Skip to comments.Why Are We Still on the DMZ?
Posted on 02/15/2013 6:18:01 AM PST by Kaslin
North Korea has just pulled off an impressive dual feat -- the successful test both of an intercontinental ballistic missile and an atom bomb in the 6-kiloton range.
Pyongyang's ruler, 30-year-old Kim Jong Un, said the tests are aimed at the United States. So it would seem. One does not build an ICBM to hit Seoul, 30 miles away.
Experts believe North Korea is still far from having the capability to marry a nuclear warhead to a missile that could hit the West Coast. But this seems to be Kim's goal.
Why is he obsessed with a nation half a world away?
America has never recognized his, his father's or his grandfather's regime. We have led the U.N. Security Council in imposing sanctions. We have 28,000 troops in the South and a defense treaty that will bring us into any war with the North from day one, and a U.S. general would assume overall command of U.S. and Republic of Korea troops.
We are South Korea's defense shield and deterrent against the North.
And while America cannot abdicate her responsibility and role in this crisis, we should be asking ourselves: Why is this our crisis in 2013?
President Eisenhower ended the Korean War 60 years ago. The Chinese armies in Korea went home. Twenty years ago, the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia abandoned communism and ceased to arm the North, and Mao's China gave up world revolution for state capitalism.
Epochal events. Yet U.S. troops still sit on the DMZ, just as their grandfathers did when this writer was still in high school.
Why? North Korea represents no threat to us, and South Korea is not the ruined ravaged land of 1953. It has twice the population of the North, an economy 40 times the size of the North's, and access to the most modern weapons in America's arsenal.
Why were U.S. troops not withdrawn from Korea at the end of the Cold War? Why should we have to fight Seoul's war if Pyongyang attacks, when the South is capable of fighting and winning its own war?
Why is South Korea's defense still America's obligation?
Had the United States moved its soldiers out of South Korea, and its planes and ships offshore, and turned over to Seoul responsibility for its own security, would the North be building missiles that can hit the United States?
Undeniably, Kim Jong Un runs a tyrannical, wretched regime. But its closest neighbors are South Korea, Japan, Russia and China.
Why is Kim Jong Un not primarily their problem, rather than ours?
Had we departed 20 years ago, the South would have built up its own forces to contain the North. Instead, we have allowed it to remain a strategic dependency. And the same holds true for Japan.
Japanese and Chinese warplanes and warships are now circling each other near what Tokyo calls the Senkaku Islands and Beijing calls the Diaoyou. These rocks were occupied by Japan in 1895, when the Empire of the Sun was at war with China and colonizing Taiwan.
After Imperial Japan fell in 1945 and disgorged its colonies, the Senkakus, along with the Ryukyus -- of which the largest is Okinawa -- were returned by President Nixon. And as the Senkakus are but a few rocks sticking out of the East China Sea, no one seemed to mind, before reports surfaced of oil and gas deposits in adjacent waters.
Beijing restated China's claim. Last week, Chinese warships reportedly locked firing radar on Japanese ships and helicopters near the islands. China denies it.
What has this to do with us?
The United States has reportedly signaled Japan that the Senkakus are covered by our mutual defense treaty and if China attacks in those waters, and Japan goes to war, we stand with Japan.
Sixty years ago, U.S. commitments to go to war to keep South Korea and Japan from falling into the Stalin-Mao sphere were supported by Americans, who willingly sent their sons to the Far East to defend the "frontiers of freedom."
But South Korea and Japan long ago became economic powers, fully capable of undertaking their own defense. And the Cold War enemies we confronted no longer exist.
Why have we failed to adapt to the new world we are in? As Lord Salisbury said, "The commonest error in politics is sticking to the carcass of dead policies."
Vladimir Putin's Russia is not Stalin's. If Putin is in a quarrel with Japan over the Kuriles, why should that be our quarrel? If Japan is in a quarrel with Xi Jinping's China over the Senkakus, why is that our quarrel?
Are our war guarantees to Japan and South Korea eternal?
Undeniably, should the U.S. seek to renegotiate its defense pacts with Seoul and Tokyo, each would consider, given the rogue regime in the North, a nuclear deterrent of its own. This would stun and shock China.
But what help have the Chinese been to us lately?
PattyO is a special kind of stupid isn’t he. It isn’t about being ‘friends’, it is about the much greater implication on us if a regional war breaks out there. It is cheaper and easier on us to remain that firewall.
The incompetence and mystifying policies of the Clinton administration and the bizarre meddling of Jimmy Carter in 1994 has resulted in a nuclear North Korea. It really is time to leave and let wealthy South Korea and China, who strong vested interests deal with it.
