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11 March 2013


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Charles I

Not to nitpick, but is an angry verbal outburst legally sufficient notice of withdrawal from the Armistice?

Can't we just leave China and Japan and ROK to deal with this? Surely China doesn't want a nuclear Japan or ROK, why not just tell China - deal with it or the locals go nuclear because the U.S. ain't gonna bleed in Korea for them, and they'll figure it out if the problem remains.


Charles I

"There are also some 30,000+ United States military personnel and civilian employees throughout the country, an increasing number of whom (as of 2010) are also accompanied by family members." wiki on South Korea demography.

What do you suggest we do about these people, abandon them? pl

Medicine Man

I've been reading the commentary on SST regarding NK mostly without commenting. What I've been wondering is if all of this noise from the hermit kingdom is new spin on the same old game - yanking the US's chain to demonstrate toughness and wrest concessions out of the west - or if I'm going to wake up one morning and find the US is at war with North Korea.

Neil Richardson

Dear Col. Lang:

Whatever happened to John Armstrong? As I recall he was the young DIA analyst who did much to convince the NCA to re-examine the intelligence estimate on the KPA back in 1975-76.

Neil Richardson

Dear Col. Lang:

Several things of note.

Key Resolve/RSOI is a CPX. I'm looking at the ARPAC schedule and this is what is available publicly:

Foal Eagle (just completed) - one BN from 1SBCT/25ID out of Wainwright.
Key Resolve March 11-21. Other than air and naval assets, I don't believe there are any additional force rotations from CONUS, Hawaii or Okinawa. Also this is the first time the ROK JCS is planning and executing the CPX.

Ulchi Focus or UFG as they're calling it now is planned for August and will involve mostly command elements of I Corps and 25ID. I don't see any mention of returning the rest of 2ID (that obviously doesn't mean that they're not part of TPFDL should tensions rise).

Apparently last Thursday was the first time in 15 years that the 2ID and EUSA held an air assault course. (At this point dismay and resignation are how I'd describe my reaction)

I was hoping WJS would fill me in on the state of readiness in his time at TDC (I was wondering if it had been 2002-2004 when there were a lot of problems regarding KTC usage not to mention SOFA controversies). But now I'm beginning to suspect it really was as bad as he'd stated.

What should be second nature such as night passage of lines, decentralized execution of counterattack and flank coordination are not things that these kids should try to learn under enemy fire unless they want to court disaster. It used to be that we did more training in 3 mos in ROK than what many comparable units in CONUS would do in one year. Personnel turnover rate and the political situation dictated it. What I don't understand is how were they going to conduct NEO when the brigade is still at Casey/Hovey? I could understand taking the dependents out of Red Cloud to Seoul, but that wouldn't have required taking the entire brigade and moving them south to Seoul (That would've been the mother of all thunder runs as the trafficability problems would've been monumental given likely number of ROK civilians trying to evacuate let alone ROK units moving north). What I'd like to know is if the First Brigade staff really didn't expect a possible contingency to plug any of the potential gaps north of TDC (Hwys 3, 37, 43, etc). If that had been the case then we might as well cut a deal with the DPRK at some point in the near future and withdraw USFK.


I suggest: "bring all of them back to the USA."


It was discouraging to see Hagel immediately show up in Afghanistan to associate himself visually and politically with the continuing mindlessness of that venture. I suppose he had to go since we have so many people there, but couldn't it have been put off a few weeks so as to send the message that our future is not hostage to that failure's playing itself out?

There is a silent compact among two administrations, two parties, the entire (almost) foreign policy community, and the media to concoct and live by a fictional account of Afghanistan - a chapter in the larger fiction of the "war on terror." The stakes are more emotional and careerist than national interest. Indeed, our national interests are being damaged as the price we pay for this self-satisfying fantasy.

Neil Richardson

Dear Col. Lang:

"The DPRK has withdrawn from the Armistice of 1953. Does that mean that they consider themselves to be at war with the UN once again?"

