A report that was released by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) last week found that the US spent more than $34 billion to maintain its massive military presence in Japan and South Korea between 2016 and 2019.
In Japan, Washington has approximately 55,000 troops, the largest forward deployment of US forces anywhere in the world. From 2016 to 2019, the GAO report found that the Pentagon spent $20.9 billion on its presence in Japan, and Tokyo contributed $12.6 billion to support the US presence.
The US has about 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea. From 2016 to 2019, the US military obligated $13.4 billion to house troops in the country, and Seoul contributed about $5.6 billion in support.
The GAO report was required by Congress through the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The Trump Administration pressured both countries to pay more to house US troops. Last month, the Biden Administration reached a cost-sharing deal with South Korea. Seoul agreed to an increase of 13.9 percent in spending for 2021, which is much lower than what President Trump was calling for.
In an effort to negotiate more cost-sharing, Trump threatened to remove some of the 28,500 troops from South Korea. This caused Congress to include an amendment in the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act that limits funding for potential South Korea troops drawdowns.
With the US increasingly focused on countering China in Asia, there’s little chance that troop numbers will decrease in Japan or South Korea. If anything, the US military will expand its footprint. The Pentagon is looking an extra $27 billion to spend on the Indo-Pacific Command.
5 thoughts on “US Spent $34 billion to House Troops in South Korea and Japan From 2016-2019”
American troops arrived in Korea in 1945 and never left. South Korea eventually prospered and became a major economic and military power, but American Generals plan to occupy Korea forever. They exaggerate the North Korean threat, ignoring that South Korea has twice its population, 53 times its economic power measured by GDP, and a modern military that is roughly five times stronger than the decrepit North Korean Army. American occupation troops should have left four decades ago, but President Jimmy Carter’s effort to withdraw was thwarted by Generals. The US military remains to deter peace and block unification in order to retain South Korea as a vassal state.
Our presence in the Middle East presents a nice target for the folks that want us out of there.
The reason we are attacked there is along the same premise as a bank robber being asked why he robbed banks. The answer – it’s where the money is. We are attacked because we are there.
One missile and NK would become flat, black and glow in the dark . There all kinds of missiles aimed at NK. NK also remembers all too well that during the “police action”, we killed perhaps 20% of their population, leveled nearly every city, and bombed dams. I submit that were we to leave and leave just a few thousand soldiers, without their families, things would be just fine.
thirteen years ago–
NY Times, Jun 4, 2008
These families “defending America” live in high-rise housing within mobile rocket range of North Korea army, ensuring peace just from their presence which could be done with a dozen troops & families, not 50,000 plus.
Camp Humphreys housing images here
We know that the Japanese and the Koreans are forced to pay a substantial part of the total cost of the Occupation. 80 installations in Japan and how many more in Korea. Those Generals and Admirals don’t live cheap.
Check out the digs in Iraq.
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