Korea, Cuba, and Cold War Societies

Korea, Cuba, and Cold War Societies

Korea, Cuba, and Vietnam Theme: Challenges of limited war Lesson 20 Korea Divided Korea After World War II, Japans former colony of Korea was divided into two occupation zones along the 38th parallel with the Soviet zone in the north and the US zone in the south

Before the occupation forces departed, an anticommunist regime was established in the south and a communist one in the north US in Asia The US was uncertain as to the extent of its commitment in Asia It knew its umbrella definitely covered Japan, Okinawa, and the Philippines, but it was unclear about Taiwan, South Korea, and Southeast Asia Believing the US did not intend

to protect South Korea, the USSR allowed the North Koreans to invade the south in 1951 Secretary of State Dean Achesons speech to the National Press Club omitted South Korea from the US defensive perimeter North Korea Attacks: June 25, 1951

North Korean army crossed the 38th parallel with an invasion force totaling over 90,000 troops and 150 Soviet-built tanks By the night of June 28, Seoul had fallen and the South Korean forces were in disarray. South Korea appealed to the United Nations for assistance The UN passed a resolution recommending that the members of the United Nations furnish such assistance to the Republic of Korea as may be necessary to

repel the armed attack and to restore international peace and security to the area. United Nations As a member of the UN Security Council, the Soviet Union could have vetoed UN involvement in the war However, at the time Moscow was boycotting the Security Council in protest of the UNs failure to seat a representative of the newly established Peoples Republic of China (Remember from last lesson the victory of the communists over the nationalists in China) In the absence of the USSR, the UN passed a resolution sending a military force to South Korea The force was predominately American with Douglas

McArthur as the Supreme Commander. There were also substantial contributions from the UK, Canada and other Commonwealth countries. Pusan Perimeter: June 27 to Sept 15 The American forces were unprepared for the North Korean attack. By the end of July, the North Koreans had pushed the UN forces to the southeast corner of the peninsula, where they dug in around the port of Pusan.

Inchon (Operation Chromite) Sept 15 MacArthur completely changed the course of the war overnight by ordering -- over nearly unanimous objections -an amphibious invasion at the port of Inchon, near Seoul. The Americans quickly gained control of Inchon, recaptured Seoul within days, and cut the North Korean supply lines.

American and ROK forces broke out of the Pusan Perimeter and chased the retreating enemy north. Approaching the Yalu MacArthur continued to push north, ignoring threats of Chinese intervention On October 25, the Chinese

army attacked after having infiltrated into North Korea After suffering setbacks, the UN forces stabilized their lines by November 5 Chinese withdrew northward MacArthur launched a great offensive toward the end of

November, which he optimistically hoped would end the war in Korea Counteroffensive MacArthur's all-out offensive to the Yalu had barely begun when the Chinese attacked en masse on the night of November 25. Roughly 180,000 Chinese troops shattered the right flank of the Eighth Army in the west, while 120,000 others threatened to destroy the X Corps near the Chosin Reservoir. On November 28, MacArthur informed the Joint Chiefs, We

face an entirely new war. UN retreat ended about 70 miles below Seoul. Stalemate Beginning January 15, Ridgway led the UN in a slow advance northward. UN re-recaptured Seoul (the fourth and final time it changed hands) on March 15, and had patrols crossing the 38th parallel on March 31. In the meantime, MacArthur had been steadily pushing Washington to remove the restrictions on his forces.

Truman declined for fear of widening the war MacArthurs Relief MacArthur repeatedly made public statements that were contrary to official US policy and suggested that Truman Administration policies were responsible for the retreat of the Eighth Army Eventually Truman was forced to relieve MacArthur and replace him with Ridgway

But once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end. War's very object is victory, not prolonged indecision. In war there is no substitute for victory. MacArthurs Farewell Address Apr 19, 1951 Negotiation and Stalemate On June 29,1951, Ridgway broadcast a message to his communist counterpart announcing his willingness to negotiate Eighth Army transitioned

to an active defense Tried unsuccessfully to break communist supply line with air and artillery Matthew Ridgway Negotiation and Stalemate Both sides expended enormous amounts of effort to solidify their lines Costly seesaw battles like Bloody Ridge, Heartbreak Ridge, and Old Baldy Negotiations

characterized by intransigence POWs a major obstacle Armistice not signed till July 27, 1953 Heartbreak Ridge with Bloody Ridge in background Korea Today An armistice is not a peace treaty so the Korean War did not officially end with its signing Today a

Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) encompasses 2 kilometers on either side of the 151 mile long Military Demarcation Line (MDL) North Korea remains communist and a nuclear threat Panmunjeom is the official diplomatic headquarters at the DMZ. North Korean guards, in brown, face their South Korean counterparts, in blue. Cuba

Fidel Castro In the early 1950s Cuba was controlled by a moderate rightwing military regime that was friendly to the US government and businesses The US supported Fulgencio Batista as an anti-communist and a proponent of the US in domestic and international policies However, in 1959 Fidel Castro was able to mobilize the disaffected rural peasants and topple Batistas regime

A Cuban crowd listens to Castro after his takeover Fidel Castro Castro assumed dictatorial powers and announced his goal was to create a society based on Marxist principles He nationalized largescale landholdings, sought economic aid from the Soviet Union, and tried to export revolution throughout Latin America through peasant and urban guerrilla warfare

Che Guevara directed many of Castros Latin American operations until he was killed in Bolivia in 1967 Bay of Pigs The US could not accept the presence of a revolutionary Marxist government so close to its borders and President Eisenhower authorized planning for a force of anti-Castro Cubans to invade Cuba and overthrow Castro When Kennedy became president he authorized the invasion but stipulated that the

US not be involved in the landing itself Bay of Pigs The invasion took place at the Bay of Pigs in April 1961 and proved to be a disaster Instead of rallying to the invaders, the local population supported the Castro government The failure embarrassed the

US and weakened President Kennedy in the eyes of the Soviet Union However, it strengthened Kennedys personal resolve to act more vigorously in any future crisis Castro helping to repel the invasion Cuban Missile Crisis Castro feared the US would try again to overthrow him and he called for additional

support from the Soviet Union Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev responded by sending mediumrange bombers and missiles to Cuba to help defend Castro and threaten the US In Oct 1962, US spy planes discovered missile sites under construction in Cuba Kennedys Response Kennedy responded decisively,

demanding that the Soviets remove the missiles and bombers or face their destruction by air strikes or invasion He also imposed a naval quarantine of Cuba US Victory On Oct 28, Khrushchev agreed to remove the missiles

Eyeball to eyeball, they blinked first. Dean Rusk, US Secretary of State The Cuban Missile Crisis had shown the dangers of nuclear apocalypse in the bipolar world It was a major Cold War victory for the US and a major loss of face for the Soviet Union and Khrushchev

1962 British cartoon showing Kennedy and Khrushchev arm wrestling on top of nuclear weapons Cold War Society Vietnam Vietnam: Post-World War II Vietnam was divided after World War II to facilitate disarmament and then formally divided in 1954 by the Geneva Accords Communist forces in the north led by Ho Chi Minh forced the withdraw of French forces in 1956 In 1959, Ho declared a Peoples War to unite Vietnam

In 1961, President Kennedy sent 400 Green Berets to Vietnam In Oct 1961, Maxwell Taylor visited Vietnam and reported If Vietnam goes it will be exceedingly difficult to hold Southeast Asia. (domino theory) Vietnam: Major US Involvement 1964 North Vietnamese patrol boats attack a US destroyer in Gulf of Tonkin. US begins bombing. Mar 2, 1965 Operation Rolling Thunder begins. Mar 8, 1965 First US combat troops arrive. By the end of the year, 184,300 troops are in

Vietnam. The massive bombing campaign was plagued by restricted targeting and the non-industrialized nature of North Vietnam Conditions in South Vietnam Diems regime was illegitimate and corrupt Catholic in an overwhelmingly Buddhist society Ignored Geneva Accords call for elections in 1956 Nepotism

