ROK Drop

Avatar of GI KoreaBy on February 18th, 2012 at 10:36 am

Do the North Koreans Really Want the US Military To Pull Out of South Korea?

» by in: North Korea

Nothing new here with North Korea demanding that the US pull its troops out of South Korea:

 The United States made clear Friday that North Korea’s demand for the pullout of American troops on the Korean Peninsula is not negotiable.

“I think you know that we have said, for quite some time, that we are not prepared to accept preconditions for the
resumption of talks,” State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said at a press briefing. “And that precondition in particular would be unacceptable.”

Her comments came as the U.S. and North Korea are scheduled to hold high-level talks in Beijing next week to see if they can resume the six-party talks on the communist nation’s nuclear program. The other participants are South Korea, China, Russia and Japan.  [Korea Times]

Some argue pulling US troops out of South Korea may actually be the last thing the North Koreans want since the presence of USFK helps to justify the amount of money they put into their military, missile development, and nuclear programs.  The regime propaganda apparatus would have a harder time justifying everything the Kim regime does by motivating its population to free the South from the evil imperialist Yankees.  But then again even without the evil imperialist Yankees in South Korea the regime could just move on and focus their propaganda against the threat of invasion by the US and Japan.

Also without USFK, the balance of power on the peninsula would change.  The South Koreans would still have the military advantage, but depending on the defense agreement after a US withdrawal, there is no guarantees of instant US military involvement if hostilities did break out like there is now.  Without everything that USFK brings to the defense of the ROK most notably air power, communications, and intelligence; any war on the peninsula would be pro-longed and thus be more devastating.  Because of this I think the ROK would be more hesitant to respond to North Korean provocations and depending on who the ROK President is at the time they may just decide to pay off the North Koreans like the Roh Moo-hyun and Kim Dae-jung governments did to behave.  However, without the backing of the US military the extortion price would be much higher than what these prior governments paid.  Additional expenses to the ROK would be the amount of money they would have to invest to replace the capabilities that USFK is currently providing.  Possibly the largest cost of all would be the drop in foreign investment into the South Korean economy after the withdrawal of the US military from South Korea.  I would think that international investors would have a whole lot more confidence in their investments in South Korea knowing that the US military is there to back it up.

With all these considerations I think the North Koreans are actually serious about wanting USFK to withdraw, but are pragmatic enough to know it is not going to happen by anything they say or do in North Korea.  That is why they have their Chinboista allies in South Korea continue with their activities in the hope of causing a slow motion decay of the US-ROK alliance to where one day the US military does pull out of Korea.

So what does everyone else think, are the North Koreans serious about wanting USFK out of South Korea?

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  • Conway Eastwood
    1:28 pm on February 18th, 2012 1

    Well, the DPRK says that the reason why Korea is not reunited is because of the USFK. If the USFK pulls out of the ROK, and some time later, the peninsula is still divided, the average DPRK citizen may become disillusioned with their government, maybe.

  • Retired GI
    2:27 pm on February 18th, 2012 2

    USFK is the reason Korea is still divided. No doubt about it!

    It is past time we left these two love-birds alone to mend their relationship.

    USFK needs to go home and get a real job.

    Leave Korea to the Koreans. Most of the South Koreans I spoke with in 2002 through 2005, want us to go home.

    Give the South Koreans what they want. A Korea without Americans!

    We have wasted enough money in Korea. If they want to have freedom, they will. If not, oh well. We tried — since 1945 — we tried.

    Time to move along and OUT of Korea!

    We need not worry. No matter what happens, it will STILL be our Fault. ;-)

  • K
    6:29 pm on February 18th, 2012 3

    USFK withdrawal -> two nuclear Koreas. A third nuclear state across the eastern sea a few months after.

    Why, the US government must really like that. No doubt about it.

  • Tom Langley
    6:52 pm on February 18th, 2012 4

    If USFK were to withdraw from the ROK the NK authorities would just ramp up the “danger” from Japan, that they want to recolonize Korea. Also they would complain about the “puppet” forces of the ROK. Tyrants always will manufacture “enemies” to keep their hold on power. The populace of NK will be cowered whether they really believe the propaganda or not. The ROK is a rich country & can certainly afford to maintain an adequate defense to deter NK aggression especially considering the economic mess in communist North Korea.

  • Retired GI
    7:06 pm on February 18th, 2012 5

    SEE! #3 already says it’s fault of the US government :lol:

    I’m starting to get bored being right all the time ;-)

    Eastern sea? Oh, you mean the sea of Japan?

    Come on America. We have better things to do than babysit these Koreans.

    Let them fight or let them have peace, but let it be their decision.

    “Go home Yankee” I’ve heard that. I think we should do it.

    After all, our young boy-scouts can’t even be trusted outside the wire after a certain time. How much good can they be doing? Not much.

  • K
    7:39 pm on February 18th, 2012 6

    Where do I say that it’s the fault of the US government that Korea is divided? I’m just saying that if you are a true American genuinely concerned about the US strategic interest, you shouldn’t wish for the US military to leave Korea. It will undermine it in more ways than you can count in your armchair right now.

    I don’t think the US should leave Korea. I think the US should stay put right where it is. And if you are an American, especially one with real knowledge of the US security strategy, as your name would have initially implied, you should wish for that too.

  • Glans
    8:04 pm on February 18th, 2012 7

    The North Koreans could make USFK unnecessary by petitioning for annexation by South Korea.

  • Colonel louis T Dechert
    9:22 pm on February 18th, 2012 8

    The following statement in your commentary is susceptible to misinterpretation–or at least I did so and had to read it twice to get your meaning: “The South Koreans would still have the military advantage, but depending on the defense agreement after a US withdrawal, there is no guarantees of instant US military involvement if hostilities did break out like there is now.”
    A NKA attack at the present time ensnares the US “trip wire” and presumably “away we go!, Garryowen, etc!
    The difficulty hinges on the word you used, “guarantees.” The RVN (Republic of Vietnam) was “guaranteed” B52′s in the air “before the dust settled” and the prompt return of US combat power if North Vietnamese broke the Paris Accords.
    The North invaded the South and the US did not lift a finger to assist RVN in stopping the attack, other than getting our own nationals and protected assets evacuated, then waving goodbye. The Senate blocked all of President Ford’s attempts to fulfill our national guarantees–feeble though they were even to start with.
    Hopefully the ROK will bear this in mind–it is certain that the enemy does so.
    Louis T Dechert

  • kushibo
    9:40 pm on February 18th, 2012 9

    Most of the South Koreans I spoke with in 2002 through 2005, want us to go home.

    Are you sure they didn’t mean they wanted you to go home? ;-)

    Retired GI’s friends in the ville ten years ago notwithstanding, a majority of South Koreans do not want USFK to leave. And it would be a costly mistake not just for South Korea, but for the US and its allies as well.

    USFK is pennies on the dollar compared to the alternative. But if money is an issue, have the ROK step up its game in joining the US in military missions outside the peninsula, like anti-piracy. Win-win.

