South Korea to Get War Control over U.S. Troops in 3 years
The times, they are changing,
The Pentagon plans to give South Korea wartime operational control over U.S. troops within three years and will keep U.S. troop levels at more than 20,000 over the next several years, defense officials said yesterday.
Ok, status quo.
Following the latest round of U.S.-South Korea talks July 13 and 14, the Pentagon and South Korean military and defense officials agreed to draw up the command transfer plan that will shift combat authority from the U.S.-led combined forces command to a new structure led by South Korean military commanders and supported by U.S. forces. The goal is to complete the transfer of authority by 2009, but some changes could take five years.
My advice to South Korea: Look at Iceland this year. Total withdrawal = 5% of the economy.
As for troop levels, officials said there are no plans for major U.S. troop cuts beyond plans to have 25,000 troops by 2008. The Pentagon plans to keep 20,000 to 25,000 troops in the country for the foreseeable future, the official said, noting that the fighting power of both U.S. and South Korean forces will remain constant or increase as new weapons are deployed.