Red Countries> South Korea

South Korea has been the site of a high concentration of US military deployment since the stalemate that saw the Korean War cease open hostilities in the 1950’s. Their border with North Korea is the most heavily guarded and militarised border on earth. Thousands of rocket launchers and other weapons are aimed at each other over this border. The people of South Korea have been growing more and more displeased with the US presence in the area but are still too reliant on it for protection to convince their government to force it to leave entirely. The South Korean government has however, been trying to be much more diplomatic and gentle in its overtures to the North in the hopes of a settlement between the sides finally being reached. All this hard work has been rolled back over the last few years though, as the relationship between North Korea and America has deteriorated.

Following the missile tests in July 2006 all the diplomatic efforts have been suspended and now it seems the South is facing the very real prospect of open war again for the first time in 50 years. They have been staging public drills and war games to prepare for this eventuality in a much more intense fashion over the past few months than has been the case over the last few years. Such a war would be devastating for the South. In the opening stages of war rockets aimed at it from across the border would devastate Seoul. Tens of thousands of casualties would be incurred on both sides of the border in the opening flurries of bombings that would precede any full scale invasion by the million strong North Korean army.

The United States bases in the area would then of course, rush into the fray and be engaged in open war with the North Koreans. If such a war was happening in conjunction with a much wider war in the Middle East, then the very real question is left open as to how far stretched the US could become before it was in over it’s head. It would of course, call on allies in the region to help but this would just ensure many more countries getting sucked into the World War. If some countries choose not to help, as they now see the Americans as having made this mess for themselves, this coupled with all the other fronts of the war could be the Bush’s Waterloo.

Map of South Korea