96th Congress COMMITTEE PRINT
1st Session I
KOREA: THE U.S. TROOP WITHDRAWAL PROGRAM
PACIFIC STUDY GROUP
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES
UNITED STATES SENATE
JANUARY 23, 1979
Printed for the use of the Committee on Armed Services
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
38-743 WASHINGTON : 1979
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES JOHN C. STENNIS, Mississippi, Chairman HENRY M. JACKSON, Washington JOHN TOWER, Texas
HOWARD W. CANNON, Nevada STROM THURMOND, South Carolina
HARRY F. BYRD, JR., Virginia BARRY GOLDWATER, Arizona
SAM NUNN, Georgia JOHN W. WARNER, Virgiaia
JOHN C. CULVER, Iowa GORDON J. HUMPHREY, New Hampshire
GARY HART, Colorado WILLIAM S. COHEN, Maine
ROBERT MORGAN, North Carolina ROGER W. JEPSEN, Iowa
J. JAMES EXON, Nebraska
CARL LEVIN, Michigan
FRANCIS J. SULLIVAN, Staff Director JOHN T. TICER, Chef Crk
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
COMMITTEE ON ARMED SERVICES,
Hon.JOH C. TENISWashington, D.C., January 23, 1979. Chairman, Committee on Armed Services, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: At your request, the Pacific Study Group,, consisting now of Senators Byrd of Virginia, Hart, Tower, and myself, has undertaken an extensive evaluation of U.S. defense posture in Asia and the Pacific and Ind~ian Oceans during the past 13 months. This evaluation included a trip to the Headquarters, Commander-inChief, Pacific (CJNCPAC) in Hawaii in January, 1978, and a comprehensive set of discussionn sessions with government experts on key U.S. defense issues in Asia (luring 1978.
In view of your continuing interest in U.S. defense posture in Asia, Senator Gary Hart and I undertook a trip to East Asia (luring January 3-14, 1979. On this trip, we were accompanied by Senator John Glenn, Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific Affairs of the Foreign Relations Committee, and by Senator Wiliam (iohen, recently assigned to the Armed Services Committee. This trip included visits to the Philippines, Thailand, People's Republic of China, Japan, and South Korea. (Senator Hart was unable to accompany us to South Korea.)
The focus of our visit to the Philippines was the amendment to the Military Bases Agreement that wvas signed by the United States and the Philippines on January 7, 1979, two days after our visit. We had an opportunity to be briefed by Ambassador Murphy and his staff on U.S. -Philippines relations, by the Commanding Officers of Clark Air Force Base and Subic Bay Naval Base, Major General Poston and Rear Admiral Hardisty, and by the chief negotiator of the amendment to the Military Bases Agreement, Lieutenant General Manors. We also had an opportunity to meet with President Marcos to discuss the base agreement and other key security matters.
Our visit to Thailand was primarily to attend the Chiefs of Mission Conference involving all U.S. ambassadors in East Asia and the Pacific. This conference is held once each year and, for the first time, Members. of Congress were invited to attend the conference. We found the opportunity to meet with all of our ambassadors at one time very useful and would recommend that the Armed Services Committee seek to. have a Senator in attendance at future sessions when possible.
While in Thailand, we also had the opportunity to briefly talk with key Thai leaders including Prime Minister Kriangsak Chomanan. The focus of these discussions was the military situation in Indochina which became increasingly more serious with thie fall of Phnom Penh just as we w~ere leaving Thailand.
1ii the People's Republic of China, Nw e met with Vice Premier Deng Xiaoincr(Ten g Hsia o-P'ing) and key (defense officials. These meetings
proviled substantial insights into the Chinese views on Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam-Cambodia, the Soviet military threat, and U.S. military presence in East Asia, and Japan.
In Japan, we met with Prime Minister Ohira, Foreign Minister Sonoda, and Defense Minister Yamashita to discuss security issues involving the United States and Japan. We also had the opportunity to meet with defense specialists from the Diet from three leading political parties and with non-government defense experts. Ambassador Mansfield provided excellent insights into the status of U.S.Japanese relations.
