Korean War and 38 th Parallel Essay

Submitted By BeckyTrodd
Words: 1217
Pages: 5

To what extent was USA’s involvement between 1950-1954 successful?
The Korean War was a victory for the USA to some extent. It achieved the objects that the USA had aimed to which was the positive military and diplomatic consequences of the war however it did suffer some negative effects which was the Chinese Red Army during 1951 which was not fully overturned as it ended in a military statement.
Following World War II, the U.S. grew increasingly wary of the spread of Communism throughout the Far East. The main reason the U.S. entered the war in Korea was to establish containment of Communism. The conventional response for a normally isolationist U.S. to any foreign conflict was a decisive military action to settle the dispute. However, President Truman's "containment" policy in the Far East was based on concepts that would be overly passive. Truman also felt he had to defend Korea due to his loss of China. The eventual aim of the containment policy would be to create economic strains and force Communism to fall. The problem with this policy was that it would take decades to accomplish such a task, and even then, it wouldn't be a decisive defeat of Communism. The containment of Communism was economically draining for the Soviets; however, it prolonged the Cold War for almost 40 years. Moreover, the "limited war" Truman waged on the Communist forces of North Korea and China seemed to many in America to be a failure to contain Communism. USA’s involvment was the US forces fighting under the flag of the UN, out of the 326,863 troops, 63,000 were Bristish and the rest were Amercian Out of 42 countries that singed up to help, only 5 turned up. A main failure for the Americaans in the Korean War was the confusing war aims from 1950. Following the armistice of the Korean War, the majority of the Asian continent still remained communist, which allowed the Soviets to maintain their power and eastern Europe. With Communist neighbors and allies, the Soviet Union had a vast amount of world power and ability to control other nations. Therefore by not eliminating any communist neighbors of the Soviet Union during the Korean conflict, the Cold War was inevitably prolonged. The war was also deemed a failure because the Americans lost over 36,000 lives (Thompson 22) and yet did nothing but produce a return to the original 38th parallel.
The USA intervened in Korea with ground forces in 1950 with the aim of rescuing South Korea from invading North Korea which was under the communist rule of Kim Il Sung which the USA was against about. The USA had succeeded in this because North Korea was pushed back to the 38th parallel and South Koreas capital, Souel, was back in the south. Even though during 1951 the Chinese had Seoul, they were too pushed back therefore the war ended roughly on the same line as the 38th parallel. The Chinese and Korean forces had paid a very high price for their military action far greater than the USA’s forces; this was a success for the USA.
The Korean War had shattering consequences for the people of North and South Korea. To the USA and other countries, the Korean War was a ‘limited war’ whereas to the Koreans, it was a total war. Around 10% of the whole population of Korea were reported dead, injured or missing. An estimated 60,000 homes were destroyed and 8700 plants knocked out. The Republic of Korea Army lost 415,000 to death and 429,000 were badly wounded. Syngman Rhee and Kim Il Sung tried to rejoin the North and South of Korea however it remained divided. This war was both a military and political success to the USA to a small extent due to their large economic loss and death of many of their soldiers for a war that nobody won as they only signed a cease fire agreement instead of a peace treaty.
MacArthur wanted to turn the whole of Korea into a non-communist regime based in Seoul, the attempt to move north Korea of the 38th parallel turned into a serious military defeat when the US and South Korea