ìU.S. Plans To Cut Third of Troops In South Korea: 12,500 May Be Moved Out: Withdrawal Follows Shifts From Europe, and Sets Off Debate in Seoul,î by James Brooke and Thom Shanker, New York Times, 8 June, p. A1.
One-third is a very big number. The last reduction was only 7k of a total of 44k. This one is 12.5k out of only 37k.
Does this tell you Rumsfeld and company are serious about: 1) taking advantage of what they see as a transformed warfighting/Leviathan force? and 2) moving troops closer into toward the Gap?
Yes and yes.
Itís also a bit of a wake-up call for South Korea. They donít want anything done to scare or antagonize North Korea, so long as U.S. troops remain there. You have to wonder if theyíll be singing the same ìsunshine policyî tune with one-third less U.S. troops to guarantee their safety.
I say, if you want to get South Korea to get serious about the way-past-his-expiration-date problem known as Kim Jong Il, then make it clear to them that itís far more their problem than ours.
Ditto on Japan, where weíll likely pull 14k out of Okinawa and send them north to Hokkaido.