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Why the US don't nuke North Korea?

suttichart.denpruektham
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10/3/2014 12:50:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
During the Korea War, the US Korea Forces was stretch to the breaking point, the North Korea don't have any nuke and Soviet nuclear and long range bomber program were barely complete, I am wondering why the US didn't consider using even some sort of tactical nuke to reverse the Sino-Korea offensive.

Any thought?
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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10/3/2014 2:34:42 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/3/2014 12:50:35 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
During the Korea War, the US Korea Forces was stretch to the breaking point, the North Korea don't have any nuke and Soviet nuclear and long range bomber program were barely complete, I am wondering why the US didn't consider using even some sort of tactical nuke to reverse the Sino-Korea offensive.

Any thought?

Well, there was a good bit of public awareness and disapproval of the horrific effects of the atomic weapons that had been dropped on Hiroshima & Nagasaki, and although our system isn't genuinely democratic (forgive me, but one should never neglect to point this out, lest one be guilty of a sin of omission) the president and political leaders do to some extent have to be responsive to public opinion.

If you're interested in an in-depth answer visit this link (and don't worry, historian John Lewis Gaddis, whose area of specialization is the Cold War, does not share my point of view on history), http://www.pbs.org...
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
RoyalAries
Posts: 43
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10/3/2014 2:46:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/3/2014 12:50:35 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
During the Korea War, the US Korea Forces was stretch to the breaking point, the North Korea don't have any nuke and Soviet nuclear and long range bomber program were barely complete, I am wondering why the US didn't consider using even some sort of tactical nuke to reverse the Sino-Korea offensive.

Any thought?

Nuking a nation should always be the last resort. Something so massively destructive shouldn't be used often.
Plus the Soviets also possessed atomic weapons which would potentially lead to another large scale war
"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything. -Mark Twain

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suttichart.denpruektham
Posts: 1,115
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10/4/2014 6:34:50 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/3/2014 2:34:42 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/3/2014 12:50:35 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
During the Korea War, the US Korea Forces was stretch to the breaking point, the North Korea don't have any nuke and Soviet nuclear and long range bomber program were barely complete, I am wondering why the US didn't consider using even some sort of tactical nuke to reverse the Sino-Korea offensive.

Any thought?

Well, there was a good bit of public awareness and disapproval of the horrific effects of the atomic weapons that had been dropped on Hiroshima & Nagasaki, and although our system isn't genuinely democratic (forgive me, but one should never neglect to point this out, lest one be guilty of a sin of omission) the president and political leaders do to some extent have to be responsive to public opinion.

If you're interested in an in-depth answer visit this link (and don't worry, historian John Lewis Gaddis, whose area of specialization is the Cold War, does not share my point of view on history), http://www.pbs.org...

.. hmnn so basically your government just don't have balls to do it?

Well, I guest it's understandable - and also quite loveable, I love to know that at least we used to have a second thought before throwing someone to stone age.
suttichart.denpruektham
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10/4/2014 6:38:58 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/3/2014 2:46:59 PM, RoyalAries wrote:
At 10/3/2014 12:50:35 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
During the Korea War, the US Korea Forces was stretch to the breaking point, the North Korea don't have any nuke and Soviet nuclear and long range bomber program were barely complete, I am wondering why the US didn't consider using even some sort of tactical nuke to reverse the Sino-Korea offensive.

Any thought?

Nuking a nation should always be the last resort. Something so massively destructive shouldn't be used often.
Plus the Soviets also possessed atomic weapons which would potentially lead to another large scale war

Well their nuke has just been tested that year and their only handful of long range bomber capable of entering the United States are just been roll out of production - and they have less than 10 in operational stage.

