Accession Number:



Force Planning and Budgetary Implications of U.S. Withdrawal from Korea

Descriptive Note:

Research paper

Corporate Author:


Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Since 1950, the United States has maintained a major military presence in South Korea as part of its larger force structure in the Western Pacific. Early in 1977, President Carter announced his decision to withdraw U.S. combat forces primarily the 2nd Infantry Division and support units from South Korea by 1982. The Presidents plan calls for a phased withdrawal of all U.S. ground forces from Korea over a 5-year period, with the first group returning to the United States by the end of 1978. U.S. air and naval units will remain in South Korea, as will some intelligence and logistics support elements. Although the initial phases of the withdrawal from Korea may only minimally affect the current defense budget, several unresolved but related issues are likely to affect future budgets and to require Congressional review 1 Should the 2nd Division be retained in the force structure 2 Should the division be mechanized, either in place of or in addition to other divisions slated for conversion 3 Should new base facilities be built to accommodate all or part of the division If so, where should they be built 4 Would retention of these forces require procurement of additional strategic mobility and logistics assets and 5 Should the level of compensatory military aid to South Korea be the same as that recommended by the President or should it be more or less The departure of U.S. ground forces from Korea affords the Congress an important opportunity to re-examine priorities for U.S. conventional forces. The question of the disposition of these forces after their withdrawal is one of how best to allocate defense resources to meet changing U.S. security needs. This study examines the implications of different defense policy approaches for the future role of the 2nd Division in the overall force structure. Several options for its disposition are presented, along with estimates of the costs or savings that might accrue from each.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Personnel Management and Labor Relations
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement: