The U.S. strategic flexibility policy prospects for the U.S.-ROK alliance
Olsen, Edward A.
Twomey, Christopher P.
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The U.S.-ROK alliance has been a vital element for South Koreaâ s security since the end of the Korean War. By successfully serving its primary role in deterring a North Korean reinvasion of the South, the U.S. Forces in Korea (USFK) was the core within the alliance. Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, it began to transform the structure of U.S. forces overseas under the Military Transformation plan. In this context, the USFK is undergoing an unprecedented transformation process. With the United States and South Koreaâ s recent agreement on the strategic flexibility of USFK, it became obvious that the primary role of the USFK will be changed from North Korean deterrence to a regional contingency force. This thesis assesses the implications of the U.S. strategic flexibility policy for South Korean security. It discusses how the U.S. strategic flexibility will influence the security circumstances surrounding the Korean peninsula and how it could change the U.S.- ROK alliance. The U.S.-Japan alliance transformation and the realignment of USFJ is assessed as a case study. Finally, based on the four criteria which are determined as the essential elements in South Korean security, South Koreaâ s policy options toward the U.S. strategic flexibility policy are assessed.
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