In South Korea, we had the opportunity to meet with Ambassador Gleysteen, General Vessey, and President Pak. While these meetings included discussions of several East Asian security matters, the primary issue was the military balance on the Korean Peninsula. During the visit, we also had the opportunity to visit U.S. units at the Demilitarized Zone and the third North Korean tunnel that has been discovered.
Since President Carter announced his decision to withdraw the U.S. 2d Infantry Division from South Korea, there has been considerable debate over the impact of this decision on the security of South Korea and East Asia as a whole. We believe that new intelligence information on the North Korean threat clearly calls for discontinuing the with(drawals. The attached report presents the considerations that have led us to this conclusion.
Although this report is the first public statement by the Pacific Study Group, the Group has been actively studying America's military posture in Asia since it was established in December, 1977. The initial recommendation that this effort be undertaken was made by Senator Dewey F. Bartlett of Oklahoma, whose retirement for health reasons at the end of the last Congressional session was most unfortunate for the Pacific Study Group. Senator Bartlett's commitment to a b partisan, objective evaluation and his enthusiasm for this project helped to get it off the ground. Although Senator Bartlett was unable to accompany us on this most recent trip, he d(lid visit CINCPAC with Senator Byrd and myself in January, 1978. Hle has continued to give counsel and advice to the Study Group, and based upon his own investigations, Senator Bartlett concurs in the recommendations of this report.
Finally, we would like to thank the staff who accompanied us on the trip or assisted us in the preparation of this report: Mr. Jim Locher, Mr. Bob Old, and( Mr. Ron Lehman of the Armed Services Committee staff, Mr. Jeff Record and Mr. Arnold Punaro of my staff, Mr. Bill Lind of Senator Hart's staff, and Mr. Quentin Crommelin of Senator Byrd's staff. We would also like to express our appreciation to Mr. David Kenney and Mr. Herb Horowitz of the De)artment of State an(d to our military escorts, Dr. Freeman Cary, Captain John McCain, Lt. Col. Al Barry, and to Petty Officer Mike Nerud. These six gentlemen provided valuable assistance throughout the trip and efficiently managed a demanding schedule that involved more than 24,000 miles of travel and meetings with five heads of state in 11 days.
SAM NUNN, U'S. Senator.
KOREA: THE U.S. TROOP WITHDRAWAL PROGRAM
The withdrawal of U.S. ground forces from the Republic of Korea (ROK) should be discontinued. The new U.S. intelligence reassessment of North Korean military strength leads us to conclude that even planned improvements in South Korean forces will not compensate for withdrawal of the U.S. 2d Infantry Division. Thlie reasessment casts grave doubt upon the validity of earlier judgments about the nature and stability of the Korean military balance that formed the basis of the Administration's decision in May, 1977 to withdraw U.S. ground troops from Korea. _oreover, the present plans for withdrawal will cost the United States between $1.5-2.5 billion without reducing the probability of immediate U.S. combat involvemen in a future Korean conflict.
These are among the principal conclusions drawn by the Pcific Study Group of the Senate iArmed Services Committee following the visit by members of the Study Group to the Republic of Koreat and other Asian nations from January 3-14, 1979. The conclusions should not be misconstrued as support for a permanent U.S. military presenee in the ROK; the Study Group looks forward to the (lay when the ROK's security can be sustained without a U.S. presence. Witidrawal of U.S. forces, however, must be based on the maintenance of a stable military balance on the Korean peninsula. That balance is now threatened by larger North Korean forces.
It is the judgment of the Study Group that to proceed at this time with additional U.S. troop withdrawals from Korea would neither serve the security interests of the United States nor contribute to stability in Northeast Asia.
The Withdrawal Program
The Administration's decision to withdraw U.S. ground combat forces from Korea, announced( on May 5, 1977, represented an extension of an already well-established trend. Since the turn of the decade, U.S. force levels in Korea have steadily declined. In 1969 two U.S. Army divisions and a total of 52,580 Army personnel were deplove(d in Korea. In 1970-71 the Nixon Administration redeployed one of the divisions back to the United States, reducing U.S. ground force levels in Korea to 33,249 men.
