To what extent did the domino theory cause continued US support for South Korea in the period 1950 to 1953?
The Korean War was embroiled by the involvement of the three superpowers; the USA, China and the USSR. There are many reasons that contributed to the continued support of the US in South Korea including the concepts of the domino theory; the containment of Communism; the rising public pressure on Truman in order to maintain the American Pacific ‘sphere of influence’ and the arguable major conflicts of ideologies between the nations. As well as a clash between the superpowers concerning ideologies, the leader of South Korea, Syngman Rhee, and the North Korean leader, Kim Il Sung, both had conflicting models for the future of Korea. Although both leaders wanted a full Korea, they wanted it in very different ways. The US involvement in supporting South Korea’s democratic government against the oppression of the North is clearly evident; however the domino theory may not be the overwhelming reason for the continued US support.
The role of the National Security Council’s paper-68 (NSC-68) can be arguably held responsible for the continued US support for South Korea during the period 1950 to 1953. NSC-68 came to the conclusion that the USA increases their annual military expenditure to the range of $35 to $50 billion; this was a huge increase compared to the previous expenditure of $13.5 billion year and so therefore Truman refused to publicise the report at the time. The authors of NSC-68 feared that the USSR were spending more than the US on their military, however this judgement was unjustifiable due to differences in gross national product (GNP). Through this it is arguable that Truman may have justified their advances on Korea in order to “possess superior overall military power in ourselves or dependable combination”. This can also be supported through the fact that the USSR had successfully tested the atomic bomb in 1949 and so an exert of their...
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