Additionally the conflict in Korea allowed the USA to demonstrate its military capabilities to the world, and help to increase UN credibility. However, despite US concession to accept containment as an accomplishment, North Korea remaining communist can be seen as an American failure. In 1950, the US made the decision to invade North Korea. This switch to rollback policy shows that their goals were higher than just containment. They were defeated by Chinese ‘dragon’ attacks, which in December 1950 caused the most humiliating retreat in US history, totalling 300 miles.
Shortly after he was relieved of command which caused a huge public outrage. Negotiation over POW's and stalemate- Negotiating POW's was tricky, each side had their own views however a document called “Terms of Reference” outlined the steps for POW's to be allowed to go free. Once the UN assisted the South Koreans they were able to route them back deep into North Korean territory until the Chinese got involved and pushed them back past Seoul and recaptured the capital a second time. The UN was able to regain the territory recently lost and pushed the North and Chinese forces back across the 38th parallel once
This showed the world that the actions of this group should not be taken seriously. Instead of America taking militar action they responded with the Stimson Doctrine. With this doctrine the US would not recognize “Manchuko” because it was taken by force. Only slightly stronger than what the League of Nations did it had the same result; it did nothing to stop the aggression. The actions in Italy, Germany, and Japan just pushed the isolationist movement even more, to not be dragged into another foreign war.
How far was the Korean War a military and political success for the USA? The Korean War was an arena of war between the US and the USSR, the extent to which it was a militant success and a political success was minimal. The outcome of the war produced more military success, than political success, the most important reason being that the US was not able to achieve their target of containment of Communism, and hence, could not unify Korea under a capitalist rule. The USA’s military objective was to prevent the DPNK (North Korea) from invading and taking over ROK (South Korea). It can be said that there was significant military success due to the several militant achievements, for example; the US was able to restore ROK to its former state, prior to the invasion by the DPNK.
It should be recognised that before Chiang became ruler, there were many domestic problems which overshadowed China which created an unstable society. China was in desperate need for reform, democracy and strong leadership after the torment of the warlord era. China’s most major domestic problem was undoubtedly the warlords which had shattered and fragmented China and had led to political unrest. Chiang was able to launch an offensive called the Northern Expedition to remove the warlords and their hold over China with an alliance with the CCP. This had a massive impact on the country as it had successfully stopped civil and political unrest which had previously been threating the harmony of the country.
The Korean War was extremely popular domestically because it was part of the Cold War. The Cold War was a result of World War Two, it caused the two ideologies, capitalism and communism to each struggle for control over the Post war world. This is important because America as the leader of the capitalist ideology could not afford to let Korea fall to the North, as they believed that to do so would essentially relinquish control to the communists. America gained UN
MacArthur does mention his own over confidence that led to him continually advance closer to the Yalu River provoking a large scale attack from the Chinese. The success of the Inchon landings marked a turning point in the war, the aim changed from containing communism to rolling it back it also marked a large boost in morale during the war. Although MacArthur was working from intelligence suggesting that neither the Chinese nor the Soviets would get involved, he should have been more careful to not provoke the Chinese and should have taken their first attack as a warning. MacArthur also mentions the new aim of Chinese at the end of the source, he claims that their ultimate goal was to completely destroy all UN forces in Korea which is quite accurate; the Chinese pushed US forces all the way back behind the 38th parallel and retook the capital city Seoul. These actions by without a doubt prolonged the war and caused the US to change its goal back to the original aim to maintain the 38th parallel, however was this due to MacArthur’s reckless actions or China’s
The Prague Spring which Czechoslovakia was to invade on was important for the Soviet Union as it was again able to put down a revolution for reforms against the strict communism employed. The Korean War was beneficial to both countries and no ground was obtained in either’s attempt to spread either communism or democracy. The Tet offensive was beneficial to the soviets as North Vietnamese showed that they could fight against the U.S. in open fields and conventional warfare which was the beginning of the end for the U.S. in Vietnam. The bombing of the Ho Chi Minh Trail was helpful for the Soviet Union as the bombing destabilized the neighboring Cambodia. The overthrow of Ferdinand Marcos was a victory for the U.S. as it lead to democratic elections in which Corazon Aquino was elected.
Therefore, the US created unconditional terms of surrender, knowingly going against the Japanese ethic of honour and against the institute of the emperor, whom most Americans probably wanted dead. Consequently, the use of the atomic bomb became a way to avenge America's fallen soldiers while also keeping the USSR in check in Europe. The Japanese civilian casualties did not matter in this strategy. Also, it did not prevent the Cold War, as the USSR was just a few years behind on a-bomb research. At the time, revenge, geopolitics and an expensive project that could not be allowed to simply rust away, meant the atomic bomb had to be hastily deployed “in the field” in order to see its power and aftermath – though little was known about radiation and its effects on humans.
The main reason for the USA’s military intervention in the Korean war was that of containment. The American aims was to work with its allies to contain the spread of soviet and communist Chinese power using political, economic and if necessary military pressures. Any failure of containment was potentially disastrous. According to the USA the loss of SK might well lead to a chain reaction leading to the loss of much of the rest of Asia, including Japan. This was called the domino theory.