During the Spring of 1975 Presidential candidate Carter pledged to pull U.S. troops out of Korea. Following his inauguration, President Carter, in the Spring of 1977, announced Administration plans to withdraw U.S. ground troops from Korea. The withdrawal included the removal of the 2d Infantry Division over a 5-year period, commencing with the withdrawal of 6,000 personnel in 1978. The remaining troops are to be taken out by 1982. In addition to the assumed
military balance, the other rationales cited as permitting the withdrawal are the ROK's impressive economic progress and the betterment of U.S. relations with the People's Republic of China and the Soviet Union-North Korea's principal allies.
In compensation for the (Irawdownr, and to underline the continuing U.S. commitment to the defense of Korea, the plan calls for (1) augmentation of the U.S. Air Force deployment by the addition of one squ~a(ron of 12 F-4 aircraft, (2) transfer at no cost to the ROK of approximately $800 million worth of equipment of departing U.S. forces, and (3) provision of Foreign Military Sales credits to the ROK to help redress certain ROK military deficiencies. The United States al.s.,o undertakes to (1) continue to make available to the ROK appropriate weapons on a priority basis to increase ROK ability to deter North Korean aggression, (2) make special efforts to support the ROK's industrial self-suifficiency in selected defense projects, and to make available appropriate technology in this effort, and (3) continue to conduct joint military exercises with ROK forces.
In November, 1978, a ROK/U.S. Combined Forces Command was established that gives Korean officers new and enlarged command resp~onsibilities. In that same month, the United States deployed, as pledged, another F-4 squadron to Korea.
However, the initial pace of withdrawal envisioned by the Admini~stration program was temporarily slowed on April 21, 1978, when the President announced a reduction from 6,000 to 3,436 in the number of troops scheduled for removal in 1978. The balance of 2,564 personnel is to be withdrawn in 1979. The President also alteredl the plan's early emphasis on disproportionate withdrawals of actual combat units, reducing from one brigade to one battalion the planned 1978 reduction.
The decision to stretch out the 1978 withdrawals into 1979 was taken in the wake of strong expressions of Congressional concern over the wisdom of (1) according priority in the early phases of the program to the removal of combat rather than support personnel, and of (2) proceeding with the withdrawal program in the absence of (a) approlpriate reciprocal actions by North Korea, and (b) firm assurances that compensatory U.S. measures to the ROK could be undertaken in a timely and proper fashion. These and other concerns were reflected in an amendment attached by the Senate Armed Services Committee to its report accompanying the fiscal year 1979 Defense Authorization Bill, which stated:
The committee is concerned about the possible risks to the
current military balance of any further withdrawals. The Secretary of Defense is therefore directed to provide an analysis to the committee before any future ithdrawal of goroundl combat troops. That analysis should consider at least the following points-: the effect of any proposed withdrawal plan on preserving deterrence in Korea; the reaction anticipatedl from North K- 1'orea; a consideration of the effect of the plan on increasing incentives for South Korea to develop an independent nuclear deterrent; the effect of any withdrawal, on our long-term military and economic partnership with Japan; the effect of ainy proposed withdrawal on the United States/Chinese and United States/Soviet military balance; and., the possible implications of any proposed withdrawal on
the Soviet/Chinese military situation.
The New North Korean Threat
The presumption that ROK ground forces-pro erly supplied and equipped by the United States, and supported by U.S. tactical air and naval forces-could adequately counter a North Korean attack not involving the direct participation of China or the Soviet Union has been the major operational tenet underlying the Administration's withdrawal program.
That presumption is now open to challenge. Since the Spring of 1978, a fundamental reassessment of North Korean military capabilities, conducted jointly by the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency, Army Intelligence and Security Command, and other U.S. intelligence organizations, bas been underway. Based on a more thorough review of existing intelligence information, the reassessment postulates a substantially larger and more offensively oriented North Korean military posture than heretofore assumed.
More specifically, according to press reports the new threat assessment credits the North Korean army with 560-600,000 men instead of 440,000 and 40 divisions (including separate brigades) rather than 29, with a significantly larger and more formidable array of armor (2,600 instead of 2,000 tanks) and artillery, including comparatively modern Soviet-designed main battle tanks, rocket launchers, large-caliber tube artillery, and air defense systems.
