S. Korea, U.S. To Draft Plan For Future Alliance Command

The comments highlighted in blue below are by/from Col. (Ret.) David Maxwell; and, his contact info is at the bottom of this page.  RCP, fortunascorner.com
David Maxwell’s Comment:  Sigh…. There is still no understanding of the command structure.  The US does not have have OPCON of Korean forces.  The ROK/US Combined Forces Command will have OPCON of Korea and US forces when both nations make the decision to provide forces the the ROK/US CFC.  And of course the ROK/US CFC answers equally to both Presidents through the Military Committee.  (One of the best articles written on the command architecture in Korea is by COL Shawn Creamer and can be accessed here: http://www.icks.org/data/ijks/1498534150_add_file_3.pdf)
 
However, I am slightly optimistic if this report is accurate.  Most importantly there is discussion of establishing a new combined command that will have a Korean general officer in charge and a US deputy.  As long as the new combined command answers to the Military Committee there will be no sovereignty issues and no worries about the Pershing Rule.  It is critical that we have a combined command for deterrence and if deterrence fails then to defend the ROK and fight and win.
 
Excerpts:
“(The two sides) will authorize the creation of the future command of combined forces during the MCM and the SCM,” the ministry said in a report for a regular parliamentary audit of its affairs.
 
The allies will then draw up a specific scheme to establish a system to have a South Korean commander and a U.S. deputy commander, it added.

S. Korea, U.S. to draft plan for future alliance command

english.yonhapnews.co.kr

SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Yonhap) — The South Korean and U.S. militaries will soon formalize a plan to create a new combined command, which will become effective when Seoul regains its wartime operational control (OPCON) of the country’s troops, the Ministry of National Defense said Thursday.

The allies plan to approve the scheme in their annual Military Committee Meeting (MCM) and Security Consultative Meeting (SCM) later this month, it told lawmakers.

The MCM is an annual session ivolving the chairmen of the allies’ joint chiefs of staff. This year’s meeting will be held in Seoul on Oct. 27, a day before the ministerial SCM.

“(The two sides) will authorize the creation of the future command of combined forces during the MCM and the SCM,” the ministry said in a report for a regular parliamentary audit of its affairs.

The allies will then draw up a specific scheme to establish a system to have a South Korean commander and a U.S. deputy commander, it added.

The current Combined Forces Command (CFC), formed in 1978 as the headquarters of military operations, is led by a four-star U.S. commander. A four-star South Korean general serves as deputy commander.

The left-leaning Moon Jae-in administration, which took office in May, has pushed for an early OPCON transfer. The U.S. is reportedly supportive of the initiative, although South Korea needs to meet some preconditions, including the strengthening of its own defense capabilities.

South Korea handed over its OPCON to the U.S.-led U.N. forces during the 1950-53 Korean War.

South Korea was supposed to regain its wartime OPCON at the end of 2015. But the transfer was postponed indefinitely as the allies agreed to seek a “conditions-based” shift, instead of setting a specific deadline, amid growing North Korean military threats.

lcd@yna.co.kr

(END)

english.yonhapnews.co.kr

V/R
David
David S. Maxwell
Associate Director

Center for Security Studies
The Walsh School of Foreign Service
Georgetown University
Office: 202-687-3834
Cell: 703-300-8263
Twitter: @davidmaxwell161

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