Pentagon won't say ship sinking is an act of war

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by ajtr, May 21, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Pentagon won't say ship sinking is an act of war

    By ANNE FLAHERTY and MATTHEW LEE (AP) – 17 hours ago
    WASHINGTON — U.S. officials refused on Thursday to call North Korea's torpedoing of a South Korean warship an act of war or state-sponsored terror, warning that an overreaction could cause the Korean peninsula to "explode."
    The tempered response was an indication of how few options President Barack Obama has, and how volatile the situation is, after an international team of investigators said a North Korean sub torpedoed and sank a South Korean corvette March 26.
    While the U.S. has vowed to defend South Korea — and has 28,500 troops there to prove it — it doesn't want to provoke new hostilities or spark chaos in the region.
    "There's no interest in seeing the Korean peninsula explode," said P.J. Crowley, State Department spokesman.
    Republicans suggested the Obama administration's response was too mild.
    "We cannot continue to dismiss actions by North Korea as 'more of the same,'" said Sen. James Inhofe, a conservative Republican from Oklahoma.
    U.S. officials said they would explore diplomatic steps through the U.N. or increase Washington's unilateral sanctions against North Korea's Soviet-style state.
    Asked repeatedly by reporters about the U.S. military reaction, Defense Secretary Robert Gates would only say that he "accepts" South Korea's assertion that North Korea was to blame for the blast that ripped the 1,200-ton Cheonan in two.
    Fifty-eight sailors were rescued, but 46 died in what is being called South Korea's worst military disaster since a truce ended the three-year Korean War in 1953.
    "The key thing to remember here is that this was an attack on a South Korean ship, and the South Koreans need to be in the lead in terms of proposing ways forward," Gates told reporters.
    Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, also declined to discuss a U.S. response other than to confirm that American troops stationed on the Korean peninsula were not on a heightened state of alert.
    South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has vowed "stern action" in response to the attack. North Korea denies it sank the South Korean warship, and warned that fresh sanctions or other retaliation would trigger "all-out war."
    Crowley was noncommittal when asked what steps the U.S. was considering. He said the administration was consulting with South Korea on how it wants to respond, while not ruling out unilateral American action against North Korea.
    "We are an ally and friend of South Korea, and we will support them whatever their choice is," he said. "We have other options available to us as well, you know, on this, and we'll be considering our options."
    Crowley mentioned the possibility of financial measures against North Korea, while adding that further provocations — including military action that would violate the 1953 Armistice — should be avoided.
    Crowley did not rule out putting North Korea back on a U.S. list of states that sponsor terrorism, but he strongly suggested that the sinking of the South Korean ship would not be sufficient cause to do so. The administration of former President George W. Bush removed North Korea from the list in October 2008.
    "There is a clear definition of terrorism," Crowley said. "Terrorism normally involves, you know, acts of violence against innocent civilians. You know, at one level this was a torpedo fired by one military vessel at another military vessel."
    At another point Crowley suggested this remained an open question. He said the sinking of the ship was clearly an act of aggression. "It may or may not be considered an act of terrorism," he said.
    Like the administration, most lawmakers said they were troubled by the attack but stopped short of saber rattling.
    Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called on the international community to "speak with one voice."
    Republicans sounded a sterner note, suggesting the U.S. push quickly for a tough international response.
    Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the U.S. response "must be serious and immediate" and urged China to "work more responsibly than it has thus far for the security and stability of East Asia."
    Rep. Edward Royce of California, the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on terrorism, said the U.S. and South Korea should present the evidence on the Cheonan sinking to the U.N. Security Council.
    "We cannot allow North Korea to take the lives of 46 South Korean sailors with a torpedo attack and pretend it didn't occur," Royce said in an interview Wednesday.
    South Korea's accusation was expected to dominate Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton's trip to the region, her fifth to Asia as America's top diplomat.
    Just hours before Clinton departed, the White House called the ship sinking an "act of aggression" that is "one more instance of North Korea's unacceptable behavior and defiance of international law."
    The centerpiece of Clinton's trip, which includes scheduled stops in Japan, China and South Korea, was supposed to be a new round of U.S.-China strategic and economic talks.
    But now Clinton's key task may be trying to persuade the Chinese to support U.N. Security Council action. The Chinese have the most leverage over reclusive regime, and Beijing's support for any international response to Pyongyang will be critical to its success.
    In Beijing on Thursday, Chinese officials appealed for calm. Vice Foreign Minister Cui Tiankai called the sinking "unfortunate." But he stopped short of backing Seoul in the growing dispute, instead reiterating China's long-standing views on the need to maintain peace on the Korean peninsula.
    "The parties involved should stay calm and exercise restraint ... to avoid escalation of the situation," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu told a separate briefing later Thursday. Ma said China was still assessing the results of South Korea's investigation.
     