The North Korean army, as re-evaluated, has enhanced the overall military advantage of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) over the ROK; North Korea has long maintained a 4:1 advantage over the ROK in numbers of naval vessels and 2:1 advantage in tactical aircraft. Only on the ground was North Korea believed until recently to have failed to muster a potentially decisive advantage. Yet whatever presumed advantages the ROK maintained over the North now appear to have vanished in the wake of the new intelligence reassessment.
No less significant is the presence in the central portion of North Korea (specifically in the Pyongyang area) of substantial operational reserves capable of exploiting a "blitzkrieg" deep into the ROK. Until recently, it was widely believed that the bulk of North Korean army forces was concentrated opposite the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) with fewer major units to the rear; it now appears that the distribution of operational DPRK units is much less lopsided. The reassessment further concludes that the North's expanding capabilities for surprise offensive operations are evident in an increase in the number of airborne battalions and in light infantry brigades tailored for infiltration and commando operations.
In sum, the Administration's initial confidence that ROK ground forces could halt an invasion by North Korean forces unassisted directly by either the USSR or the PRC may not be warranted. The possibility that North Korea may now have-or perceive that it has-sufficient military resources to undertake a successful invasion of the ROK without the direct support or participation of China or the Soviet Union cannot be discounted; in the face of such a possibility, the deterrent value of maintaining U.S. ground combat troops in Kore& takes on added significance.
North Korea has a growing capacity for massive attack with little or no warning and continues to refuse to restrain the growth of its
military capabilities. Under these conditions the maintenance of U.S. combat troops in place on the peninsula appears more appropriate than options calling for the redeployment of U.S. troops to Korea from elsewhere in the Pacific or the United States in a crisis or war; a war is less likely to occur if U.S. ground forces remain in Korea.
The Costs of Withdrawing
There are unlikely to be any budgetary savings resulting from the withdrawal program. In fact, given the Administration's plan to retain and rebase the withdrawn troops and to convert the 2nd Infantry Division into a mechanized division upon its return to the United States, there will be substantial additional costs. The one-time costs of these measures, together with the transfer to the ROK of $800 million worth of U.S. military equipment already in Korea, are likely to total at least $1.485 billion and possibly as much as $2.370 billion in fiscal year 1978 dollars.
In testimony on February 24, 1978 before the Manpower and Personnel Subcommittee, the Department of Defense estimated the costs of withdrawal as shown in the table below. The figures do not include the planned extension of $275 million per year in Foreign Military Sales credits during the withdrawal.
Estimated costs of fulfilling the withdrawal program, in millions of fiscal year 1978 dollars
Program elements: Mil ions
1. Removal of selected 2d Division equipment_ ------------- $3-10
2. Transfer to the ROK of 2d Division equipment ----------- 800
3. New military construction necessary to rebase 2d Division 300-800 4. Mechanization of 2d Division- 380-760
Total- -. ------ ---1, 485-2, 370
Failure to Reduce Prospects for Direct U.S. Involvement in a Future Korean Conflict
It has been argued that withdrawal of U.S. ground combat troops from the Republic of Korea will reduce the vulnerability of the United States to early and direct combat involvement in a future conflict on the Korean peninsula. Confid(lence in this potential benefit, however, must be tempered by recognition of the fact that some 16,000 U.S. military personnel are slated to remain in the ROK even after the with(lrawal program is completed in 1981-1982.
Although it caan be argued that removal of the U.S. military presence in its entirety from Korea would increase the flexibility of U.S. combat intervention options in another Korean war, the Administration's troop withdrawal program ha.s never envisaged a complete pull-out. Indeed, the post-1982 maintenance of 9,000 U.S. Air Force personnel in U.S. tactical air units, and of 7,000 U.S. Army logistics support and commandn, control anti communications poersonnel- 1 lmanyl of them statione(l close to the DMZ-reflects a conscious U.S. decision to maintain its traditional 'broad commitment to the (defense of South Korea. More to the point, it is probable that U.S. forces would probably incur. immediate and substantial casualties in the event of a North Korean invasion of the ROK. The continued presence in the ROK of
thousands of American civilians, many of them living (as they now do) in Seoul and in other areas likely to be the initial zones of combat,
-would further limit the flexibility of American policy.