So, yes, logically the Korean War is probably the final chance for any sort of nuclear application in military conflict. And no one can do anything to your government to stop it, apparently they choose not to.
InnovativeEphemera
Posts: 40
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10/4/2014 7:40:04 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Because the West doesn't have any grievance with the North Korean people, only the corrupt despotic government. You can't tactically nuke Pyonyang without unacceptable casualties and that would only be a last-ditch if they were gearing up to attack the South or Japan or the US. Especially when, frankly, the West could defeat them with conventional warfare, it's just not appropriate at the moment.
YYW
Posts: 36,287
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10/4/2014 10:06:26 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/3/2014 12:50:35 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
During the Korea War, the US Korea Forces was stretch to the breaking point, the North Korea don't have any nuke and Soviet nuclear and long range bomber program were barely complete, I am wondering why the US didn't consider using even some sort of tactical nuke to reverse the Sino-Korea offensive.

Any thought?

It is important to distinguish between tactical nukes and ICBM's, or other kinds of nuclear weapons. Tactical nukes are small (insofar as their payload is substantially less than, for example, ICBM's) but they're still substantially deadly that there use alone would likely incite the use of a stronger weapon by North Korea's allies, or at least provoke a stronger response from China.

One of the governing principles in warfare is the notion of proportionality, which has its roots in the Just War tradition. The reason that using a nuke of any kind would have been impractical and probably immoral is that it wasn't strictly 'necessary' -meaning that there were other ways to achieve the ends we wanted using less force.

However, it is surprising that nuclear weapons 'weren't' used in the Korean war because McArthur was given control of nine Mark 4 nuclear bombs that he was authorized to use only if the Chinese launched air strikes on strategic US positions. This was probably, in retrospect, one of the most substantial mistakes in the Korean war because of the fact that McArthur was a notedly unstable hothead with a terribly bad habit of doing what 'he' thought was best rather than what the Joint Chiefs directed him to do.

The Europeans, rightfully so, were afraid that McArthur would incite a nuclear war with China, when doing so was not only not necessary but preventable. The Europeans thought McArthur was arrogant and incompetent, and that his overwhelming overestimation of his own ability would compromise European security -which was an especially poignant issue in the early 1950s. McArthur was so problematic, in fact, that a British Prime minister requested his removal -and that is exactly what happened.

McArthur should have never been in the position that he was because he was not what his reputation made him appear to be. He was totally unqualified to handle nuclear weapons (which the Joint Chiefs knew at the time), and even if he had the qualifications to handle them he was too much of a loose cannon to be in a position to manage them. The fact that McArthur appeared to be a hero after WWII didn't mean that he was a great military leader. He was in the right place at the right time and circumstances made him look good. The victories he had, mainly, had less to do with his own ability and more do do with luck.

But, what pivotally showcased his ignorance an arrogance (a nasty combination in anyone, but a truly dangerous combination in a military leader) was when he -in total defiance of Truman's orders- invaded North Korea, which ultimately forced Truman to withdraw to avoid total war with China. McArthur, being the outspoken, pompous fool that he was, then had the temerity to publicly chastise Truman and in so doing disgraced the Military and the office he -at the time- held.

So, to answer the question, using nuclear weapons would have been stupid. It would have incited war with China, and the fact that McArthur was given control of nuclear weapons is a testament to how divine intervention can sometimes prevent catastrophe even when the circumstances are wholly ripe for it.
Tsar of DDO
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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10/4/2014 3:35:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/4/2014 6:34:50 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 10/3/2014 2:34:42 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/3/2014 12:50:35 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
During the Korea War, the US Korea Forces was stretch to the breaking point, the North Korea don't have any nuke and Soviet nuclear and long range bomber program were barely complete, I am wondering why the US didn't consider using even some sort of tactical nuke to reverse the Sino-Korea offensive.

Any thought?

Well, there was a good bit of public awareness and disapproval of the horrific effects of the atomic weapons that had been dropped on Hiroshima & Nagasaki, and although our system isn't genuinely democratic (forgive me, but one should never neglect to point this out, lest one be guilty of a sin of omission) the president and political leaders do to some extent have to be responsive to public opinion.

If you're interested in an in-depth answer visit this link (and don't worry, historian John Lewis Gaddis, whose area of specialization is the Cold War, does not share my point of view on history), http://www.pbs.org...

