Thursday, May 09, 2013

Bandow on the US-ROK alliance and why it should end

In a recent op-ed in Forbes titled "South Korea: Close Friend Of The U.S., And A Defense Welfare Queen," Doug Bandow questions whether the US-ROK alliance should continue. Referring to Park Geun-hye's planned policy of 'trustpolitik' with the North, he writes:
This policy obviously is no bargain for America: the South underwrites the military of the nation against which the U.S. is prepared to go to war. In return, Washington receives marginal assistance from the ROK in conflicts the U.S. should not be fighting.

The strategy looks equally dubious for the South. Complained Edward Luttwak, “South Korea has matched the North’s bellicosity with its own strategic perversity: It remains obsessed with an utterly unthreatening Japan and has been purchasing air power to contend with imagined threats from Tokyo as opposed to the real ones just north of the demilitarized zone. Seoul is simply unwilling to acquire military strength to match its vastly superior economy.”

Even so, the decision should be Seoul’s alone—if America was not defending the South. Washington has reason to object to being asked to defend the ROK from an enemy which the ROK is subsidizing. If Seoul responds that the subsidies don’t matter because the DPRK poses no threat, then U.S. military support is unnecessary.
Read the rest here.

1 comment:

Jangwoo Lee said...

This is an interesting post. I will follow up with an article as well at www.thekoreanlawblog.com