You are on page 1of 5

USA In Asia

Korean War
Kennan, long telegram and Containment
The Long telegram was written by George Kennan, who was the USs
Ambassador to the soviet union which allowed him to gain an insight into the
Soviet way of life; and he published his perception in the long telegram, he
portrayed the soviets as fearful of contact with the western world and that the
only way to stabilise the soviet way of life was to destroy the Americans way of
life. Interestingly he also described them as a malignant parasite feeding on
diseased fleshes, which were Hitlers words towards the Jews.
Truman Doctrine
Outlined Americas plan to protect: free people who are resisting attempted
subjugation by armed minorities or outside pressures, which was a discrete
reference to the communists.
Establishment of the National Security Council and NSC 68
The National Security Council was created in 1947 by the National Security Act. It
was created because policymakers felt that the diplomacy of the State
Department was no longer adequate to contain the USSR in light of the tension
between the Soviet Union and the United States.[1] The intent was to ensure
coordination and concurrence among the Navy, Marine Corps, Army, Air Force
and other instruments of national security policy (such as the Central Intelligence
Agency, or CIA, also created in the National Security Act).
NSC 68, was a secret report based on Americas military strength , it deemed
that to contain the USSR the USA would have to spend in the sum of 35 50
Billion Dollars annually.
Partition of Korea and subsequent development 1945-50
After Japan Surrendered, the Americans offered a division at the 38 th parallel, and
the Russians accepted. The USA hurried troops there and ordered them to halt
there. Thus two States were born, however it was initially a temporary measure
whilst elections could be arranged.
Kim Il-Sungs regime rendered North Korea a docile puppet state of the USSR,
with a secret police that controlled most aspects of life, with the USSR giving
arms to N. Korea of which formed the North Korean Peoples Army (NKPA), it
became an oppressive state where corruption was rife. Syngman Rhees Regime:
Corruption was still present in S. Korea. Rhee had come to power with a
reputation for resistance to Japanese Rule, he had strong links to Chiang KaiShek, and had little friends in the State Department. S. Korea was riddled with
factional divisions and banditry and didnt look like a promising state for a
fledgling democracy. South: Authoritarian and Corrupt North: Oppressive and
totalitarian.

Importance of Japan
A communist Korea would be a dagger pointed at the heart of Japan, after the
USA poured a significant sum of money into Japan, allowing a communist Korea
would put Japan and Americas investment in danger. Japan was seen as one of
five Military-industrial states in the world which needed to be anchored to
America. Another reason why America wanted to defend Japan is that if the
Japanese fell to Communism; it would breach the Defensive Perimeter and leave
America as the next in line.
Defensive Perimeter Strategy and Significance of Achesons Press Club
Speech 1950
Acheson's speech on January 12, 1950, before the National Press Club seemed to
say that South Korea was beyond the American defense line and that American
support for the new Syngman Rhee government in South Korea would be limited.
Critics later charged that Acheson's ambiguity provided Joseph Stalin and Kim Ilsung with reason to believe the US would not intervene if they invaded the
South.
The Loss of China 1949
When the colossal China was lost to Communism, it made many critical of
Trumans government, in a sense that they didnt do enough to prevent the
spread of communism, therefore if ever there was a threat of communists again,
there would be pressure to engage.
Red Scare and McCarthyism
McCarthy, began speculation that there were Communists within the Truman
cabinet; with no grounds to the speculation, the American Public began to take
notice, and then other senators began to join the campaign, this created
pressure on the Truman government to prove a point.
Red Scare, was contributed to by various instances of Communist spy infiltration,
most notably that of the Manhattan project (building of the atomic bomb). Many
other contributing factors raised a mounting hysteria that was difficult to resist.
The UN
the United Nations was established in 1945 to maintain international peace and
promote cooperation in solving international economic, social and humanitarian
problems. During the Korean war the role of the UN was to mobilise a multinational force to restore peace, USA used it as a disguise for police action.

The North Korean Invasion


June 25th 1950, with the aid of Russian Tanks, and other military hardware which
started increase in the months leading up the invasion. Some say that the
invasion was under the influence of Stalin. On June the 27 th UN
US unpreparedness and fall-back to the Pusan Perimeter
Because of the rushed nature of the response, On 1 st July 1950, US troops were
rushed to the South, although this division was inadequately equipped and
trained. Flanking tactics used by the N. Korean forces, forced the UN forces back
behind the Pusan Perimeter.
Inchon Landings
On the 15th of September 1950, Gen. MacArthur, launched an amphibious landing
into Inchon which effectively cut off the N. Korean forces supplies etc. And then
proceed to fight south and relieve those at Pusan, thus leading back to square
with the N. Koreans pushed back passed the 38 th Parallel and the UN forces
holding this line.
Decision to cross the 38th Parallel
America switched from a containment policy, and now went on the offensive for
a roll-back policy, in which the UN forces would cross of the 38 th parallel to rid
North Korea of Communism, which would appease the public who were critical
after losing China to communism. MacArthur also assured Truman that the
Chinese would not get involved. Americas philosophy was why wait for the N.
Korean force to recuperate and attack again, when America could capture North
Korea, they also thought the soviets would not get involved.
64% of Americans in favour of invading north.
More Anti-communists replaced moderate, i.e John Dulles replacing Kennan.
Chinese Intervention
When UN forces reached the Yalu River in 1 st November 1950, they were greeted
with 150,000 Chinese troops which inflicted damage on the US forces.
MacArthur walked into the Chinese traps and lead US forces into one of their
biggest ambushes in history.

Significance: possibility of starting world war 3, first nuclear war prolonged the
war.
Why? Angered Chinese leaders by protecting Chiang Kai-shek, who was the
leader who was recognised to represent china, in Taiwan. Stalin Pressed the
Chinese to aid Kim. China now pushed America back to the 38 th Parallel , longest
retreat in US history

Sacking MacArthur
MacArthur, had repeatedly undermined the authority of Truman, for instance
after the decision was made to offer a ceasefire on the 38 th Parallel, MacArthur
wrote to the leader of the Republicans Joe Martin stating that there is no
substitute for victory. This was the last straw for Truman who on April 11 th sacked
him.
However, controversy surrounds his decision as the presidents popularity had
declined to 26% whilst MacArthur was still held in adulation, there was even talk
of impeaching the president, and thousands lined the streets of New York for
MacArthurs return. 69% backed MacArthur. However senior officials in the
government soon started to Back Trumans decision.
The End of the War Negotiations war of Attrition and POWs
In July 1951, Peace talks began and became somewhat of a fiasco, the
communists used it as a propaganda exercise insisting America were pleading for
peace, there were endless procedural matters and saving face was vital. There
were also endless sticking points over the final boundary. And most importantly
over the return of Prisoners of war; Truman was adamant he would not force the
POWs to return after the torture of the returned POWs after WW2, meanwhile the
war continued as a war of attrition reminiscent of trench warfare, where the
Americans began using weapons such as Napalm, and eventually after the death
of Stalin and the suspected more aggressive Eisenhower a ceasefire was signed.

Impact of War
10% of entire Korean population killed. 600,000 homes destroyed, in the north
8700 factories destroyed. North Korea remained the same after the war as it was
prior. South Korea has slowly become a capitalist state.
33,000 americans died in combat, 4% to 14% increase in military expenditure.

Korean war had been popular until 1952


NSC 68 Imposed Navy ships: 600>1000 Army 10>18 divisions A-bombs
300>800
SEATO
SEATO the south east Asia treaty organisation, and its role was mutual defence
of all that had signed, similar to NATO, and had become another way in which
the Americans could contain communism