Succession of military coups resulted in a revolving door government Several Buddhist monks burned themselves alive to protest Diems religious oppression Insurgent Leadership Increasing North Vietnamese infiltration created security threat in South Vietnam In Dec 1960, the insurgents formed the National Liberation Front (typically called the Viet Cong or VC), a broad-based organization led by

communists but designed to rally all those disaffected with Diem by promising sweeping reforms and genuine independence Developed effective military and political components Flag of the National Liberation Front External Support North Vietnam began constructing a massive supply route through Laos and Cambodia that

allowed it to infiltrate supplies and personnel south The Ho Chi Minh Trail The Soviet Union and China provided equipment, advisors, and diplomatic support Mao on Guerrilla Warfare Mao wrote On Guerrilla Warfare in 1937 while in retreat after ten years of battling the Nationalist Chinese army of Chiang Kaishek In 1949, Mao defeated the Nationalist Chinese and

validated his theories of revolutionary guerrilla warfare Remember from last lesson The National Liberation Front would pattern much of its strategy and tactics after Mao Phases of Development Phase I: Latent and incipient insurgency. Activity in this phase ranges from subversive activity that is only a potential threat to situations in which frequent subversive incidents and activities occur in an organized pattern. It involves no major outbreak of violence or uncontrolled insurgent activity. The guerrilla force does not conduct continuous operations but rather selected acts of terrorism.

Phases of Development Phase II: Guerrilla warfare. This phase is reached when the insurgent movement, having gained sufficient local or external support, initiates organized continuous guerrilla warfare or related forms of violence against the government. This is an attempt to force government forces into a defensive role. As the guerrilla becomes stronger, he begins to conduct larger operations. Phases of Development Phase III: War of movement. When the guerrilla attains the force structure and capability to directly engage government forces in decisive combat, then he will

progressively begin to use more conventional tactics and may obtain combat forces from an external source. He may also begin to conduct more extensive defensive operations in this phase to protect the areas he controls. Pacification Between 1961 and 1963, President Kennedy launched a full-scale counterinsurgency

program in Vietnam, part of which would become the pacification program Major goals Strengthen the South Vietnamese governments hold on the peasantry Cut into the heart of the Viet Cong politicomilitary organization Designed to win the hearts and minds of the South Vietnamese In 1967, Robert Komer, shown here with President Johnson, was selected to head CORDS (Civil Operations and Rural

Development Support) and coordinate all pacification programs Pacification: Various Programs Strategic Hamlet Program Peasants from scattered villages were brought together in defended and organized hamlets in order to protect them, isolate the Viet Cong, and show the superiority of what the SVN government could offer Combined Action Program Placed selected Marine squads within the village militia to eliminate local guerrillas Revolutionary Development Program Put armed social workers into Vietnamese villages to begin grass roots civic improvement and eliminate the VC shadow government

Chieu hoi (opens arms) Amnesty program designed to persuade VC to change sides Pacification: Overall Assessment Commonly considered a missed strategic opportunity Suffered from being too little, too late CORDS not activated until 1967 Perceived as competition with the big war and many military officers favored a military solution

Air Force Chief of Staff Curtis LeMay reportedly said, Grab em by the balls and their hearts and minds will follow. Limited War When the Soviet Union and the US nuclear programs reached the point of Mutually Assured Destruction, the US faced the dilemma of responding to communist challenges in peripheral areas by either risking starting a nuclear war or doing nothing The alternative strategy of limited war was developed to harness the nations military power and employ only that force necessary to achieve the political aim The objective was not to destroy an opponent but to persuade him to break of the conflict short of achieving

his goals and without resorting to nuclear war Limited War The limited war theory was more an academic than a military concept and its application resulted in tensions, frustrations, and misunderstanding between the military and civilian leadership Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara is sharply criticized for his technocratic and

statistical approach to the Vietnam War Strategy of Attrition Traditionally, the American way of war had been a strategy of annihilation Seeks the immediate destruction of the combat power of the enemys armed forces In Vietnam, the US would instead follow a strategy of attrition The reduction of the effectiveness of a force caused by loss of personnel and materiel This proved to be a poor strategy against the North Vietnamese who used a strategy of exhaustion The gradual erosion of a nations will or means to resist

