Reposted from donaldsensing.com; links were good at time of original
Larry at Before Breakfast writes of what a South Korean lieutenant colonel told him 15 years ago the real reason the USA keeps boots on the ground in South Korea:
to keep the South from going north. As soon as you leave, we will conquer the north and then attack Japan." LTC X's mentors are now out of power but he was deadly serious at the time.Funny he should say that. I was told the same thing when I reported for duty in Korea in 1977. The year before, two US Army officers were axed and bludgeoned to death inside the DMZ's Joint Security Area. That was all the reason the South needed to head to Pyongyang; it took a major diplomatic effort by the US to prevent it.
In 1992 I attended a defense conference in California with some pretty high-powered people holding a discussion about Europe. I went there as one of the traveling staff of then Secretary of the Army Michael P. W. Stone. The conference was hosted by a member of the British House of Lords, whose name escapes me. The German delegate was a Bundeswehr lieutenant general assigned to the West German ministry of defense.
There were no reporters present, so people spoke pretty freely. During the course of the discussion, Herr Leutnant General said that the only reason Europe had enjoyed its longest period ever of uninterrupted peace was that there were two US Army corps in western Germany, and significant US forces elsewhere in Europe. He didn't quite say that without American boots on the ground there, Europe would have gone to war with itself again, but we clearly understood that's what he meant. The British and Italian representatives nodded.
That's why folks who think that the US military will be out of Iraq only 18 months or so after the Saddam is toppled are dreaming in lala land. (Care to recall how long we've been "temporarily" in Kosovo?) I wrote in October 2001 that we would be there for a generation: "It will take decades and there are no guarantees. But the alternative is to fight culture and religious wars generation after generation." I still stand by that.