  • K
    9:52 pm on February 18th, 2012 10

    Another important ‘no guarantee’ factor to examine is that there is no guarantee either that the US would so hurriedly and graciously withdraw USFK from Korea just because Korea demanded the US to do so, if it meant that Korea had to go nuclear to secure its ultimate form of defense and nearly instantaneously undermine regional stability. The US would try its utmost best, using its most powerful diplomatic measures available, to persuade Korea to allow USFK to still stay and to employ the extended US defense umbrella, instead of gaining its independent nuclear deterrence. If the US would leave Korea at the present date, the more likely possibility is that it would do so very reluctantly, rather than enthusiastically, and only if there was no choice but to do that. Retired GI’s great excitement at the prospect of leaving Korea behind apparently without seriously considering many of the associated strategic risks seems kind of misplaced, perhaps dangerously misplaced. A word of wisdom might be that we don’t need anymore arms race or another potential ‘loose cannon’ scenario in East Asia as a result of a US pullout. America’s historic presence in the region has continuously succeeded to keep the risk of both to a minimum, and it is in the best interest of every power in the region, with the sole exception of North Korea, that things are best maintained that way. USFK would best stay put where it is right now.

  • Retired GI
    10:06 pm on February 18th, 2012 11

    @ #6. The ROK is a grown-up now. We made that happen for them. We kept the commies out of their yard since the end of WWII. We did our part and then more. Either make the ROK the 51st state of America, or let it stand on it’s own. It is able to do so. I hate waste. Americas are wasted in Korea. They are not wanted in Korea by the Koreans. Make whatever excuses you will for Americans to stay but the truth is that we have been there too long already.
    Koreans have become dependent on the Americans. They know it. There is no end in sight. America needs to kick the koreans into independance by leaving them to find their future with their brothers and sisters to the north.
    For the American service member, one year in korea, away from family, yet again, is simply stupid. They inprocess for two weeks, take 30 days for midtour leave, and two weeks to outprocess. That is only 10 months working time — AT BEST. Then the cycle begins again with yet another “new” person. It is stupid. The Korean Nationals on base make it work, along with contractors. It is pointless insanity. It was a fun tour in the past. Temp divorce for a year with fun and games down range. Now, it is just another year away from the wife and kids and a curfew to boot.
    The commies are still there, but the ROK can take care of itself. If it can’t, it needs to go the way of South Vietnam. Korea is a pointless waste of manpower for America. Most Koreans don’t see America as being much help anyway. One asked me once, why Americans don’t take the time to learn about Korea and speak at least some of the language as I did. She seemed to think we actually wanted to come and serve in Korea. While I did, most do not. Just another wasted year away from the wife and kids for most of them. She had no idea. Most do not. Koreans can and should take over and American forces leave. Korea should learn to stand on it’s own. If not, than fall under their DPRK brothers rule.

    At least Korea would be united again and the Americans no longer held captive behind their own wire.

  • K
    10:22 pm on February 18th, 2012 12

    USFK leaves Korea and there will shortly be two additional nuclear states in the region and another massive arms race. I’d rather prefer the alternative, and so do both the US and Korea, as well as almost all their neighbors. The US must stay, and this is not only for the good of the ‘grown-up’ Korea.

    I agree that Korea can ultimately fend for its own with indigenous military capability. It might be a bit expensive in the short-term, but it’s practically achievable. But Korea’s military capability is not the only important variable to consider when theorizing whether or not the US must leave Korea. You are ignoring the strategic interests of the US itself and Korea’s other neighbors that are at stake with the presence or absence of USFK, and what they, not just Korea, must do to cope with this ‘South Korean independence’. I don’t need to be the one to enlighten you of those.

  • Retired GI
    10:29 pm on February 18th, 2012 13

    #10 is a true Korean disinformation officer. America would not leave if asked to do so? Really. We left the Philippines, did we not. One major Airbase and one major Navy base. (Even took the flooting docks) That was a nice touch I thought.

    You should try us. Ask us to leave. Tell us Koreans are able to stand on your own — at long last.

    It is NOT in the best interest of all in the region, that America stay in the ROK. I’m sure China, Russia and the DPRK would be most pleased for the ROK to ask America to leave.

    If Americans knew on a large scale (they don’t) about the cost of America being involved in Korean affairs they might make an issue of it for the upcoming election. Obama would want to please the public and start the pullout.
    You should make the request soon. Give him time to flipflop. Perhaps he could work a trade. The ROK for some of the debt owed to China.

  • K
    10:39 pm on February 18th, 2012 14

    The Philippines did not have sophisticated strategic military capability that could harm regional stability to speak of when the US left it. If the US assumed that the Philippines could afford to go nuclear and ballistic when the US left it, I’m sure its actions back then would have changed dramatically.

    Neither China nor Russia desires a nuclear South Korea (and subsequently a nuclear Japan) with advanced delivery capabilities. Maybe you should ask your own commanders if they prefer two more states with nuclear arsenals anywhere in the world, much less East Asia where there’s already four nuclear states, or still to keep a tap on them personally with their own hands.

  • Retired GI
    10:46 pm on February 18th, 2012 15

    12, you sound as if you are concerned. For the “other” countries? Japan? We can stay there. It will have the same purpose as staying in the ROK. American cost will be reduced greatly and Korean pride increased greatly. The purpose for being in Korea was to stop Communism. That was done in 1953. The ROK should be able to stand up on it’s own by now, surely.

    It isn’t 1953 anylonger. It is 2012. The ROK still depends on America? Ask us to leave already. Kick the American habit. The ROK does not need America. Ask us to leave. We left the Philippines when they refused to renew the rent agreement. We will leave the ROK when asked also.

  • K
    10:55 pm on February 18th, 2012 16

    I must add, Japan does not desire a nuclear South Korea either. It is also in the best interest of Japan that South Korea is not forced into a position where it must exercise that capability.

    Well, you can still go and try to ask them if it is not. I’ll be waiting right here.

  • K
    10:58 pm on February 18th, 2012 17

    And I know that the US would ultimately leave if Korea asked hard enough, and that it would not be without some cost reduction to the US military budget. But only very reluctantly. The US is not so eager of the prospect of a nuclear South Korea as a result of US pullout as you think. At the very end the US still gains a lot more by remaining in Korea, regardless of Korea’s indigenous military capability.

  • Retired GI
    11:03 pm on February 18th, 2012 18

    Let me make sure I understand this. The ROK is threating America with a nuclear war in the region, if America leaves? That it?

    If we leave, you will go nuclear and wipe each other out? Sounds stupid to me, but if that is the way you want it. Not America’s business.

    Perhaps the ROK should become the 51st American state. At least we could tax you then. You can take down the ROK flag and put up the American flag instead. Our boyscouts will be able to walk freely in the 51st American state. As they do in the other 50. We could then raise the drinking age in the ROK to 21, all the enlisted could bring their families and make the ROK just another Permanent duty assignment. That would work for me.

    It is, after all, what you seem to be describing. America permanently in the ROK.

