Incoming USFK Commander Confirms That Keeping Troops in South Korea is Cheaper for the Pentagon

This is something i have discussed before that the cost sharing of troops in South Korea actually saves money for the Pentagon compared to keeping the same troops in the US.  What else that can’t be calculated is how many US jobs are generated due to the large amount of defense equipment bought by the ROK because of its close military relationship with the US.  Like I have maintained, if politicians want to criticize about freeloading US allies I am all for it, but South Korea is a poor choice to try and make this claim with:

The four-star Army general picked to lead American forces in Korea says it’s less expensive to keep U.S. troops stationed in South Korea than in the United States.

In testimony Tuesday, Gen. Vincent Brooks tallied up the financial load South Korea carries in what amounted to a rebuke of Donald Trump, the GOP’s front-running presidential contender.

Trump has called for U.S. allies to pay more for their own defense.

John McCain of Arizona, the Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, prompted Brooks’ answers.

Brooks says South Korea pays half of the annual cost, or $808 million, for U.S. troops to be stationed on the peninsula.

The general says South Korea is paying for 92 percent of a $10.8 billion construction project to build a base for U.S. troops.  [Associated Press]

GIKorea

GIKorea

I am a US military veteran that has served all over the world to include in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Korea. I have been blogging about Korea, Northeast Asia, and the US military for over 10 years.

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6 Comments on "Incoming USFK Commander Confirms That Keeping Troops in South Korea is Cheaper for the Pentagon"

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guitard
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guitard

“What else that can’t be calculated is how many US jobs are generated due to the large amount of defense equipment bought by the ROK…”

The scope goes well beyond just defense equipment sales to the ROK. How about all the jobs Americans have at Hyundai factories in the US? And all the other stuff that the US sells to Korea (meat, agricultural products, etc?

One area though where the Americans are kind of sucking is in auto sales. Other than the domestically produced Chevy models (that don’t really count), the Germans are outselling the Americans by quite a ways.

Bruce K. Nivens
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Bruce K. Nivens

Brooks says South Korea pays half of the annual cost, or $808 million, for U.S. troops to be stationed on the peninsula.
The general says South Korea is paying for 92 percent of a $10.8 billion construction project to build a base for U.S. troops.
—– end quote —–

I’m glad that Gen. Brooks has had the opportunity to give this testimony. Of course, President Trump will probably fire him…

Andy
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Andy

Hypothetically, If South Korea, or Japan for that matter, decided not to pay anything at all, would the US pull their forces out? I doubt it. So technically, I think the US is really at the mercy of these countries in regards to whatever they decide to contribute. US should definitely be happy that SK is paying this much.

guitard
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guitard

South Korea fights tooth and nail to minimize the amount it contributes to the cost-sharing plan whenever the two sides negotiate the matter. The last time they negotiated (in 2014), it took six months to hammer out a deal.

I’m pretty sure if the South Koreans thought they could get away without paying – they would. And on a related note – that’s a big part of why they are afraid of Trump getting elected – they fear they’ll have to pay even more.

Having said all this – the land they are going to get back when Yongsan Base moves south to Humphreys is worth billions … so that should make the sting considerably less painful (for a few years anyway…).

setnaffa
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Turtle Farmer

The cost-sharing is part of why South Korea is in better shape than Western Europe who long ago decided to abandon their own defense and outsource it to America.

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