In a message dated 12/20/02 3:17:09 PM Pacific Standard Time, firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
America was indeed unprepared, because the Liberal Democrats had cut the Military to the bone, even contemplating the elimination of the Marine Corps.
That comment was not appropriate in those days. You can't translate today's BS back to that time.
After WWII, everyone was ready to cut back on military spending, as the war had been won, and the country hadn't had cars, rubber, synthetic fibers and a whole host of things that had been denied by the war effort. And private industry was chomping at the bit to get into producing these goods and materials to the civilian sector. Veterans were taking advantage of the GI Bill to continue their education, and buy new homes, in which to start families or bring their existing families. Both of these were new to American society, and it helped change this society for the better.
All but the most radical GOP stalwarts were in favor of this. This country had never been one that maintained a large standing military, and their was no one who could be seen as a threat to the US This changed when the Soviets started piddling around in Greece in support of the Communists there, and they were slow to move out of the areas of Iran that had been used by the Soviets as corridors for lend lease during the war.
In case you've never heard of the Truman Doctrine, it was the first move by the United States to counter Soviet expansion into areas in which it hadn't taken hold yet in Greece and Turkey. I'd suggest a two or three minute reading of the following site which provides a copy of a speech to Congress to halt Soviet expansion.
The Truman Doctrine
This site Truman Doctrine presents the Truman Doct. and its implementation which formed the basis for the Cold War for the next 40 years.
Extract from Oral History Interview with CLARK M. CLIFFORD Assistant to White
House Naval Aide, 1945-46; Special Counsel to the President, 1946-50. Washington,
D. C. March 16, 1972 by Jerry N. Hess.
"We weren't concerned about markets; we were concerned about preventing Soviet control of larger areas of the world than they already controlled. When the Second World War ended, France was decimated. England was almost brought to its knees, you'll remember, and if Hitler had moved at one time, he could have probably brought them to their knees. The Soviet Union had gone through the most traumatic experience of its career. I read that in the Second World War it's estimated that the Soviet Union lost between twenty-five and thirty million men. So I think they were just determined that it was never going to happen to them again.
But an enormous vacuum had been left in the free world by the end of World War II, and the Soviet Union was determined to move into that vacuum."
As for Liberal Democrats wanting to eliminate the Marines, that comment shows a total lack of knowledge about that endeavor. It went back to the end of WW I, when the Army got their nose out of joint about all the press the Marines got during the war, and after. Virtually every Army officer of any rank was out to do the Marines in. And they included the newly created USAF generals who attempted to do away with both Navy and Marine Corps aviation. Truman being a true blue Army vet of WW I had joined the chorus of Army, enemies of the Marine Corps.
After the second Sec. Def Louis Johnson, came into office, it was his mission to reduce the Marines to nothing. And he was most certainly no Liberal.
From: General Krulak's book - You Can’t Get There From Here: The Inchon Story
Johnson’s plan, where Marine Corps aviation was concerned, was far advanced. In an off-the-record speech at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York, he declared that he was taking action to do away with Marine aviation and that papers to accomplish the Marines’ transfer to the Air Force were on his desk.
This was too much. Major General C. C. Jerome, a respected Marine aviator, alerted Representative Carl Vinson, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, a staunch Navy/Marine supporter, and a firm believer in the National Security Act in its original form. Vinson made short work of the heavy-handed secretary. He called Johnson to his office and delivered a lecture on those provisions of the National Security Act that expressly forbade such transfers of major combat functions. Then he obliged the secretary to write him a memorandum saying (albeit untruthfully) that no such step as transfer of Marine aviation to the Air Force was under contemplation and, in any event, that he would consult with the appropriate congressional committees before even considering an act of this sort.
Johnson worked his will on the Marines in other ways, however: in curtailment of appropriations for equipment, ammunition, supplies, and people, and through a policy of exclusion in various aspects of tactical training and planning. He approved the action of Admiral Forrest Sherman, the chief of naval operations, in assigning the bulk of the Navy's amphibious ships to train the Army, thus precluding the Corps from practicing at its statutory specialty. And in strategic planning by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Marines were allowed no part at all. Commandant Cates persuaded Navy Secretary John L. Sullivan to intercede, asking that the Marines be permitted to take part in JCS discussions when their interests or operational employment were involved. Sullivan, for his pains, received a rebuke from Johnson:
“I cannot see any justification for giving the Commandant of the Marine Corps a special role not accorded to the chiefs of various other arms and services which are integral parts of the Army, Navy and Air Force.”
This is another way of saying that Johnson saw the Marines on a par with the Army Nurse Corps or the Navy Bureau of Supplies and Accounts.
These were major matters, but the secretary was not above some pettiness too. He crossed the Marine commandant off the list of those Washington officials authorized a chauffeur and a limousine and off the list of service chiefs for whom a special gun salute was prescribed on ceremonial occasions. He forbade celebration of the Marine Corps birthday.
Taken all together, Johnson’s erosive actions where the Marines were concerned had an effect for which he has never really been brought to account. Largely through his actions, at the outset of the Korean Conflict, the Fleet Marine Force, the expeditionary element of the Corps, was pitifully anemic, having shrunk from its World War II peak of more than 300,000 men to only 27,656. Of these, some 8,000 were serving in a greatly attenuated 1st Marine Division (war strength 12,000) at Camp Pendleton in California. Its companion 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, at only 3,700 men (war strength about 12,000) was at El Toro, forty miles away. Things were little better on the East Coast. The 2d Marine Division at Camp Lejeune, NC, had 9,000 men and its companion 2d Marine Aircraft Wing at Cherry Point a few miles distant had only 5,300.
If the Korean War hadn't intervened, he might have succeeded.
I would suggest a year or more of study that before you attempt an understanding of all that went on in that endeavor. It wasn't Liberal Democrats who were fighting the Marine Corps it was every stripe in the political spectrum. And as a matter of fact two Liberal Democratic Senators, who were Marine Corps veterans of WW II, were others who were important in saving the Corps, Mike Mansfield; and Paul Douglas, the oldest man to ever go through Boot Camp at Parris Island (50 years old), and he was awarded the Bronze star from action on Okinawa when he was wounded.