Problems with the Strategy of Attrition Led the US to fight according to the theory of gradual escalation A steady increase in the level of military pressure would coerce the enemy into compliance instead of employing overwhelming force all at once US never had enough forces to control the countryside US soldiers served one year tours in Vietnam North Vietnamese soldiers were there till the end and recognized Victory will come to us, not suddenly, but in a complicated and tortuous way. US Troop Levels in Vietnam

1959 1960 1961 1962 1963 1964 1965 1966 760 900

3,205 11,300 16,300 23,300 184,300 385,300 1967 1968

1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 485,600 536,100 475,200 334,600 156,800 24,200 50 Problems with the Strategy of Attrition The nature of guerrilla war allowed the North

Vietnamese to avoid contact when it was not to their advantage to fight Low-tech nature of the enemy prevented the US from bringing to bear the full effects of its combat power North Vietnamese were always able to replace their losses while Americans became disillusioned with the mounting death toll Tet Offensive On January 30, 1968, the North Vietnamese escalated to Phase III, the War of Movement, when 84,000 Viet Cong and North Vietnamese attacked throughout

South Vietnam Designed to foster antigovernment uprisings against the South Vietnamese Tet: A US Tactical Victory By attacking everywhere, the North Vietnamese had superior strength nowhere By fighting in a conventional fashion, the North Vietnamese allowed the US to bring to bear its full firepower and technology and use a strategy of annihilation The North Vietnamese had

wrongly assumed South Vietnamese were on the verge of a general uprising Helicopters gave the US the ability to cover all types of terrain, maneuver over large areas, react quickly to enemy attacks, reinforce embattled units, and conduct raids into enemy territory Overall Results of Tet Tactical defeat for North Vietnam forces them back to Phase 2 North Vietnamese 32,000 killed and 6,000

captured US and South Vietnamese 4,000 killed But a strategic victory I thought we were winning this war! (Walter Cronkite) Dramatic shift in public opinion in US Returning from Vietnam after Tet, Walter Cronkite reported, It seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is a stalemate and then urged the government to open negotiations with the North Vietnamese.

Societal Changes Martin Luther King delivers his I have a dream speech in 1963 Country Joe McDonald at Woodstock, 1969 Gloria Steinem helped found Ms magazine in 1971 War Protests

President Johnson President Lyndon B. Johnson listens to tape sent by Captain Charles Robb from Vietnam, July 31, 1968. Democratic delegates protest the Johnson administration's policies in Vietnam at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. President Nixon Richard Nixon was elected

president in 1968 campaigning for peace with honor Under Nixon the process of Vietnamization the gradual transfer of primary responsibility of the war to the South Vietnamese that Johnson had begun on a small scale after Tet was accelerated Nixons involvement in Watergate, his impeachment, and resignation hamstrung his ability to influence peace negotiations through sustained offensive operations

Nixon was succeeded by Gerald Ford. By this point the US was traumatized by war-weariness and economic recession. Ford had almost no maneuver room to help the South Vietnamese. Kent State and Jackson State Four students were killed and nine wounded at Kent State and two students were killed at Jackson State during protests against a number of issues to include US operations in Cambodia Defeat The US concluded a peace agreement

with the North Vietnamese in 1973, but the South Vietnamese continued fighting until April 30, 1975 when the North Vietnamese captured Saigon Americans and South Vietnamese who had worked for the US are evacuated from Saigon Legacy and Lessons Sophisticated weaponry and conventional forces have limits in low intensity conflict

The restrictive rules of engagement (ROEs) and political considerations of limited war hamper military operations Domestic support is critical You can win the battles and lose the war Vietnam syndrome effects military and diplomatic operations until finally exorcised by Desert Storm. Well take about that in Lesson 24 Vietnam Today Vietnam remains communist However, since 2001, it has committed to economic liberalization and is trying to modernize the economy and to produce more competitive, export-driven industries An April 28, 2005 article in the Economist was aptly titled America Lost, Capitalism Won

If youre interested, USM has a nationallyacclaimed Vietnam Study Abroad Program Next Economic Globalization and Travel Media

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