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  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    So same story goes on.....USA has been becoming burdened ally for both japan and china.North korea is to south korea what pakistan is to india.And in both case in order to serve usa interest both india and south korea has to appease pakistan and north korea respectively.USA is just burned ally to anyone.if sinking of south korean ship is not an act of war then sure i think 9/11 was just an attack by arab /muslim freedom fighters fighting against usa imperialism in middle-east and across muslim world?????
     
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  4. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    If sinking of ship is valid then sure 9/11 too is valid incident........
     
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  5. tarunraju

    tarunraju Moderator Moderator

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    Yup, sinking of American ships by Imperial Japan in the Peal Harbour incident shouldn't have been considered act of war, either.
     
  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Thats the whole point is its the supreme usa interests and its allies like south korea,japan,pakistan etc has to follow usa the master's diktats.Se what usa has done to pakistan. they have totally destroyed the country by supporting its successive military regimes.India has to learn from all theses live examples and must keep a safe distance from usa. otherwise they will make another pakistan out of india.Indian strategic thinkers must dwell into the great games of Anglo-saxons and try to thwart it.
     
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  7. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    whatever suits or Uncle sam is always right and if not its not its wrong. USA is overstreached in Afganistan and is not in position to engage nuclear North Korea. Why would they call it an ACT of war . No american died. Only American life needs to be avenged rest all are cattle?

    Morevover I am sure South korea is bearing cost of 28000 soilders stationed there same way Japan does. SO in layman language South korea is paying Uncle sam and getting no protection .
     
  8. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    INDIA & ISRAEL LOOK ON AS USA WOOS THE ISLAMISTS

    With its traditional all weather friendship ties with Israel, the US has courted controversy and ill will in the Islamic world inspite of its close ties with S Arabia, Oman, Kuwait etc. Those were seen by the Arab world as purely a lust for oil.

    US’s ties with Pakistan was also a necessity brought about by its proximity to China (Nixon’s famous visit to open up China to US though Pakistan) and then to drive out the Red forces from Afghanistan.

    If you read my earlier article on Sir Olaf Caroe, it will become immensely clear the great game strategy has been to never have:

    a) Russia come anywhere near Afghanistan
    b) India to have any shared borders with Afghanistan

    If that were so, Russia would have access to warm waters and oil and gas contracts to not only Europe (which it already does) but to the lucrative markets of India, China and the rest of the world. The Central Asian oil and gas is at stake.

    Three important points:

    1. **** Cheney and Rumsfeld wanted to sell US Nuclear Reactors to IRAN in 1976 - and now in 2008 they want to bomb "suspected" nuclear reactors. The greed to give US Nuclear Reactors to Iran - a country flush in natural oil & gas will need a new definition for the word "greed".

    2. The then US Assistant Secy of State for South Asian Affairs, ROBIN RAPHAEL went on to state – “The Taliban capture of Kabul is a POSITIVE STEP.” On December 4th 1997, the representatives of Taliban were invited guests at the Texas headquarters of UNOCAL to negotiate support for the pipeline.

