At the completion of an annual military exercise that the United States conducts with South Korea the US has decided to keep much of the forces shipped in for the exercise in South Korea for an indefinite period of time.
The U.S. command said that the reason for increasing U.S. forces in Korea was "maximization of training." They said that Stealth F-117A fighter planes, F-15 fighter planes and what was described as a "small army task force" would not return to the United States after a month of military exercises. A spokesman refused to say how long they would stay in Korea.
North Korea is convinced the Bush administration plans to wage war on it after the Iraq conflict and yesterday accused the US of conducting last month more than 220 spy flights over its territory as a prelude to an attack.
By contrast, CNN Senior China Analyst Willy Wo-Lap Lam says the Chinese believe the United States has become so bogged down in Iraq that the US will not attack North Korea this year.
With forces apparently overextended in Iraq -- and with anti-war voices rising in the U.S. and Europe -- Washington seems less prone for the time being to target other rogue regimes with weapons of mass destruction.
It has become less likely that Washington will take on North Korea this year, a scenario that will plunge Sino-U.S. relations into crisis.
If the United States had a bigger military the Chinese wouldn't currently be doubting US intentions toward North Korea.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2003 April 02 11:54 AM Politics Grand Strategy|