June 10, 2015

America and South Korea Strengthen Military Alliance

By David Eunpyoung Jee

The United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) are embarking on a bold experiment of shared command at the tactical level.  On June 3, 2015, the U.S. Forces in Korea (USFK) and ROK Armed Forces established the alliance’s first combined division, comprising subordinate units of the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division and the ROK Army 8th Mechanized Infantry Division. An American two-star general will command the unit while working hand-in-hand with a South Korean one-star deputy commander. The combined division is a unique example of two states sharing command and control of a military unit at a tactical level. During peacetime, the division staff will work together on a daily basis, and its troops will enter combined operations during wartime.

But why is it meaningful for the United States and the Republic of Korea to have a combined division, and how will they make full use of it?

Read the full article in The National Interest.

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