    3. In Condi and the boys, Russel Baker states: "George Shultz, who was on the board of Chevron, introduced her to Chevron's chairman and CEO, who took her to lunch and, Shultz said, "inside of fifteen minutes concluded that she would make a terrific board member." She was a good choice. Chevron was engaged in a $10 billion oil-field development project with Kazakhstan, and Rice, who happened to know its president, traveled to Kazakhstan for Chevron in 1992. She turned thirty-eight years old that year. In the following year Chevron named a 129,000-ton supertanker the SS Condoleezza Rice."

    The US politicians always viewed the world from the narrow context of unipolarity, domination, oil, commerce and ruthless self-interest.

    It is these very same principles that it driving its current policies in Asia and the Islamic world. With its superpower status diminishing and loathe to give space to either Russia or China, the US is courting the Islamic world. Also factored in this is the ruthless calculation and a message to the Islamists – this hand of friendship lasts as long as mainland USA is safe from terrorism. Message implicit to Islamic nations is – play your regional games as long as it does not hurt US interests in the region. Which is why LeT is often given a cursory glance by these same US friends of ours.

    US is hence, by default, re-setting its ties with Israel and India – its traditional so called allies – democracies in the sea of despotic nations. But democracy means balderdash to the US, as it eyes the globe in its prism.

    Hence Pakistan gets pivotal role to Afghanistan, India gets short changed. It tries, a bit late, to talk to Putin and the Iranians to start the old troika support to Northern Alliance elements. India may be a bit late. Pakistan has managed to get a lot of support from many of the erstwhile Northern Alliance groups. Pakistan has managed its relationship with Iran with finesse and its playing the US to the galleries.

    India has, by toeing the US line blindly, axed its own feet by supporting Abdullah Abdullah who ran against Hamid Karzai. Karzai was an ardent Indian supporter and India stabbed this good relationship simply to please the US. Our foreign policy is in the hands of politicians who have been bought out by highest bidders and national security is an alien word to them.

    Not even bringing to the table discussions on the armaments that US is supplying to Pakistan ostensibly to fight the Taliban, but every security analyst worth his salt knows its ultimate target is INDIA.

    So much so that the latest Kabul blasts had US special represenative to Af-Pak Holbrooke commenting : “Indians were not the target of the killing” – when it was anything but so, as later LeT & Pakistan’s role came out (probably with even US blessings).

    The US went out of its way to erase the role Pakistan played in 9/11. Read it here: BEFORE THE NEXT 9/11 - PAY THE SENATORS OFF!!

    AND THE LATEST - PAKISTAN A NUCLEAR PROLIFERATOR - A Q KHAN A LeT & AL - QAEDA TERRORIST - NOT A PROBLEM SAYS THE USA

    US says it is open to nuke deal with Pakistan - The idea that Pakistan deserves its own nuclear deal to overcome a trust deficit with the United States was first proposed by Georgetown University academic Christine Fair. "More so than conventional weapons or large sums of cash, a conditions-based civilian nuclear deal may be able to diminish Pakistani fears of US intentions while allowing Washington to leverage these gains for greater Pakistani cooperation on nuclear proliferation and terrorism," Fair argued in a newspaper article earlier this year.



    Israel gets shortchanged just as the bunker busting missiles were being delivered. Debka reports: Shortly after Vice President Joe Biden's Israel visit ended on March 11 in high dudgeon over the approval 1,600 new homes in East Jerusalem, US president Barack Obama ordered a consignment of Joint Direct Attack Munition- JDAM already on its way to Israel to be diverted to the US Air Force base on the Indian Ocean island of Diego Garcia. This step is the pointer to a US arms embargo for preventing Israel attacking Iran's nuclear sites. A lot of US angst is happening publicly over Israel’s policy on resettlements etc.

    Israel has to deal with Russian misadventure too – regarding sale of S-300 anti aircraft missiles to Iran. Mossad managed to avert a potential disaster in the making had these missiles managed to land in Iran. Telegraph UK reports: “Russia's Kommersant daily cited a senior Kremlin source. The revelation appeared to support maritime and military experts who have claimed the ship was carrying S-300 anti-aircraft missiles for Iran, that Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, found out, and that the Kremlin was given time and space to stop the delivery and cover it up in order to save face.”

