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The Korean War

Us followed the priority of govern in WI. US engagement in WI began in Asia, but Roosevelt declared US priority in Ell-fought a major war both in EX. and against SPY. History: With a long history, US played an important role in Asia even before WWW to the 19th century. After Civil War, the country was committed to a policy of rapid industrialization-by the end of the 19th century, US became the largest economy in the world, and it expanded its reach to Latin America and to the Asia. US became a great naval power while deferring Britain Royal Navy to be a larger force.

In 1898, the Spanish-American war broke out, US took possession of Spain’s Pacific colonial-the Philippine Archipelago. Use’s first and most important imperial possession in Asia (79 ¤Ii*¦) valuable harbor and air base. In 1853, Marshall Perry opened Japan- which remained close for centuries-for the first time. It triggered Meijer Restoration- which formed the basis of modern SPY-first modern non-western to master the technique of modernity. China: US proclaimed open door policy at the outset of the 20th century.

EX. imperial powers had carved out sphere of influence there. Through this policy, US demanded privileges there comparable to those of the areas EX. sought themselves. From WI till now, US Ana has dominated the Pacific. Ending the Korea War: as a divided country like Germany. Militaries like Germany, a frontline state like Germany, an America client, South Korea a economic miracle. 1 1 5В±-also impacted three other parts of Asia-Japan During War, a tragedy misconception or miscalculation. US miscalculated with Japan just like EX. did with Germany.

Wanted to stop Japan from attacking China, but provoked the attack on Pearl Harbor, After JP became US ally and military base. US signed a security treaty with SPY in 1950, similar in many ways like NATO in Europe. ( Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan, JP became and maintained Use’s closest ally. The Korean War gave Japan a boost to its relation with the US. Also an economic boost – US procured raw materials in SPY, SPY manufacturing boomed, helping its economy to take off in a sustainable growth. In this sense, Korean War was resembled to the Marshall Plan in Europe.

Also estrangement BTW Soviet and SPY-island disputes China became an adversary. The Communist intervention of the Korean war changed US attitude to Aching Aka-seek and Chinese civil war. The Seventh Fleet set the tone for two decades of hostility BTW Beijing and Washington. The TWO issue became a lasting in the Set the stage for twenty years of hostility BTW Washington and Beijing 1995-96 triggered by Lee Tang Huh The Taiwan Issue became the most important enduring feature of OCW, not anticipated at that time (in retrospect, each may miscalculated the other side’s intention.

Mao may acted as a defensive way, but US regarded it as an expansionary and acted in accordingly) Chinese invasion convinced US that the Communist China was offensive and US reacted accordingly-US containment in Asia-which affected US participation of Vietnam-also arrears of estrangement 22%-South East Asia-US viewed it as expansion of Communism – global anti- unionism action-began to see colonial war in Indochina. That might not have happened if Korean War hasn’t happened, Korea, China, Vietnam and Japan (islands with Russian) both divided 2. T made OCW in American eyes a military conflict (implementation of OCW), while before 1950 the US see it as a political conflict 1. US believed the Communists are conducting outright military assault-coordinated Soviet led military campaign to push back the frontiers of the West, to conquer areas around the world-to exert influence in conquered areas. 2. This led to an increase in military presence, deployment and expenditure (tripled in 18 months, most went to ELI) NCSC-document 68(National Security Council) co-written by Paul Unite Until K, US public opinion remained psychologically demoralized.

The war (together with Berlin blockade, Sputnik in 1957, Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962) changed that. In response to crisis, real or perceived, substantial change took place in APP. Increased spending-much went to E to beef up defense against USSR there. 3. NATO was the most important 10 during OCW era. It was the American commitment to EX.-to keep the Russians out, Americans in and Germans down. Deterring USSR, engaging US, and making sure Germany do not rise again. The last is very important- prevent German rising again from dominating Europe) 37′ The German Problem-containing and absorbing German power-finally solved by NATO 3830 EX.-Schuman Plan European Coal and Steel Community (EXECS) European Economic Community (SEC) European Union (ELI) now 27 countries Masochist Treaty: to keep a unified Germany anchored within Europe NATO set the seal of US-USSR arms contention-strategic analysis Burden sharing-US feel it did too much, want EX. did more. 3. At introduced strategy lexicon and US political life the concept and practice of LIMITED WAR. 3′ violated US tradition (unconditional surrender)-Korea stalemate- guerilla war not comprehensive victory tradition of non-use of nuclear weapon began there (43-45) – avoid escalation casualty; moral and political high ground; strategic belief that USSR is stronger in normal weapons public dissatisfaction with the war- rumored Communism subversion-McCarthy OCW and domestic election politics- Trauma’s popularity plummeted-not to run again-Eisenhower won (US people don’t like failure) end of Korea War(Lech) Lech Origins of Strategy 72″ Now military issue is not so important, but at early OCW, it is very important and milliamp.