  • K
    11:15 pm on February 18th, 2012 19

    ROK is threatening? No. NK is threatening ROK with nuclear capability, and NK seeks to instigate a nuclear cold war in the region, whose first target is definitely ROK. ROK is only forced to respond to this aggression, and if it cannot count on US defense umbrella then it must form its own. The formation of this capability must involve a sound sovereign nuclear deterrence. Who among the countries in the region do you think do not care about this?

    A great misconception you have is that the US is in Korea ONLY for Korea’s sake. You ignore that what interest the US stands to gain by staying in Korea and stabilizing the region far outweigh the upkeep of 28,500 troops. There’s no doubt that the US presence helps the defense of Korea. At the same time, there is no doubt that it helps the US a lot too. Trading traditional alliance with one of the most dependable security partners in the modern decade for some cash saving is not a mistake, unlikely you, that the wise US government is likely to commit. It would only happen under the circumstance that no other course of action is available. America’s policy in the region has not reached that stage yet.

  • tbonetylr
    12:52 am on February 19th, 2012 20

    “Obama would want to please the public and start the pullout.
    You should make the request soon. Give him time to flipflop. Perhaps he could work a trade. The ROK for some of the debt owed to China.”

    Brilliant idea, sell our stupid interest on the ROK to China reducing our debt to China :cool:

  • tbonetylr
    12:55 am on February 19th, 2012 21

    Korea, it’s time to stand up on your own. Or are you man enough? Man up Korea! I’m afraid we’ll be dealing with boys for eternity.

  • Glans
    2:35 am on February 19th, 2012 22

    Normally, when we are asked to leave, we leave. Cuba is a big exception: they want us to leave Guantanamo, but we stay.

  • Denny
    6:39 am on February 19th, 2012 23

    US should stop giving Israel $5 billion a year in aid.

    After leaving Korea, the Israel aid will be next to be cut.

  • Retired GI
    7:02 am on February 19th, 2012 24

    Ah, the great Nuke Fear. The DPRK will threaten with nukes, but they will never use nukes on the ROK. The reason is obvious. The ROK is of no use to the DPRK if it is a smoking waste land. So, my South Korean friend, don’t be so scared of the nuke idea. Never going to happen. Not in the DPRK’s self-interest.
    So there is no reason to develop this feared weapon state of yours. I remember when most South Koreans welcomed the idea of America leaving the north and south to work things out on their own. The only reason this has not happened yet is America.

    “one of the most dependable security partners in the modern decade”? Who would that be “K”? It sure isn’t the ROK. What did the ROK soldiers do in Iraq? Hummm? I seem to remember something about them making Latrines/bathrooms. Did the ROK send any combat troops? I don’t recall reading about the fierce counter attacks of the ROK in Iraq. I don’t recall reading about the ROK taking casualties ANYWHERE after Vietnam! I don’t recall ROK soldiers being feared anywhere AFTER vietnam. “Dependable Security Partner”? The ROK? I don’t think so! Got anything ELSE to offer? Dependable Security Partner the ROK is not.

    You sit there and collect money from America. That is what the ROK does. You make a fine living off of America. Just as Japan does. America is like crack cocain to the ROK and you are addicted to the money flow from America. You provide nothing but over-priced housing for the American leadership off base, who are happy to pay. What a scam operation that is. Oh, I almost forgot. You also provide human-trafficed third world females to the bars in town. Of course you keep the best for your people. Then you protest America. Which is the real reason for the Curfew placed on my people for protecting your people. It is a damn shame. I have little doubt that if some bright group of people made this an issue in the up and coming election in America, “change” would be in the works. I can only “hope”. Perhaps I should start the ball rolling and see what happens. Oh wait, I just did!

    Too bad the people of South Korea don’t understand the power they have RIGHT NOW to wake up the American people with protest about Korean sovereignty. The South Koreans should make the effort RIGHT NOW. Protest in the streets of South Korea. Carry Pictures of Obama. Protest in the streets of WASHINGTON DC. Americans will listen RIGHT NOW. After the election, the moment will be gone.

  • Ole Tanker
    7:03 am on February 19th, 2012 25

    #23 Yeh!! Pull our troops out of Isael!! Then we can double the aid to Egypt making the region more stabil. Denny Dude! You should be on Obama’s foriegn policy team. :cool:

  • K
    9:48 am on February 19th, 2012 26

    You are a great idiot to think if Korea is willing to leave itself dangerously unarmed and exposed against the ambient nuclear environment of the region if the US leaves, Retired GI. You can only comfortably deter a nuclear threat with one of your own. If the US leaves Korea, Korea must pursue the path of independent nuclear deterrence for ensured defense.

    And it looks like some Americans more important than a random retired GI, as far as the accurate analysis of the geopolitical situation in East Asia is concerned, give South Korea’s security partnership with the US a lot more credit than you do.

    “Since the centerpiece of the president’s defense blueprint is Asia, it is useful to look at one of America’s strongest allies that happens to be located in this region, South Korea, where 28,500 U.S. military personnel are stationed. South Korea has been a stalwart U.S. ally for more than 60 years and has deployed troops in support of U.S. efforts in conflicts ranging from Vietnam to Afghanistan to Somalia, and U.N. peacekeeping operations around the world.

    It provided the third largest troop concentration in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Once a country that needed and received aid, South Korea now contributes to other nations’ growth and security while still facing an increasingly belligerent foe to its north.

    South Korea has demonstrated a laudable willingness to shoulder increased burdens in providing for its own defense. Starting in 2015, agreements call for South Korea to take the lead role in any future war on the Korean peninsula. And South Korea’s defense budget is actually growing, which is rare among U.S. allies.”

    The US is not in Korea for Korea alone. The alliance between the US and Korea is a bilateral and mutually beneficial relationship. This relationship to the US is worth a lot more than some billion dollars of cash saving that you could possibly trade it for. You don’t even know the exact figures of the savings anyway. But if it’s a mere relocation of US personnel in Korea to somewhere else, rather than the total disbanding of the withdrawn personnel and equipment… well I guess you can’t do the math on this one. The point is, it’s a huge mistake to think that USFK withdrawal from Korea somehow plays into US strategic interest. It’s actually going to harm it. Try finding any evidence that US defense officials or experts think pulling out of Korea is a good idea for America’s sake.

  • K
    10:33 am on February 19th, 2012 27

    Please check your spam filter box, admin.

  • Colonel louis T Dechert
    11:10 am on February 19th, 2012 28

    Interesting discussions: thanks to all the participants.

    I have not seen mention that the US is still in Korea, at least partially, because of the UN–the UN of 1950-53, AND since. On that basis I would say pack our bags and leave, telling the UN to carry their own freight! It was, after all, their war and their ceasefire!

    There are, however, other reasons.

    Many interesting documents concerning the affairs of men and nations become available over the decades. There is a great volume of papers available from “inside the White House, Department of State, and UN” regarding the “Korean War.” [See “The Wrong War,” Foot, “The Road to Confrontation,” Stueck, and “The Korean War; A 25-year Perspective,” Harry S Truman Library Institute).

    US Forces in Korea today are continuing fulfillment of the terms of the US “bribe” to the ROK to accept the UN Ceasefire. Strategically and commercially that has proven to possibly be the best “bribe” the US has made since the Louisiana Purchase!