.. hmnn so basically your government just don't have balls to do it?

Hmm, apparently you're identifying me with a nationality and thinking in terms of the government of the United States being my government. However, I don't think in terms of having either a nationality (I consider myself to be a world citizen) or a government (I'm an anarchistic sort of a communist, in fact). So, your attempt to personalize your comments gets a big ole fail! At any rate, your crude rephrasing of my comments rather makes it sound as though you think that using nuclear weapons would simply have been the gonadal, so to speak, or manly thing to do; and that the reason that the United States failed to use the bomb and failed to win the war is that its political and military leaders lacked gonads and manliness. I'm no fan at all of Truman, his Secretary of Defense, or the top military brass who ran the Korean War, and have no interest whatsoever in their manhood or in defending it, but I must point out that you disappointingly express a rather unsophisticated mentality here. (And btw, did you even bother to visit the page that I linked to my post?)
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
suttichart.denpruektham
Posts: 1,115
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10/4/2014 3:53:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/4/2014 3:35:44 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/4/2014 6:34:50 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 10/3/2014 2:34:42 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/3/2014 12:50:35 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
During the Korea War, the US Korea Forces was stretch to the breaking point, the North Korea don't have any nuke and Soviet nuclear and long range bomber program were barely complete, I am wondering why the US didn't consider using even some sort of tactical nuke to reverse the Sino-Korea offensive.

Any thought?

Well, there was a good bit of public awareness and disapproval of the horrific effects of the atomic weapons that had been dropped on Hiroshima & Nagasaki, and although our system isn't genuinely democratic (forgive me, but one should never neglect to point this out, lest one be guilty of a sin of omission) the president and political leaders do to some extent have to be responsive to public opinion.

If you're interested in an in-depth answer visit this link (and don't worry, historian John Lewis Gaddis, whose area of specialization is the Cold War, does not share my point of view on history), http://www.pbs.org...

.. hmnn so basically your government just don't have balls to do it?

Hmm, apparently you're identifying me with a nationality and thinking in terms of the government of the United States being my government. However, I don't think in terms of having either a nationality (I consider myself to be a world citizen) or a government (I'm an anarchistic sort of a communist, in fact). So, your attempt to personalize your comments gets a big ole fail! At any rate, your crude rephrasing of my comments rather makes it sound as though you think that using nuclear weapons would simply have been the gonadal, so to speak, or manly thing to do; and that the reason that the United States failed to use the bomb and failed to win the war is that its political and military leaders lacked gonads and manliness. I'm no fan at all of Truman, his Secretary of Defense, or the top military brass who ran the Korean War, and have no interest whatsoever in their manhood or in defending it, but I must point out that you disappointingly express a rather unsophisticated mentality here. (And btw, did you even bother to visit the page that I linked to my post?)

I do and that's the reason why I gave that comment - they just don't have the courage to make a risk both militarily and politically, that's what I get from article of yours. They didn't take the risk and so miss the opportunity, that's all I've said.

Or did you think I am just try to insult you out of the blue? - I didn't both for the former and the latter, and that comment is just to make sure that we're seeing the same picture from the article you've show.

This not an attack nor an insult to your ideology, so please, spare us the unpleasantness.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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10/4/2014 6:01:30 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/4/2014 3:53:44 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 10/4/2014 3:35:44 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/4/2014 6:34:50 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 10/3/2014 2:34:42 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/3/2014 12:50:35 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
During the Korea War, the US Korea Forces was stretch to the breaking point, the North Korea don't have any nuke and Soviet nuclear and long range bomber program were barely complete, I am wondering why the US didn't consider using even some sort of tactical nuke to reverse the Sino-Korea offensive.

Any thought?

Well, there was a good bit of public awareness and disapproval of the horrific effects of the atomic weapons that had been dropped on Hiroshima & Nagasaki, and although our system isn't genuinely democratic (forgive me, but one should never neglect to point this out, lest one be guilty of a sin of omission) the president and political leaders do to some extent have to be responsive to public opinion.