    The public posturing and ground realities with two of its closest democratic nations makes it amply clear that US is out to woo the Islamists for its Great Game. And largely India and to a lesser degree Israel will have to fend for themselves in the ensuing tragedy that is yet to unfurl.

    When will India learn – US is a mistress that seduces with the promise of a huge orgasm – which never comes and will never in future either!!
     
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  9. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    CAN INDIA JOIN HANDS WITH AL QAEDA?

    This is a provocative and an out of the box idea. I have my own ideas but I wish this post to be a bit different. I want readers to write for it or against it, giving their own ideas.

    Let me write a few points for it:

    1. UK has its Islamic terrorists - Hizbut Tahrir headquartered in UK to create mayhem in Central Asia and then some in Afghanistan for their Great Game.

    2. USA used Osama bin Laden and mujahiddeen to oust the Russians

    3. Pakistan is routinely used by US, UK and China and Pakistan happily sells its mother to the highest bidder

    4. Al Qaeda is ideologically linked and not prone to bribes. It is against the infidel Pakistan army elements those who side with the "kafir" Americans.

    5. Al Qaeda was never against India - it was sold Kashmir by Pakistan for it to get safe haven in Af-Pak. If India helps Al Qaeda in its fight against Pakistan Army, Kashmir and India will not be in their agenda.

    6. Al Qaeda desperately wants India to attack Pakistan so that they are able to use the cracks to come close to nuclear arsenals and power. It already has mass support in lower cadres of the Islamist Pakistan Army and few supporters even in the top echeleons.

    7. India tells Al Qaeda, war is a messy affair - we will help you get what you want from sabotage from inside.

    8. This will surely ring alarm bells in Israel and US and we can expect them to clean the shit as they are expecting India to clean the shit after US leaves Afghanistan to the mercy of the Taliban. (This time though, its not going to be that easy).
     
  10. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    NEW UPDATE

    SEOUL, South Korea — Tensions escalated sharply Monday on the Korean Peninsula as the South Korean president, Lee Myung-bak, said that his nation would sever nearly all trade with North Korea, deny North Korean merchant ships use of South Korean sea lanes and ask the United Nations Security Council to punish the North for what he called the deliberate sinking of a South Korean warship two months ago.
    Related

    *
    News Analysis: On North Korea, China Prefers Fence (May 24, 2010)
    *
    U.S. Presses China to Punish North Korea for Ship (May 24, 2010)
    Times Topics: North Korea | South Korea

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    In Washington, the Obama administration said the South Korean measures were “entirely appropriate.” President Obama instructed American military commanders to coordinate closely with their South Korean counterparts to “insure readiness and deter aggression.”

    “The Republic of Korea can continue to count on the full support of the United States,” Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said in Beijing, where she was attending high-level talks between China and the United States that have been overshadowed by the crisis. “Our support for South Korea’s defense is unequivocal.”

    The steps outlined by Mr. Lee in a nationally televised speech — coupled with new moves by South Korea’s military to resume “psychological warfare” propaganda broadcasts at the border after a six-year suspension — amounted to the most serious action the South could take short of an armed retaliation for the sinking of the ship, the South’s worst military loss since the Korean War ended in a truce in 1953.

    “We have always tolerated North Korea’s brutality, time and again,” Mr. Lee said. “But now things are different. North Korea will pay a price corresponding to its provocative acts. Trade and exchanges between South and North Korea will be suspended.”

    North Korea’s military immediately warned that if South Korea put up propaganda loudspeakers and slogans at the border, it would destroy them with artillery shells, the North’s official K.C.N.A. news agency reported.

    Mr. Lee’s speech came just as economic and security talks between China and the United States began in Beijing. In meetings on Sunday evening and Monday, Mrs. Clinton pressed Chinese leaders to take a much tougher position toward North Korea, China’s historical ally. Mr. Lee’s speech was bound to add to the pressure on the Chinese, who have called for restraint.