Just how many ENEMIES does Pat want us to have?
We already fed him Egypt, Libya, Iraq, and other nations in that area. Does he want a UNIFIED Korea staring us down? How about Japan, would he prefer them aligned with China (and yes, Japan pays the bill for our troops, SK might, not sure)? How about our hemisphere?
What’s his end-game here? Total isolation of the US, I guess...and then, without friends, we are crushed like an ant. Nice vision, Pat.
South Korea can handle anything North Korea can throw at them and China isn’t going to allow them to use a nuke against South Korea. In fact I suspect China would crush any further NK research into nukes if we weren’t there.
Its not like we can’t project power if South Korea needs us.
Pat, your new world order is showing.
“South Korea can handle anything North Korea can throw at them”
There is a small scale version of Mutually Assured Destruction in Korea. Both sides have tens of thousands of rockets pointed at each other. If anything touches off, it will be a matter of minutes before total devastation.
One of the smarter things Rumsfeld did is quietly reduce our troop strength there...the theory being troops in the cannon fodder zone are useless, compared to troops a thousand miles away, that could at least get there after the first volley.
But, we can’t protect the border unless there are at least some ‘boots on the ground’. Why do we stay? International credibility. Same reason we’ve still got troops in Germany.
It also has the residual efect of giving us a large military footprint in the region, and we could project force from there if necessary closeby (Taiwan comes to mind).
Yet again, we are seeing the repercussion of not taking the advice of our founders to heart—staying out of foreign entanglements. Though the circumstances of our current status of alliances can be well understood. The catastrophic results of the treaty of Versailles after WWI, was a good indication that someone had to manage events of post WWII. And that someone was the U.S., as we were the only remaining nation that was not devastated by that war. The total makeup of the world would be starkly different today had not the U.S. stood against the onslaught of Communism.
As for the U.S. still being in S. Korea, some old grizzled vets that I knew, firmly believed that the goal is not to keep the north from invading the south but the south from invading the north.
The unfortunate part about our current position in the world, is that it will be virtually impossible to backtrack and leave many of those nations to the fickle vagaries, of populations no longer interested in defending themselves. Its the consequences that our national parks have long understood when visitors are told to not feed the bears.
I don’t usually agree with Buchanan but he’s right on SK. They’ve enjoyed our defense umbrella and mostly ignored their own. Like Japan, SK wants the American footprint reduced to a postage stamp. They can’t have it both ways.
Pats got a point. The South has an economy 10 times the Norths in size.
Time for them to step up and. Defend their own country . We could still be called on to back the mup without keeping. Thousands of US troops in the South.
Bring those troops home and fortify our own DMZ to the south. Let Korea spend their own money.
Why should we
spend borrow from China billions of dollars to provide for South Korea's defense?
If North Korea invades South Korea, how does that threaten the U.S.?
Why is there an implication that the U.S. must be involved in that war?
What is stupid is the assumption that America must expend blood and treasure on behalf of other countries.
Our founders warned of getting entangled in this sort of thing and its only getting worse. Now we’re getting involved all over Africa. We’re being destroyed in a similar manner to the way Reagan brought down the Soviet union.
Animal planet has a show about American special forces fighting poachers in South Africa. From what I’ve read it includes both former and current special forces troops.
No, that’s not a stupid assumption. Watch what happens once we stop.
Welcome to FR.
All Korea has to do is give their nuke to Iran who has permission to fire it from Venezuela.
And I think it’s March 15th that our southern air defense becomes non-existent. Anybody who wants can launch something into the airspace on our southern border and we won’t even necessarily know until it goes off. Not that we’d actually try to intercept something if it was headed there anyway - the lame-duck democrats were still able to get our soon-to-be-Republican House to agree to give up on developing our missile defense system in December of 2010...
When are people going to realize just how dangerous this foreign enemy combatant occupying our White House really is? Our enemies have all the capability they need, to bring this country down in a big, big way.
Buchanan is correct though about one thing: North Korea's progress in developing and proliferating nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology logically suggests that Japan and Taiwan should develop an inventory of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles to deter China. The Obama administration bobbled the ball because they should have been repeatedly telling that to China and demanding that they block North Korea and replace the Kim regime. Now, the US must deliver that same message to China with all the persuasive force that can be brought to bear.
Frigging idiot isolationist Buccanan.
“South Korea can handle anything North Korea can throw at them”
One quarter of South Korea’s population is in Seoul, which North Korea is capable of flattening in a mere half hour. Rethink your statement.
