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Was the Korean War successful in either containing Communism or Removing Communism?
In September 1950, North Korea invaded South Korea. South Korea, was controlled by Anti – Communist leaders whilst the North was controlled by Communist leaders. The fact that South Korea was Anti – Communist gained it the support of America. The communist half on the other hand was liberated by the soviet troops, and the south by Americans. The south had the support of the UN behind it, which boosted its power. I will now discuss the war in more depth stating the causes and important events during the war.
There was one main reason why the Korean War started. This reason was that there was a bitter hostility between the North’s communist Leader Kim IL Sung and the South’s President Syngman Rhee. The conflict between the two leaders eventually turned into war between the disunited countries.
When the War began, the American President Truman began to send warships advisers and supplies to the waters surrounding Korea. The last thing that Truman wanted to see was another country turned communist. This is why he asked for the UN support. The USSR had no say in this as they were boycotting the UN at the time. So, the UN became involved in the war with the Americans contributing the most to the UN forces and in the driving seat. The aim of the UN forces was to drive all North Korean troops out of the South. They achieved much more than this pushing them all the way back past the 38th parallel which was their target to the river which separates China from North Korea against China’s wishes. A few weeks later during the same month of October 1950, 200,000 Chinese volunteers joined the Koreans.
They possessed tremendous power and the UN forces ended back up around the 38th parallel. At this point in the war, the leader of the Army Macarthur and Truman the president of the US had a disagreement. Truman felt as though they had achieved what they had set out to do which was good enough. However, Macarthur thought that they should continue and eliminate the communist threat in China by using Nuclear weapons. As there was a high possibility that Russia would enter the war if this happened an attack on China was refused. These warnings seemed to be acknowledged by Macarthur until March 1951 when he made a threat of attack on China. This led to Macarthur being removed from his position a month later. Although peace talks began in 1951 and Eisenhower wanted peace when he was elected in 1952, the war did not actually end until 1953 three months after the death of Stalin.
There are many different opinions as to the success of the Korean War. Some people feel that as communism was not defeated and therefore the war cannot be seen as a success. However, the Korean War did help to contain communism especially in Korea. The war prevented the total take over of communism in Korea because of the intervention of the UN split Korea into two equal parts one of which was anti – communist. The cold war certainly did not defeat communism as many countries were still communist and the Warsaw pact made this chain of communist countries even stronger. China and Russia the two main communist countries in the war remained communist.
I think the future US policy should be to continue to try to contain communism because by trying to defeat it they are putting most of the world on the brink of war. I also believe they should try to contain communism because they were more successful in containing communism than they were in defeating it. Containment does not necessarily mean any war but there is more chance of peace and agreement with containment. However, I also feel that if the evils of communism are as bad as they are made out to be then the aim should be to destroy it completely before it spreads. This is similar to the second world war when Russia who were controlled by communist were allies with the US because they felt that this extreme measure was necessary to defeat Hitler and his evil plans.