Friday, March 31, 2006

Guess the country

Let's play a little game. Last Thursday US Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld held a press conference and this issue came up again: (Guess the country)

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Thursday the United States must retain wartime command of (country's) military until that country's forces are strong enough to maintain stability (geographic region).


Asked whether he thought the change in command structure could start this year, Rumsfeld replied: "No, no, I don't at all."


He said no time has been set for the turnover, but (country's) forces already are taking increasing responsibilities. "They're doing that," he said, "and as they continue to take on more and more responsibility, the United States will be able to reduce its troops."
We've heard words like this before. It sounds promising. It could be Iraq if it weren't for the fact that every effort is being made to turn command over to the Iraqis before the Fall of this year. Well... maybe not.

But, it's not Iraq. No, it's a different country. And, if you said Afghanistan, you'd be just as wrong.

Try this. South Korea. (ROK)

55 years after taking control of the South Korean armed forces when the North Koreans invaded, the US remains in complete command. The South Korean armed forces are under the command of General Burwell Bell.

The Koreans are getting a little antsy about getting their armed services back. They figure 55 years is long enough. They've had several senior officers who joined the service as 18 year old cadets, progressed and then retired, having served a full career. But they could never hold overall command.

Rummy is working on it. And nothing will happen. As long North Korea is on the other side of the 38th parallel and China is on the other side of the Yalu River, the ROK armed forces will be a resource of the Commander in Chief... of the United States.

The original article was in Stars and Stripes, the US military newspaper. I'll bet the troops in Iraq were happy when they read about that time frame.

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