WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Thursday the stationing of U.S. troops near the border with North Korea has become intrusive to South Korea, and said forces could be moved southward or out of South Korea altogether.
Rumsfeld said Army Gen. Leon LaPorte, commander of U.S. forces in South Korea, and others are considering ways to realign American forces on the Korea Peninsula. This comes as the United States is engaged in an increasingly tense crisis over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.
This is huge news and I’ve been convinced for a while now this is the right call. Our troops have made South Koreans lazy about their own self-defense. I don’t think we should abandon our commitment to South Korea, but we could certainly make them a security guarantee the way we do with Taiwan. Stationing 37,000, increasingly unwelcome, troops just so we’d be committed to fight if they were slaughtered strikes me as, at least, a doctrine which has outlasted its usefulness.