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At least MacArthur won his wars

Stanley McChrystal summoned to Versailles to explain himself.

Now, if only our bloated, Soviet-style military sector, could explain itself.

NOTE MacArthur reference.

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okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

I also would prefer to not live in a world where the military becomes an even more powerful political force than it already is, such that sitting officers and generals can directly over rule civilian authority.

I understand that currently the reality is there is no functional difference, but say (without laughing hysterically) that we actually have an elected government that wanted to end wars? Would a precedent that generals could defy elected leaders be a good thing?

CMike's picture
Submitted by CMike on

Wikipedia says:

With Lieutenant-General Matthew Ridgway assuming the command of the US Eighth Army on December 26, the [Chinese People's Voluntary Army] PVA and the [North Korean People's Army] KPA launched their Third Phase Offensive (also known as the "Chinese New Year's Offensive") on the New Year's Eve of 1951, utilizing night attacks in which UN Command fighting positions were stealthily encircled and then assaulted by numerically superior troops who had the element of surprise....The Chinese New Year's Offensive overwhelmed the UN Command forces and the PVA and KPA conquered Seoul on 4 January 1951.

These setbacks prompted General MacArthur to consider using the atomic bomb against the Chinese or North Korean interiors, intending to use the resulting radioactive fallout zones to interrupt the Chinese supply chains. However, upon the arrival of the charismatic General Ridgway, the esprit de corps of the bloodied Eighth Army immediately began to revive....

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From the Matthew Ridgeway bio page:

When Ridgway took command, the Army was still in a tactical retreat, after a strong foray into North Korea had been met with an unexpected and overwhelming Communist Chinese advance. Ridgway was successful in turning around the morale of the Eighth Army.
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On 7 March 1951, the Eighth Army attacked with Operation Ripper, expelling the PVA and the KPA from Seoul on 14 March 1951. This was the city's fourth conquest in a years' time, leaving it a ruin; the 1.5 million pre-war population was down to 200,000, and the people were suffering from severe food shortages....

On 11 April 1951, Commander-in-Chief Truman relieved the controversial General MacArthur, the Supreme Commander in Korea, of duty. There were several reasons for the dismissal. MacArthur had crossed the 38th parallel in the mistaken belief that the Chinese would not enter the war, leading to major losses. He believed that whether or not to use nuclear weapons should be his own decision, not the President's. MacArthur threatened to destroy China unless it surrendered.

While MacArthur felt total victory was the only honorable outcome, Truman was more pessimistic about his chances once involved in a land war in Asia, and felt a truce and orderly withdrawal from Korea could be a valid solution....MacArthur never spent a night in Korea and directed the war from Tokyo.