dense to understand. The energy is there we have self imposed restrictions which could be lifted. China and India are not using clean coal and they are digging like crazy.

    3, Jobs, 5 years is a load, back it up. Predicting economic plans in 5 year gaps is an old Russian specialty, it didn't work out well in the past for you.

    4. US is Fat, okay, shorter life span? Not so much. You want to know who has a longer life span than the 100% thin nation of Russia? The US 78 years, #2 fatland Mexico 75, GAZA 73 :o , North Korea 72 :o , and IRAQ :o . Congratulations Russia 65, you are so thin you are not listed.

    Since it is now okay to bring in sore points that do not further the discussion whatsover, did you know that Russia is #1 in abortions (China isn't listed from your credible source!), #2 in suicides and is #80 in life expectancy as previously mentioned. I guess the Chinese will just walk across the border in a few years when there aren't any Russians left. (Heavy Sarcasm)

    5. Devalued Dollar, I agreed a crash will come and it will hurt but there is a reason the Chinese devalue their yuan which seems to beyond your reasoning capability. This will boost exports and cut imports as well as make credit hard to come by. GE, Boeing, Apple, Microsoft, Google and Intel will be DELIGHTED. GM and others, not so much.

    6. We are destroying our relationship with our traditional allies much faster than their own declines, but the US is not #1 right now due to those alliances, we pay for much of their defense not the other way around.

    7. We will slip, it might take a lot longer to fall to #2 than you wish. Also China might have a problem with it's 30 million man surplus with no marriable women issue in 2020 unless they can deploy a gay bomb.

    8. Sorry I went back to having a conversation, I need to add in a pointless attack to meet your mentality: Russians are decended from Slavic Hillbillies. There, do you feel better Vlad? :razz:

  • Leon LaPorte
    6:15 pm on April 15th, 2010 39

    This is going to break someone's heart (Tom) but I'm suprised no one remebers this (from the Washington Post):

    SEOUL –– North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has said it is "desirable" that U.S. troops stay on the Korean peninsula and that he dispatched a "high-level envoy" to convey that message to the United States several years ago, according to South Korean President Kim Dae Jung. The North Korean leader said he fully agreed that American troops are needed even if the two Koreas reconcile, to prevent Japan, China or Russia from assuming more power in northeastern Asia.

  • Leon LaPorte
    6:16 pm on April 15th, 2010 40

    This is going to break someone's heart (Tom) but I'm surprised no one remembers this (from the Washington Post):

    SEOUL –– North Korean leader Kim Jong Il has said it is "desirable" that U.S. troops stay on the Korean peninsula and that he dispatched a "high-level envoy" to convey that message to the United States several years ago, according to South Korean President Kim Dae Jung. The North Korean leader said he fully agreed that American troops are needed even if the two Koreas reconcile, to prevent Japan, China or Russia from assuming more power in northeastern Asia.

  • Russia
    6:51 pm on April 15th, 2010 41

    Well at least we agree on some points. I don't believe the US has any significant oil reserves that would keep them from relying on foreign oil, no matter how much digging is done. Since we have oil I had to point this out to death.

    And how did you know my name was Vlad? Amazing.

  • Dr.Yu
    11:43 pm on April 15th, 2010 42

    It's really hard to believe that Kim Jong Il said that, but if the did say that, I think he lied just to please SK, after all we paid for the meeting, and as clients we had to pleased.

    USA presence in Korea is good for both countries, so no problem if they stay here, but if they leave two things will happen: Korea will build nukes for self protection and try to forge a regional alliance comprising China, Korea and Japan to get along with them. China will be happy and jump into the alliance but Japan probably will be reluctant at the beginning but latter will have to joint it for strategic and commercial purpose (Who knows than unification of Koreas happens).

    Honestly I think leaving Korea is not an option for USA because of strategic, political and commercial implications, and since Korea needs USA to prevent Chinese ambition in the region, the alliance between both countries will last longer.

  • Thomas
    11:57 pm on April 23rd, 2010 43

    Japan had plans to expand into Korea WAY before Roosevelt was president. They didn't need any encouragement.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    12:44 am on April 24th, 2010 44

    Glans I recommend you read my prior posting on this subject:

    http://rokdrop.com/2009/12/11/taft-katsura-agreem

  • Glans
    1:02 am on April 24th, 2010 45

    For historical background, see a NY Times review by Ronald Steel of two books. The second is “The Imperial Cruise, a Secret History of Empire and War” by James Bradley. It says that President Theodore Roosevelt sent his secretary of war, William Howard Taft, to encourage Japan to expand into Korea and China. Roosevelt hoped to block Russia and thought that Japan, with its understanding of Western principles, was the natural leader of Asia.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/25/books/review/Steel-t.html?pagewanted=1&ref=review

  • kushibo
    6:24 am on April 24th, 2010 46

    I was all set to get involved in a discussion of the merits of the issue, but I can see this is just a flustercluck of Tom-versus-everyone else. So all just make this short: My thoughts on this very serious matter are HERE and HERE.

  • kushibo
    6:26 am on April 24th, 2010 47

    I remember that.

    Despite mistakes (some of them serious), the United States is the best friend Korea has ever had, and it's the greatest factor for peace in Northeast Asia.

  • Glans
    8:41 am on April 24th, 2010 48

    Thanks, GI Korea, that was an informative and thoughtful posting. By the way, the foundations of Pax Sinica are being laid in Africa:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/25/world/africa/25

    and in the South China Sea:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/24/world/asia/24na

  • Should America withdraw from Korea? « Extra! Korea
    5:37 pm on April 25th, 2010 49

    [...] has come for American forces to finally, permanently withdraw from South Korea, and the M-hole, ROK Drop, and Monstrous Kushibo have weighed in with opinions from themselves and/or their [...]

 

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