CHANGE! “We need not only the importance of the ROK-U.S. alliance, but also an attitude of self-defense that our country will protect itself.”
The debacle of the Afghanistan Abandonment is rippling throughout American foreign relations.
In the wake of the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, the head of South Korea’s ruling Democratic Party is now asking to gain operational control of its military, the leader of the country’s ruling Democratic Party.
“The Afghanistan crisis should be used as an opportunity to further nurture the will and ability of a strong independent defense by recovering wartime OPCON,” Rep. Song Young-gil wrote in a Wednesday Facebook post.
In wartime, combined U.S. and South Korean forces would be led by the head of United States Forces Korea, currently Gen. Paul LaCamera. The administration of South Korean President Moon Jae-in has looked to accelerate the process of gaining full control over its military.
“We need not only the importance of the ROK-U.S. alliance, but also an attitude of self-defense that our country will protect itself,” Song wrote. The Republic of Korea is the official name of South Korea.
Approximately 28,000 American troops are on the border in the event North Korea decides to invade.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has made obtaining “operational control,” or OPCON, of those joint forces a major goal of his administration, but delays over the COVID-19 pandemic and other issues, appear to have made that impossible in its remaining term.
“We have to take the Afghanistan crisis as a chance to strengthen self-defence capability through OPCON transfer,” Song Young-gil, a lawmaker who serves as chief of Moon’s Democratic Party, said in the title of a Facebook posting.
Asked about the effect the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan could have on the South Korea-U.S. alliance, an official of the presidential Blue House said it was carefully monitoring and considering the Afghan crisis, but did not elaborate.
The decision follows the South Korean ambassador’s harrowing escape from Afghanistan.
Ambassador Choi Tae-ho said in an interview with South Korean news service News 1 on Wednesday that the embassy staff and a South Korean civilian left Afghanistan as the sound of nearby gunshots grew in frequency and evacuation helicopters whirred overhead.
“It was a situation comparable to wars depicted in the movies,” Choi said.
South Korea’s foreign ministry issued an emergency evacuation order requiring all Korean nationals to leave by Sunday. Choi confirmed the embassy destroyed all sensitive documents on site before staff left the country.
Many diplomats who were required to leave on short notice did not even have time to return to their residences to pick up personal belongings, according to South Korean network KBS.
And while National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said that Biden had no intent to withdraw troops from South Korea and Europe, I am sure many of our allies are reconsidering their approach to national strategic defense…and least while the current occupant of the White House is in charge.DONATE
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