Sunday, July 27, 2003

Korean complaints about US troop redeployment

Check out the Incestuous Amplification blog for an article about US troop redeployment. I agree with Kevin, and not just because we have the same first name. Many South Koreans are going to complain. In my view, they shouldn't. South Koreans, on the whole, have been shouting anti-American slogans and loudly wishing for our troops to go elsewhere. Rumsfeld's plan is a first step in that direction. Maybe, at some point, we'll be off the peninsula entirely. These complainers should be happy we're moving.

Some axioms:

1. South Korea should become ENTIRELY responsible for its own defense within 10 years. If North Korea truly is "one people," this shouldn't present a problem for South Korea. The immediate corollary is that the American military should leave the peninsula in that time.

2. South Korea, in the meantime, should be present at EVERY multilateral security meeting. Immediate corollary: NO such meeting should EVER disclude South Korea. If talks are bilateral, then they should be inter-Korean, NOT US-NK.

3. South Korea must develop a REALISTIC idea of how dangerous North Korea is. You cannot deal properly with your opponent if you either (1) underestimate him, or (2) appease him.

4. The United States must stop the dysfunctional pattern of acceding to NK demands, offering concessions, and receiving NOTHING in return from NK. "Peace at any price" is precisely how Hitler became powerful. Some argue that NK is not expansionist. Bullshit. NK is intent on expanding its ability to make and sell WMDs to any who will buy them. NK must be pushed. It must be allowed to become shrill. We (US & SK) need to begin testing the actual limits, even if this proves dangerous. I am not in favor of cavalier action, but I am also not in favor of appeasement.

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