If you're interested in an in-depth answer visit this link (and don't worry, historian John Lewis Gaddis, whose area of specialization is the Cold War, does not share my point of view on history), http://www.pbs.org...

.. hmnn so basically your government just don't have balls to do it?

Hmm, apparently you're identifying me with a nationality and thinking in terms of the government of the United States being my government. However, I don't think in terms of having either a nationality (I consider myself to be a world citizen) or a government (I'm an anarchistic sort of a communist, in fact). So, your attempt to personalize your comments gets a big ole fail! At any rate, your crude rephrasing of my comments rather makes it sound as though you think that using nuclear weapons would simply have been the gonadal, so to speak, or manly thing to do; and that the reason that the United States failed to use the bomb and failed to win the war is that its political and military leaders lacked gonads and manliness. I'm no fan at all of Truman, his Secretary of Defense, or the top military brass who ran the Korean War, and have no interest whatsoever in their manhood or in defending it, but I must point out that you disappointingly express a rather unsophisticated mentality here. (And btw, did you even bother to visit the page that I linked to my post?)

I do and that's the reason why I gave that comment - they just don't have the courage to make a risk both militarily and politically, that's what I get from article of yours. They didn't take the risk and so miss the opportunity, that's all I've said.

Or did you think I am just try to insult you out of the blue? - I didn't both for the former and the latter, and that comment is just to make sure that we're seeing the same picture from the article you've show.

This not an attack nor an insult to your ideology, so please, spare us the unpleasantness.

I merely gave you a bit of correction and analysis.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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10/5/2014 12:26:20 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/4/2014 3:53:44 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 10/4/2014 3:35:44 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/4/2014 6:34:50 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 10/3/2014 2:34:42 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/3/2014 12:50:35 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
During the Korea War, the US Korea Forces was stretch to the breaking point, the North Korea don't have any nuke and Soviet nuclear and long range bomber program were barely complete, I am wondering why the US didn't consider using even some sort of tactical nuke to reverse the Sino-Korea offensive.

Any thought?

Well, there was a good bit of public awareness and disapproval of the horrific effects of the atomic weapons that had been dropped on Hiroshima & Nagasaki, and although our system isn't genuinely democratic (forgive me, but one should never neglect to point this out, lest one be guilty of a sin of omission) the president and political leaders do to some extent have to be responsive to public opinion.

If you're interested in an in-depth answer visit this link (and don't worry, historian John Lewis Gaddis, whose area of specialization is the Cold War, does not share my point of view on history), http://www.pbs.org...

.. hmnn so basically your government just don't have balls to do it?

Hmm, apparently you're identifying me with a nationality and thinking in terms of the government of the United States being my government. However, I don't think in terms of having either a nationality (I consider myself to be a world citizen) or a government (I'm an anarchistic sort of a communist, in fact). So, your attempt to personalize your comments gets a big ole fail! At any rate, your crude rephrasing of my comments rather makes it sound as though you think that using nuclear weapons would simply have been the gonadal, so to speak, or manly thing to do; and that the reason that the United States failed to use the bomb and failed to win the war is that its political and military leaders lacked gonads and manliness. I'm no fan at all of Truman, his Secretary of Defense, or the top military brass who ran the Korean War, and have no interest whatsoever in their manhood or in defending it, but I must point out that you disappointingly express a rather unsophisticated mentality here. (And btw, did you even bother to visit the page that I linked to my post?)

I do and that's the reason why I gave that comment - they just don't have the courage to make a risk both militarily and politically, that's what I get from article of yours. They didn't take the risk and so miss the opportunity, that's all I've said.

Or did you think I am just try to insult you out of the blue? - I didn't both for the former and the latter, and that comment is just to make sure that we're seeing the same picture from the article you've show.

This not an attack nor an insult to your ideology, so please, spare us the unpleasantness.