NATO could not be what it was supposed to be-come to the rescue of EX. if necessary three functions of naval power 1 . Controlling the sealants-solos (send men and materials to wage wars) 2. Power projections (aircrafts) 3. War-fighting form the backdrop for trade and global economic order nuclear power-Manhattan Project became controversial now; at that time not so controversial for four reasons: 1 . War was going on-bloody; extreme casualty and no sympathy to the other side 2. Total war- use every available resource to win 3. AS set the goal of unconditional surrender-US was considering invade Japan-avoid million casualty (estimated) of US army 4. Used to shorten the war Truman declared that he would be impeached if he had the bomb but not used it. 1 . Revisionism: Atomic Diplomacy, SPY would have surrendered even if US did not use the bomb. 2. The real crime of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was the killing of civilians, but this was nothing new. Nazi already murdered tens of millions of people, so did SPY. US and UK never conducted massacres. But they did destroy some cities including Dressed and Tokyo. Morally wrong? 3.

It demonstrated the extraordinary destructive power of nuclear weapons-nuclear AIBO Lech missing (count strategy and begin of Third World) Lech Cot 10 The Third World Pakistan East Asia-two wars related to decentralization Africa-less involved; two humanitarian assistance (failed states) 1960 a pro- Soviet regime came-Castor’s Cuba-Latin America Middle East (a separate lecture)- stakes are higher due to proximity of Europe and USSR-strategic position- indispensable oil-ideology counted nothing, purely geopolitical issue-US allies are not democracies; First Persian Gulf War General observations: 1 .

Some parts are more important-Latin America and Middle East consistently so; Asia was of paramount importance until the end of Vietnam; Africa and Southeast Asia less important 2. East-West concerns were superimposed by US and USSR and rarely do they fit well with local conditions. Countries that US supported are better described as clients rather than allies. 3. Over time, there was a trend of military disengagement. Kennedy “bear any burden to support liberty’-he was thinking the third world. Vietnam disillusioned the country.

As OCW progress, the third world seems to US policymakers less important and more costly. 4. Major US failures in third world-Vietnam, Cuba and Iran. Anti-American side utilized nationalism. US found itself on the wrong side of nationalism. (recurrent even after OCW) Brief overview by decade sass-The time US viewed third world most seriously. Kennedy dam saw it as central battleground of OCW. Two track policy: Economic development and military “counter- insurgency’ (reading) Foreign assistance became institutionalized-SAID formed.

Achievement: Economically, mixed at best. Even if echo growth took place, not sure it has SST to do with US. Then Vietnam swallowed up everything. Counter- insurgency: came from the concern that great military danger was not direct assault like INK in 1950, but rather subversion and guerrilla warfare. China and Vietnam brought such need; revived in Iraq; positive model: Greece and Philippines Fad rather than commitment No war can be prosecuted by US gob without consolidate public support. SASS Third World’s push for a new into economic order-wealth of the world was worse against third world-there should be a reform-global oil crisis-small country seems to have a hand in into economic affairs-but ultimately failed, not enough power; oil cartel collapsed In retrospect, not common interest and not uniformity in action. By the sass, debt crisis swept across the third world. Markets lost and foreign exchanges decreased SASS Two major trends: .

Reagan Doctrine – came from right and focus on military Insurgence movements against Communists; in Afghanistan and Africa It became controversial domestically. Can claim to be successful since it coincided with the collapse of USSR 2. Emphasis on human rights – from left, on promoting US values (Carter dam and then Republicans; Communism against human rights) Wartime solidarity-countries that were against Soviet deserve US support regardless of domestic system-undemocratic regime-but in Vietnam failed. Now the concept of human rights is widespread.

