My first trip to Korea was in 1972. I ended up at Camp Red Cloud, which is located in Uijongbu and named for Congressional Medal of Honor recipient Corporal Mitchell Red Cloud Jr. When I was there, Camp Red Cloud was the I Corps headquarters. Now it carries the designation of US Army Garrison (USAG) Red Cloud and is the Headquarters for the US Army’s 2nd Infantry Division (2ID). In 1972, the 2ID headquarters was located at Camp Casey in Tongduchon a few miles north of Uijongbu.
The demilitarized zone (DMZ) that separates North Korea from South Korea is only 34 miles and a few yards from Seoul. Uijongbu is 12 miles north of Seoul. As they say in the Army the BLUF (bottom line up front) is that North Korean artillery has the capability of hitting both of these cities.
In 1972, when I first experienced life in Korea it was still quite rural. Uijongbu was barely 20 years beyond being completely flattened – as in no buildings left standing – during the war. Nowadays, it is difficult to discern where Uijongbu ends and Seoul begins. Since my first trip to the land of the morning calm, Seoul’s population has practically doubled in size nearing 11 million.
Koreans mostly do not live in the countryside these days, they have migrated primarily to the metropolitan areas with the capital city of Seoul by far the largest. You might find it interesting to hear that South Korean farmers hire migrant workers to help with their harvests. I suppose they do the jobs that most Koreans will not do. North Koreans do not have that problem because they have no harvest. They are starving. It is a byproduct of repressive communist dictatorships.
With the artillery attack on the island off the coast of South Korea along with the sinking of a South Korean ship by a North Korean submarine, we have reason for concern. The People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (PDRK) is not predictable and its leadership unstable. Make no mistake however. It is China who pulls the puppet strings of the PDRK. Recently, the Chinese put some troops in North Korea. But, there is nothing to see here so move along.
The Chinese are flouting their new stealth fighter, bragging about their anti-aircraft carrier cruise missiles and they own way too much of our debt. Chairman Hu believes that the dollar should be replaced with China’s yuan as the currency used for international trade. The Russians believe the dollar should be replaced too as do the Iranians and Hugo Chavez. They are a happy little cabal of communist dictators and Islamic fascists.
During the first year of the Obama Administration, [Secretary of Defense] Gates canceled the Air Force’s next-generation bomber and prematurely terminated production of the stealthy F-22 fighter at only half of the service’s stated warfighting requirement.
Gates said at the time that the F-22 was not relevant to counterinsurgency campaigns in Southwest Asia or to the most likely warfighting scenarios the joint force would face in the future. He also noted that Air Force leaders agreed with him on the need to end F-22 production. However, Gates conveniently omitted the fact that he had fired Air Force leaders who opposed termination of the F-22, and that dozens of studies conducted inside and outside the Air Force had found a need for more than the 187 planes he decided to buy (the independent study his office commissioned to make the case for early termination recommended 260 planes, so it was quietly shelved). Gates argued that plans to buy over a thousand smaller F-35 joint strike fighters would meet the nation’s future air-superiority needs, neglecting to mention that the F-35 was designed to operate in tandem with the more lethal F-22. – Forbes
Do you remember how Jimmy Carter abandoned Taiwan? If there is a dust up on the horizon, it will start there and possibly onto the Korean peninsula. The Pentagon is slowly becoming alarmed as China steadily prepares for an eventual war with us.
Our economic strategy is to continue spending so that the Chinese can own more of our debt. Our defense strategy:
“… I will cut tens of billions of dollars in wasteful [defense] spending. I will cut investments in unproven missile defense systems. I will not weaponize space. I will slow our development of future combat systems.
“I will institute an independent defense priorities board to ensure that the Quadrennial Review is not used to justify unnecessary defense spending.
“Third, I will set a goal for a world without nuclear weapons. To seek that goal, I will not develop nuclear weapons; I will seek a global ban on the production of fissile material; and I will negotiate with Russia to take our ICBMs off hair-trigger alert, and to achieve deep cuts in our nuclear arsenal.” – President Obama
Do you remember the Whitehouse Christmas Tree adorned with an ornament of Mao Zedong? The image of a Communist Chinese mass murdering dictator gracing the Christmas tree in America’s house is more than a little disconcerting. Well, to me it is. I do not pretend to speak for anyone else. It should come as no surprise that we honored the current Chinese dictator with a state dinner at the Whitehouse.
At some point, probably not too far down the road the Chinese are going to believe (they may already believe it) that they are as strong militarily as they are economically and then, if allowed, they will push us around even more. We will be slapped in the head as one might do to an apologetic bowing subordinate who did not do as he was told. Maybe the next time the origin of the missile plumes will not be much of a mystery.