Truman Vs Macarthur

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MacArthur’s Strategy
“In war there is no substitute for victory” (Gen. Douglas MacArthur) best describes MacArthur’s strategy during the Korean War. As a veteran of two major wars prior to Korea, MacArthur developed a philosophy about war similar to that of Clausewitz. His recommendations to Truman on how to conduct the Korean War “ranged from consideration of total withdrawal to expansion of the war into Manchuria and China, and even the possible use of the atomic bomb,” but he never supported the concept of a limited war as did Truman. (Strategies of Containment, P-112) He believed “that the United States should abandon its self-imposed restrictions on military action in the Far East, blockade the Chinese mainland, make use of Chinese Nationalist manpower in Korea and elsewhere, bomb industrial targets inside China, and, if necessary, even withdraw from Korea in preparation for an offensive to be launched upon more favorable terrain.” (Strategies of Containment, P-118) In MacArthur’s opinion a limited protracted war with Korea would not achieve the American objective of stopping communist expansion throughout the Far East. MacArthur seemed to believe that the Korean War was really a proxy war, being conducted by the Soviet Union through communist China, against America and allies within Korea, and that the only way to succeed was to strike and defeat communist “Centers of Gravity” through the use of total war. MacArthur a View More »

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