South Korea – North Korea: Special comment. On the sidelines of the G-20 meeting, President Obama agreed to a formal request by South Korean President Lee to delay the transfer of wartime operational control of Allied forces in Korea. The transfer had been in preparation for since 2007 and was set to occur in 2012. The wisdom and merits of this important warfighting shift have been hotly debated. The transfer will now occur in 2015.
On balance, the North’s sinking of the patrol Ship Cheonan in March proved decisive in persuading the government in Seoul to request a delay in any new wartime command and control arrangements for Allied forces. This delay means that in getting revenge for a North Korean boat sunk last November, the North has strengthened the Alliance in ways that never would have happened absent a violent provocation.
A tactical provocation mushroomed into a monumental backfire. The only thing missing is the slogan “remember the Cheonan.” From the perspective of North Korea’s stated national goals, specifically removing US forces, the sinking of the Cheonan is the worst strategic blunder in Kim Chong-il’s mistake-prone and misguided tenure as North Korea’s leader.
The Kim dynasty has long outlived the time when it had any ideas of value for the long suffering North Korean population. It should and could have been tossed into the dustbin of history, joining the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, by the year 2000 had the Allies, China and Russia had the moral courage and wisdom to bring it down through economic pressure. [PBI emphasis added.]
Phi Beta Iota: Moral courage and wisdom, so very lacking in the US Government as now comprised, is precisely what we must bring to bear. This is not rocket science, just Integrity 101. Below are four of tens of thousands of examples of normal people who get it.
Ambassador Mark Palmer
General Tony Zinni, USMC (Ret)