    Diplomacy always has unintended/unforeseen consequences far beyond the sometimes narrow scope of the original purposes.

    I have no love or regard for the UN so supporting that institution is no justification for staying in Korea so far as I am concerned--but I do not wear fancy State Department suits nor raise billions of dollars in campaign funds.

    I support the US presence in ROK strictly in terms of US strategic interests. Our presence has also had the bonus effect of preventing resumption of open battle on the Korean Peninsula, the original purpose.

    Commenter "K" has consistently hinted at the "elephant in the room" that everyone appears to ignore: a nuclear (nuc) Japan. That is another matter, a greater fear among Asians than a nuc-ROK. A nuc-Japan is inevitable unless NK is nuc-disarmed (UNLIKELY, short of war). Dissolve USFK and withdraw and the plug delaying a nuc-Japan, for the present, is pulled, a serious concern of the rest of Asia.

    Someone earlier introduced the PI example in this discussion string. The Philippines (PI) and US “abandonment” there is not a comparable matter.

    The PI was de facto US territory and had been promised independence. The US military abandonment of the PI was part and parcel of a general withdrawal from Asia because of the VN defeat and general disillusionment in the United States. When Nixon met with PI President Marcos and other Asian leaders on GUAM to announce “Vietnamization” and US retreat from Asia, Marcos told him—and the other leaders present—
    “the US must do what you feel is necessary but you must realize that you will no longer have the same influence in the area as you have had.” That is still a fact of strategic life as events in IRAQ, for example, are illustrating each and every day since US departure.

    Interestingly, pulling out of PI was supposed to save money, was figured in US domestic BRAC [the BASE CLOSING-RELOCATION charade] measures (overseas), and troop reductions.

    In this string of ROK-Drop discussion the PI pullout is, however, a good example of false and misleading “savings.” In PI we have had to resort to alternative ways of exercising US interests there which in the long run did not save money (BRAC never has) and has resulted in a continuing military presence ever since. It is a bit like the contractor argument: the security/military/aid tasks remain; doing away with the “conventional” soldier’s means you have to resort of more expensive contractors or other dodges (and proxies) to get the mission accomplished. “Special Operations” troops and their support cost more than conventional forces—and loading more and more conventional forces’ missions on them is eventually self-destructive.

    Believe me; dissolving USFK would not save the US a dollar, long run. It would save the ROK money, big time. And any of the US troops “saved” by returning them to US would be “fired” by the President/Congress to save money! Thus overall US combat power would diminish eventually meaning more lives lost in reemerging battle.

    In the ROK, universal conscription would continue and several hundred million a year devoted to maintenance of US forces could be spent on their own forces. The ROK would save money if USFK leaves (See current Status of Forces—SOF— and other agreements).

    Louis T Dechert

  • ChickenHead
    4:38 pm on February 19th, 2012 29

    We have a nuke Japan…

    …but they… er… uh… kinda nuked themselves.

  • Daegu
    4:49 pm on February 19th, 2012 30

    Interesting dialogue, if US stays, status quoe, if they leave….who else will leave (business), what will the international fund do (lower Korea rating), what will that do (loss of business and revenue), what does this cause (inflation/unemployment/IMF), who is to blame (all). More to the game than just DPRK and ROK scenerio. The stability of all Asia is on a tight rope today. ROK is currently the center of of it all. Take that away without an alternate and it is the luck of the dice on who fills the vacumn. Why do you think the US is looking at Australia. Strategic importance and they actually like the USA. Go figure…Save your monies..The day WILL come.

  • Retired GI
    5:41 pm on February 19th, 2012 31

    Louis T Dechert makes some excellent points. Of course, I do not fully agree.
    The word I heard in 1991 about the PI pullout was more concerned with the failed negotiations of the “rent” agreement. Followed during that same week with the eruption of Penatubo. The PI had angered the Americans by changing the amount after the US had agreed to the lower amount. Then the bases had been covered with ash and many building destroyed. The US had enough and agreed to not renew the contract.

    I’m less concerned with saving a dollar by closing the bases in Korea than I am with proper use of the American Military. Our presents in the ROK is not proper use of the American Military and should have already ended years ago.
    As I have stated, the ROK is an independent country. The citizens do not have a “dog in the hunt” for their national security. They should.
    If the ROK is not able to defend itself after being cared for, since the end of WWII, by America, that sucks to be them. To be blunt, if that is the case (I hope not), then they need to fall.
    America has been bailing out the ROK for far too long. Is the ROK “too big to fail”? Of course not. No country is.
    America is tired of the business of Nation Building. We have given the ROK plenty of time to have finished it’s nation building. If the ROK isn’t ready by now, it never will be and we should wash our hands of it.
    No one said we have to return to help them if they fail. If we do not return, there is a money saving componant to leaving.

    The people of the ROK do not understand. They do not care. Why should they? Mean while our military are kept behind the wire and under curfew like children.
    I understand that the President will fire them if the bases are closed. That is what happens when you have a president with zero military experience. Perhaps he would be correct to do so. Having been part of that club, I can tell you that many of them need to be fired. (Only the males) (if the males are gay we should keep them)

    The bottom line remains: The ROK needs to care for itself. Stand or fall. Either way, it is no longer any of America’s business. If North and South Korea want to nuke eachother, it is their business. Face it, if that is what they want, they need to get on with it. Darwin awards for the both of them. Life is hard. It is more so when you are stupid. When faced with that horror, they just might find another way. None of that is possible with America holding them apart.

    America needs to leave Korea to the Koreans. (or make them the 51st state and replace their flag with ours)

  • Denny
    5:57 pm on February 19th, 2012 32

    #27 I agree US wasn’t in Korea to “bring freedom” to Korea. US was in Korea to protect Japan from Communists and to keep China in check.

  • setnaffa
    6:51 pm on February 19th, 2012 33

    Denny and K both sound like Kimsoft to me… :razz:

    Retired GI, the military leaders in Korea are under constraints from a civilian leaders in DC that think our GIs are not capable of taking a dump without detailed instructions. :x

    And are any of you forgetting we still have troops in Germany, Italy, and elsewhere? US troops are great for the local economy, universally despised by socialists, and quite convenient targets.

  • Not Convinced
    11:22 pm on February 19th, 2012 34

    I don’t think we can just leave for expediancy. I don’t think Retired GI’s sentiments are helping either, you (Retired GI) Obviously have some serious antiphathy towards koreans. Though I would say that in some cases your attitude is exactly why many of them don’t like us.

    If Korea asked us to leave, plain answer is we would. if you read between the lines of when any high ranking official speaks, they always say we will stay in korea as long as we are welcome. We stay here because it’s in our interest to do so, otherwise we would leave. There is more than just the simplistic version offered in this article, and many of the comments here.

  • Avatar of GI KoreaGI Korea
    6:56 am on February 20th, 2012 35

    @32- This was not an article about whether or not South Korea wants USFK to stay in Korea, it is about whether the North Koreans are serious about wanting USFK out of South Korea. Of course the South Koreans want USFK stay and the US government has its own interests for keeping USFK in Korea as well; some of them already discussed in this comments thread.

