Analyst: All U.S. Ground Forces May Leave by 2012 (D.O.A. #46)

This entire Asia Times piece by Bruce Klingner is a must-read, but this is the paragraph that leapt off the page for me:

The US is contemplating cuts below the already-reduced, 25,000-troop level announced for 2008, including a rumored total withdrawal of US ground forces by 2012. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and General Burwell Bell, commander of US Forces in Korea, have warned that the recent closure of the Maehyangri training range to US pilots could cause Washington to redeploy some of its military air units off-peninsula. Previous US announcements of troop reductions or redeployments triggered concern by Seoul over the impact on North Korean actions and investor drawdown in the South Korean economy.

I can’t recall having heard that rumor before, although I’m among those who believe that the U.S. ground component has outlived its usefulness. The rest of the piece is a very good summary of how South Korea has “balanced” itself into regional irrelevance.

7 Comments

  1. Joshua,

    I think I recall that Mr. Klingner used to work for the CIA and also the military intelligence. So perhaps he has some kind of an inside scoop?




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  2. Joshua,

    If I recall correctly, Mr. Klingner worked for the CIA and the military intelligence agencies quite a while. So perhaps he heard it from his intelligence contacts?




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  3. Richard Hollaran and something else I read, I believe out of Korea, said that big annoucements would come in the fall of this year. Now I look and I see all these former military people in Korea coming out, not once, but twice and more, to speak out loud and clear. And I see all these usually pretty quiet civic groups pooling together to organize what will probably be a very large pro-US alliance rally this week.

    It sounds to me like some very big information has been leaking through back door channels and just hasn’t really hit the press yet.

    But, if what they are saying is really in the works, I don’t think even a few hundred thousand Koreans in the street demanding the allinace stay strong or the Korean editorials calling for it too – is going to stop this train from moving.

    The ideas and plans or semi-plans for the draw down have been worked on and put on the shelf going back to Sam Nunn and even before. And once you start activiting plans like this, they take on a momentum of their own. At least that’s what I think.

    The next person in the White House can, if he (or she) has the desire, reverse them completely, however.




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  4. Guys, is there a new moderating policy for comments? I am a bit confused here.

    I posted comment #1 yesterday afternoon, and when it didn’t appear immediately, I posted comment #2, thinking that my ISP gave out temporarily (hence the double post).

    But comments #1 and #2 didn’t show up until now.

    The strange thing is that comments #3 and #4 were up until now, even though they were posted before my earlier 2 double posts.




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