We can envisage certain post-withdrawal military scenarios that would make us regret the absence of sizeable U.S. ground combat forces in Korea-including those forces that are now the focus of the withdrawal prog am. We base this judgment primarily on the fact that the military balance on the ground between the ROK and North Korea has clearly deteriorated since the turn of the decade. That our views are shared by the Defense Department is manifest in the prudent development of new Korean contingency plans callincr for the redeployment to Korea, under certain circumstances, of selected U.S. Army and U.S. Marine Corps divisions currently de.ployed elsewhere in the Pacific and on the West Coast.
Impact of the Withdrawal Upon U.S: Capabilities for Non-Asian Contingencies
Inherent in the withdrawal program, and more specifically in the proposal to retain the 2nd Infantry Division in the U.S. Army's force structure and to convert it into a mechanized formation more suitable for European and other high intensity combat contingencies, is the prospect that the withdrawal will enhance deterrence and defense in Europe. However, there appears to be little likelihood that this potential benefit could be realized in the foreseeable future. With probable lengthy delays likely to be encountered in its mechanization, a high state of readiness of the division for NATO contingencies will not be achievable for several years after its return from Korea.
Moreover, there are no plans to preposition equipment in Europe for the 2nd Infantry Division, which would preclude its deployment to Europe during the decisive early phase of hostilities between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. Present and planned U.S. strategic airlift capabilities are not sufficient to move existing NATO-earmarked U.S. forces to Europe in a timely fashion.
Withdrawal and Nuclear Non-Proliferation
The prevention of nuclear proliferation in Northeast Asia and elsewhere in the world has been a maior objective of U.S. foreio-n policy for over 15 years. We do not believe that a continuation of the Administration's troop withdrawal program as scheduled, especially in the absence of reciprocal North Korean measures, advances this policy. Indeed, it could encourage South Korea to develop its own nuclear capability. tr
We note that it is the judgment of many U.S. officials and Korean experts we talked to that the withdrawal could contribute to an erosion of existing ROK confidence in U.S., reliability and increase Korean pressure 'to develop nuclear weapons of their own. This would be particularly true if withdrawal were attended, as it now appears to be, by South Korean perceptions of a worsening nonnuclear military balance, especially on the ground. Press speculation that a major portion of the U.S. nuclear weapons allegedly deployed on the peninsula will be removed along'with U.S. ground combat
units can only intensify whatever feelings of nuclear insecurity the ROK may now have. However, we were also told that there axe substantial technical constraints and political inhibitions that would prevent them, from realizing such a capability in the short-term.
In short, in Korean eyes, to the extent that. the withdrawal of U.S. ground combat troops degrades the value of the U.S. commitment to the ROK's defense, it, heightens the risk of an independent, one-on-one arms race on the peninsula that could eventually spark competition in nuclear armaments.
All the officials of U.S. allied governments in Asia that we spoke to expressed varying degrees of concern over the decision to remove U.S. 17 1(fround combat troops from Korea. While we do not believe that American policy in any part of the world should be dictated by predictable reactions on the part of regional allies and friends, neither can allies' views be ignore(:'[.
No Asian ally of the United States has expressed enthusiasm for the withdrawal, and in many Asian capitals concern continues to be privately expressed over its wisdom. Some of our allies continue to regard the withdrawal as further evidence of an eventual U.S. military stand down in Asia. Some also expressed uneasiness over recent developments in United States-Taiwanese relations. For example, in our discussions with key Japanese defense officials and party leaders, they cautioned that any withdrawal program should be implemented in as careful fashion as possible. Some suggested that a delay in further withdrawals would considerably alleviate widespread Asian concerns about U.S. withdrawal from Asia.
These concerns may have been heightened by the lack of "nuine consultation with our allies over the decision to withdraw. President Carter's statement on Korea during the Presidential campaign preceded any decisions on Korean policy-, and subsequent Administration consultations with Japan, Korea, and other nations have assumed the character more of explanations of decisions already made than of serious pre-decision solicitations of allied views. The recently announced U.S. intention to terminate its defense treaty with Taiwan, and the subsequent Vietnamese conquest of Cambodia, however, have contributed further to uncertainty in the minds of some Asian leaders with whom we met about the future stability of the Pacific region and the role that the United States intends to play in that part of the world. Although most Asian leaders with whom the Study Grou met favored normalization, believing that it will contribute to stability in Northeast Asia over the long term, the lid express apprehension over the short run implications, particular lryl the risk that North Korea, possibly with Soviet encouragement, might attempt to disrupt the new relationship.
