"Who needs MacArthur?" : analyzing South Korea's counterinvasion capability against North Korea
Analyzing South Korea's counterinvasion capability against North Korea
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
Barry R. Posen.
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Assuming there is another North Korean invasion; could the South Koreans counterinvade North Korea and prevail even without the United States' assistance? This paper studies the possibility of a South Korean counterinvasion against North Korea by looking at the qualitative combat dynamics and performing a formal campaign analyses based on the Korean peninsula's conventional military balance. This study first analyzes the process of the South Korean defensive against the North Korean invasion, and examines South Korea's likely counterinvasion scenarios and assesses their chances of success. These scenarios vary based on North Korea's likely courses of action once its offensive fails, depending on whether the North Koreans retreat to the military demarcation line or hold their position within the South territory. According to this paper's analysis, South Korea is capable of counterinvading North Korea in all the scenarios suggested. South Korea possesses a qualitatively superior force with better readiness and logistics powered by a stronger economy, while the North Koreans lack the force effectiveness necessary to carry out their theory of victory. First, the South Korean forces are capable of fending off a North Korean invasion while inflicting severe damage to the North Koreans; second, the South Korean forces would inflict considerable casualty to the North Koreans during their retreat; finally, the South Korean offensive would be capable of breaking through the weakened North Korean defense. This study makes several contributions. First, it examines the puzzle of South Korean counterinvasion that has been under-discussed despite its political and strategic significance. In doing so, the study presents an opportunity to explain North Korea's recent behaviors and the United States' redefinition of its role involving the peninsula, hence increasing our understanding of the East Asian security dynamics. Second, by providing an updated survey of the peninsula's conventional balance, this study enhances our knowledge in the two Korea's strategic capabilities which have undergone considerable changes. Third, this study advances our usage of campaign analyses by applying a phased use of the models with changing parameters. This approach enables us to analyze multi-phased campaigns comprised of different dynamics with better accuracy.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Political Science, 2011.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 87-90).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Political Science.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology