Trump Moves Against South Korea

Observation Post Ouellette in South Korea, photo by U.S. Army

The Wall Street Journal reported in a paywalled article on Friday that the Pentagon has, on orders from the White House, presented plans to pull large numbers of troops from South Korea. It is a move which further damages the influence of the United States in the Far East even as China grows more aggressive and North Korea has resumed threatening the U.S. and its allies.

In June, North Korea first officially split from Trump and followed with a threat to launch nuclear missiles at the United States. For this reason the decision to pull troops may also be an effort at appeasing Kim Jong Un.

The move is ostensibly being done as a cost-saving measure, following Trump’s rebuffed demands that South Korea pay a dramatically higher price for housing American troops. It is a similar rationale to that used for his recent decision to remove troops from Germany. There are questions associated to that scenario, however, as he has simultaneously suggested he will move European troops to Poland and he has shown little fiscal restraint in other areas.

In fact, President Trump has spent more than any other American President across the first four years of their Presidencies.

According to the WSJ article, South Korea was not uniquely targeted for troop removal in the original request from the White House; instead, the Pentagon was asked for plans to pull troops from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. The report paints the picture of an America which is retreating from the world stage and embracing an isolationist policy, a policy which is continued despite a global effort against a pandemic. This stance by Trump is mirrored in his recent decision to pull out of the World Health Organization.

Much like that decision, the choice to pull troops from Korea is one which would likely not be feasible to implement before the next election. The choice made in November will therefore likely include a decision by the American people about their stance on international influence in general and toward North Korea and China specifically.

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About AlienMotives 1991 Articles
Ex-Navy Reactor Operator turned bookseller. Father of an amazing girl and husband to an amazing wife. Tired of willful political blindness, but never tired of politics. Hopeful for the future.