Negotiations are underway between the United States and the Republic of Korea (ROK) for the Tenth Special Measures Agreement (SMA). The ADM is a process to determine financial burden sharing to support U.S. forces deployed in South Korea. Since the first SMA in 1991, the RoK government has provided funds and benefits in kind for the salaries of Korean workers who support the US armed forces, logistical support (e.g.B utilities) and some construction projects. However, given that the deadline for reaching an agreement is emerging by the end of the year, it appears that there will be no compromise on the horizon due to the high financial demands of the United States, including in new categories of support. The Rok government has traditionally allocated funds to the Korean workforce that supports the U.S. armed forces, Korea, logistics like refueling companies, and some construction projects. This letter explains why the current round of negotiations on the Special Measures Agreement and subsequent negotiations are of the utmost importance to U.S. national security and U.S. relations with its allies. Until the 2019 ADS negotiations, the philosophy of burden-sharing was to ask the host country to release funds for deployment. These include additional costs that go beyond U.S. costs for armed forces stationed in the continental United States and requirements for logistical support and facilities.

The categories of support were work, logistics and construction of the host country. According to some reports, the U.S. has not only requested $5 billion in funding from U.S. forces, but it has also increased the categories of support from three to six. [10] No information has been publicly published on how these new applications were identified. Although unconfirmed, the new categories appear to be operational support, training and preparation, as well as troop salaries that have never been funded by host countries. The new US demands on South Korea are a radical abandonment of the current practice. The U.S. must answer critical questions about the importance of its interests in Northeast Asia and whether it would withdraw troops from the Korean Peninsula if its funding requests were not met. The answers to these questions will determine the relationship with all current and future allies. Is the maximum funding of US forces by the host country the most important criterion for participating in an alliance? Or are the common interests of the alliance and the strategic interests of the United States the first consideration? If it is established that the United States is moving to a system of transactional alliances, we should expect a collapse of the structure of the American alliance and an increase in conflicts in several parts of the world.

This round of SMA negotiations and subsequent negotiations are therefore of the utmost importance to U.S. national security and U.S. relations with its allies. The RoK government has traditionally provided funds to support the Korean workforce that supports the Korean Armed Forces (USFK), logistics such as utilities, and some construction projects. About 90% of these funds are directly and indirectly returned to the ROK economy. Negotiations have sometimes been tense over the ten ADMs since 1991. There have been years when the delay has elapsed; However, the ROK government continued to allocate funds to the Korean workforce….

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