[Get Answer] politics and the truman macarthur contoversy essay

Politicss And The Truman/ Macarthur Contoversy Essay, Research Paper

July 7,2000

Politicss and the Truman/MacArthur Controversy

The unstable? peace? undermentioned World War II was at times merely seconds from devolving into a universe broad atomic war. The strength of the cold war allowed for minimum mistake in foreign policy. It was during this tense and volatile clip that General Douglas MacArthur fought what some deem? his? war in Korea. While he had proven himself clip and once more a superb military leader, his behaviour was non faultless. He tended to trust excessively much on his ain authorization, a trait non dear to Congress or the President. It was this inclination towards insubordination and his crying vocal effusions that resulted in his dismissal on April 11, 1951, by President Harry S. Truman.1

The result of World War II left the universe in an unprecedented state of affairs. The two primary Allied powers, the United States, a capitalist state, and the Soviet Union, a communist state, were political polar antonyms. The differences between the two political political orientations lent the two states to a natural competition.

The station World War II universe was a premier playing field for this competition to blossom. Most of the universe powers had been wholly devastated, go forthing once self-sufficing states and their settlements in complete governmental and economic confusion. Subsequently they were susceptible to the influence of anyone offering aid either governmentally of economically. Hence, the competition that had begun prior to the war was foregone out of the necessity to get the better of a common enemy one time once more began once more in earnest.

It was against this background of fright and the burgeoning Cold War that General MacArthur would pay his war in Korea. The Soviet Union felt that the spread of communism was at hand and put about to help that tendency. At the same clip the Soviet Union wanted to guarantee that they would non be invaded once more. If control of Eastern Europe could be retained they would be n kernel killing two birds with one rock, fostering their political political orientation and making a buffer zone between themselves and anyone want to occupy the Soviet Union.

The United States was convinced that the Sovietss were captive upon the universe domination of communism and that they would sharply prosecute that goal.2 This coupled with the flowering of atomic engineering elevated the bets. The United States had efficaciously ended World War II with the dropping of the atom bomb in Japan.Soviet atomic engineering was non far behind thanks to the infiltration of American authorities by Soviet undercover agents.

Until the oncoming of the Cold War Korea would hold been a non issue. .A distant topographic point in regard to the United States, a war on behalf of Korea would ne’er hold occurred prior to the cold war and its foreign policies. However, the intense competition between communism and capitalist economy worldwide was adequate to do the political position of Korea an of import issue in American politics.3 When China became a Communist state the United States became willing to travel to great lengths to guarantee that no other East Asiatic states succumbed to Communism. Thus a civil war in Korea led by a Communist government resulted in American intercession. This state of affairs evolved into the Korean War. True to its curse to travel to all lengths to incorporate communism, the United States dispatched its most adorned general, Douglas MacArthur, to head the forces in Korea.

General Douglas MacArthur had been in the Far East for many old ages. Prior to the war general Macarthur had been commander in the Philippines and during the war he had led the Allied forces in the Far East. At the stopping point of the war he had been appointed Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers in the Pacific. It was merely natural that he would take control of the Koran state of affairs. General MacArthur had proven himself a superb commanding officer during the war and was really cognizant of his ain successes. The fact that he had lived in the part for so long besides led him to the decision that he understood the state of affairs in the Far East more to the full that any other American. These two beliefs played a big portion in the apogee of events that led to the dismissal of General MacArthur by President Truman in April of 1951. General MacArthur had a inclination to make as he pleased whether authorized to make so or non. This autonomy was unsafe in the delicate balance of power in the cold war universe. Necessitate less to state neither the president nor Congress was receptive to this sort of insubordination. General Douglas Macarthur was a combatant and non content with anything other than a full triumph,

But one time war is forced upon

us, there is no other alter-

native than to use every

available agencies to convey it

to a fleet terminal. War? s really

object is victory, non

drawn-out indecisiveness. In war

there is no replacement for


In the context of the Korean war this meant that in late November Ob 1950, when faced with the droves of Communist China? voluntaries? pouring over the China/Korea boundary line to prolong the bedraggled North Korean forces, General Macarthur felt that the usage of Nuclear arms was non merely justified in Korea to win the war but that an onslaught on China itself was necessary, despite the position of China as Stalin? s new child.4 This was non an acceptable class of action for the United States and General Macarthur? s refusal to accept this led to his autumn from grace.