Well, you reduced what I said to a rather crude interpretation, pardon me for taking offense. And, btw, the site is Debate.org, not Let's have a pleasant chat.org. It's a site where, within limits, contentious conversations are permitted. Blandly polite and diplomatic exchanges are not the rule.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Idealist
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10/5/2014 6:35:55 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/4/2014 10:06:26 AM, YYW wrote:
At 10/3/2014 12:50:35 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
During the Korea War, the US Korea Forces was stretch to the breaking point, the North Korea don't have any nuke and Soviet nuclear and long range bomber program were barely complete, I am wondering why the US didn't consider using even some sort of tactical nuke to reverse the Sino-Korea offensive.

Any thought?

It is important to distinguish between tactical nukes and ICBM's, or other kinds of nuclear weapons. Tactical nukes are small (insofar as their payload is substantially less than, for example, ICBM's) but they're still substantially deadly that there use alone would likely incite the use of a stronger weapon by North Korea's allies, or at least provoke a stronger response from China.

One of the governing principles in warfare is the notion of proportionality, which has its roots in the Just War tradition. The reason that using a nuke of any kind would have been impractical and probably immoral is that it wasn't strictly 'necessary' -meaning that there were other ways to achieve the ends we wanted using less force.

However, it is surprising that nuclear weapons 'weren't' used in the Korean war because McArthur was given control of nine Mark 4 nuclear bombs that he was authorized to use only if the Chinese launched air strikes on strategic US positions. This was probably, in retrospect, one of the most substantial mistakes in the Korean war because of the fact that McArthur was a notedly unstable hothead with a terribly bad habit of doing what 'he' thought was best rather than what the Joint Chiefs directed him to do.

The Europeans, rightfully so, were afraid that McArthur would incite a nuclear war with China, when doing so was not only not necessary but preventable. The Europeans thought McArthur was arrogant and incompetent, and that his overwhelming overestimation of his own ability would compromise European security -which was an especially poignant issue in the early 1950s. McArthur was so problematic, in fact, that a British Prime minister requested his removal -and that is exactly what happened.

The Chinese didn't detonate their first nuclear bomb until 1964, eleven years after the Korean War ended in a ceasefire. You are right, though, that MacArthur wanted to use nuclear weapons against not only N. Korea, but China as well, and since the Korean War was technically a UN war then the nukes would be used under UN auspices. MacArthur was finally canned because of his aggressiveness and insubordination.

McArthur should have never been in the position that he was because he was not what his reputation made him appear to be. He was totally unqualified to handle nuclear weapons (which the Joint Chiefs knew at the time), and even if he had the qualifications to handle them he was too much of a loose cannon to be in a position to manage them. The fact that McArthur appeared to be a hero after WWII didn't mean that he was a great military leader. He was in the right place at the right time and circumstances made him look good. The victories he had, mainly, had less to do with his own ability and more do do with luck.

But, what pivotally showcased his ignorance an arrogance (a nasty combination in anyone, but a truly dangerous combination in a military leader) was when he -in total defiance of Truman's orders- invaded North Korea, which ultimately forced Truman to withdraw to avoid total war with China. McArthur, being the outspoken, pompous fool that he was, then had the temerity to publicly chastise Truman and in so doing disgraced the Military and the office he -at the time- held.

So, to answer the question, using nuclear weapons would have been stupid. It would have incited war with China, and the fact that McArthur was given control of nuclear weapons is a testament to how divine intervention can sometimes prevent catastrophe even when the circumstances are wholly ripe for it.
suttichart.denpruektham
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10/7/2014 1:28:50 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Well, you reduced what I said to a rather crude interpretation, pardon me for taking offense. And, btw, the site is Debate.org, not Let's have a pleasant chat.org. It's a site where, within limits, contentious conversations are permitted. Blandly polite and diplomatic exchanges are not the rule.