    Mrs. Clinton expressed confidence that the Chinese would agree to take at least some measures, noting that Beijing supported additional sanctions against the North after it tested a nuclear device last year. But other American officials cautioned that Beijing remains unconvinced of the need to punish North Korea in the case of the warship.

    “I can say the Chinese recognize the gravity of the situation we face,” Mrs. Clinton said to reporters after Mr. Lee’s speech. “This is a highly precarious situation that the North Koreans have caused in the region; it is one that every country that neighbors or is in proximity to North Korea understands must be contained.”

    President Hu Jintao did not mention North Korea in his speech welcoming the American delegation, though he did say the two countries should “strengthen coordination on regional hot-spot and global issues.”

    North Korea has denied responsibility for the sinking of the South Korean warship, the Cheonan, on March 26, which left 46 sailors dead. A growing body of evidence assembled by the South has suggested a North Korean torpedo sank the ship.

    Cutting off trade with North Korea is the most punishing unilateral action the South could take against the impoverished North. It will deprive North Korea of 14.5 percent of its external trade and $253 million in cash revenues a year, according to estimates by Lim Kang-taek, a senior researcher at the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul.

    Mr. Lee also said that South Korea would block North Korean merchant ships from using South Korean waters, which would force the ships to detour and use more fuel. North Korean merchant ships made 717 trips to South Korean ports or through South Korean sea lanes last year.

    Besides these unilateral measures, South Korea will “refer this matter to the U.N. Security Council, so that the international community can join us in holding the North accountable,” Mr. Lee said. “Many countries around the world have expressed their full support for our position.”

    Mrs. Clinton declined to detail specific steps the United States is weighing until after she meets Mr. Lee in Seoul on Wednesday. Other administration officials said the United States might conduct joint naval exercises with South Korea in anti-submarine warfare in the waters off the Korean Peninsula.

    But Mrs. Clinton did not suggest that the State Department would soon add North Korea’s name to its list of state sponsors of terrorism, as some members of Congress have demanded. Reinstating North Korea, which was taken off the list by the Bush administration, would only happen if there was evidence that it was involved in acts of terrorism, she said.

    In a separate announcement, the Defense Ministry announced the resumption of propaganda blitzes aimed at the North, a cold war tactic with loudspeaker broadcasts along the border, propaganda radio broadcasts and leaflets dropped by balloon. The resumption was bound to irritate the North Korea leader, Kim Jong-il, whose grip on power rests partly on denying outside information to citizens.

    North Korea has already warned that such a move would prompt it to shut down the border with the South completely, raising the possibility of stranding 1,000 South Korean workers at a joint industrial park in the North Korean town of Kaesong.

    President Lee cited evidence that a multinational team of investigators released last week on the sinking of the ship, saying, “No responsible country in the international community will be able to deny the fact that the Cheonan was sunk by North Korea.”

    But he did not mention China by name.

    Mr. Lee also stopped short of terminating the Kaesong industrial complex.

    Delivering his speech from the Korean War Memorial in Seoul, Mr. Lee drew an analogy between the North’s surprise invasion that started the three-year Korean War on June 25, 1950, and the blast that sank the Cheonan.

    “Again, the perpetrator was North Korea. Their attack came at a time when the people of the Republic of Korea were enjoying their well-earned rest after a hard day’s work,” he said. “Once again, North Korea violently shattered our peace.”

    Choe Sang-hun reported from Seoul, and Mark Landler from Beijinghttp://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/25/world/asia/25korea.html?hp
     
  11. SHASH2K2

    SHASH2K2 New Member

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    China Returns U.S. Criticism Over Sinking of Korean Ship

    BEIJING — Three days after President Obama emerged from a tense meeting with President Hu Jintao of China, and accused Beijing of “willful blindness” toward North Korea’s military provocations, the Chinese government on Tuesday continued the argument about how to handle its testy neighbor.
    In a regularly scheduled news conference, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry dismissed American calls for a tough line against North Korea, most recently for the sinking of a South Korean naval ship.