  • Colonel Louis T Dechert
    11:15 am on February 20th, 2012 36

    Thank you, “GI Korea.” Herding cats, as it were!
    Hard to stay on topic sometimes when we get overcome in debating with the other responders. However, some important issues were aired–and perhaps some racial/cultural bias taint displayed which needs to be refuted.
    I was fortunate enough to be the Corps operations officer of the combined command (1FFVN) to which the sizeable Korean Forces in Vietnam were assigned—my fourth tour of duty in VN). I was stunned in 1970 by the transformation of the ROK of my war days in Korea to what they were 12 years or so later. There were no better troops in Vietnam–and we assigned them the toughest combat tasks. They never let us down
    In IRAQ the AFGHAN they have done every job called upon to do without shirking. And they were THERE when the rest of or allies (?) were AWOL. The ROK is one of the world’s best citizens, bar none. This evaluation is also a credit to Americans who organized, equipped, and trained them over the years ROK has provided forces–and money–to over 100 “peacekeeping” (sic) missions around the world. So wise-cracks about building latrines are reprehensible.
    This evaluation is important in terms of your original topic, the DPRK position towards the presence of the USFK.
    No one can absolutely discern the NK attitude because it is more or less a moving target: this is because it is both pragmatic and opportunistic; it is also influenced by the “Kim cult.” In the past DPRK has launched quick strikes when they thought they would win OR when they believed that the US was so engaged (as in VN War) that we couldn’t/wouldn’t respond to NK moves.
    One of the earlier commenter’s in the string noted that the DPRK doesn’t want to take over a ROK glowing in the dark from nuc attacks. They want the wealth! And DPRK estimates of chances of success in defeating ROK in unassisted conventional war, especially a war of attrition, are probably not encouraging to their side.
    The DPRK probably pragmatically respects the restraining, braking, influence that USFK exercises over a ROK that might otherwise seek to reunify the peninsula by force.

    Thanks again, GI Korea.

    Lou Dechert

  • Retired GI
    11:40 am on February 20th, 2012 37

    #32 During my nine years in the ROK, I had many Korean friends. Our talks together, over the years, helped to form my current toughts on the subject. But nice effort on your part, just the same.

    Does the DPRK want America to leave the ROK? They are not opposed. I’m surprized the question needed to be asked.

  • Sgt Sterk
    7:32 am on February 25th, 2012 38

    SK was termed the “Best kept Secret in the Army,” for what Retired GI said. It was a party at the expense of the Koreans, North and South. I remember my youth spent there in 1978. Wow. I want to go back as a Civil Servant just to roam the western corridor during vacations. Question: How can the NK possibly be a threat with their aging tanks and planes? Even if they tried to cross freedom bridge, we’d blow it up so they would be trapped as we blew up every thing they have at that traffic jam. Nuts. The NK now want to have peace with SK just so there will be food exchanged. Another point; There is no way they would fire off a nuke at anybody. Return fire would turn SK into an island. Another point. One nuke fired from any location on this planet would escalate. Every gov’t is primed and ready to destroy the useless eaters within their own borders. But I remember the good times in SK in 1978. I miss my buddies.

  • Colonel louis T Dechert
    10:13 am on February 25th, 2012 39

    As this string continues it serves to illustrate that no single action is without ripples everywhere else in the East Asia area.
    GI Korea’s perceptive commentary today ties the picture together in good fashion.
    I think particularly apt is his description of “slow motion decay of the US-ROK alliance to where one day the US military does pull out of Korea.”
    Events in today’s Washington, DC, indicate that decay on this side of the ocean is quickening. The ROK cannot rely on the USA with our developing “meals on wheels” military social experimentation. A weakened US armed forces will grasp the excuse of troops in Australia, or Okinawa, or Guam, or even Hawaii being nimble enough (“agility”) even in their understrength manning, to come to the relief of Japan or ROK, or elsewhere in the new (sic) US “focus on Asia.”
    The “agility” will simple be moving gravely outnumbered troops swiftly to futile sacrifice, TASK FORCE SMITH 1950 on a much larger scale.
    DPRK had best pragmatically watch the decay of US military and manipulate and await the ascendency of a sympathetic president in ROK in a year.
    Again the best out, in the bad situation–if we want an out–is to dump the mess back at the UN whose war it was and whose ceasefire it is.
    We may be certain that the DPRK is taking stock of the situations in Yemen, Syria, Egypt, and elsewhere: the “bad guys” are winning them all right under the noses of US troops of some sort close by. And Baby Kim and his handlers surely note that only one dictator in history ever surrendered his nuclear weapons–Gadhafi to Bush; and the US threw him under the bus last year.
    So much for the demand that DPRK give in on their nukes.

  • Retired GI
    12:01 pm on February 25th, 2012 40

    Interesting. “K” posted a comment but it is not here. Showed up on my email notification. I read it. He wrote a decent thesis about how fantastic the ROK force was in Iraq and that it was the third largest from our “friends” sent to Iraq.

    I would like to addres that thesis. There were a totalof 20,000 ROK soldiers sent from 2003 till they pulled out in 2008 and deserted America.
    At it’s largest strength there were 3,600 ROK “soldier?” in Iraq. WOW! I’m impressed “K”.
    Their main task were to provide medical aid and to build/repair roads, schools, and other public infastructure. NOT USED FOR COMBAT OPERATIONS. I don’t believe they ever left the base. The ROK forces suffered one (ONE) (1) death from 2003 till 2008 in Iraq. ONE!!! He was an Officer who committed SUICIDE on Base in May 2007. WTF!!!

    Let me be perfectly honest here “K”. Your ROK forces where great Solders in the Vietnam war. The ROK took no prisoners! You killed everyone! You were blood thursty and feared by the Vietcong. The ROK sent 300,000 to Vietnam. The ROK was a great alley to America in Vietnam.

    But the ROK has changed. You guys SUCK as an alley in the 21st century. That is why I believe we should wash our hands of you. Your Pride is gone from you. You are not worth any more effort. We have been holding you up since the end of WWII. You STILL can’t stand on your own.

    But thanks for building WhaJung-shills for the Iraqies to use.

  • Retired GI
    12:10 pm on February 25th, 2012 41

    Sgt Sterk, I miss my Buddies also. AnJung ri was much fun in the 80s. Likely more expensive than you would remember. I wonder what Yong Oke is doing these days. Likely divorced and a Mamasan for some bar somewhere.
    She had legs that went all the way up and made an ___ out of themselves. :lol: Her teeth were not that good but the rest was good enough. Cute sister as well. I know that one is still married!

  • Denny
    12:45 pm on February 25th, 2012 42

    #40 That’s because Iraq was based on lies of weapons of mass destruction. Most American citizens didn’t want the Iraq war, either, as indicated by the Democratic surge in 2006 and 2008 from campaigning the message, “a vote for a Republican is a vote for Iraq.” Iraqi citizens didn’t want Americans, either, since they celebrated when American pulled their troops out by burning the US flag.

