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Digital Archive International History Declassified



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    An insert to an AKFIC publication on the role of the U.S. Congress in U.S.-North Korean relations.
    "Comments from Leading American Senators," 1973, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Korea Focus 2, no. 2 (Spring 1973): 28-29. Obtained by Brandon Gauthier.
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Comments from Leading American Senators

“33,000 Americans never returned from the hills and valleys of Korea, where many died in unnecessary conflict with vast Chinese armies north of the 38th Parallel.”

“In my judgment, the time has long been here for a deliberate phase out of all American installations and forces which remain on the Asian mainland.”

“The 40,000-plus U.S. troops in Korea is largely an irrelevant luxury 20 years after the end of the Korean War.”

- Mike Mansfield, Senate Majority Leader

“If the Government and the ruling classes deny the people political participation and social justice, foreign aid serves only to further entrench the establishment and perpetuate the status quo.”

“Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines, Greece, Brazil, Thailand, Viet Nam- all major recipients of foreign aid- are constant reminders of Washington’s infatuation with the status quo.”

“Korea (south) received $586,804,000 in U.S. aid last year. $169,363,000 of this was in food aid alone. In addition, Korea cost the American taxpayer $600,000,000 in 1973 for the upkeep of 40,000 U.S. troops still stationed there 20 years after the end of the Korean war.”

“With success stories like this, our taxpayers could use some failures.”

“I cite the Administration’s list of countries which would receive outright military grants in amounts which exceed $10,000,000.

“Among the eight countries “South Korea will receive $261,000,000 in outright grants…”

“I challenge the proponents of (aid to South Korea and others) to explain how any of these grants will serve to thwart territorial aggression in any part of the world.”

“Take the case of South Korea. The most favored of our military aid grand beneficiaries, and a nation where we continue to maintain 40,000 troops at an annual cost of $583,000,000” (1972 figure).

“Does South Korea, which already possess one of the world’s largest and best equipped armies, really need $250,000,000 in grant military aid this year in order to protect itself from the Koreans in the north?”

“And at a time when South Korea is able to maintain a modern army of 650,000 men with an expenditure of only 4% of its national product, while the North Koreans must devote 15% of their GNP to maintain an army of only two-thirds as large?”

“The answer, I think, is clear: the South Koreans do not have to make the hard choice between military and social spending as long as the American taxpayers are so general with their subsidies.”

- J. William Fullbright, Chairman Senate Foreign Relations Committee

“American defense of the regime in South Korea continues, and despite the so-called Nixon Doctrine the current administration comes perilously close to continuing our pre-Vietnam policy…

“In Asia, our foreign policy, in spite of the tragedy of Vietnam, remains essentially unaltered.

“We continue to maintain a division in South Korea despite Secretary Laird’s conviction that ‘a large-scale conventional attack on South Korea is not likely in the future.’”

- Senator Abner J. Mikva

“… there is no plausible case for prolonging the American military presence on the Asian mainland.

“Our security in relation to Asia depends upon air and sea power, plus the indigenous Asian balance which makes it unlikely that we shall have to use it.

“It makes sense…for us to withdraw our forces from the Asian mainland, that is, from Korea and the air bases in Thailand and rely upon a ‘bluewater’ strategy.”

- Frank Church, Senior Member, Senate Foreign Relations Committee