Thursday, October 07, 2004

Plan to withdraw from ROK slowed

Jason Kramer posted on this a few days ago, and I though I'd post an update and my thoughts.

BBC is reporting that as opposed to the U.S.'s original plan to pull some troops out of the R.O.K. by 2005, that it will instead phase in a slower plan to remove some 15,000 soldiers by 2008. As Jason said, the U.S. and R.O.K. also plan to restation some troops furthur south out of artillery range.

I don't want to simply repeat what Jason said, but I also found it interesting that the U.S. is slowing the plan because the R.O.K. believes a "sudden departure would leave it vulnerable to the North." To me, even though U.S. military leadership asserts that longer-range weaponry will make up for fewer troops, it still seems that the R.O.K. would be an important place for a strong U.S. military presence, especially with the current uncertainty surrounding D.P.R.K. weapons programs. Though history suggests that Kim Jong Il wouldn't go to war under rational circumstances, as we discussed in class, accidents and misunderstandings can occur. It would seem illogical to remove troops right now.

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