For more than half a century, the US-Japan and US-ROK alliances have played critical roles for maintenance and enhancement of peace and security in Northeast Asia, the entire Asia-Pacific region, and even the world. The future course of US-North Korea and inter-Korea negotiations over denuclearization and building a peace regime on the Korean Peninsula is hard to predict, but whatever the endstate, it will have an impact on the United States’ and its allies’ plans for the appropriate posture of US forces in Northeast Asia.
Efforts to denuclearize North Korea and reduce military threats on the Korean Peninsula could dramatically affect the size and structure of US Forces Korea, as well as political support for US military presence in Northeast Asia. The growth of China’s military capabilities and its behavior will also influence decision-making in Seoul, Tokyo, and Washington. The United States and its allies should seriously examine political and security dynamics in the region and discuss alternative military postures, so that they are prepared to respond positively and cohesively to future developments.
The purpose of “Diplomacy Surrounding the Korean Peninsula and the Future of US Forces in Northeast Asia,” a comprehensive report by Taisuke Mibae, visiting senior fellow in the Atlantic Council’s Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, and James L. Schoff, senior fellow in the Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, is to review the potential outcomes of nuclear negotiations with North Korea, identify their likely effects on US force posture in the region, and propose responses by the US and its allies.