Conflict: power and principle-when it comes to Chile, Greece, South Africa/Korea Conservatives: support these undemocratic countries Liberals: follow the principals, this tells US apart; anti-colonist This matter was also used on China. The Crisis of Nuclear Age Most importantly, nuclear war did not happen. Avoid situations that the two have to shoot, so what we have is crisis: nuclear weapons seem close to be used. (Mascara: crisis management; limit rather than use force) Crisis loomed inevitable-both sides strove to evade Three characteristics: 1 . Mime urgency-deadline 2. Strategic in the technical term-each side of conduct affects the outcome 3. Outcome was unknown Closet brush: Berlin 1961 (second one, first in 949-50); Cuba-1962; 1973 Middle East War First time: offensive; to stop the division Second time: USSR on the defense; goal was to preserve the division of Berlin Kennedy dam-the crisis years; why crisis prone? 1 . Rivalry BTW the two at its height-ideologically-Khrushchev adventure, cynical; Kennedy-most combative president during OCW 1961 meeting BTW K and K – K outperformed Kennedy, but miscalculated.

Berlin-at the heart of OCW to both Presented an anomaly: The allies have access to the city, but the movement of troops meant that the city of Berlin was 80 miles inside East-Germany. Exposed and alienable, no way to defend; Ultimate domino-like Vietnam Stop the flowing of people to the West, otherwise would be a collapse of Soviet position in Europe. Impact on Germany Aftermath-instead of being east-west tension, it became a tranquility place; existing of NATO led to the end of the problem.

NATO contained USSR, but US presence contained Germany as well. Normalization of the two Germany-detente in Europe (US: arms control) Social democratic-full legitimacy Cot 11 make up session-Cuban Missile Crisis closet brush the world to a nuclear war USSR deployed missiles in Cuba capable of reaching Us-naval blockade to Cuba- Soviet Union did withdraw the missile (see reading) Why considered the ultimate crisis?

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Home » The Korean War » The Korean War

The Korean War

The Korean War is often referred to as the forgotten war. There exist no monuments in Washington D. C. to acknowledge the thousands of American soldiers who fought valiantly and died for their country’s political interests. There are no annual parades, and little information in text books to shed light on the war. Korea was a bloody war. The United States sustained over 140,000 casualties with 33,000 killed in action, yet the U. S. never formally honored its fallen soldiers. 1 The war was another chance to indirectly overpower communism in the beginning of the Cold War. Interestingly it was fought on Asian soil through Asian politics.

The lack of interest by the American public following the war reflected a national desire to forget the events of the war as quickly as possible. However, the Korean War must be remembered in order honor those whose who died for their country’s political convictions. For hundreds of years Korea was dominated by the Chinese empire. During World War II, Japan seized Korea from the Chinese and used its natural resources to fuel its war effort. After Japan was defeated by the allies, Korea became occupied by the Russians in the North and the Americans in the South.

Both the U. S. d the Soviets realized Korea was a strategic country; it was important to occupy because it lay in-between China, Japan, and the Soviet Union. North and South Korea was divided by the 38th parallel, it evenly split the country into two regions. Both Russia and America became politically involved in Korea, therefore, each set up strong military and governmental ties. 2 The United States wanted Korea to be held under democratic rule, while the Soviets wanted communist rule. They took these conflicting views to the United Nations (UN. ) which had just been set up to prevent another world war and help with international elections.

The UN. decided that both sides of Korea should have their own elections. The elections were held on January 12, 1948. 4 Since North Korea favored communism, the people elected the Russians and Kim Il Sung, a former guerrilla leader. South Korea favored democracy and formed the Republic of Korea (ROK) under U. S. educated, Dr. Sygman Rhee. 5 The Soviets withdrew from North Korea in 1949. They left a communist dictatorship with a well trained, well armed, North Korean-Soviet army. In fear of the North Koreans newly developed strength, the U. S. left South Korea with some small arms and military advisors.

