Presentation Title

A Disciplined Approach to Deploying Land-Based Phalanx Weapon Systems to South Korea

Faculty Mentor

Caleb Karges

Start Date

17-11-2018 2:00 PM

End Date

17-11-2018 2:15 PM

Location

C327

Session

Oral 3

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

interdisciplinary

Abstract

Immense damage to U.S. national interests can occur due to a lack of structured investigation and implementation of military options. Continual neglect on this front only serves to prevent victory and ensure that U.S. military assets remain trapped in quagmires across the globe. This paper offers a disciplined analysis of the political, grand strategic, strategic, operational, and tactical implications of deploying Land-based Phalanx Weapon Systems (LPWS) to the South Korean theater for the purpose of intercepting North Korean artillery. This five-tier hierarchy of planning used by western war colleges serves as the methodology for this analysis. It finds that the current lack of air defense systems in Seoul puts American interests and substantial human life in jeopardy, and that LPWS deployment would bolster U.S. political objectives. Despite prominent fears of North Korean nuclear weapons, this report finds that a larger emphasis ought to be placed upon its deep stockpiles of chemical weapons. The potential for large-scale chemical warfare should not be outside of American and South Korean considerations, as North Korea has demonstrated both the capability and the intention to use chemical munitions.

Summary of research results to be presented

As concluded on each level in the hierarchy of military planning, the deployment of Land-based Phalanx Weapon Systems (LPWS) in Seoul would increase the probability of a peaceful resolution on the Korean peninsula. Potential risks exist on the tactical and operational levels, but these are found to be outweighed by the overall benefits of deployment.

  • On the tactical level, LPWS deployment would prevent chemical weaponry from entering Seoul, thus robbing DPRK troops of a critical force-multiplier.
  • On the operational level, the air defense shield provided by LPWS batteries would ensure that U.S. and South Korean personnel can remain mobile, thus keeping DPRK forces on the northern outskirts of the urban landscape.
  • On the strategic level, if the U.S. and South Korea pursued a strategy of annihilation, LPWS systems would be useful in limiting the duration of the campaign. However, if a strategy of either exhaustion or attrition were to occur, LPWS systems would be largely inconsequential.
  • On the grand strategic level, non-military options have largely been ineffectual against the DPRK’s hostility. Windows of amity have existed but are generally short-lived. LPWS deployment may be the missing link in U.S. grand strategy in Asia that tips the DPRK’s calculus in favor of sustained cooperation.
  • On the political level, LPWS deployment will not immediately change DPRK policy objectives. However, it would make the cost of pursuing those objectives higher by removing chemical weapons as an option, thus gradually bringing their will into alignment with the will of the United States.

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Nov 17th, 2:00 PM Nov 17th, 2:15 PM

A Disciplined Approach to Deploying Land-Based Phalanx Weapon Systems to South Korea

C327

Immense damage to U.S. national interests can occur due to a lack of structured investigation and implementation of military options. Continual neglect on this front only serves to prevent victory and ensure that U.S. military assets remain trapped in quagmires across the globe. This paper offers a disciplined analysis of the political, grand strategic, strategic, operational, and tactical implications of deploying Land-based Phalanx Weapon Systems (LPWS) to the South Korean theater for the purpose of intercepting North Korean artillery. This five-tier hierarchy of planning used by western war colleges serves as the methodology for this analysis. It finds that the current lack of air defense systems in Seoul puts American interests and substantial human life in jeopardy, and that LPWS deployment would bolster U.S. political objectives. Despite prominent fears of North Korean nuclear weapons, this report finds that a larger emphasis ought to be placed upon its deep stockpiles of chemical weapons. The potential for large-scale chemical warfare should not be outside of American and South Korean considerations, as North Korea has demonstrated both the capability and the intention to use chemical munitions.