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A Shut Relationship With South Korea Is Necessary for the US

Kaesong, South Korea on 4/22/2017 © MaxG Pictures / Shutterstock

There are a lot of issues we search for in a president. We search for management and the power to handle grave challenges like a pandemic. Whereas most individuals are targeted on avoiding COVID-19 and maintaining their jobs, we might be sensible to do not forget that one of the vital necessary roles for any president is to construct a set of world allies who will stand with us when inevitable conflicts happen.

Right this moment, America faces unprecedented challenges from overseas powers, particularly China and North Korea. To fulfill the challenges, we should construct a coherent overseas coverage that the world — particularly our allies — can perceive and assist. We’re witnessing China more and more flexing its muscle tissue on the Indian border, in Hong Kong, within the South China Sea and with Taiwan. America places itself in danger to not understand that China is investing a lot of its assets right into a rising, multifaceted navy.

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The US must construct alliances all through Asia to make sure our stability for the following century. We have to be doubling down on {our relationships} with India, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan and particularly South Korea. South Korea is the world’s 12th-largest financial energy and considered one of America’s strongest allies for the final 60 years. It has been a bastion of democracy housing one of many largest US navy bases in Asia. It additionally homes a necessary aspect of the West’s world provide chain for know-how, transportation and telecommunications. This provide chain is extra necessary than ever if relations with China proceed to deteriorate.

Whereas the significance of a powerful South Korea coverage is at an all-time excessive, US President Donald Trump managed to stay his finger within the eye of our Korean allies. In 2019, Trump demanded “out of skinny air” that the Koreans pay $4.7 billion per 12 months to station US navy forces on the Korean Peninsula, in line with CNN.

There isn’t a query that our allies need to pay their fair proportion for protection. Nonetheless, cost-sharing negotiations should be primarily based on rationale and information. At exactly the time we want robust allies in Asia, President Trump is burning bridges. This can be a main political gaffe that America must right earlier than our relationship suffers long-term harm. If the South Koreans can not depend on cheap and predictable US overseas coverage, they may have little selection however to desert Washington and to hunt out different alliances.

The South Koreans weren’t the one ones taken without warning. Even Republican Senators Cory Gardner and Marco Rubio have been unprepared to debate the president’s feedback. Senator Ed Markey, the highest Democrat on the Senate International Affairs Committee, mentioned, “If South Korea decides that it’s higher off with out the US, President Trump could have undermined an over 60-year shared dedication to peace, stability, and rule of legislation.”

America can do higher. We have to deepen our relationship with South Korea as a necessary accomplice for coping with North Korea and China. We must be doing the identical with different Asian international locations and proceed to advertise the insurance policies that Democratic and Republican secretaries of state have constructed over a long time. A president wants to speak a constant recreation plan that the American individuals — and our allies — can perceive and depend on.

Presidential management must be even-handed and delicate to the considerations of our allies. Calls for must be changed by cheap requests and ample explanations. Insisting that allies vastly enhance funds to the US would possibly make good home election-year politics at the price of American security on this planet.

If we don’t rethink the significance of our allies quickly, we could also be left to battle the following conflict alone.

The views expressed on this article are the creator’s personal and don’t essentially mirror Honest Observer’s editorial coverage.

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