At the beginning of the Korean War Congress and the presidential term were behind General Macarthur about nem con. They followed his recommendations and escalated the operation to a land war. Early on in the war the usage of atomic bombs was discussed and even deemed acceptable. Furthermore president Truman stated that the determination would rest with General Macarthur as to the usage of atomic weapons.5 Despite the early support of Congress for these early actions, General MacArthur? s leaning for independen

T thought was fast going an issue. On June 30, 1950, General MacArthur ordered land military personnels moved into the combat country in South Korea without first obtaining full authorization. The orders to travel land military personnels in were non dispatched from Washington for another full 14 hours.5 This disagreement caught the attending of Congress, nevertheless it was excused for the most portion. Subsequent communications form Washington to General Macarthur are declarative of the support for him in America and are grounds of the regard in which he was held. General MacArthur enjoyed both presidential support and the support of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

As clip passed other disagreements in General Macarthur? s judgement became an issue. After the series of triumphs following the improbably successful amphibian landing at Inchon, General Macarthur was touting about being place in clip for Christmas.6 However, he ignored intelligence studies that alerted him to the infiltration of Korea by Chinese military personnels. This refusal to accept intelligence studies as plausible resulted in the American progress rapidly going a retreat that eventually ended at the original point of struggle, the 38th analogue. In other words, all of General MacArthur? s advancement had been nullified due to his inability to entertain the idea that he may be mistaken. In Truman? s memoirs he states,

I should hold removed him so and

at that place. The ground I did non was

that I did non wish to hold it

appear as if he were being relieved

because the violative failed. I

hold ne’er believed in traveling back

on people when fortune is against them

and I did non mean to make it now.

So, despite his important oversight in opinion, General MacArthur remained at the helm of the American forces in Korea.

MacArthur and the Joint Chiefs of Staff shared a few common beliefs.7 One of these beliefs being that Korea was a Stalinist recreation. General MacArthur believed that the Soviets intended to infest Europe and that by run outing the United States militarily in Korea would let them to make as they please elsewhere.8 However, despite the fact that Congress and president Truman contemplated utilizing atomic arms to throw out Chinese forces from Korea and recover control of the state of affairs it was determined that there was no effectual mark to prosecute. Besides, it can non be forgotten that the cold war was in full swing at this clip and that the Soviet Union had in its ownership atomic arms. The creative activity of NATO in 1949 had efficaciously drawn the line in the sand between the United States and the Soviet Union. If the United States were to let General MacArthur to prosecute his chosen class of action it is difficult to it would non hold led to another universe war.

MacArthur? s proposal was this, that China had already entered the war and therefore the United States should in bend onslaught China. In other words, take the battle onto Chinese dirt. China had merely converted to communism and neither Congress nor the president believed that if a United States invasion of China were to get down that the Soviet Union would non react. This sort of confrontation would be excessively unsafe in the theater of the Cold War. Unfortunately, General MacArthur held beliefs to the contrary. It was his place that the Soviet Union would stand lazily by as full-scale war was waged with China.

In March of 1951 Congress, president Truman and the United states jointly began prosecuting a peace colony based upon the prewar boundary line of the 38th analogue. General MacArthur was instructed non to make anything to endanger these peace negotiations. In an act of complete rebelliousness General MacArthur continued to be after for war. Communications were intercepted in which General MacArthur discussed extinguishing the? Chinese Communist Question? with Portugese and Spanish leaders.9 General Macarthur went so far as to Ceremonially reinstate Rhee in Soeul. Constantly queering orders from Washington, General MacArthur systematically sabotaged the peace doing procedure.

Meanwhile in Washington, members of Congress and President Truman were appalled at the complete neglect General MacArthur continued to expose for orders. General MacArthur was guilty of insubordination and perfidy in the eyes of Washington. On April 11,1951 General MacArthur was dismissed. After 50 two old ages of military service, the most highlty decorated general of the United States armed forces was fired. On April 19, 1951 General Douglas MacArthur gave his concluding reference to the United States Congress. In his traveling address he justified his Acts of the Apostless as making what he thought was best for his state and his work forces,

It was my changeless attempt to

continue them and stop this barbarian

struggle uprightly and with the

least loss of clip and a lower limit

forfeit of life. Its turning

bloodshed has caused me the

deepest torment and anxiousness. Those

gallant work forces will stay frequently in

My ideas and in my supplications


The dismissal of General Douglas MacArthur from the United States armed forces was an event straight end point of his changeless refusal to stay by and continue the edicts of the United States Congress and the President. No affair how distinguished his achievements such insubordination of the highest offices of the state was bound to stop in expiration. Had the state of affairs in the universe theater of foreign policy been different possibly MacArthur? s proprensity for independent thought would hold been tolerated. General Omar Bradley stated that it was? The incorrect war, at the incorrect topographic point, at the incorrect clip and with the incorrect enemy. ? 11 It is easy to believe that General MacArthur did so intend what he said to Congress, that he was contending the good battle for both his state and all of the free universe. Yet it is every bit plausible that General MacArthur was unable to command his hubris and bow to the authorization of the state he loved.


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