In a reshuffle of
the United States Force Korea (USFK) is in the process of relocating troops
from Yongsan Garrison near the DMZ to
near Pyongtaek, 70 kilometers south of
. This decision was made without
discussion with area residents.
occupied 3,734 acres when the Korean government pledged another 2,851 acres for
the expansion. The land given to the
belongs to mainly elderly farmers. When
these farmers nonviolently resisted their eviction on March 15, 2005 they were
physically assaulted by troops. The
Korean government has cut water lines and surrounded the land with barbed wire.
There is little mention of these events in American media.
Chinese troops left
in 1958 but the question of whether American troops really need to be in
is never asked. President Bush
as a major threat to the
from this axis of evil is the supposed basis of the continued
reality is that while
may have a million man army on paper they are no threat to
and certainly no threat to the
(just like the million man army in
was no threat to the
). The Chinese and the Russians
stopped providing military supplies to
many years ago. Due to lack of fuel
and ammunition the North Korean soldiers seldom train.
In 1999, Lt. General Patrick Hughes of the Defense Intelligence Agency
reported to Congress of a lack of discipline in the North Korean military
including reports of soldiers stealing food at gunpoint.
In contrast, the South Korean Army has 700,000 active duty members with
five million well-trained reservists.
has twice the population of
and thirty times its economic and industrial capacity.
Even without one American soldier in
the North is no threat. Under an
agreement announced August 18, 2006 the Korean Defense Ministry expects to
procure advanced fighters on par with U.S.-made F15Ks, Aegis-equipped KDX-III
destroyers and 1,800 ton class Type 214 submarines from the United States
current operating agreement (OPCON 5027) the
is required to send 690,000 troops along with 1,600 aircraft and 160 ships to
in the event of a real crisis. USFK
currently has 37,000 troops, 70 F-16 combat aircraft and 70 AH-64D Apache
Longbow attack helicopters in
to fight a non-existent threat. According
to the Center for Defense Information the
military injects about $5 billion a year into the Korean economy but surely
this is not enough reason to keep troops there.
The bases being built on the land stolen from the farmers of Pyongtaek
will be one of the largest military bases in in
. Could the reason for the base and
the maintenance of the troops simply be to project and protect the American
imperial hegemony in the region?