A study on the decision factors in the delay of the ROK-U.S. wartime OPCON transfer: focusing on the domestic determinants
Huntley, Wade L.
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This thesis begins by asking why the wartime OPCON transfer period between the ROK and theUnited States has continuously been delayed. To answer this question, the author studies how domestic politics have affected the continuous delay. To investigate the influence of domestic politics, this thesis first applied Graham Allison’s Rational Actor Model (security); second, it applied domestic politics from Allison’s bureaucratic politics model; and third, to fill a gap between security (RAM) and domestic politics, this thesis used Robert Putnam’s Two-Level Game theory to clarify interconnectivity of international and domestic levels. The result of this study indicates that the security environment is critical and could affect the continuous delay of the wartime OPCON transfer; however, the key actors of those decisions are policy decision makers. Unless the security environment changes drastically, the ROK conservatives and progressives, and the U.S. neoconservatives and pragmatists, will remain key members. The ROK, with its strong ally—the United States—should meticulously prepare the process of the wartime OPCON transfer to maintain the peace of the Korean Peninsula under unexpected political and economic situations, mainly focusing on the future-oriented combined ROK-U.S. military structure.
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