Delay the Transfer of Troops
April 28, 2010
Everyone has a "to-do" list of important tasks they need to complete. When it comes to the U.S.-Korea alliance, one important item on this list for presidents Lee Myung-bak and Barack Obama is the transfer of full operational control of Korean troops to Seoul. The two leaders must decide whether to proceed as planned with the April 2012 timeline. After a week of meetings with high-level officials in Seoul, as well as meetings with policymakers in Washington, I am convinced the schedule needs to be revised. This is a difficult thing for me to recommend since I was part of the Bush administration that concluded the agreement. Nevertheless, the circumstances under which the agreement was made in 2007 were very different than those today.