A Brief Analysis of the Republic of Korea's Defense Reform Plan
This analysis of the Republic of Korea (ROK) Defense Reform Plan (DRP) was done at the request of Assemblyman Jin-Ha Hwang, a member of the National Assembly's National Defense Committee. It examines the overall nature of the DRP, identifies major risks in the plan, and discusses how those risks can be managed. It concludes that the DRP is a good approach to potential ROK security dilemmas, but the plan faces major risks, especially in meeting some possible security requirements. The DRP could be strengthened by adding concepts for managing its major risks. This analysis does face several limitations: (1) A number of DRP details have yet to be settled, (2)some planned weapon systems has not yet been developed, (3) many of the plan details are classified by the ROK and thus not available to the author, and (4) this author has only limited experience with military budgets and force acquisition. This paper begins by discussing the background of the DRP and the manpower problem it needs to address. It then presents the author's estimates of the force changes that would occur and how those forces appear to fit the force requirements the ROK will likely face in the coming years. It examines the budget requested for the DRP and whether it will cover the necessary costs. It addresses the effects that the DRP could have on ROK military morale and how the United States may view the DRP. It concludes by recommending steps the ROK could take to manage the key risks identified throughout this analysis.
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A Brief Analysis of the Republic of Koreas Defense Reform Plan
The ROK Manpower Problem
The 2004 Force and the Postulated 2020 Force
Military Force Requirements
The Relative Level of Risk
Describing the ROK Security Requirements
Will ROK Conventional Capabilities Be Maintained?
Will the ROK Forces Meet the Requirements and Be SelfReliant?
Will the Planned Force Investment Program Be Sufﬁcient?
Can the Required Procurements Be Completed by 2020?
Can the Required Manpower Be Acquired?
How Might MND Manage Its Manpower Acquisition Through 2020?
Is an AllVolunteer Force Possible?
How Will the Plan Affect the Morale of the Military Forces?
How Will the United States Likely View the Plan?
What Will Be the Value of the ROKUS Alliance?
What Are the Risks in the Alliance and What Must Be Done to Sustain That Alliance?
Producing the Reformed Force
Comparative Historical Cases of Defense Reform
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20 trillion 621 trillion won 8.7 percent active-duty personnel adversary adversary’s age cohort age group aircraft ALOC Army oﬃcers AWACS budget increase Cold War Comparison of ROK conﬂict conscripts Defense Reform Plan diﬀerences diﬃcult draft eﬀects eﬀorts equipment estimate ﬁghter ﬁnd force and navy force ﬂow force improvement budget force structure fraction ground forces High Rear defense high Unacceptable High Very high inﬂation information warfare KDX-II Korea Level of Risk LSTH Medium High military manpower military requirements MND budget multiple rocket launcher NATO North Korean invasion number of oﬃcers ofﬁcers oﬃcers and NCOs percentage projected RAND reduce reﬂect ROK Air Force ROK Army ROK forces ROK government ROK military budget ROK Navy ROK-U.S. alliance ROK’s security challenges signiﬁcant signiﬁcantly SLOC SLOC defense suﬃcient support and readiness sustain Target strike territorial oﬀensive threat U.S. forces U.S. military uniﬁcation United Unmanned aerial vehicles Versus volunteers WRSA