Where Do We Go From Here.?
President Carter bas clearly stated his intention to implement the U.S. withdrawal program from South Korea in a phased and flexible manner that preserves a military balance on the peninsula and protects the security, of the Republic of Korea. In a letter dated June 20, 1978
to Senator Robert C. Byrd and Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill, the President prudently cautioned that:
Should circumstances affecting the balance change
significantly, we will assess these changes in close consultation with the Congress, the Republic of Korea, and our other Asian allies. Our plans will be adjusted if developments
We believe that "developments so warrant" and that the time has come to adjust our plans, because we believe that the new intelligence reassessment of North Korean military capabilities discussed above invalidates the critical assumption underlying the Administration's troop withdrawal program. The threat posed by North Korean forces is seen today as sigonificantly greater than that estimated at the time the program was 'initiated.
Before the new intelligence reassessment the Korean military balance on the ground was believed stable enough to permit the removal of the U.S. 2d Infantry Division, as long as its removal was accompanied by the compensatory measures cited earlier in this report. Even prior to the reassessment,, there were many who questioned the withdrawal from the standpoint of deterrence and psychological impact. The reassessment's substantial upgrading of the North Korean army's size and capabilities now suggests a pronounced imbalance on the ground that argues strongly for both the retention of the 2nd Division in Korea now and an accelerated modernization and improvement of the ROK army. Given the new perceptions of an unfavorable balance on the peninsula., the planned compensatory measures can no longer provide an adequate substitute for the presence of the 2d Division.
The Study Group is furthermore convinced that recent and potentially momentous developments in U.S. policy in Asia and the Pacific, particularly the decision to terminate the defense treaty with Taiwan, have focused the attention of our allies and friends in Asia on overall U.S. constancy in the region. We believe these developments place a premium upon making evei-y effort to reassure our friends and potential adversaries of our intention to maintain a steady U.S. hand in the Pacific and to support our traditional allies with whatever level of military power is required.
We believe the United States should continue to support the development of a strong, self-reliant South Korea. We do not believe that we should be tied to what in our judgment is a rigid. timetable for U.S. troop withdrawals. We believe the withdrawal program should be suspended to provide the United States and the Republic of Korea the opportunity to carefully and prudently review that policy, in close consultation with Japan and our other allies.
INDIVIDUAL VIEWS OF MR. HART
Although I was unable to accompany my colleagues on the Korea portion of the trip, my review of the observations of my staff and other reports and studies has led me to agree generally with the conclusion of this report: further withdrawals of United States forces from Korea should be delayed until both the United States and the Republic of Korea have had adequate time to review the implications of the latest intelligence estimates of North Korean strength. Complete AlTithdrawal of U.S. ground combat forces from Korea should r(,,Tr .i i Ti our goal, and this report should not be viewed as a recommendatiOn to abandon that objective. But contamination of troop ivit'hdi-"'1Ai-"'1,1c-, on the previously planned schedule would create the incorrect impression that U.8-. f orce dispositions in Asia are not responsive to military developments in the region. Under these circumstances, a pause in the U.S. withdrawal is desirable.
However, I feel that the security of South Korea depends on a number of other military considerations beyond the question of U.S. troop withdrawals. Prior to the trip, the Study Group conducted a number of seminars with leading American analysts on all major facets of U.S. security interests in Asia. These discussions, as well as my own independent inquiries, have suggested a number of significant questions about the military situation in Korea. broader than the continued presence of the U.S. 2d. Infantry Division. These questions are not addressed in this report. Yet they should be considered carefully by both the Congress and the Administration in the general reassessment which the pause in troop withdrawals will permit. They include the following considerations:
1. While U.S. ground forces in Korea do make a contribution to deterrence, it is difficult to calculate how much of this contribution can be measured in actual military capability. The 2d Infantry Division comprises about 5 percent of the total combat power of the ground forces in South Korea in peacetime. After the onset of conflict, U.S. forces would contribute an even smaller percentage of total combat power, since the ability of South Korea to generate additional forces in Korea far outstrips that of the United States. Thus, neither the retention nor the eventual withdrawal of the 2d Division is likely to affect greatly the military balance on the peninsula in terms of actual ground. combat forces.
