Monday, March 29, 2010

America's Permanent Entangling Alliance with South Korea

The planned "handover of full control of South Korean troops to Seoul in 2012" is running into some difficulties, with suggestions that Seoul might not want full control over its own troops after all — Delaying Troop Control Handover 'Sends Wrong Message'.

What Doug Bandow said of Japan the other day holds true for Korea as well — Okinawa and the Problem of Empire: "Like most of Washington's military relationships, the security treaty really isn't an alliance. The treaty's terms are simple. The U.S. agrees to defend Japan. In return, Tokyo agrees to be defended."

What the Father of Our Country said two-hundred and fourteen years ago holds true as well: "It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world" — George Washington's Farewell Address. "The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is, in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connexion as possible," he went on to say. Five years later our third president called for "peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none" — Thomas Jefferson's First Inaugural Address.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

One thing that should be mentioned is that there were good reasons at the time for the US to enter into these agreements. For S. Korea, there was simply no way for that country to survive in the 1950's without massive US intervention. As for Japan, the treaty we entered into was designed to make sure that Japan did not have an incentive to re-militarize after WWII. The underlying motivation in each case was the same: stabilization of the region after the collapse of nationalist China. And that stabilization, one can strongly argue was in US interests.

8:03 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

As you know, I would have sided with Senator Robert "Mr. Republican" Taft and opposed Mr. Truman's undeclared war, which he called a police action. (He also called Hiroshima "a military base" two days after the bombing.)

The Korean War set a terrible precedent. This business of launching undeclared wars as been very detrimental to our Republic.

I doubt the American people, through their representatives, would have declared war to save former enemies like Japan and Korea from communism.

10:59 AM  

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