American troops left Korea at the end of 1949. 6 Both the North Koreans and the Russians wanted to overthrow South Korea to expand their empire. Above all, Russia had a chance to oppose its economic and military rival, the United States. North Korea, armed with Soviet tanks, boats, planes, and guns, planned a surprise attack across the 38th parallel into South Korea. Late Saturday evening on June 24, 1950, president Henry Truman got a urgent phone call. Truman was informed that a well organized and many pronged invasion of South Korea by the North Koreans was under way.

The U. S. was obliged to defend South Korea. 7 The invasion of South Korea was prompted by the Soviet Union, therefore, the invasion was a direct challenge to the United States. For many years before Korea, the U. S. and the Soviets were in competition for the number of countries backing them. This was known as the Cold War. In the Cold War, neither the U. S. or Russia dared to directly oppose each other because both were nations with atomic weapons. Both countries used economic, political, and small military victories using other countries to fight their battles.

Communist North Korea’s invasion of South Korea altered the Cold War situation. Now, by backing with South Korea, the U. S. had a chance to oppose the Soviets in force. With support from the United Nations, the U. S. ordered North Korea back over the 38th parallel because they had violated international peace agreements. North Korea disregarded the demand, and pushed further into South Korea. With this, Truman ordered General MacArthur to send two American divisions to assist South Korea in repelling the invasion. As conflict infused, the UN. and South Korean forces were all put under command of Gen.

MacArthur. The Unites States was aware that if North Korea succeeded, it would be a huge gain for communism and could possibly generate genocide of the South Koreans because of their democratic beliefs. 9 The North Koreans achieved complete strategic surprise with the timing, as well as the scale, of their invasion. They raced across the thinly guarded 38th parallel, and simultaneously launched a series of amphibious attacks on the east coast. Panicking, the ROK began to blow-up most all the bridges leading into South Korea in order to slow down the North Korean advance.

MacArthur, seeing his troops overwhelmed by the on rushing invasion, sent urgent messages to the White House demanding more troops and supplies. Unseasoned troops were sent from U. S. bases in Japan, and within a week, the allied forces were being mauled by a fierce North Korean invasion. As the allied situation became more dire, fifteen nations, mostly the Atlantic allies, sent armed forces to fight in Korea. The Korean police action had now become the Korean war. 10 The U. S. and allied forces had been pushed back all the way to Taejon, where they held an indefinite position.

The allies held Taejon for five days and allowed much needed troops and supplies to arrive at Pusan*. When the troops that arrived at Pusan, they created a defensive perimeter to hold back the North Koreans from capturing the entire country. 11 The success of the North Koreans was an partly a cause of the allies underestimating their military ability. This was commonly known as “Gook Syndrome” where the Koreans were thought to be inferior, and as a result, the allies made many careless mistakes. 12 MacArthur, realizing the severity of the allied situation, decided to land an army to the North, behind Pusan to cut off the North Korean retreat.

This was known as “Operation Chromite”. The plan was to land the allied forces at the coastal city of Ichon*, were nearly 100,000 North Koreans forces were stationed. Attacking Ichon from the sea was an enormous gamble, yet the cities strategic position was key in winning the war. Ichon was heavily guarded by artillery and mines, so the allies mustered up 200 ships and countless aircraft to partake in the assault.

On early September 15, 1950, after extensive air raids on the North Koreans, the allied forces stormed the beaches at Ichon. After eight hours of heavy fighting, the North Korean forces retreated out of the city. It was a spectacular victory for the UN. , and was considered the most successful amphibious assault in military history. 14 Once the UN. had a firm hold on Ichon, armored units raced inland and prepared to attack Seoul, the capitol of South Korea. Seoul was heavily reinforced from the 50,000 North Korean forces who had retreated from Ichon to aid in holding the city. Seoul was bombarded by the allies for three days with little result. On the fourth day, the allies rushed the city.

Street to street guerrilla warfare insued, and both sides took huge loses. After the twelfth day of bitter fighting, the badly wounded North Korean forces retreated back across the 38th parallel. 15 With a chance to put the kill on the North Korean forces, MacArthur commanded his troops to cross the 38th parallel into North Korea. There was a risk of communist Russia or China entering the war, but MacArthur found it unlikely. With a speedy push, UN. troops arrived at the North Korean city of Pyongyang. A small skirmish took place in the outskirts of the city, but within one day, the city was won over to the allies.