    Hundreds in Fallujah burn U.S. flag to celebrate troops pulling out of Iraq

  • K
    3:33 pm on February 25th, 2012 43

    “He wrote a decent thesis about how fantastic the ROK force was in Iraq and that it was the third largest from our “friends” sent to Iraq.

    But the ROK has changed. You guys SUCK as an alley in the 21st century.That is why I believe we should wash our hands of you. Your Pride is gone from you. You are not worth any more effort. We have been holding you up since the end of WWII. You STILL can’t stand on your own.”

    You can go tell those stern words about how the ROK alliance ‘sucks’ for America to the appropriate people. Major John Prior and Vice General Walter Sharp, for starters.

    Because, I’m very sure ‘K’ was not the one who wrote this ‘decent thesis’ about how Korea has, over the years, since the Vietnam War and not only then, become one of the most dependable American ally.

    I’m sure Colonel Dechert too enjoyed listening to your renewed outrage at the US-ROK alliance after your momentary reconciliation.

  • Colonel louis T Dechert
    3:41 pm on February 25th, 2012 44

    Good discussion, except maybe for about half of Denny’s and for a little of Retired GI re: ROK in OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. The ROK said what they would do, in advance, did it and left. Same, same everywhere they go—over 100 times now.
    By and large the IRAQI people appreciated ROK work—and have since given them some civil redevelopment contracts. I am sure those contracts will be excellently done. Did ROK do the heavy lifting in combat? Not when compared to US BCT. But what they did, overall, was greater than all the other nations of the world except for the US and GB.
    Had we won DESERT STORM when we had the relatively sure chance to do so, there would have been no OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM. But we did a ceasefire instead—and over ten years later after 17 bloody violations of the ceasefire we went back in—doing the UN’s work for them.
    If the intelligence which Denny calls lies were lies—still not proven–then it was lies that every REPUTABLE nation in the world believed to be true, including the UN, and the UN passed resolutions to that effect.
    Retired GI, we had a heck of a lot of straphangers in the Korean War, 51-53 (after the heavy lifting) who did not do squat except send a few medics to Pusan or to ships of shore, but to hear them tell it now, they won the war! One of our principal allies had ships regularly visiting North Korea and doing business with them while we were fighting in the south.
    That is the way war goes. Kennedy once said to a bunch of bitching GI’s that “war is not fair. Some on my (JFK) classmates spent the war (WWII) in San Francisco–my own duty was more strenuous!” Indeed it was.
    It takes every tooth in the gear to make it go–same way with waging war. Those of us writing on these electronic pages right now have the luxury of doing so, looking bac, and while no one is shooting at us. However wars are fought by men who can only see the next second of their lives and don’t know if they will even live to talk about it. God bless everyone who has ever done a soldiers duty.

  • Retired GI
    5:25 pm on February 25th, 2012 45

    K, it isn’t “stern words”. It is my Opinion. Last I checked, I can still have one.
    As to the Officers that you quoted, you should know that after a certain rank, Officers are mostly involved in the Political game. If you don’t know that, now you do. They will say what they should say, regardles of what they really think. Consider yourself now informed.

  • Retired GI
    5:40 pm on February 25th, 2012 46

    Colonel, yes the ROK did do what they said they would do. My problem is exactly that. Their mission. I have no “Zero” problem with the ROK “Soldiers”. I had an occasion to meet with and watch the White Horse Battalion in training. Some of those guys would have been in the Hospital had they been in the American Army. Instead, they were on the course training.
    My problem is with the mission that the ROK government allowed them to have. I should not need to say more.

    I would have loved to have seen the ROK military “Turned Loose”. That did not happen. Not likely to happen in the future. The ROK has changed and not an improvement in the “strong alley” department.

  • K
    6:52 pm on February 25th, 2012 47

    “K, it isn’t “stern words”. It is my Opinion. Last I checked, I can still have one.
    As to the Officers that you quoted, you should know that after a certain rank, Officers are mostly involved in the Political game. If you don’t know that, now you do. They will say what they should say, regardles of what they really think. Consider yourself now informed.”

    Even while perfectly assuming that retired commanders who work at privately run strategic analysis institutes surely mustn’t have autonomy in what opinion they can express about America’s foreign policies, the reason why these commanders could, or had to say what they did is still quite exactly the point: America’s politics and policies on Korea function precisely around the well-established premise that Korea is a protagonist, not an antagonist, to US strategic interest. Same goes for Japan who is even more visibly unwilling than Korea to aid US in global security operations outside its home turf. Personal experience and perception of individual military personnel like you aside, in the overall perspective of US interest Korea is a very important strategic ally, more so in security aspects than in any other. Statements by commanders like Prior and Sharp just legitimize the US government’s official opinion that Korea is a boon, not a detriment, to US strategic interest; USFK stays in Korea because, perhaps unlike you, the better educated government of America firmly believes that it is beneficial to America. Korea also invites USFK to stay because it is beneficial to Korea. Both states believe that the presence is beneficial to both sides in a certain way, except perhaps some unknown rogue states in the US that happen to be led by people like you. Thankfully we can all sigh in gratefulness and relief that there aren’t any. You are a menace to both countries’ mutual interests and alliance.

  • K
    6:54 pm on February 25th, 2012 48

    Or rather, you would have been.

  • Retired GI
    7:29 pm on February 25th, 2012 49

    K, you elevate me to quite a high position. I had no idea how important I was untill you explained it.
    It is quite obvious that you have a desire to promote the ROK. That can only mean that you feel it “needs” to be promoted. As it surely does need to be.
    The ROK is a fair-weather friend to America, at best in 2012. You really should prepare to be the subjects of China. America is surely soon to be done with the ROK. After all, it can’t last forever. What have you done for America — lately?

  • K
    7:42 pm on February 25th, 2012 50

    I don’t need to promote anything to make it apparent to any dear observer that the US government has high opinion of the US-ROK alliance, and ROK’s contribution to it. ROK is an important US security ally, this is certain from US strategists’ prevailing consensus. Try finding another reputable consensus that opposes this view.

    I must repeat it in a sliver of hope that you won’t forget it again; it is the US government itself which thinks most highly of ROK’s benefit to US, and vice versa. It is the governments of both countries of significant mutual respect and partnership that’s leading this alliance – maybe you should try better not to let how individual Korean people tended to treat you (sometimes in a way you might have deserved it) darken your judgment of what is best for your country. It is best for America that USFK stays.

  • K
    7:54 pm on February 25th, 2012 51

    The Korean people’s attitude towards YOU doesn’t matter; you are not that important. Now as for how majority of Koreans think of USFK, not some random retired GI who badmouth Korea for a hobby, it’s certainly very different from how they would treated YOU, and perhaps for a very understandable reason.

