U.S. security policy in Asia after Korean unification
Ahern, Bryan M
Olsen, Edward A.
Callahan, Mary P.
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The U.S. has pursued three policy objectives in Asia since World War II. They are 1) freedom of the seas; 2) access to the markets of the region; and 3) preventing the domination of the region by any single power. To achieve these goals, the U.S. has committed to maintain 100,000 forward deployed troops in Asia. Currently, 37,000 are stationed in South Korea. North Korea is in crisis. Seven years of negative GDP growth, severe food shortages, several high level defections and North Korea's political isolation all indicate that North Korea is on the verge of collapse. This thesis argues that the collapse of North Korea is imminent. Once Korea is unified under South Korea, the U.S. will not need 37,000 troops in Korea. When the U.S. withdraws its troops from Korea, a potential arms race could ensue. To prevent this, the U.S. should increase its naval presence after the withdrawal of American ground forces. The U.S. should consider the possibility of home porting a nuclear aircraft carrier in Korea. This proposed policy would solve the problem created by Japan's refusal to host U.S. nuclear powered aircraft carriers at a time when the U.S is retiring its conventional carriers.
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