Monday, December 19, 2011
"Preparing for Sudden Change in North Korea."
The report covered "Scenarios for Change in North Korea" and included "managed," "contested" and "failed successions." The report makes no secret of US foreign policy toward North Korea and the desire to see the nation "integrated" with the South, a nation whose political system has long been co-opted by the United States, kept a watchful eye on by USPACOM's regional presence, and only saved by the nationalism of the South Korean people themselves.
On page 36 of the report, it is stated that chaos within a "changing" North Korea would raise concerns including,
"maintaining security and stability in the North, locating and securing Pyongyang’s weapons of mass destruction, dealing with potentially serious humanitarian problems such as large-scale refugee flows or starvation, managing the political and legal issues relating to the formation of a transitional government, and addressing the economic challenges posed by the demise of the North and its possible integration with the South."
Noting that foreign troops may spur an armed reaction from the North Korean military, the report states:
"If former elements of the North Korean military, its security and intelligence forces, or its large special operations force were to resist the presence of foreign forces, the size of the needed stabilization force would escalate dramatically.“Indeed, experience has shown that special operations forces are the most likely candidates to mount such resistance. Given the large number of such units in the North, the challenge could be considerable.In an insurgency, according to one Defense Science Board study, as many as twenty occupying troops are needed for every thousand persons, implying a force of 460,000 troops, more than three times the number of American troops in Iraq. Coping with such a contingency would likely be impossible for the South Korean and American forces to manage alone." ~ page 37 (.pdf)
A "common vision" between the US and South Korea for a reunified Korea is also discussed at length as are the military, economic, and social preparations that would be necessary to carry out this "vision." Such a common vision begs one to wonder what say the United States, separated by an entire ocean from Korea, actually has in the future of the Korean people. The preparation of a NATO-style military alliance referred to as a "regional security cooperation in northeast Asia" is also recommended to help in "legitimating" the West's attempts to exploit and fill the void created in a possible collapse of North Korean society.
The thought of a reunified Korea, militarily occupied by the United States and its collective economy opened to unmitigated exploitation via the pending US-FTA must alarm Beijing to a certain degree, especially with the recently unveiled "American Pacific Century" policy that enumerates a strategy of encircling and containing China's tactical and economic rise while maintaining a century of American hegemony over Asia.
It should be noted that North Korea's unraveling, and the door it would open to a reunified Korea under American military and economic occupation needs not necessarily be organic. The United States is on record training North Korean activists to sow "Arab Spring-style" chaos just as it has throughout the Middle East.
Whether they exist there in the right measurements or will find a well prepared, Chinese-backed North Korea ready to back them instead remains a question only time will tell.