[EDITORIALS]What’s Plan B now?Because the 2d Brigade of the 2d Infantry Division is scheduled to leave for Iraq, our government says repeatedly that there is no strategic loss and that advanced weapon systems can make up for the hole. The deployment of the Stryker Brigade and the new Pac-3 anti-missile missile system are all part of this advanced weaponry that supposedly can do all this.
We gather that such notions are all part of a plan to calm our people. Nevertheless, we have doubts whether such measures can really provide security.
If the movement of the brigade is part of a general effort by the United States to reposition its forces strategically, there isn’t much we can say but to agree. The problem is that if such a movement is inevitable, what are the contingency plans on our side? Just to keep saying that there is nothing to worry about is certainly not the right answer.
Naturally, the government has to come up with measures to strike a strategic balance and it has to let the people know exactly how much such measures would cost.
In reality, there is a possibility that many of the advanced weaponry systems that are part of the 2d Infantry Division’s arsenal will leave for Iraq as well. Attack and transport helicopters and unmanned reconnaissance planes are among them. Some experts believe that in order to make up for the loss, at least one Korean infantry division would be needed. Besides the cost of 60 billion won ($50.8 million) to operate such a division, we have to devise a new military plan concerning the North.
What is even more worrying is what would happen if a reduction of the U.S. armed forces would take place on an even larger scale. If the Korean forces already have taken over specific duties such as that of the 2d Infantry Division’s, which is to counter the North’s long range artillery fire, the cost of buying multiple launch rocket systems would become a heavy burden. The cost of establishing an intelligence system cannot even be calculated.
Under such realities, to say that there is nothing to worry about is irresponsible on the government’s part.
The administration has to come up with a concrete and precise plan on how to make up for the loss of combat power.