If I want to debate, I would send you a challenge which I still couldn't figure out how to do it btw :(

I fact that I post it here is because I would like to generate discussion and hopefully to learn something useful out of it. True, I wouldn't mind discussing a "hotter" topic with people of different ideological belief, but even with different belief - especially with different belief, I would prefer to keep things calm otherwise they tend to degenerate in to some cheap street fight.

I do learn something from that article though, and that I am grateful.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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10/7/2014 3:15:55 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/7/2014 1:28:50 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
Well, you reduced what I said to a rather crude interpretation, pardon me for taking offense. And, btw, the site is Debate.org, not Let's have a pleasant chat.org. It's a site where, within limits, contentious conversations are permitted. Blandly polite and diplomatic exchanges are not the rule.

If I want to debate, I would send you a challenge which I still couldn't figure out how to do it btw :(

I fact that I post it here is because I would like to generate discussion and hopefully to learn something useful out of it. True, I wouldn't mind discussing a "hotter" topic with people of different ideological belief, but even with different belief - especially with different belief, I would prefer to keep things calm otherwise they tend to degenerate in to some cheap street fight.

I do learn something from that article though, and that I am grateful.

I sincerely apologize if I've been inappropriately contentious.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
suttichart.denpruektham
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10/8/2014 11:23:38 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/8/2014 10:07:28 AM, STALIN wrote:
Nuking other countries is not nice.

funny when it's YOU who said it.. =)
STALIN
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10/8/2014 11:24:04 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/8/2014 11:23:38 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 10/8/2014 10:07:28 AM, STALIN wrote:
Nuking other countries is not nice.

funny when it's YOU who said it.. =)

lol;)
suttichart.denpruektham
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10/8/2014 2:54:45 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/7/2014 3:15:55 PM, charleslb wrote:
At 10/7/2014 1:28:50 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
Well, you reduced what I said to a rather crude interpretation, pardon me for taking offense. And, btw, the site is Debate.org, not Let's have a pleasant chat.org. It's a site where, within limits, contentious conversations are permitted. Blandly polite and diplomatic exchanges are not the rule.

If I want to debate, I would send you a challenge which I still couldn't figure out how to do it btw :(

I fact that I post it here is because I would like to generate discussion and hopefully to learn something useful out of it. True, I wouldn't mind discussing a "hotter" topic with people of different ideological belief, but even with different belief - especially with different belief, I would prefer to keep things calm otherwise they tend to degenerate in to some cheap street fight.

I do learn something from that article though, and that I am grateful.

I sincerely apologize if I've been inappropriately contentious.

no need and you already did that :)

And as I said, it's actually a very interesting article, I will sure like to hear if you have any points to add
1harderthanyouthink
Posts: 13,102
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10/12/2014 12:44:45 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Is this a joke?
"It's awfully considerate of you to think of me here,
And I'm much obliged to you for making it clear - that I'm not here."

-Syd Barrett

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suttichart.denpruektham
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10/12/2014 10:36:58 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/12/2014 12:44:45 AM, 1harderthanyouthink wrote:
Is this a joke?

No it isn't, but we're talking in historical context of 1950 Korean War, not nuking them now.
wrichcirw
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10/15/2014 3:41:34 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/3/2014 12:50:35 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
During the Korea War, the US Korea Forces was stretch to the breaking point, the North Korea don't have any nuke and Soviet nuclear and long range bomber program were barely complete, I am wondering why the US didn't consider using even some sort of tactical nuke to reverse the Sino-Korea offensive.

Any thought?

Well, the USSR could have used tactical nukes or some sort of radiation barrier as well. There were a lot of US troops in Korea, so there would have been massive casualties to our forces.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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10/15/2014 3:54:48 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/5/2014 6:35:55 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 10/4/2014 10:06:26 AM, YYW wrote:
At 10/3/2014 12:50:35 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
During the Korea War, the US Korea Forces was stretch to the breaking point, the North Korea don't have any nuke and Soviet nuclear and long range bomber program were barely complete, I am wondering why the US didn't consider using even some sort of tactical nuke to reverse the Sino-Korea offensive.

Any thought?

