Adverse Effects of Prospective U.S. Forces Korea Troop Realignments
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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For over 50 years, the U.S. military has remained on the Korean Peninsula in large numbers due to its commitment to defend South Korea the Republic of Korea, or ROK against aggression from North Korea the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, or DPRK. The United States and the ROK have built a strong, successful alliance based on the mutual defense of South Korea. However, for several years, the commitment of U.S. permanently stationed forces in South Korea in support of this alliance has come under scrutiny. Many institutions, military and political alike, have called for a reduction in the overall number of U.S. troops stationed in South Korea, even to the point of complete withdrawal. The thesis of this paper is that prospective U.S. Forces Korea USFK troop realignments out of South Korea would produce adverse effects to the U.S.-ROK alliance, would not help overall stability on the Korean Peninsula, and will degrade the United States ability to diplomatically engage North Korea. This paper concludes with a recommendation to USFK to delay any prospective troop realignment out of South Korea until further progress can be made in the relationship with North Korea with respect to deterrence of possible North Korean aggression.
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