USSC Foreign Policy and Defence Research Fellow Peter K. Lee and Research Associate Tom Corben write in War on the Rocks that the Biden administration is grappling with the parallel challenges of resourcing military strategies in Europe and the Indo-Pacific while shoring up America’s own defence industrial capacity.

US armaments are still the global gold standard, but there are not enough to go around, nor, if you ask many allies, are they sufficiently affordable. This requires leaning on a wider pool of suppliers to help it to fill the gaps in allied defence capabilities. South Korea can help to fulfil the defence procurement needs of frontline US allies in both theatres.

Rather than being perceived solely as a commercial competitor, the United States ought to view South Korean defence firms as having a complementary role to play in fulfilling the defence acquisition needs of key allies and partners.