Posted by: rbbadger | December 21, 2008

Korea out of Iraq

The government of Korea has completed its withdrawal of troops from Iraq.  Prime Minister* Han Seung-soo participated in a welcome home ceremony in Seoul on Friday.  Some 18,000 Korean troops served in Iraq, though I am not certain that any of these troops came from those men required by law to serve in the military.  All young Korean men must serve two years in the military.  Anyhow, the Iraq War was not really popular here and I am certain that most are happy that Korea is no longer involved the mess that the USA began.

Time will tell whether or not we ever fully withdraw from Iraq.  The fact that our troops are still in Germany is proof that as Milton Friedman once said, there is no such thing as a temporary government programme.  And of course the US military remains here in Korea.

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*  I am not certain why the Prime Minister of Korea is called a prime minister.  He is more of a vice-president, actually.  A prime minister generally serves as the head of government and sits in parliament.  Prime Minister Han does not do this, but does oversee much of the cabinet.  Korea’s governmental structure is modeled on the American model in a number of ways, but its legal system seems to be modeled on continental European common law, with great influence from Germany.

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