About the Project
The U.S.-South Korea alliance helped to keep the peace in Northeast Asia for decades. Today, however, it faces an unprecedented array of internal and external pressures: domestic political challenges under South Korean progressive leadership that damage U.S.-South Korean alliance cohesion, wedge-driving efforts by China and North Korea to weaken the alliance, and fatigue by some Americans at the burdens of alliance leadership. These challenges raise questions about both the alliance’s future durability and success of the U.S.-led alliance architecture.
The project on the U.S. and South Korea Alliance Under Siege assesses South Korea’s domestic politics and institutions, the sustainability of U.S. commitment to its alliance obligations, and the pressures emanating from geopolitical developments. It examines alternative security pathways that the United States and South Korea might separately pursue to determine whether the U.S.-South Korea alliance can overcome the emerging challenges to its survival. In doing so, the project recommends steps the United States and South Korea might take to achieve their desired strategic outcomes in absence of the alliance.
The project will produce a book, as well as articles, policy briefings, and meetings that aim to identify the risks and dangers to the U.S.-South Korea alliance.