Is It Already April Fools’ Day?

April 1st, 2011

By Dan Miller

This story from the South Korean Chosun Ilbo reports that

Seoul and Washington have agreed that the chairman of the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff will command support troops from the U.S. in case of a provocation from North Korea, a government source said Thursday.

“The South Korean and U.S. militaries have recently agreed in principle that the chairman of the Korean JCS will command U.S. Army, Navy and Air Force personnel and equipment that support the South Korean military in case of various provocations from the North,” the source said. The two countries are still hammering out the details.

So far the South Korean military has responded [to] North Korean provocations without U.S. military support [except during the police action half a century ago]. The South Korean JCS chairman currently exercises peacetime operational control over the South Korean troops but not over the U.S. Forces Korea. (emphasis added)

This seems peculiar, since the United States neither frequently nor commonly places its military forces under foreign command, at least to the extent that the article suggests. When a similar command shift happens on any large scale, it is usually under United Nations command with a U.S. general officer in control. The article notes that the present shift “is an unprecedented measure since the U.S. military is characteristically reluctant to place troops under the command of other countries.”

The commanding general, U.S. Forces Korea, also commands the United Nations Combined Forces Command there and a ROK four star general is the deputy commander; this may (or alternatively may not) be a partial explanation. Might it parallel the turn over of NATO operations in Libya to a Canadian general — even though in Korea there are “boots on the ground” and in Libya there are said to be none?  Of course, the NATO Supreme Allied Commander is U.S. Admiral James Stavridis.

Lots of odd things seem to be happening, some of them at least apparently cosmetic.

Probably not all April Fools’ jokes, even though it’s already April 1st; but at this point who knows? President Obama?  Hu?

(This article was also posted at The PJ Tatler.)

Articles written by
Tags: , , , , , ,
Categories: Military, News, Politics | Comments (1) | Home

Bookmark and Share

One Response to “Is It Already April Fools’ Day?”

  1. Tom Carter |

    I don’t like U.S. forces operating under foreign control, but it can happen and has in the past. However, it gets murky. There are issues of command vs. operational control, and I suspect what we’re talking about here is really operational control.

    There are always U.S. commanders above the commander who is responding to foreign or international control. For example, in Korea those support troops would remain under an American chain of command, at upper levels including USFK (maybe), PACOM, and the NCA (SedDef and POTUS).

    In any case, the President couldn’t constitutionally permit any arrangement to exist that would qualify or eliminate his authority as commander in chief.

    Of course, “birthers” would maintain that the U.S. military is already under foreign command, but that’s another issue….

Leave a Comment

(To avoid spam, comments with three or more links will be held for moderation and approval.)


Recent Posts





Creative Commons License;   

The work on Opinion Forum   
is licensed under a   
Creative Commons Attribution   
3.0 Unported License

Support Military Families 

   Political Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory

Listed in LS Blogs the Blog Directory and Blog Search Engine  

Demand Media

Copyright 2024 Opinion Forum