The War Of The United States

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In June of 1950, Communist forces from North Korea poured south across the 38th parallel in an all-out attack on South Korea. Harry Truman was the U.S. President and had already made history by dropping the first and only two atomic bombs on Asian cities just five years earlier. He knew immediately and instinctively that this Communist attack had to be reversed or contained. And there to execute this purpose, in theory, was Douglas MacArthur, the commander of the United Nations forces in the region.

MacArthur began true to form, with a bold landing at Inchon in South Korea. He took the enemy by surprise, liberated Seoul in eleven days and, by October 1st of 1950, brought UN forces—primarily composed of Americans—back to the 38th parallel that the North Koreans had crossed. MacArthur now wanted a “hot pursuit” , and Truman authorized him to cross the 38th parallel.

Truman, however, added a crucial strategic condition: Do not to provoke the Chinese to enter the war, for that could spark World War III and possible nuclear Armageddon.

Right around then, things began going wrong, not only in the war effort but also in the relationship between MacArthur and Truman.

When the two men met–for the only physical meeting of their lives–on a tiny coral islet in the Pacific, MacArthur tellingly greeted his commander-in-chief but failed to salute. The two men then met alone, before inviting others to join them. Truman made clear his overarching concern, one that Clausewitz would

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