Bring our troops home.
Cause we said we would....
They can afford to defend themselves against Red China?
I beleive korea is still a UN mission.
Why is the US carrying the load ?
If we remove 28k troops, does S.korea economy go down the tubes ?
Do we care ?
That’s advocating a communist South Korea.
You've got a point. But as a nation we have gone way, way beyond bankrupt. So perhaps old Frederick has a point also.
He Who Defends Everything Defends Nothing Frederick The Great
SK can’t handle the PRC
New world order, i.e., international banking, is the backer of world communism.
NWO strategy alternates war and peace, making gains for totalitarianism during each phase.
During peacetime, the idea is to set up for major war and have localized wars. In America, NWO uses “hawks” to drive up defense spending and export arms as much as possible (NWO benefits from gov’t spending and the large, ready militaries make it much easier for NWO to precipitate conflict). Doves, on the other hand, are used to promote the idea of simply handing over territory to totalitarian states, avoid war at all costs, avoid foreign entanglements, etc. Basically, give territory back that was hard-won with much blood and treasure. For example, the outcome of WWII saw all of NWO’s goals being realized.
New world order has carefully nursed along the idea that totalitarian superpowers either “collapsed”, as in the case of Russia, or “are our friends” in the case of China.
While American, and really all, freedom does have an enemy in communism and all collectivist thinking, it also has an enemy in new world order, an enemy that has had its way with us - and the rest of the world - for a hundred years. Without vanquishing new world order, the US, and every other country, is constantly facing manipulations that endeavor to ultimately reduce free people to economic slaves.
Playing nice with enemies is certainly not the activity of “defend(ing) everything”, though.
After WWII, America, under the influence of new world order, gave away the store to communism. Part of the effect of that was the Korean War.
Pat’s statements are just more giving away of the store to communist China, the new world order’s darling subsidiary.
If you read up on “eastern establishment”, new world order, etc., (Shadows of Power by Perloff is a place to start), you’ll begin to see the magnitude of the enemy that we actually face, what they’re up to and how real the possibility is that they win and we lose.
btw, my first trip to Asia was in 1951 so I know a little about the territory and people.
I have a friend who spent the better part of the 1990s in South Korea. He says if anybody should want us to stay its the North Koreans because the south would stomp them in days.
The founders were right. 60 years is plenty. Those with a hardon for perpetual war can get over there and deal with it themselves and they can fund themselves as well.
The founders were right, but George Washington was wrong?
Because that’s what the Elders of Zion want? /sarcasm
That response is funny coming from advocating a liberal position (withdrawal). Running away from an aggressor and telling allies to go it alone means that the “foreign entanglement” remains, and remains unresolved. It also makes us look like extremely unreliable allies. (Not that Obama is too bothered about maintaining our alliances with true allies, of course; he is quite intent on breaking them and founding “alliances” with enemies that weaken us greatly.)
Tibet can't either - and we're not there. Why one and not the other?
Face it, this country is broke and can't be the protector for all the world.
Then we are heading straight for WWIII. If we won’t stand up to protect the peace, nobody else will. Literally.
You have a serious misunderstanding of the way America works. MacArthur refusing to abide by the rules Truman set up and being fired was a great thing by itself. (not to mention he was probably one of the absolutely worst Generals we ever produced)
But advocating that in order to follow Sun Tsu, Mac should have attacked China despite the orders of the President is lunacy.
You also badly skew George Washington’s intent in the reference to “being ready for war”. There is not the slightest evidence that he meant that to include wars where the USA does not have a national interest.
Washington would have been horrified to imagine the USA as being able to find some national interest in every single war on earth. He likewise would have been horrified at treaties solely designed to do nothing but drag us into wars that have nothing to do with us.
And last, none of the founders viewed the USA as a messianic nation that should try to meddle with and shape the internal look of every other nation on earth, beyond how they interacted with us.
So now you’re calling me a liberal.
Again another liberal tactic used when one lacks facts to back up their argument.
You’re 0-2 for now.
Amusing coming from a defender of Putin. Never mind utterly mischaracterizing the USA to make it look just like the liberals try to make it look.
Here’s another ingredient for the recipe:
Stop all trade with communist and totalitarian nations.
Globalists have us giving China the billions in exchange for goods. Our government then borrows back some of this from them.
