Korean War Containment

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The Korean War has often been a controversial subject. Some say that an all-out war with China would have brought Russia into the conflict, creating WWIII. Others say that if we had done it right and hit hard, Communist powers would have backed off. No one can know for sure. It has been many years since the Korean War and Communism is still a threat. Perhaps, by looking back at the past, we can find the answers to problems today.

I. Beginning of Containment

Seeing how containment was the major policy during the Korean War, that will be our focus of study.
To understand containment, let us look at its origins. The idea of containment was used first in the Civil War, although the term itself was not yet introduced. The idea was to isolate …show more content…

policy of containment had its first recognized use in the Korean War, where it was used by President Harry S. Truman to prevent a possible all-out war with China, Russia, and maybe even the world. You see, China had promised men and supplies to North Korea if they needed it. This meant that China would be fighting American forces which could lead to war not only with China, but also their ally, Russia, possibly sparking WWIII. When Truman asked MacArthur about this possibility, MacArthur shrugged it off. His predictions proved to be incorrect. As U.N. Forces advanced north of the 38th parallel, they found themselves facing Chinese forces. MacArthur wanted to start the war with China, Truman was against this. Douglas MacArthur stated, “It seems strangely difficult for some to realize that here in Asia is where the communist conspirators have elected to make their play for global conquest, and that we have joined the issue thus raised on the battlefield; that here we fight Europe 's war with arms while the diplomats there still fight it with words; that if we lose the war to communism in Asia the fall of Europe is inevitable, win it and Europe most probably would avoid war and yet preserve freedom. As you pointed out, we must win. There is no substitute for victory.” Truman was in favor of containment, simply keeping North Korea north of the 38th parallel. Seeing this, MacArthur overstepped his bounds and openly criticized the President. Truman promptly had him removed. During this time there were other alternatives preferred by different politicians in Washington. Isolationism, detente(a form of friendliness that just ignores the problem), and rollback, which was what MacArthur favored. Truman though widely unpopular for his removal of MacArthur, stuck firmly to his decision and his policy of containment. Still today, this choice is in questioned. We don 't know for sure if China would have continued its support. All we know is what decisions were made. I

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