It is important to distinguish between tactical nukes and ICBM's, or other kinds of nuclear weapons. Tactical nukes are small (insofar as their payload is substantially less than, for example, ICBM's) but they're still substantially deadly that there use alone would likely incite the use of a stronger weapon by North Korea's allies, or at least provoke a stronger response from China.

One of the governing principles in warfare is the notion of proportionality, which has its roots in the Just War tradition. The reason that using a nuke of any kind would have been impractical and probably immoral is that it wasn't strictly 'necessary' -meaning that there were other ways to achieve the ends we wanted using less force.

However, it is surprising that nuclear weapons 'weren't' used in the Korean war because McArthur was given control of nine Mark 4 nuclear bombs that he was authorized to use only if the Chinese launched air strikes on strategic US positions. This was probably, in retrospect, one of the most substantial mistakes in the Korean war because of the fact that McArthur was a notedly unstable hothead with a terribly bad habit of doing what 'he' thought was best rather than what the Joint Chiefs directed him to do.

The Europeans, rightfully so, were afraid that McArthur would incite a nuclear war with China, when doing so was not only not necessary but preventable. The Europeans thought McArthur was arrogant and incompetent, and that his overwhelming overestimation of his own ability would compromise European security -which was an especially poignant issue in the early 1950s. McArthur was so problematic, in fact, that a British Prime minister requested his removal -and that is exactly what happened.

The Chinese didn't detonate their first nuclear bomb until 1964, eleven years after the Korean War ended in a ceasefire. You are right, though, that MacArthur wanted to use nuclear weapons against not only N. Korea, but China as well, and since the Korean War was technically a UN war then the nukes would be used under UN auspices. MacArthur was finally canned because of his aggressiveness and insubordination.

Ah, I had a feeling I'd see you in this discussion. =)

All I would add is that strictly speaking, the "Korean War" is a bit of a misnomer...the majority of the forces were Chinese and American (not necessarily numerically, but impactfully)...the war just happened to occur in Korea.

As far as justification goes, I think the US easily had justification to launch airstrikes into Chinese territory, but the political ramifications of such were...not conducive to such action (i.e. Soviet response).

Finally, I would simply add (and I think you would agree) that you build weapons in order to use them. For the military to advocate the use of nuclear weapons is natural...Curtis LeMay was far more aggressive in his approach to nuclear weapons than any other general of his time, and he was lauded for it.

McArthur should have never been in the position that he was because he was not what his reputation made him appear to be. He was totally unqualified to handle nuclear weapons (which the Joint Chiefs knew at the time), and even if he had the qualifications to handle them he was too much of a loose cannon to be in a position to manage them. The fact that McArthur appeared to be a hero after WWII didn't mean that he was a great military leader. He was in the right place at the right time and circumstances made him look good. The victories he had, mainly, had less to do with his own ability and more do do with luck.

But, what pivotally showcased his ignorance an arrogance (a nasty combination in anyone, but a truly dangerous combination in a military leader) was when he -in total defiance of Truman's orders- invaded North Korea, which ultimately forced Truman to withdraw to avoid total war with China. McArthur, being the outspoken, pompous fool that he was, then had the temerity to publicly chastise Truman and in so doing disgraced the Military and the office he -at the time- held.

So, to answer the question, using nuclear weapons would have been stupid. It would have incited war with China, and the fact that McArthur was given control of nuclear weapons is a testament to how divine intervention can sometimes prevent catastrophe even when the circumstances are wholly ripe for it.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
vwv
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10/15/2014 5:40:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/8/2014 11:23:38 AM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 10/8/2014 10:07:28 AM, STALIN wrote:
Nuking other countries is not nice.

funny when it's YOU who said it.. =)

Russia has never nuked another nation ever.
Idealist
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10/16/2014 1:38:39 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/15/2014 3:54:48 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/5/2014 6:35:55 PM, Idealist wrote:
At 10/4/2014 10:06:26 AM, YYW wrote:
At 10/3/2014 12:50:35 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
During the Korea War, the US Korea Forces was stretch to the breaking point, the North Korea don't have any nuke and Soviet nuclear and long range bomber program were barely complete, I am wondering why the US didn't consider using even some sort of tactical nuke to reverse the Sino-Korea offensive.

