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Success and Failure in Limited WarInformation and Strategy in the Korean, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, and Iraq Wars$
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Spencer D. Bakich

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780226107684

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226107851.001.0001

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Military and Diplomatic Defeat in the Korean War

Military and Diplomatic Defeat in the Korean War

Chapter:
(p.57) Chapter Three Military and Diplomatic Defeat in the Korean War
Source:
Success and Failure in Limited War
Author(s):

Spencer D. Bakich

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226107851.003.0003

In the Korean War, the U.S. attempted to “roll back” communism on the Korean Peninsula by seeking the destruction of North Korea in the fall of 1950. By widening its war aims from the restoration of the status quo ante to that of unification, the U.S. convinced China that its physical security was under threat, and China intervened in force. America's initial war aims in the Korean War were to defeat North Korea's armed forces and to avoid the forcible intervention of either China or the Soviet Union. Neither of these war aims was achieved. This chapter argues that because of General Douglas MacArthur's near-monopoly over strategic intelligence, top policymakers were unable to alter the strategic direction of the war in any significant fashion. America's truncated information institution prevented the CIA, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the National Security Council from positively influencing the strategy prior to China's intervention.

Keywords:   Korean War, China, Soviet Union, Douglas MacArthur, CIA, National Security Council, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Intelligence

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