The U.S. has established an operational plan to deploy 20 marine brigades to the Korean Peninsula in case of a North Korean invasion into the South, U.S. House Armed Services Chairman Howard McKeon said Tuesday.
During a forum in Washington, McKeon said that U.S. Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos told him that most of the U.S. marines are to be dispatched to defend South Korea under the plan, according to Yonhap.
The Republican lawmaker said that with the congressionally mandated budget cuts, or sequestration, the number of U.S. marines is to be reduced to 175,000 to form only 21 brigades, noting that only one brigade may remain in the U.S. while the rest are to be sent to the peninsula in case of a war.
McKeon’s claim was apparently welcomed news in South Korea, where some were concerned that with the U.S. troop drawdown, Washington would be reluctant to commit a large number of ground troops for peninsular contingencies.
Under the allies’ joint war plan, the U.S. is to send its 690,000 troops to the peninsula in case of an all-out war. But given Washington’s plan to slash its ground troops, analysts said that the plan was no longer realistic.
Full article: U.S. to send 20 marine brigades in case of North Korean invasion (Inside Korea)