The U.S. is withdrawing half its 48 AH-64 helicopter gunships from South
Korea, while adding a dozen A-10C ground attacks aircraft, two MH-53E naval
mine clearing and one or more U-2 reconnaissance aircraft.
has been upgrading its armed forces considerably since the Cold War ended in
1991. South Korea now has 5,800 modern armored vehicles and smart bombs for its
over 500 combat aircraft. At the same time, the North Korean armed forces have
been in sharp decline over the last decade. As a result of that, and the need
for troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, one of the two U.S. combat brigades were
withdrawn from South Korea. U.S. planners see South Korea as more than capable
of handing an invasion from the north. The U.S. would operate in a support
role. The South Korean generals are down with all that.
of American combat troops has been steadily falling since the end of the Korean
War 55 years ago. During the 1960s, there were six American infantry brigades in South Korea. Now there
is one. There are about 30,000 American troops in South Korea, most of them
Army support troops, air force personnel and some navy and marine