A good question...

I think Mark Kleiman asks an important question: "Does anyone have a theory about how announcing a plan to reduce troop levels in South Korea, without getting any sort of promise in return from the North Koreans, is supposed to be a good idea?" I'm not sure I understand that logic either. I saw Scwharzkopf on Hardball last night basically ask the same question. I think an argument can be made for some of the forces in Europe, but South Korea? Does anybody remember the vaunted Axis of Evil?? How about the nukes that North Korea has? The only thing between the DMZ and Seoul is about 30,000 US soldiers and the South Korean military (even that is not completely accurate since Seoul is within range of North Korean rockets and artillery), which in terms of numbers is far short of the massive Northern army. Considering that this realignment won't even begin for two years at the earliest, and will take a total of ten years, its probably unlikely that it will be fully implemented. If Kerry wins, I don't think he will continue this policy, although he might still realign some troops. I just get the feeling that this is more politics than any type of security calculation.