If it is necessary, in view of the new intelligence estimates, to increase the combat capability of ground forces in Korea, an increase at the current ratio of national forces would appear to require more South Korean than American actions. This suggests that South Korea may need to increase its current defense spending and manpower substantially over current levels.
2. Improvements in the defenses north of Seoul have made the chances of a successful direct North Korean assault on that city appear
highly problematic. Accordingly, it is possible that North Korea might instead choose to concentrate its main attack in the eastern half of Korea, a sector which may be less attractive as a political target but which also presents less formidable defenses.
What are the chances of an attack in the east, using light infantry forces, which would succeed in a strategic turning movement south of Seoul? What would be the political effects of North Korea seizing a slice of South Korean territory in the east, and then calling for a cease-fire?
3. While South Korean forces are tough, highly motivated and well trained in classic tactics, it appears they may be deficient in preparation for mobile warfare. Current training and equipment is oriented almost exclusively toward positional defense. Do steps need to be taken to prepare South Korean forces more effectively for a possible war of movement?
4. The United States and South Korea seem to rely heavily on air power to offset North Korean superiority in ground forces. Yet, if a North Korean attack were in the west, north of Seoul, the first few days of battle might well be decisive. In that critical initial period, can the air forces of the two nations effectively support the ground forces, or must they devote the greater part of their efforts to establishing air superiority and suppressing air defenses? What is the most effective allocation of our and South Korea's future investment in ground and air forces which will optimize total force effectiveness?
Conversely, if the main North Korean attack were in the east, can air forces be effective in that area, given the difficulty of acquiring targets in that terrain? Are aircraft such as F-4's, which both South Korea and the U.S. Air Force currently emphasize, sufficiently effective in this area, or would helicopters and possibly A-10's be more effective under these conditions?
5. Current assumptions about re-supply of United States and South Korean forces appear to rely heavily on sea transport. North Korea currently has, by published reports, a fleet of fifteen submarines, with a theoretical maximum combined minelaying capacity of 556 mines. South Korea has only 11 minesweepers, and U.S. minesweeping forces in the area are negligible.
Would it be possible to kee) key South Korean ports open in wartime, particularly if North Korea should use modern naval mines'? Are current assumptions about logistics realistic in the face of possible mining of ports by North Korea? If Pusan and other major South Korean ports were effectively mined, would re-supply by air be adequate? If only some ports were mined, could the United States rapidly switch its main supply lines to those ports which remained open? JDo additional steps need to be taken to meet the North Korean naval that, an specifically the mine threat?
6. South Korean forces appear to be organized very much on the U.S. Army model of the 1950's. Do the South Koreans need to take steps to ada)t their force structure and defense thinking more closely to their Ioual situation? Ias U.S. domination of the joint command struetllre )ossibly inhibited South Korea from departing from. the U.S. foreo stiiicture molel to a geter dLre? Wold new joint, cor mm~ a rranigemnenis enable the South Kreans to develop along more independent, and possibly more approi)riate and effective lines?
These questions will require study in depth. I intend to devote my efforts to their consideration, and to encourage the other members of the Study Group, the Committee, the Congress, and the Administration to do the same. Merely pausing in our troops withidrawNal NN-111 assist us little in the long run unless we use the intervenig time to study the defense situation in Korea as thoroughly and objectively as possible. We must not let past policies or habits of mind stands in the way of a fresh and careful look at what we can (10 to enhance the security of South Korea.
These questions reflect my general conviction that the military security of our nation and our allies, in Korea and elsewhere, depends not just on the quantity of weapons, manpower or dollars we devote to that end. It depends on the kind of forces and how well we use them militarily. The security of South Korea, therefore, depends not just on more or less U.S. presence. It also depends on whether we and our allies have succeeded in being strong both by force of arms and determination of will, as well as by being more shrewd and intelligent, than any potential aggressor. GR AT ..Sntr
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