By: Barry Pavel

What is the kernel of the issue?

The geopolitical landscape now facing the long-standing United States-Republic of Korea alliance presents highly dynamic and new challenges that the alliance has not heretofore faced in its decades-long history.

Why is the issue important?

If the two allies do not take stock of the geopolitical and other after-effects of the COVID-19 strategic shock to the global system, the alliance risks continuing to pursue a strategy, policies, and military posture that are ill-fitting for the unfolding strategic environment of the 2020s and beyond.

What is the recommendation?

The Biden and Moon administrations should launch a new “Joint US-ROK Strategic Reassessment” that seeks to understand the core implications of the virus for national security and for the future of the US-ROK alliance and combine it with an updated assessment of the geopolitical and security situation on the peninsula, in the region, and globally. This comprehensive reassessment should begin with a joint foresight program that looks ahead to geopolitical scenarios that might result from the virus, and then works backward to try to shape those outcomes in the most favorable direction possible for the two allies.

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