  • Retired GI
    8:21 pm on February 25th, 2012 52

    K, I was treated quite well for nine years in Korea, by Koreans. That being said, I never said a word about being important. You are the one who keeps responding to little ole me. :twisted:

    You sound like someone desperate to convince someone of how important the ROK is to America. I don’t agree and you just keep coming back. :lol:

    I’ve been in Korea — for years. My Korean friends are the ones that help to form my opinions. I’ve gotten drunk with you, eaten dog and kimchy with you and stayed in your homes — before curfew was nation wide. I’ve even been treated to noribong nights with you. I’ve dated your women and didn’t need to pay for the room. Soju is great and everyone tells the truth after a bottle or two.
    But your government is STILL a fair-weather friend. I wouldn’t count on the ROK government for anything — unless it involved a profit to them.
    Now I wait for you to come back and explain yet again, how important the ROK is to America. Don’t make me wait too long.

  • K
    8:27 pm on February 25th, 2012 53

    I wasn’t trying to ‘promote’ anything man, it’s actually you who’s trying to demote ROK into something much less than what it actually is. I was only showing how stupid and short-sighted that was. USFK leaving Korea will ruin US interest in the region in a very FUBAR way. Obviously you can’t see this because you are either stupid or short-sighted (and the US government can see it because it is neither). Perhaps both, but I’m not that evil to conclude such so fast. Try not to prove me wrong.

  • K
    8:38 pm on February 25th, 2012 54

    Your short-sighted understanding of US strategy and interest in East Asia is the most obvious source of your persistent failure to realize that absence of USFK is the immediate catalyst of an unprecedented nuclear arms race in the region a few years down the road, as nations, just as the US had done long before, scramble to secure the ultimate weapon that can ensure their defense. You are a foolish citizen to believe that USFK leaving Korea will somehow spell a fine and dandy future for America. It won’t take a decade for the cold reality to set in that US has just lost a key security ally and inadvertently turned it into something of a harbinger of some serious regional crisis.

  • Retired GI
    8:50 pm on February 25th, 2012 55

    You just keep coming back don’t you. :grin: I’m stating what I believe to be correct. You are not even addressing it anylonger. Read your comment.

    Personally, I give a rats arse if American keeps on wasteing money on the ROK. But it IS my opinion, that further money spent on the ROK is a waste.

    Now you can call me stupid or short-sighted all you want. Not going to change my OPINION. My opinion is that the ROK was a great allie untill the mid 90s. After that, no longer even a good allie.

    Quoting American Officers will not change my mind. They are going to say whatever best serves their interest.

    Show me a situation where the ROK did something that was not self-serving to help America.
    Show me something where the ROK made life better for the Americans, that wasn’t self-serving in some way. That would at least make me think about changeing my mind.

  • K
    9:05 pm on February 25th, 2012 56

    Indeed it’s only your short-sighted opinion, and I have no intention of trying in vain to change THAT, only pointing out the evident truth that people who better know their stuff when it comes to US strategy in Asia do not share your short sight. Do you have any evidence that ANY reputable analyst of US strategic interest share this view that Korea sucks as a security ally? It’s obvious to me that you are not one of them, and you haven’t shown me any. US strategists, or those with experience to be one, believe that Korea is an important security ally that they’d rather keep than lose. They are right and you are wrong.

  • K
    9:15 pm on February 25th, 2012 57

    On the contrary, I want to see you try convincing your own educated Americans instead that Korea is a bad security ally, and keeping it a partner is a bad idea. Bring me news when you’ve gone and done that.

  • Retired GI
    9:27 pm on February 25th, 2012 58

    So you nave nothing. Got it.

    I have stated from the beginning that my understanding of the ROK was gained from my military time spent in Korea over nine years. I am officially a Retired GI. Nothing more. I have not inquired as to your position. I don’t care.

    My opinion again, is that the ROK is a fair-weather friend to America. Therefore, a waste of time and manpower. You have sited Officers and anything you can find to prove that my opinion is wrong. That is not possible. My opinion can not be proven right or wrong. It is my “opinion”, based on “my” experience.

    Again, the ROK can not be counted on, unless it involves gain in fortune or status. That is a fact and you have refused to show that I am wrong. Translation: You know that you can not show that I am wrong.

    Don’t worry so much about what one little ole Retired GI thinks. Also, don’t site military officers when trying to prove I’m wrong. I know them and you really shouldn’t believe what comes out of their mouth. They are, after all, just people.

  • K
    10:08 pm on February 25th, 2012 59

    You still misunderstand my point in posting. I don’t need, nor want, to bring anything here to convince YOU. US strategists already have even more experience, knowledge, and evidence than either of us on the matter to safely conclude among themselves that what they are doing in Korea IS for America’s best interest. US decision makers, and their advisers, already hold this firm belief that Korea is a good security ally, and there’s nothing I need to do to reinforce that. Neither would any amount of persuasion job on YOUR part will change THEIR opinion and decision. I have no intention of trying to convince you either; it is not an important mission to me. I’m just showing evidence to other readers that US decision makers, quite fortunately, don’t share your short sight. To people who are really relevant to the progress of US-ROK alliance, who have the experience, knowledge, and credibility to be in that influential position, Korea is a protagonist the alliance with whom is very worth the cost. It is actually you who is failing to prove to anybody with a serious perspective of the ROK-US alliance that Korea is an unworthy ally. I don’t even think most Americans in this very thread agree with your opinion.

    You ignorantly spew your misguided conviction as if the US itself has definitely nothing to gain through USFK’s continued presence in Korea, and has nothing to lose if it leaves. Americans know that that is wrong too. USFK is in Korea to stay. And I don’t mean this as an occupational force but as an indispensable asset of the most dependable moderating power of the Pacific region.

  • tim
    10:28 pm on February 25th, 2012 60

    Retired GI and K, why don’t you two get a room?

  • kushibo
    10:30 pm on February 25th, 2012 61

    “While the focus of the alliance remains deterring an attack from North Korea, increasingly Seoul and Washington are confronting a broader array of common challenges such as piracy, illegal fishing, human trafficking, and preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction that have a maritime dimension. Moreover, South Korea has undertaken a determined effort to expand and modernize its naval capabilities to build a blue water naval fleet. As a result, ROK-U.S. maritime cooperation has been growing and holds out an important opportunity for expanding and broadening the alliance.” [link]

    South Korea can do a lot (and is increasingly doing so) with its US ally in places like the Indian Ocean and Straits of Malacca, among other areas. This is a win-win situation for all sides, and it gives the chance for South Korea to again rise to a greater partnership with the United States. Under carefully prescribed situations, Japan can also join, and perhaps should.

  • kushibo
    10:33 pm on February 25th, 2012 62

    Serious question: for those who think South Korea’s “contribution” in Iraq was little more than a political dog-and-pony show, do you have the same feelings about South Korea’s two different stints in Afghanistan?

  • ChickenHead
    10:46 pm on February 25th, 2012 63

    “US strategists already have even more experience, knowledge, and evidence than either of us on the matter to safely conclude among themselves that what they are doing in Korea IS for America’s best interest.”

    Why don’t they transfer some of these guys over to the Iraq/Afghanistan strategy department?


    That being said, the USA should stay in Korea for as long as Korea allows.

    The American presence is accepted or ignored by the VAST majority of the population… and appreciated by those in higher education/income brackets.

