October 20, 2005


U.S. drawing down troop levels in S. Korea (ROBERT BURNS, October 20, 2005, AP)

By the end of this year the number of U.S. troops in South Korea will drop below 30,000, a milestone in a shift of responsibility for defending the country from communist North Korea, the top U.S. commander here said Thursday.

Gen. Leon J. LaPorte, commander of U.S. Forces Korea, said in an interview with American reporters that the South Korean government is eager to bear more of the burden of defending itself.

"It is natural for a country, as it develops capabilities, to want to become more predominant in their own national security," LaPorte said on the eve of a key U.S.-South Korean defense meeting.

"So this is a natural evolution. We have supported the Republic of Korea for 50 years. They have the 12th largest economy in the world. So it's natural for them to say, 'Listen, we appreciate the support we received; we are now capable of doing more things and taking a more predominant role.'"

Nice to have the entire country be a free fire zone.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 20, 2005 5:25 PM

The self-defense sentiment may have been true 25 or 30 years ago, probably not now. Is the Army better today than 1980? One wonders.

But they need to stand on their own feet, against the colossal, familial annoyance to the North.

Posted by: ratbert at October 20, 2005 5:52 PM

It's impossible to read Gen. Laporte's quote without thinking that he and his bosses are really saying "Hey, SK, Iraqis are more responsible for themselves after 3 years than you are after 50! Losers. We're outta here..."

Posted by: b at October 20, 2005 5:56 PM

Our long national nightmare is over.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 20, 2005 6:07 PM

the South Koreans "students" wanted us out

we should get out

and whn the North does attack, we may wanna "consult" a few days maybe a week or so before we do something

let em have what they want, a NK lunatic up their backside

Posted by: busybody at October 20, 2005 6:08 PM

b is absolutely right. That's exactly what Laporte's saying. You won't have GI Joe to kick around anymore. We know when we're not appreciated. Good luck with the sunshine-blowing policy.

Posted by: GW at October 20, 2005 6:49 PM

Just as is the case with baby-murder, the topic of troop reductions from client states has the power to cloud men's minds.

Passing over the fact that we may be seeing some reduction of U.S. ground combat elements in Korea after 50 years, which should counsel patience in expecting the same in S.W. Asia, we may note that mass formations are less important in our force structure than had been the case earlier.

Forthermore we are talking only about removing some maueuver units, something the client state may eassily replace: take another look at this if and when we draw down higher echelon and national assets.

Posted by: Lou Gots at October 20, 2005 7:16 PM

Call me when the number drops to zero. If the SoKo's really wanted the US to stay, they would have volunteered 100,000 soldiers to serve in Iraq.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at October 20, 2005 8:18 PM

About time. NK isn't our problem anymore. Let Asians take care of them now.

Posted by: tefta at October 21, 2005 5:21 PM