This is sort of like a double-secret probation. They had declared the abrogation back in May 2009. As for cutting off the line at Panmungak, it's happened before (e.g., 1987, 1993).

"If so, what are the US and the UN doing to prepare for defense against aggression in Korea? Are dependents being evacuated and US civilians resident in Korea being encouraged to leave? "

As far as I can tell, there's absolutely nothing going on in terms of civil defense or warning orders issued. It's a classic "boy who cried wolf" syndrome. In fact the only sign of anything unusual is Joongang Ilbo reporting that KPN's diesel subs have sortied. That could have been in reaction to George Washington participating in Key Resolve.


John armstrong? Before my time at DIA. I was in graduate school then. The whole Korea thing is appalling. pl


The question is... Will the NKs piss on the Chinese and shut them out?


Remember that there is also the 3rd Marine Division on Okinawa..asa well as the 3rd Marine Air Wing with fixed wing at Iawkuni (Japan) and helo assets in Oki. Add to that mix the PACAF F-16s at Misawa and F-15s at Kadena. The Misawa and Iwakuni jets would be involved from the beginning of any action.


Ain't gonna happen.

Ol' wine in new bottles...




"the trafficability problems would've been monumental given likely number of ROK civilians trying to evacuate"

I was wondering when someone would mention ROK civilians. I'm certain in your past experience you planned for just such a thing but its good to see it brought up.

Charles I

They should all come home


It gets worse. Just read the latest lunacy from the NYT in thier continued assult on the constitution:


They apparently think that since urban areas are voting democratic now they always will.

Neil Richardson



After two Korea-U.S. joint military drills end, American vessels equipped with nuclear weapons will stay in South Korean waters to fully guarantee the U.S. “nuclear umbrella” in case North Korea attacks.

A high-ranking South Korean government official told the JoongAng Ilbo yesterday, “If North Korea makes a nuclear attack, retaliation can come from U.S. nuclear weapons stationed in Okinawa or Guam. But considering the time that might take, we need to have a nuclear weapon near the Korean Peninsula.

“By not withdrawing U.S. weapons participating in the Korea-U.S. military exercises, we decided to let them stay a while and see what happens in North Korea,” he said.


Charles I

I am inclined to agree but that takes time. This is now. pl



People always say that until it does happen. All the Arab States told Bush 41 that Iraq would never invade kuwait. pl

The Beaver

Same story circa 2009:

"TOKYO, May 27 -- North Korea announced Wednesday that it is no longer bound by the 1953 armistice that halted the Korean War, the latest and most profound diplomatic aftershock from the country's latest nuclear test two days earlier."

What's that phrase again: Never cry wolf.



Col., the recent spate of quarrels betwixt the [immature] Superpowers has gotten yours truly worried...

The Twisted Genius

I gather, by your choice of image chosen for this post, that you think our "decision makers" are a bunch of horses' asses. I agree.


Someone asked me whether the word "mindless" in an earlier post was just a curse word No - I meant it literally. There is no one in Washington who today can explain our purpose in Afghanistan. There was a logic behind the decision in 2002 to stay on after we unseated the Taliban and decimated al-Qaida; namely, to eliminate the Taliban as a political contender so that never in the future would they be in a position to host a terrorist group on any part of Afghan soil. When that objective became unrealizeable, we reverted to another, weaker logic: we aimed to coerce/persuade the Taliban to disarm and join the political process as structured by the exisiting constiitution. Now that, too, has gone up is smoke. So what's left? Nothing in terms of national interest - but quite a bit in terms of national pride and individuals' career/political interests. That's what I mean by mindless.

Babak Makkinejad

Nothing to worry about.

The high-ranking South Korean generals - as confirmed by the Korean papers - spent the weekend playing golf.

Babak Makkinejad

Arab students, in early 1980s, told me that Saddam Hussein - if he had any nuclear weapons - would never attack Iran with nuclear weapons.

I have come to the conclusion that he would.

Babak Makkinejad

Nothing to worry - read my comments above to Charles I.

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