MacArthur’s troops moved swiftly, and with little fighting captured most of North Korea in one month. The UN. forces received little resistance and the remaining North Korean troops were seen crossing the Yalu River into China. 16 With a hope to overtake some of the retreating North Korean troops, MacArthur ordered the UN. forces to move north to the Manchurian border between China and North Korea. This command was in direct defiance of presidential orders, because encroaching on the Chinese border could cause China or Russia to enter the war. 17 Yet, MacArthur dismissed the threat, and pushed forward.

China feared the UN. would attack them, and they needed to protect valuable hydroelectric power plants on the Yalu River. They massed 300,000 Chinese soldiers on the Manchurian border to wait for the UN. to arrive. On November 8, 1950, the UN. troops moved deeper into the mountainous Manchurian region. The Chinese troops lay coiled like a viper, and as the UN. pushed forward, they encountered “Human Waves” of Chinese troops. 18 Combined with poor equipment and the brutal North Korean winter, the UN. forces had no choice but to retreat. The allies retreated back 130 miles to the North Korean border.

Along with the UN. treat, followed millions of North Korean refugees trying to escape China’s assault. The situation was described by one G. I. , “There were literally millions of North Korean refugees blocking the roads by sheer mass, the silent columns moving without hope, shelter or food, avoiding other’s tragedies of death, loss of total possessions. There were those who simply sank to the ground, too tired and defeated to move, the tossing of babies, born on their mothers’ backs and now frozen to death”. 19 As the UN. forces moved out of the Manchurian region, the U. S. air force and special forces were called to the task.

They pounded the advancing Chinese troops with missiles, and made the already treacherous mountain roads even more dangerous. Yet, the sheer numbers of the Chinese troops overpowered the obstacles in their way. All allied troops were swiftly with drawn from Pyongyang on December 4, 1950, in order not to be overrun by the well equipped Chinese armies. By Christmas Eve, 105,000 U. S. troops, 91,000 refugees, and 17,500 vehicles had been evacuated from Hungman Harbor back to South Korea. 20 The Chinese forces moved swiftly through North Korea, and within two weeks they had crossed the 38th parallel and moved into South Korea.

They took Seoul, and then met a strong line of American defense about 25 miles outside the city. The geography of the region is extremely hilly, and was named the “Punchbowl” by the Americans. The U. S. was prepared for the Chinese, and had dug trenches and tunnels, a form of fighting which would become “popular” during Vietnam. 21 The fighting for the next two years resembled the trench warfare of World War I. What took place on the ridges of the “Punchbowl” was repeated hundreds of times over the next two years. Famous offensives like Heartbreak Hill, Old Baldy, Pork Chop Hill, and Bloody Ridge took thousands of men on either side.

The landscape seemed nightmarish, and was blackened from all the napalm and phosphorous shells dropped. Burnt trees, bodies, and vehicles lay strewn in the muddied ground. The soldiers moral began to plummet; no one wanted to be there. 22 Meanwhile in Washington, President Truman had become enraged at how Gen. MacArthur had been handling the war. Truman found MacArthur would not carry out direct orders, and found him to be extremely arrogant. Truman could not see how he and MacArthur could work as a team. Truman wanted to fight a limited war in Korea. MacArthur wanted to take the war beyond Korea and overthrow China’s communist government.

MacArthur also wanted to block China’s harbors and possibly use atomic weapons to end the war. Truman feared this would lead to World War III. MacArthur had sent an ill-clothed, unprepared army at the Chinese, and ignored all signs of China even entering the war. Above all, MacArthur could not see eye to eye with his U. S. command. On April 11, 1951, Truman removed MacArthur from command and replaced him with General Ridgeway. 23 General Ridgeway restored confidence and built up an aggressive spirit in the allied troops. Ridgeway was tough, flamboyant, and was known to wear two hand grenades on his chest.

