The Korean War:
Impact on the 20th Century
(Korean War. Digital image. Amvets.org. Korean War Veterans Association, n.d. Web. 03 May 2013.)
Whats the point of a war when the winning country loses approximately 36,000 men for no territorial gain, compensation, and they weren’t doing this to defend their own territory? The United States, over a period of about three years, spent what is estimated to 678 billion dollars in todays money on the Korean war. These are the reasons why the argument against this controversial war is so easily made. When people look back on this war they see the large spending, massive casualties, and a war that was not supported by the public at the time. The Korean War was one of the most controversial wars in American history, but it was fought for a necessary and justifyable cause, and it should be seen as an American victory. The war was part of a series of conflicts between the US and Russia that started after World War II. Although the US and Russia never fight each other directly in battle, the conflict between the nations is refered to as the cold war, and the origins of this diplomatic rivalry date all the way back to the creation of the atomic bomb.
The date was July 24th, 1945. The United States had already won all of the islands surrounding Japan through island hopping, and the Soviet Union was preparing to invade Japan with them. Back in the United States however, the Manhattan Project had already been deemed a success by all of the scientists involved, meaning that the atomic bomb was created and ready for use. Before the bomb could be used though, most groups that were aware of the topic advised President Truman to tell the Soviet Union about the bomb and how lethal it could be. Instead of doing this though, Truman decided it would be better to only tell Stalin that the US had created “a new weapon of unusually destructive force”, because he did not want Stalin to ask him about how the bomb was created. Because he did not tell Stalin about the full-fledged affect that the bomb would have, Stalin took the news lightly, not realizing the significance of the news he just received. This shows how the series of conflicts between the US and Russia started, because Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union became suspicious about why Truman did not fill him in completely on the atomic bomb before it went off, and they also became very secretive about their own military advances. This lack of trust between these two powerful countries led to more conflict, this time a couple years later in a third party country, Korea.
The Korean War began in South Korea on June 25th, 1950, when the North Korean army crossed over the 38th parallel to invade the Southern half of the Korean peninsula. When the war first broke out the North had great successes, forcing their political enemies from the South to continuously retreat to the back end of the peninsula. As this was occurring, the United Nations adopted Resolution 82, which is an agreement between the coutries in the UN that demanded North Korea to immediately end its invasion of South Korea. When this did not happen, the coutries in the UN then voted on and agreed to Resolution 84, which stated that “Having determined that the attack upon the Republic of Korea by forces from North Korea constitutes a breach of peace, members of the UN will furnish assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to repel the armed attack and restore international peace and secrurity to the area”. This finally set the stage for the battle for control of Korea that would follow.
The South Koreans had been getting pushed further and further back down the Korean peninsula, and even though the first American units were starting to fight directly, they were losing the war. On June 5th the first Americans that had arrived on the scene were rushed into action against the North Koreans. These troops quickly became battered...
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