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Abrams Calls South Korea Evacuation a ‘Wicked Problem’

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U.S. Army
Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The nominee to become the top U.S. commander in Korea said the evacuation of civilians from the Korean Peninsula presents “a wicked problem,” but he is confident twice-a-year drills have prepared the U.S. military for the problem it faces.

He also stressed that the risk to civilians isn’t limited to the families of U.S. troops but threatens a wide population.

Gen. Robert B. Abrams, the U.S. Army Forces Command commander who has been nominated for the top post in South Korea, said he wasn’t ready to suggest a return to unaccompanied tours for soldiers to reduce the number of dependents. Such a big decision would be made after “an on-the-ground assessment,” Abrams told the Senate Armed Services Committee at a Sept. 25 hearing.

Abrams is nominated to succeed Gen. Vincent Brooks as U.N. Command and Combined Forces Command commanding general and as U.S. Forces Korea commanding general.

“This is a critical time on the Korean Peninsula and in fact for all of Northeast Asia,” Abrams said. “The strategic importance of the Pacific region has grown over the past decade. The foundation for success in Northeast Asia is largely due to the extraordinary relationships we have built over time with United Nation states and our Indo-Pacific neighbors, particularly Japan and the Republic of Korea.”