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The OPCON Transfer Debate


Shelley Su examines the issues surrounding the US transfer of the wartime operational control (OPCON) to the ROK, and assesses the merits of the three positions of the transfer: whether to carry out the OPCON transfer on the initially agreed upon transfer date; to reject the OPCON transfer altogether; or to delay its implementation. She then further examines the reasons why the Obama and Lee administrations chose delay as the best course of action.

Shelley Su is a second-year M.A. student at SAIS, concentrating in International Economics and Strategic Studies, and is particularly interested in Taiwan cross-Strait issues, US-China relations, and the two Koreas. She recently completed an internship with the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs at the US Department of State where she worked on political military issues. In summer 2011, she was a contract researcher at the Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University for their Center for the Study of Chinese Military Affairs doing research on the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Navy. Previously, she interned at the Center for Strategic & International Studies, the Atlantic Council, and the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. She has also served as a program coordinator for the Southeast Asia Studies Program at SAIS. She received her B.A. in political science from the University of California, Berkeley, speaks Chinese, and is currently studying Korean language. On campus, she is an assistant editor for the SAIS Review journal and co-president of the Defense and Intelligence Career club.