    …a fact not well understood by those who base their opinions on a vocal minority with other agendas, believe the political/sensational-motivated media, or have an unintentional sample bias in the Koreans they speak with.

    It might even be nice to have a naval base in Korea.

    The biggest problem is the fraud, waste, and abuse perpetuated by short-term USFK leadership and guided by long-term Good Neighbors is not offering the best return on investment.

  • kushibo
    10:54 pm on February 25th, 2012 64

    ChickenHead wrote:

    The American presence is accepted or ignored by the VAST majority of the population… and appreciated by those in higher education/income brackets.

    …a fact not well understood by those who base their opinions on a vocal minority with other agendas, believe the political/sensational-motivated media, or have an unintentional sample bias in the Koreans they speak with.

    The chinboistas’ goal is to get USFK and Washington to believe their minority opinion represents the masses’.

  • K
    11:26 pm on February 25th, 2012 65

    “Why don’t they transfer some of these guys over to the Iraq/Afghanistan strategy department?”

    Iraq and Afghanistan are much more costly endeavors. It is obvious that Korea doesn’t cost as much as those two battlefronts. There will need to be a recalculation of one interest versus another – economic interest versus security interest. In Korea every penny of the economic cost for USFK’s upkeep is worth the return in increased security for America’s interest in the region. That is what the US strategists believe and why they stay.

  • Retired GI
    5:32 am on February 26th, 2012 66

    You ignorantly spew your misguided conviction as if the US itself has definitely nothing to gain through USFK’s continued presence in Korea, and has nothing to lose if it leaves. Americans know that that is wrong too. USFK is in Korea to stay. And I don’t mean this as an occupational force but as an indispensable asset of the most dependable moderating power of the Pacific region.

    Correct. The US has nothing to gain through a continued presence in Korea.
    All it will lose when it leaves Korea is the expense of upkeep for the bases. The relationship between the ROK and USA is corrupt and serves only as a money making venture for the ROK.
    The American “people” know very little about Korea, good or bad. Korea is simply not on their radar. As for those Americans in the know, the ones you hope you are speaking to here; Korea is simply a habit. This is the way it is and they will need a reason to change the situation.
    Since you state that you are not concerned with changing MY mind, that is wise of you. As you have shown no reason for me to do so.

    I hope you will post again when the anti-American riots kickup and explain again, the important relationship we shair. That might be interesting reading!

  • Colonel louis T Dechert
    5:04 pm on February 26th, 2012 67

    Good to see some “fresh blood” in this string (KUSHIBO and CHICKENHEAD). RETIRED GI has frequently said “Officers will only say what is political.” That is not so–it is his “opinion” as he has said. It is especially not so of THIS retired officer who has spent six years, retired, working with every level of the ROK govt representing US objectives. I also was the elected president (four years) of the only US Veterans Organization representing Korean Veterans, chartered by Congress, the Korean War Veterans Association. And yes, my opinions are my opinions, earned in battle in Korea, VN (4 tours) and Special Forces (11 years). Nevertheless, they are opinions and just as right or wrong, depending on your perspective, as your own opinions.
    RETIRED GI has consistently neglected to acknowledge the annual money paid by ROK to US for the stationing of US troops in ROK–something over half a billion a year as I recall–it varies. But whatever, that amount it is vastly in excess to what any governor of any state in the US would pay (ZERO) or has paid (ZERO) for having those same troops based in their states contributing to state finances in the billions every year. That of course assumes the any troops saved from KOREA would be stationed somewhere else. THEY WOULDN’T–they would be fired by the Obama Department of Defense to save money, and our military would be that much weaker.
    Remembering GI KOREA’S initial question, 66 comments ago, does DPRK really want USFK gone; I do not believe they do so at this point in time, for the many reasons already stated, the main one being US gone, JAPAN becomes top dog in area versus current shared US-ROK position at the top of regional geopolitics..
    But here is one that RETIRED GI or any of the rest of you can investigate in ROK channels and using my name find to be true: I consistently told the ROK that they would be better off in the future without the US. That opinion arose from the many circumstances that I have already discussed.
    The US became a less than strong and reliable ally on the day they quit Vietnam.

  • Retired GI
    7:24 pm on February 26th, 2012 68

    “I consistently told the ROK that they would be better off in the future without the US.” With that statement, you EARNED my respect Colonel. As I whole heartedly agree with you.

    I understand the ROK pays (part) of the expense. In my Opinion, they should pay the full amount. We are there for them.

    “The US became a less than strong and reliable ally on the day they quit Vietnam.” So very true!

  • Bones
    9:51 pm on February 26th, 2012 69

    I got a question for all, name a country that the USA has attacked for no reason at all.

  • Leon LaPorte
    11:10 pm on February 26th, 2012 70

    69. The War on Drugs comes to mind but that is only the government attacking its own citizens.

  • ChickenHead
    11:53 pm on February 26th, 2012 71

    “I got a question for all, name a country that the USA has attacked for no reason at all.”

    Should I start backwards from Libya or forwards from the War of 1812… although the annexation of Canada, technically, is a reason.

    Actually I am joking… that wasn’t the only reason.

    Every war had a “reason” but some of them are pretty unclear.

    Can anybody give valid reasons for Libya, Kosovo War, Iraq I and II, Invasion of Grenada, etc?

    Give Obama street cred, shift attention away from Monica Lewenski, get Haliburton some business, and make Americans not feel so bad about the Beirut Marine barracks bombing are reasons… but…

    “Weapons of mass destruction”, “killing his own people”, “defending freedom”, and other things we knew to be bullshyt at the time are not acceptable answers.

  • john in CA
    11:54 pm on February 26th, 2012 72

    Someone said the current situation in Korea was like a bed that was made by Russian/US so US just has to deal with sleeping in the bed. I saw that comment somewhere on the internet.

    And of course Korea has to deal with the situation because it had the misfortune of having idiotic king/ruling class for too long (aka end of Chosun dynasty)…

    Lastly IF US does pull out of Korea, I think S Korea/Japan will have even stronger incentive for coming up with their own nukes…

  • john in CA
    11:58 pm on February 26th, 2012 73

    S Korea/Japan would be interested in getting nukes (in case US pulls out) not just for N Korea but more because of China…

  • Dongzu
    6:49 am on July 2nd, 2012 74

    As racist and ignorant as South Korea is towards Americans (especially minorities), if they want the US out, get it done. Let NK do whatever the f***it wants to do with SK. The reason why Kpop, their entertainment industry, amongst other things exist is because of the US. If they want to be controlled by NK, let them. The minute something does wrong, let them take care of it. My opinion.

  • wood
    4:04 am on October 21st, 2012 75

    Wow, surprised how many economically illeterate people here. It isn’t about if s.Korea can or cannot defend themselves. Any country that bears the brunt of war on their own soil … loses. Even if they win. No one even considered what would happen to the world economy if the third largest economy in Asia collapses. Or how many civilians would suffer on a peninsula with no exit but the sea. Look at history and what happened when Napal’s economy went under. Now imagine if south Korea goes under.


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