    The spokesman, Qin Gang, suggested that Mr. Obama had overreached when he accused Beijing of “turning a blind eye” to what an international investigation concluded was a North Korean torpedo attack in March on the ship.

    The sinking of the Cheonan, which killed 46 South Korean sailors, has intensified already strained relations between the North and the South and thrown into stark relief China’s long-standing role as a patron of Kim Jong-il, the North Korean leader.

    Mr. Qin contended that China had even more reason than the United States to view the sinking with gravity. “China is a neighbor of the Korean Peninsula, and on this issue our feelings differ from a country that lies 8,000 kilometers distant,” he said. “We feel even more direct and serious concerns.”

    United States officials indicated that Mr. Obama was likely to continue trying to step up pressure on China and North Korea, including authorizing new military exercises with South Korea that would take place not far from Chinese waters.

    Mr. Obama’s strategy appears intended to demonstrate to China that it would pay a price for failing to rein in the North Koreans, who depend on China for food and fuel. On Saturday, Mr. Obama announced that the United States would extend by three years, until 2015, an agreement under which American commanders would take control of South Korean forces in the event of a military clash with the North.

    When United States officials first briefed reporters on the meeting between Mr. Obama and Mr. Hu on Saturday during the Group of 20 summit meeting in Toronto, they described a largely friendly session that covered economic and security issues. But in recent days, American officials have acknowledged that the conversation took a decidedly tougher turn when it came to North Korea, and that Mr. Obama emerged from the meeting frustrated at Mr. Hu’s unwillingness to acknowledge the North’s actions, much less put additional pressure on the country.

    The dispute is playing out now in the United Nations. A watered-down “president’s statement” is under debate in the Security Council that would acknowledge the findings of a South Korean-led investigation, which included experts from four other countries, that concluded that a North Korean submarine sank the ship.

    China has led the opposition to the statement and to the idea that the North would have to pay any price for the act of aggression, which some American officials say was essentially an act of war.

    An American official familiar with the conversation between Mr. Obama and Mr. Hu said that the discussion of the sinking was “the toughest part of a generally positive” talk.

    Mr. Hu spoke only in generalities to Mr. Obama about the need for “peace and stability” on the Korean Peninsula, the official said. Those are traditional code words for doing nothing that could result in the collapse of the North Korean government, which could result in a flood of refugees into China and might eliminate China’s buffer with American forces in the South.

    Mr. Obama responded that the North Koreans should not be “indulged” for acts of aggression, the official said, and he said that if China were truly interested in preventing the outbreak of hostilities in its region, it would take a much tougher line. It was at a news conference a short time later that Mr. Obama said “willful blindness” would not solve the problem.

    North Korea has denied the accusations that it sank the Cheonan and has warned that any attempt to punish it would lead to armed conflict.

    The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, Leon E. Panetta, said Sunday that he believed that the sinking of the Cheonan was part of a succession struggle in North Korea, as President Kim’s youngest son, Kim Jong-un, 27, is being positioned as his successor.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/30/world/asia/30korea.html?_r=1&ref=asia
     
  12. BunBunCake

    BunBunCake Regular Member

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    1. Read what the senators said. They don't want to escalate the situation.
    2. America is not in an oversteartched position. Only about 100,000 solders are there in Afgan. What about the other 95% of the force? And also, the reason America doesn't want to engage in war with South Korea, because we don't want to get into another war. It's not because we CAN'T. It's because we don't WANT to. Our public hate wars enough already. @LF sir, comments?

    So what if no American died. You're right. Our government cares for our citizens and not other countries citizens. I'm thankful for it.

    USA has naval bases in South Korea, USA gives South Korea some of it's best military technology. USA doesn't need to station 10,000 solders in South Korea. We don't want our solders going to more Afgan missions.

    Layman language: South Korea isn't paying the US SH*T.
     

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