Thus, he got the nickname “Old Iron Tits”. He established the idea of R and R, (rest and recreation) in which troops rotated on a five day vacation to Japan in order to rest their bodies and minds. The allied troops became revitalized, and inflicted heavy loses on the weary North Korean troops. 24 On January 16, 1951, allied troops began a slow, methodical, offensive north, in hopes to end the war. Although the offensive moved slow, it was organized, not like the uncoordinated, speedy offensive led by MacArthur. In the next six weeks, allied forces took Seoul and moved again into North Korea. 25

During the Korean War, the first battles between jet aircraft occurred. Unlike in the beginning of the war when the North Koreans used minimal aircraft, toward the end of the war U. S. transport planes were being shot down regularly by Soviet supplied Mig-15 fighter jets. The U. S. quickly countered, and began to mass produce F-86 Saber jets. Dog fights became important to protect the allied transport planes. For the first time, helicopters were used to carry troops in and out of battle. With the new high powered jets, the air force killed over 100,000 communist troops and shoot down over 5000 North Korean planes.

As the allies pushed father into North Korea, peace talks started at the North Korea city of Panmunjon. The allies wanted two neutral Korean states, but the communists would not consider the negotiations until all of the communist prisoners were freed. Not accepting the communist’s request, a deadlock occurred on all armistice negotiations at Panmunjon. In an attempt to change the communist’s minds, Ridgeway was ordered to launch a full-scale air, navy, and land attack in order to destroy the communist hold in North Korea. UN. war ships bombarded and blockaded North Korean ports.

Allied air force worked on destroying communist supply lines day and night. Wave upon wave of allied troops attacked communist strongholds day after day. 27 In 1953, General Dwight D. Eisenhower was elected as President of the United States . He threatened that if the armistice was not signed by the communists, the U. S. would start to use atomic weapons to end the war. With the death of Joseph Stalin in March of 1953, the standpoint of the Russians towards the peace treaty was drastically affected. 28 Now the Soviets were not under as much communist pressure and wanted a peaceful settlement in Korea.

However, the peace talks still dragged on with the speed of a stiff concrete mix as thousands of soldiers died on each side. Finally, during June of 1953, both sides established the Neutral Nations Reparation Commission to over see the return of POW’s. 29 The U. S. returned 6,670 communist prisoners and received 684 sick or wounded allied troops. After the reparation was made, the guns fell silent over Korea on July 27, 1953 as the armistice was signed.

The U. S. and the allies signed the “Declaration of Sixteen” which did not hold them responsible for the cause or the cost of the war. Korea remained divided at the 38th parallel, and there was a twenty mile wide demilitarized zone enacted between the two states. Both North and South Korea agreed not to increase military strength and the terms were enforced by the Military Armistice Commission. 31 The economic and human expenses of the Korean War were immense. The U. S. alone spent 67 billion dollars to keep South Korea independent. The entire allied war effort cost approximately 129 billion dollars. The damage in North Korea was labeled at 49 billion dollars, while South Korea’s damage was seemingly less.

China sustained one million military casualties. South Korea had 300,000 military casualties, and 200,000 civilian casualties. North Korea sustained a total of two million military and civilian casualties. 32 The United States had over 142,000 military casualties, while the UN. had only 17,000 casualties. Over two million Koreans were left homeless, and the allied bombings left many parts of Korea a wasteland. 33 The Korean War was a failure both for the military and political leaders in the U. S.. The United States never calculated the costs involved.

If the conflict had ended at the 38th parallel in 1950, it could have been considered a stunning victory. But MacArthur and the UN. dreadfully underestimated the result of their actions. The UN. failed to understand that communist China would not tolerate UN. forces on its borders. The anti-communist hysteria in the United States during and after the war, made the U. S. leaders stockpile nuclear weapons. The Soviets responded by stockpiling their own nuclear weapons, thus creating a “Balance of Terror”. 34 The world became much more dangerous after the Korean War because of the volume of nuclear weapons produced.

High taxes were imposed upon the American people to keep up the nuclear race with the Soviets. Within a year or so, America had turned its back on the Korean War. No one wanted to remember a war which cost so much to accomplish so little. The dead were just simply forgotten in the fast modern world. The lessons of the war were also forgotten. As the last troops left Korea, another conflict started in a nearby Asian land, Vietnam. If we had learned from W. W. II, we would not have fought the Korean War. If we had learned from the Korean War, we would have not fought Vietnam.

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