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How far was the decision to rollback past the 38th parallel a military and political blunder by the USA?

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Introduction

How far was the decision to rollback past the 38th parallel a military and political blunder by the USA? In the beginning, the USA planned to contain S.Korea, but when the opportunity arose to capture N.Korea they could not turn it down; as it would be a significant step to stopping communism in Asia. Although, the Chinese had stated that they would help defend N.Korea if any attacks commenced. The USA called this theory "rollback", as they where trying to undo all of the recent communist uprisings in Asia. I will investigate whether or not the decision to rollback over the 38th parallel was a successful political and military decision. First of all I will look to see whether the decision to rollback was beneficial towards the military. One reason for this was because the USA wanted a foothold in Asia. This was clear, as after China fell to communism in 1949 the USA needed a country in Asia to influence other countries. If the USA had Korea as foothold in Asia they could exert their influence by making capitalism look superior over communism. They could make it look superior by helping to rebuild Korea and by increasing their economic status through Asia. This made the decision to rollback beneficial as they could therefore prevent more communist uprisings in Asia, thus stopping the domino theory A further reason why the decision appeared to be first-rate was because it protected S.Korea even further. Although pushing forward is actually not considered protecting, in this case it was. ...read more.

Middle

As a result this made the decision look like a disaster, this is because for their "rollback theory" to work they needed to maintain momentum, certainly not be pushed back. Another reason why it was a poor mistake by the US military to allow rollback was that the Chinese heavily outnumbered them. Not only did the Chinese outnumber the USA but they were also a large well-trained army that used good tactics. These are the two biggest factors you could have in the war, but yet the USA was still confident that they could win against China. As a result I see this a poor decision by the USA because they never had a chance to win against the Chinese considering how many of them there were and how well-trained they were, but they chose to ignore the threat of China. Another reason why the decision was dreadful was due to the fact that the USA were dragging themselves into a bigger war. Whereas before they were just defending their allies in a civil war, they are now the attackers. The USA's plan was to take over N.Korea, a country both heavily affiliated with Russia. This was a very stupid decision as it was bringing a super power into this, otherwise, small war. Also before the USA chose to attack N.Korea they were told by China if they attack their allies they would help to defend them. This escalated the war even further due to China's large population, which greatly outnumbered the UN. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another reason that made the decision a shocking one was that it pretty much guaranteed the Republicans the new election next year as they lost. This makes it a bad political decision as this is the worst thing you can do in politics - make an error so bad that people want to vote for the opposing party. The reason it guaranteed the opposing party the elections was because the loss was so significantly poor. This made the decision a bad one as it helped the opposing party to win the elections. The final reason that made the decision a bad one is that the communists will now believe that the USA is weak. The communists would believe that the USA are weak because the USA wanted the war, but did not manage to push the Chinese/Koreans at all and in some cases even fell back. This is bad because more people will support the communist regime and the communists will feel that they have the upper hand over the capitalists. This makes this decision a bad one as more people will be supporting the communists and the communists feel that they have the upper hand. To conclude on the political decision I feel that the decision to chose rollback was a significantly catastrophic one. This is because, it ruined Truman's political career, the republicans were guaranteed the next election and also the communists now believe that you are weak. The most catastrophic of these decisions was that of allowing the communists to believe that you are weak. This is bad because the communists will try to take advantage of this by making you look weak, which will result in more communist followers. ...read more.

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