Go to contents

[Opinion] Cyber War Zone

Posted September. 08, 2005 07:28,   


During the 40 days of the Gulf War in 1991, 269 U.S. soldiers died. During 4.5 months of the Iraq War in 2003, about 240 U.S. soldiers died (according to the National Intelligence Service). And many of them died from misfires or accidents, so the number of U.S. soldiers who died in actual battles is said to be smaller. By contrast, Iraq had around 100,000 and 4,000 deaths as the opposing force in the two wars, respectively. What was the “secret” behind such low combat fatality numbers for the U.S.? Of course it had more advanced weapons than Iraq, but experts are saying that the U.S. military`s high level of training played a pivotal role in its ability to use state-of-the-art technology on the battlefield.

The National Training Center (NTC) in California made a final review of military units engaged in combat during the Gulf War. Those that failed the desert training on similar topography to Iraq’s were excluded from being dispatched in the first place. As such, many troops dispatched in the Gulf War said, “The virtual enemies at the NTC were much harder to fight than the Iraqi forces.” In this aspect, the Iraq War was not an exception.

The Korean Army’s advanced Combat Training Center (KCTC) in Gangwon Province opened shop, which is a “masterpiece” that was completed within five years after the Korean Army benchmarked the NTC of the United States. Forces there are engaged in virtual battles equipped with laser shooters and detectors, and the central control system receives detailed portrayals of battle scenes and evaluates them. Thanks to the KCTC, Korean troops may participate in the same training for real situations, while reducing training budgets to a great extent, resulting in double benefits.

So far, war games and training exercises are mostly simulation training for the Korean military, which from now on will have their security capability boosted. However, there is room for improvement as well. The training place needs to be big enough for joint training on empty lots, operation software needs to be complemented to respond to future warfare, and standing troops need to be upgraded in size. That would be what is required of the Korean military by the taxpayers, who financially helped build the training place.

Song Mun-hong, Editorial Writer, songmh@donga.com