James Stewart How far do you agree that the outbreak of a major conflict in Korea in 1950 was caused by Communist aggression? The Korean War broke out in 1950 whilst Harry Truman was at the head of the American Federal Government. There were many reasons for the outbreak such as the ambiguity of the US’ foreign policy, America’s anti-Communistic mind-set, intervention from Communist China and most importantly Communist aggression orchestrated by North Korea itself and its leader, Kim Il Sung. The most significant factor of the 1950 conflict in Korea breaking out was Communist aggression in particular from the North Koreans themselves, but also Joseph Stalin and his USSR. One example of Communist aggression by North Korea, was the act of actually invading South Korea unprovoked which subsequently prompted the reaction from the United Nations and the US in particular.
The responsibility of the origins of the Cold War often triggers questions among historians yet both powers should be blamed for taking part in it and how the fear from unpaid reparations from Russia, Stalin’s fear of the nuclear weapon and Stalin’s fear of the Truman Doctrine. Through most analyses, the fault was often given to Stalin’s ambitions to expand communism in Europe, a conventional idea of the Orthodox school. Other historians revised this idea therefore blame the United States’ actions for the origins of the Cold War, which were analyses of the Revisionists. Though Later, the Post-Revisionist school was adopted; its goal was not to blame any side but focused on examining “what” caused the start of it. Even though, both sides have claimed responsibility for their actions, Stalin’s intentions should be seen as defense actions from the West therefore, the United States is mostly responsible for the start of the Cold War.
This too was against the advice of knowledgeable people such as Stimson. Decisions such as this one created a greater distance between the United States and Russia; giving Russia substantial reason to enter a war against the US. Truman continued in a downward spiral, setting himself and the United States up for a war with each action he took. The Truman Doctrine served as Truman’s declaration for war, after Stalin and Churchill already issued theirs. Aside from the general aspects of the doctrine, Truman used it as a platform to validate a large economic aid program.
Korean War After World War II, the United States reached an agreement with the Soviet Union to have a divided Korea, with the United States also agreeing to stay south of the 38th Parallel. In June of 1950, North Korea breached the 38th Parallel, prompting the United States to retaliate with support of South Korea, using sea and air units to help defend the country against the communistic government of North Korea. Communism was feared by both the South Koreans and the United States as it looked to oppress the freedoms of its peoples ("Cold War", 2011). Due to the rising fear of communism, President Truman enacted the Truman Doctrine. This eventually led to the Containment Policies via the newly established North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
There were many different wars throughout the history and the United States has been involved in many different wars with different objectives and results. During the second half of the twentieth century, when Vietnam War happened, U.S. was involved in effort to stop communism from spreading as it did when Korean War started. The United States was part of the United Nations, and when North Koreans attacked the South Koreans threatening to take over south so they can be under the same law of communism, the United Nation as a whole decided to send military aid to South Korea, and of which the United States supplied a large portion. The South Korea was able to win against the North Korea with the help from the United States and United Nations.
Beginning in the 1950s, maintaining a non-Communist South Vietnam became crucial in American efforts to contain communism. What was the nation's justification for its actions in South Vietnam in the 1950s and its determination to abide by the outcome of free elections there only if those elections yielded a non-Communist leader? For a long time the United States were in fear of the threat of communism stemming from a direct attack and the aspect of the Cold War, played a vital role in the fears. In the beginning the Vietnam War was first thought to be just another Cold War between northern and southern Vietnam. While the United States was nervous of Communism consuming the entire globe.
After Japans attack on Pearl Harbor, there was no doubt that Japan was an enemy. Also Germany became a clear threat to the United States and it’s allies when it declared war on America following Pearl Harbor. Pearl Harbor finally causes a separation United States to became implicated in the war that had been waging in Europe since 1930’s. The Korean War like Vietnam lacked a sense of clarity Korea is an important example of a war that did not threaten the United States vital interest. Therefore both Korea and Vietnam presented policy-making challenges not present in World War II.
The country then feared the spread of communism which lead into more global involvement. In the Truman Doctrine proposed by president Harry Truman he states “I believe that it must be a policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures”(Reading 151). What he means by this is that the future of the United States relies on helping other countries and keeping them safe from the threats of communism/totalitarianism. The US even got involved in the Korean war that was being fought within Korea due to the fear that communism may spread. This goes to show how US is no longer under isolationism but rather being the leader of the world trying to protect
The attack didn’t make sense to Americans because they knew that Japan believed that the U.S. was stronger, but to the Japanese, Adkison 5 the Pearl Harbor attack probably seemed like their best option at the time. Not only would the attack diminish the American defenses on the West Coast, but it would force the U.S. into a twofront war, one in the Pacific and the other in Europe. Logically, a nation whose military is split between two fronts would be weaker than if its military only needed to worry about fighting on one front. Maybe Japan thought that between its alliance within the Axis powers and the U.S. fighting on two fronts, there was a distinct chance at victory and moving up in the world as a powerful nation. A surprise attack on the fleet could weaken Americans and give the Japanese the power that they craved.