Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

JWV Demands the Removal or Redeployment of Troops Currently Stationed in South Korea

Spring 2007

The institution of a border crossing by trains between North and South Korea presages a new cooperation by the two governments of this divided nation across the long-contested DMZ. Trains crossed from both directions amid celebratory fireworks and ushered in a new era of commercial cooperation between the governments of North and South Korea--all in spite of the non-resolution of North Korea's nuclear threat. South Korea hopes to build a connection to the Trans-Siberian Railroad that would bring it access to all of Asia. North Korea hopes to have fast entry to the commercially successful economy of the South. Once again financial greed supersedes global security. Since these two sworn enemies are now engaging together in a venture that transcends their borders and travels through the DMZ, the Jewish War Veterans of the USA (JWV) demands that all or most of our 35,000 troops, who have patrolled this desolate war zone for more than 50 years, be pulled back from these area and be redeployed either directly back to the US or to other areas in Asia in keeping with the "lily-pad" approach previously adopted in Europe. In such a "lily-pad" scenario, troops would be available from a range of friendly locations to be deployed quickly to any area where they may be needed. While we welcome the lessening of tensions between the two Koreas signaled by this new commercial cooperation, we must recognize that it signals the end for the need for large numbers of troops to supervise a "no-man's-land" between two former combatants that are now cooperating partners in a new venture. With a pull-back from the concentration of troops in Korea, our troops can be available to be sent to other areas where they may be more urgently needed. There is no longer a need for such a large commitment of troops to this one area where the seeds of cooperation are now taking root. A partial rollback of troops from the Korean DMZ will allow for the ability to deploy troops where they might be needed more quickly and more agilely. The JWV urges the DOD to seriously reconsider its massive deployment of troops along the Korean border in light of these new circumstances when the danger in this area is lessening and when US troop strength may be urgently and quickly needed elsewhere.


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