Demystifying the U.S. ROK Command and Control Structure: How "OPCON Transfer" Can Advance the Unity of Effort on the Korean Peninsula
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI NEWPORT United States
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The thawing of tensions on the Korean peninsula associated with the historic peace treaty agreement between North Korean Dictator, Kim Jong-un, and South Korean President, Moon Jae-in, offer hope for a denuclearized North Korea. Despite these positive steps toward peace between the two Koreas, prudence and North Koreas long history of bellicose behavior strongly suggest that Washington and Seoul should remain postured to defend South Korea. Perhaps the most significant vulnerability in defense of South Korea is the complex U.S.-ROK command and control C2 structure. Because of the existence of four distinct theater-level commands within Korea, the U.S. military and ROK Armed Forces lack a truly unified command structure, a glaring defect in the defenses of the peninsula. To create a streamlined C2 process and increased operational efficiency and effectiveness, the United States and South Korea should expedite the transfer of wartime operational control OPCON0F1 through the restructuring of the Combined Forces Command CFC and work towards the termination of the Armistice Agreement, in the event of a failed peace treaty.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Government and Political Science