US Alliances in the Indo-Pacific

General (Ret.) Vincent K. Brooks joined Stimson’s Security for a New Century’s (SNC) Korea Study Group to discuss the current state of U.S. alliances in the Indo-Pacific, with particular emphasis on the U.S. – ROK relationship.

The webinar was SNC’s first official Korea Study Group session, with a select group of Senate offices. Despite ongoing concern with COVID-19, the session allowed staffers to examine several developments and deeper trends in the U.S. relationship with and policy toward the Korean Peninsula and its place in the region. The questions and discussion covered a wide range of issues, including: rising nationalism in both the U.S. and South Korea; potential risks posed by a prolonged stalemate in the ongoing cost-sharing talks; comparative discussion of the U.S. relationship with the ROK and Japan, in terms of both force structure and burden sharing; distinct and often clashing cultural perspectives between allies and adversaries; the role of Congress in U.S. – ROK and U.S. – DPRK relations; pending issues such as the transfer of wartime operational control (OPCON); and possible new ways forward in US-DPRK relations.

The webinar was moderated by Dr. Clint Work, Fellow for Stimson’s Security for a New Century and 38 North programs. The featured speaker was General (Ret.) Vincent K. Brooks, a career Army officer who retired from active duty in January 2019 as the four-star general in command of over 650,000 Koreans and Americans under arms.

Part of the Korea Study Group event series.

Additional Related Content:

A discussion on cost-sharing dynamics in the US-ROK and US-Japan alliance, Seoul-Tokyo relations, China’s rise, and US political transition.

A Stimson webinar discussion with ROK Ambassador Hwang Joon-kook that focused on the stalemate in the Special Measures Agreement (SMA) cost-sharing talks between Washington and Seoul, one week after President Trump rejected Seoul’s latest offer. Ambassador Hwang discussed various issues in response to questions from the moderator and congressional staffers, including: the notable difference between the Trump administration’s approach and that of previous administrations; the effect of a prolonged stalemate on alliance readiness; possible alternative negotiating methods for approaching cost-sharing; the increasingly important role of domestic politics within South Korea on the alliance; and the need for greater and more skilled alliance management moving forward.

Part of the Congressional Fellowship Project  and the Project .
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