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America’s Afghanistan offers South Korea lesson

Frank Smith
Press TV, Seoul

The hasty and chaotic US withdrawal from Afghanistan has rattled idea that the South Korea-US alliance is as quote “Ironclad” as diplomats say.

Analysts suggest that the presence of US forces in South Korea serves US interests, both in terms of deterring North Korea, but also for checking the expansion of China’s influence. But those interests didn’t prevent former US President Donald Trump from threatening to withdraw American forces from South Korea to force Seoul to pay more for hosting US troops.

South Korea has hosted tens of thousands of US troops on dozens of bases throughout the country since the 1950-53 Korean War. As a US ally Seoul is expected to participate in US missions abroad. Security policy analyst Lee Tae-ho argues South Korea’s automatic participation in US conflicts is unjustified.

For South Korea, the US failure in Afghanistan provides lessons to the South Korea-US alliance and its strategy of entering and occupying North Korea, if and when, Pyongyang is no longer in full control.

Lee also suggests the South Korean case is different from Afghanistan, as this country has its own advanced military to deter North Korea, although more emphasis needs to be given to negotiations with Pyongyang.


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