Reasons for US entry in Korean war

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  • Reasons for US involvement in Korean Conflict
    • NSC-68
      • claimed that the USSR had a 'frantic faith' and that its leaders wanted total world domination of the Eurasian landmass
      • large expansion in military budget
        • development of the Hydrogen bomb
      • Recommended that the USA develop a more powerful bomb, build up its conventional forces to defend its shores and enable it to fight limited wars abroad, raise taxes to finance the struggle, seek allies, and mobilise the American public in a united war consensus.
    • Fears for Japan
      • US occupation under General Douglas MacArthur had revitalised Japan- American Foe into American friend.
      • only 100 miles from South Korea, Japan's safety would be jeopardised if it were faced y a totally Communist Korean peninsula with Communism on the march.
      • The defence department told Truman that Japan was vital for the defence of the West against Communism
    • American Anti Communism
      • fear of an ideology that rejected Capitalism and multi party states
      • felt its security would be threatened In a world with growing communist states
      • commie countries might try to export their ideology (either by persuasion or force) to other countries including USA and thereby damaging the American economy
    • World balance of power
      • By 1950 it seemed to the USA that the world balance of power was tipping to Communism
      • US anxiety about the loss of Eastern Europe
        • Stalin's unsuccessful Berlin blockade
        • Soviet atomic bomb test
        • Communist victory in China
        • By 1950, communism spreading in Asia, China now communist, NK attacked SK, communist insurgencies in French Indochina, British Malaya and Philippines
    • McCarthyism and domestic concerns
      • After Truman's speech depicting Communism as Evil he became Republicans target
        • Rep accustiations that Truman was responsible for 'Loss of China' that he could have prevented Communist Victory in China 1949 with more aid to Chiang Kai-Shek
      • McCarthy's February accusations that there were communist in the state of department,
        • Truman needed to look tough on Communism, especially due to elections in November 1950
          • Wars tended to make the American people rally around their president, Trumans political motivation?
    • The UN and the lessons from History
      • Truman and his contemporaries  believed that the failure of the league of Nations had played a role on the out break of ww2 and showed that collective security must be supported and appeasement avoided.
        • When the North attacked the South, Truman belived that the UN was being tested and that if he failed to support it and appeased aggressors, the result might be another war
    • others
      • US pride had them believe they would win
      • Did not believe that China would intervene


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