Monday, May 17, 2004

You knew this was coming sooner or later.
Washington wants to move some of the 37,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea to Iraq, South Korean officials said Monday. "The U.S. government has told us that it needs to select some U.S. troops in South Korea and send them to Iraq to cope with the worsening situation in Iraq," said Kim Sook, head of the South Korean Foreign Ministry's North American Bureau. . . .

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the shift was not imminent but would be part of the next rotation of American troops in Iraq, which is scheduled to begin late this summer.
Chalmers Johnson has recently dubbed the Pax [sic?] Americana an "empire of bases"; certainly all the new bases secured in Central Asia via the 'war on terror' shores up this evaluation. One expects to see the forces in Germany moving eastwards with the expansion of NATO as well. The removal of troops from Korea to Iraq has at least one interesting implication. By cutting its presence in a tribute-paying zone (Korea, which in the words of the Department of Defense "absorb a significant proportion of the local support costs of U.S. forces") to expand its presence in a non-tribute paying zone (Iraq, thus far a bottomless pit of empire-expanding expenditures), the empire of bases just got a little more expensive.

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