CNN.com - Bush announces major troop realignment - Aug 16%2C 2004
I am of two minds (in case anyone wanted to know) about this troop announcement. Having served in the military in Europe during the time the Soviet Union was imploding, I can see the need to bring the troops home and leave but a token force in their place. Europe boarders are largely porous now and Russia presents little threat. It will take time to bring them home because Army and Air Force personnel were allowed to bring tier families with. It will take time to outfit U.S. bases to accommodate that many soldiers and airman and their families, not to mention the support infrastructure that must be bolstered.
As far as Korea is concerned; bad move. The country is on the verge of sometime and it isn’t good; pulling out U.S. troops at a time when the North Koreans have signaled by spotlight that they are developing nuclear weapons is just foolish. We have already started moving troops back from the DMZ (demilitarized zone), but the North has a million men under arms, and at least that many artillery pieces. Invading the South would be a small detail; just firing a few rounds over the DMZ would be enough to upset the world economy. After all South Korea has the world’s fifth largest economy and is a center for steel, automobiles, electronics, textiles, and shipbuilding. And strategically its position vis-à-vis Japan cannot be discounted or ignored; you know Japan, the country with the world’s third largest economy.
It is rumored the North Korea is soon to be in possession of six old Russian missile submarines (my guess is Delta class SSBN’s), and according to Jane’s Defense Weekly is working on an SLBM with a range of some 1000 nautical miles. If left unchecked a nuclear capable North Korea would destabilize the entire Pacific Ocean basin, from the Bearing Sea to Australia, from the Asian landmass to California.
Funny how is was imperative for use to invade Iraq because Saddam MAY have had WMD, but the other two countries that constitute the so-called Axis of Evil, that have confirmed that they have nuclear weapons programs underway, we leave well enough alone. And instead of putting more troops into South Korea as a deterrent and incentive to negotiate, we pull them out. Make sense to anyone?