KEI Director Kyle Ferrier on US-South Korea Military Cost-Sharing Agreement
January 4, 2019
In his latest column for the Diplomat Magazine, KEI Director Kyle Ferrier places a spotlight on the risks created by the failure of South Korea and the United States to renew the Special Measures Agreement. He recognizes that this is not the first time both countries were unable to reach a consensus before the deadline, but Ferrier draws attention to the uncertainty introduced by President Trump. Constant criticism of South Korea's contributions to the alliance and unilateral decisions on the alliance – most notably, his termination joint exercises without discussion with Seoul or then-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis – challenge a successful outcome.
While financial resources are available to continue financing the U.S. military presence on the Korean Peninsula, Ferrier rightly points out that the most significant cost of the stalled negotiations is the erosion of trust in the United States as a reliable security partner.
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