More Speed Bumps, Please

19 Jun

Gen. James Thurman Observing a USFK Exercises Here’s another example of an alliance I’m willing to make with the enemy conservatives – on troops in South Korea.

General James Thurman, the commander of U.S. Forces Korea, met recently with U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno to ask for an additional attack-reconnaissance squadron and “increased capabilities” in missile defense, Thurman told the Association of Republic of Korea Army in Seoul yesterday.

“Maintaining high levels of readiness requires having the proper manning, the proper force structure, and the most modern equipment,” Thurman said in his speech. He said he’s confident his request will be met.

Thurman’s request would be the first to seek more U.S. forces along the border since Kim took power following the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in December. Tension has increased after a failed rocket launch by North Korea in April, a move that prompted speculation the North may conduct a nuclear test to reassert itself.

A full-strength brigade would have two squadrons, Jennifer Buschick, a U.S. Forces Korea public affairs officer, said in an e-mail yesterday. She said she was not authorized to comment on the number of troops per squadron.

Thurman also singled out the importance of strengthening the Air Force and working with the Marines and the Navy to mobilize maritime support when needed.

I actually agree with this.

I can see that to the extent those forces will be used to protect Osan and hold the aerial supply lines and evacuation routes open. I might be able to see the missile defense piece of it if someone explains to me why South Korea can’t just buy its own missile defense. I can’t see any logic at all in the idea of putting just one brigade of American infantry – in military terms, a speed bump – within range of North Korean artillery. It hasn’t made sense since 1990 to ask Americans to defend one of the world’s richest countries from one of the world’s poorest, least of all while our ostensible ally continues to subsidize the very country we’re supposed to be defending it against.

Now, I must vomit.

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