Levin Favors Missiles Over Troops

13 Jun

Senator Carl Levin, Missile Lover I’m hardly surprised how in Congress complex issues involving people get shoved into the corner, technology and profit is given a green light. After announcing that “…he would not take issue with South Korea’s development of longer-range missiles if they are deployed in a ‘defense and non-threatening’ way” (Not sure what the hell “a non-threatening way, totally defensive way” means when you’re dealing with ballistic missiles, but I guess this is good news.), Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, spared nothing for the troops.

Asked by Yonhap News Agency if massive budget cuts in the U.S. will affect its alliance with South Korea, the senator indicated that there will be no reduction in troop levels.

The U.S. has around 28,500 troops in South Korea, a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in a truce, not a formal peace treaty.

“I would hope that there could be some progress in terms of North Korea that would allow us to reduce our troops, the number of our troops in Korea,” he said.

He also said the Pentagon should reduce some of the planned spending for housing U.S. soldiers and their families.

U.S. Forces Korea has been working to expand and renovate a base in Pyeongtaek, about 70 km (43.5 miles) south of Seoul, to allow more troops to bring families.

“Particularly, we cannot afford to be spending — I believe it was a figure like $10,000 a month for family housing, that was planned in order to have families come — more families come over and be with our troops in Korea. We cannot afford that,” he added.

Marine Gen. James Cartwright, retired vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, agreed that the allies need to adjust their alliance to meet the change in the security environment.

“It’s time, really, to make an adjustment on the posture,” he said, joining Levin at the news conference.

Even more perplexing is what General Cartwright could mean by “adjust their alliance”. But, let’s look at this: South Korean defense firms can produce or buy and deploy longer-ranged missiles, but American troops have to stay put without their families for an amount of money I’m surprised Levin can even acknowledge is significant. I mean, it’s not as if the quote has a lot of zeroes in it, right? Of course, defense firms can get more business while Congress screws as many humans over as possible. It’s much cheaper for a South Korean soldier stationed in South Korea to spend time with family than an American one can with his family stateside.

But, at least Cartwright didn’t mention North Korea.

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