Not a conspiracy, just not talking about it because of the way it started, in that embarrasing unprepared way. Remember - "The Forgotten War"? aka the not talked about war.
Well, that may be true, but it sure looked like losing - those first couple of weeks.... huh?
----- Original Message -----
From: Marc James Small
Sent: Tuesday, May 08, 2001 4:17 PM
Subject: Re: The Minstrel Boy
At 12:18 PM 5/8/2001 -0400, Gernilee Carter Gramling wrote:
> Why? my guess is: EMBARRASSMENT - NOT ON THE PART OF THE FIGHTING
>TROOPS, BUT THE BRASS AND GOVERNMENT. Not only did they cause U.S. to
>almost lose, they caused so many innocents to go to a slaughter unequpped
>while they remained ill informed and did not put much energy into getting
>informed about NK and they knew that they were sending the boys in there
>with guns that didn't fire etc.
> So this is a government coverup of shut up - more or less....
Heavens, that conspiracy thing again!
Several points. First, depending on just how you define "lose", there was
never much chance of the US "losing". The DRK's war aim was to annex the
South without Western intervention: once the UN chose to intervene, the
DRK had "lost" the War, and nothing else really mattered -- the US, after
all, had an immensely stubborn President who would not give up easily,
coupled with a State Department commited to containment and a Defense
Department with a 'can-do' attitude. Hence, the liberation of South Korea
was a given from the moment when Washington advised FEC to intervene. The
DRK simply lacked the military ability to stop a determined US effort to
re-occupy South Korea.
Second, Truman had a long history of distrusting the military, some of this
arising from his Prewar service as an Army Reserve Colonel (his National
Guard service was much earlier). Truman seems to have held a strong belief
that the military was "padding" its budget following the creation of the
Department of Defense in 1947: actually, the military was attempting to
upgrade its weapons systems to remain competitive in an Atomic Age, but
Truman saw it as so much featherbedding. To make the situation worse,
Truman's Secretary of Defense, Louis Johnson, was a political flunky who
had managed to get both his own boss, Woodring, and himself canned when he
served as Assistant Secretary of War in the late 1930's, this firing
resulting from Johnson's repetitive efforts to shunt Woodring aside so that
the power in the War Department was in his hands. Hence, Johnson, having
finally reached the position of being civilian head of the US military,
would do nothing to challenge his appointment, and, so, he willingly
carried out budget cuts mandated by Truman in 1947 to 1950 which can only
be considered punitive.
The end result of this was that the culpability for the poor state of the
US military in 1950 arose from a number of sources -- divided military
theorizing over the proper role of the military in a Post-Hiroshima world,
divided civilian theorizing over the need to hold our primary military
effort in NATO, ineffective military training programs, the high turn-over
in personnel due to the Draft, the failure to replace and upgrade equipment
-- but, most of all, the White House and SecDef stick out as the main
ill-doers in the warm-up to Korea. (George Marshall played a role in this,
as well, as he, while Secretary of State, did nothing to counter Truman's
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