New world order globalists “advice” in Washington DC keeps us from ever having an outright war with communism, keeps us trading with them. We are opposing communism politically but subsidizing it. Then, trying to keep it from taking more territories. Communism loves to annex nations where the nations are wealthy from capitalism or have raw materials. Annex means take over to get a nation’s output at cost, as opposed to trade, where these things are purchased. Of course, under totalitarianism (which also breeds corruption), no one is motivated for real productivity, aggregate output shrinks and people starve.
America is now subsidizing China. For example, energy and food. The idea is, cut American consumption to lower the price at which China can buy. We supply a good bit of China’s coal (which is the majority of its electricity supply), yet hammer ourselves in our own electricity prices. This is nwo strategy, all you need to do is visit the websites of the Foundations, Rockefeller, Carnegie, Soros, etc., and you’ll see the agendas laid out.
If nwo can influence US policy and public opinion enough that the US will not intervene if China takes SK, nwo will give China the ok to take SK vicariously through NK. IMHO, the NWO plan - all it will take is a few more years of tottering US, where the US economy gets significantly worse, and then a real push for isolationism in the US, stirring up the right emotions in SK, Japan and the US. After a long, protracted, but very limited conventional war, SK can surrender to NK. If the US has enough other massive problems of its own, this plan would seem to be possible.
IMHO, what we need is a war on NWO. After that, American taxpayers would be able to stop subsidizing totalitarian states.
Sometimes it takes a brave man to walk away from a fight but a particularly stupid coward refuses to back down from a fight he’s long since won.
There’s something seriously wrong with having soldiers stationed on foreign bases built by their grandfathers or even great grandfathers.
Of course nowadays we have politicians in DC that are not so hostile to communism in any form, and don’t even mention the word “communism”, preferring to rather campaign on communism’s catchphrases and if the word “communism” ever comes up, the compliant press feeds the masses the tired old line that the fall of the USSR was also the fall of communism.
Seems like Khrushchev’s legendary advice of feeding the USA’s masses small doses of socialism akin to the way to get someone hooked on drugs (or to paraphrase Rush Limbaugh, to be Sanctus Nicolaus ex machina) was followed to the letter by the USA’s own liberal politicians. Part and parcel of this, though, was the hollowing out of the USA’s own manufacturing base, so that in case the enemies of communism (and all forms of leftism) should again gain power, the means to defend against it would be gone, and the people would be dependent on the industrialized totalitarian regimes for all the essentials of domestic supply (to paraphrase Hamilton).
Everything you say makes sense, especially from the viewpoint of being averse to empire and being offended by the notion of empire. Problem is, we have not won the fight but abandoned it. Our enemies are very much not averse to empire. Winning the fight means stamping out the ideology behind the enemies’ aggression, ultimately. What is really killing the US right now is having leadership in DC with ideology in line with that of our enemies, and said leadership in command of our fighting forces.
New world order, emanating out of European international banking, must be understood in order to know why the 20th century saw the number and type of wars that it did.
The Council on Foreign Relations directs US foreign policy, and it’s sister organization directs that of the UK. The CFR is the tool by which NWO manipulates US foreign policy. NWO successfully sought all America’s involvements in wars in the 20th century. An interesting primer on the subject is “Shadows of Power” by Perloff.
In Washington’s day, America was a colony. He actually advocated staying out of international entanglements for a few decades. He certainly would have realized that since America is the pre-eminent power in the world today that complete isolationism would work to America’s detriment today.
Of course, it is unwise, even for a major power, to be causing trouble, revolutions, wars, etc., that work to the ultimate detriment of the citizens of other nations. That’s where NWO comes in; they are the primary architects of that nonsense. A great example today is the so-called “arab spring”, a nwo operation. The Mideast, Africa, the Far East; they’ve all been manipulated by international banking ad nauseum, in everything from the Opium Wars to the Boer Wars to the slave trade, and of course, manipulations continue to this day.
It was very unfortunate that the founders sought European investment for the Revolution, but that was possible to overcome. During the 1800’s however, european international banking got its investment claws deeply sunk into America by financing, and profiting from, a lot of its development. The wealthy American “tycoons” became inextricably intertwined with international banking, ultimately resulting in the Federal Reserve, the foundation system, CFR, etc., making America, in effect, the leading subsidiary of new world order.
A key figure in this time is George Peabody, the “father” of the foundation system in the US, mentor of J P Morgan’s father and a key operator in the US for European interests, to say the least.
They have no SHIPS?
To be close to CHINA?
I sleep better at night knowing Kim will never be able to hit the East Coast with an ICBM...
SK should air drop free food and toilet paper strung along the boarder, then just mow the Commies down when they come running out to get fed and wipe themselves clean.