Whether or not the United States had too large a global military presence has been a hotly debate topic, and continues to be the same. But as we enter this season (referring to the Stoa resolution), a “simple” case to close down a military base in a foreign country is quite an ordeal, more so than some teams realize. This article will specifically be addressing removing our military presence from South Korea, because this case is being prepared and debated at Ethos’ Patrick Henry College debate camp.
This two part image (taken from Korean website http://ndfsk.dyndns.org/) is a map of South Korea, and each US military facility in South Korea is identified by a red dot. Of course, the US does not have ninety different military bases in South Korea. (Sure it’s Wikipedia, but here is a basic list of the important facilities in South Korea.) But each of those dots represents one of either forty-one main military bases or ammunition depots, thirty-eight military communication facilities, or eleven training camps. When an affirmative’s mandates say “remove all US military personnel from South Korean” or “close down US military bases in South Korea”, what about all of the other military facilities that we have in South Korea? Also, how do cooperative military exercises factor into limiting/reducing our military presence? This is just the beginning (I’m not going to outline everything in this post), but any negative team can have a vague mandates field day with any case that closes down US military bases.
Also, something important to keep in mind is the original reason why we established a military presence in South Korea, or any country. What threat were we trying to check? Have those threats disappeared? We don’t build ninety military facilities in a foreign country just because we can. In the case of the Koreas, is South Korea’s military really able to defeat North Korea, if attacked? Ethos tweeted this video a few days ago, but it is definitely worth a watch.
Click To Watch (YouTube) […for whatever reason, WordPress won’t allow me to embed the video…]
For your own personal research, here are a few articles and URLs to help your research of this topic.
Transnational Institute: “An acceptable presence:the new US basing structure in the Philippines”
Niksch, Larry A., “U.S. Troop Withdrawal from South Korea: Past Shortcomings and Future Prospects”
Washington Post, “In S. Korea, a Stubborn Stand Against U.S. Military Presence”
Garett Jones and Tim J. Kane, “U.S. Troops and Economic Growth”
To wrap up this article, North Korea has been repeatedly described as essentially predictability unpredictable. In fact, the threat from a nuclear North Korea is probably one of the largest concerns facing the international community and the United States, right now. Why would want to remove our military presence from South Korea, a nation that is our ally and that happens to share a border with North Korea? But on the flip side, the United States already has an international image, economy, and political system that need rebuilding. Why would we want to stay where we are not welcome or needed?