July 1, 2015
Spinning the Top: American Land Power and the Ground Campaigns of a Korean Crisis
Gashed from the yellow earth and scarred by lacerating wire bound to steel posts, the moment Korea’s Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) comes into view, you cannot avoid the impression that you are witness to a crime. In a way, you are. The DMZ is an ominous wound from an unfinished conflict dividing the Korean Peninsula and serving as a boundary between incarceration and freedom. It carves its way between Korea’s sharp-sloped green hills only 20 short miles from the megacity of Seoul and its surrounding environs with its 25 million people who, after decades of economic development, are enjoying increasingly prosperous lives. The DMZ both signifies suffering already endured and foreshadows violence yet to come. It represents a status quo inter-bellum, which cannot endure. It is like no other place in the world. And the complex strategic and operational challenge that it poses to America’s joint force is likewise daunting.