Any thought?

It is important to distinguish between tactical nukes and ICBM's, or other kinds of nuclear weapons. Tactical nukes are small (insofar as their payload is substantially less than, for example, ICBM's) but they're still substantially deadly that there use alone would likely incite the use of a stronger weapon by North Korea's allies, or at least provoke a stronger response from China.

One of the governing principles in warfare is the notion of proportionality, which has its roots in the Just War tradition. The reason that using a nuke of any kind would have been impractical and probably immoral is that it wasn't strictly 'necessary' -meaning that there were other ways to achieve the ends we wanted using less force.

However, it is surprising that nuclear weapons 'weren't' used in the Korean war because McArthur was given control of nine Mark 4 nuclear bombs that he was authorized to use only if the Chinese launched air strikes on strategic US positions. This was probably, in retrospect, one of the most substantial mistakes in the Korean war because of the fact that McArthur was a notedly unstable hothead with a terribly bad habit of doing what 'he' thought was best rather than what the Joint Chiefs directed him to do.

The Europeans, rightfully so, were afraid that McArthur would incite a nuclear war with China, when doing so was not only not necessary but preventable. The Europeans thought McArthur was arrogant and incompetent, and that his overwhelming overestimation of his own ability would compromise European security -which was an especially poignant issue in the early 1950s. McArthur was so problematic, in fact, that a British Prime minister requested his removal -and that is exactly what happened.

The Chinese didn't detonate their first nuclear bomb until 1964, eleven years after the Korean War ended in a ceasefire. You are right, though, that MacArthur wanted to use nuclear weapons against not only N. Korea, but China as well, and since the Korean War was technically a UN war then the nukes would be used under UN auspices. MacArthur was finally canned because of his aggressiveness and insubordination.

Ah, I had a feeling I'd see you in this discussion. =)

All I would add is that strictly speaking, the "Korean War" is a bit of a misnomer...the majority of the forces were Chinese and American (not necessarily numerically, but impactfully)...the war just happened to occur in Korea.

I basically agree with this assessment. At the highest point the US had 140,000 troops deployed there. But there were 13 other nations who sent combat units under UN auspices, and the fact that it was "authorized" by the newly-formed UN put some pretty tough pressure on the US govt in how to act and react to keep the UN happy and united, and to tilt more global opinion our way.

As far as justification goes, I think the US easily had justification to launch airstrikes into Chinese territory, but the political ramifications of such were...not conducive to such action (i.e. Soviet response).

I think this is highly debatable. For days as the UN forces approached the Chinese border they were repeatedly warned that the the Chinese govt could not tolerate UN (especially US) troops on its border, but the US high command didn't believe they would intervene militarily. Nor did they invade the US or any US ally. Technically they were responding with urgent military aid to a fellow communist country, and the Soviet Union had their back, so it wasn't as one-sided as it appeared to be. Truman had been experiencing a lot of friction with MacArthur, who was obviously riding the coattails of his personal fame following WW2, and came close to "firing" him sooner. I won't go into MacArthur's decision process, but he was pretty egotist throughout the whole conflict.

Finally, I would simply add (and I think you would agree) that you build weapons in order to use them. For the military to advocate the use of nuclear weapons is natural...Curtis LeMay was far more aggressive in his approach to nuclear weapons than any other general of his time, and he was lauded for it.

Yes and no. There's a time and place for everything, including nothing. Had the US used nuclear weapons against China, it could very well have led to a third world war, something the world as a whole was ill-prepared for. It is true that every weapon ever built has eventually been used, but I think you would agree that nuclear weapons have had their own unique place in history. The policy of MAD has been mostly deemed a very successful policy, and was largely responsible for preventing a war between the East and the West. There's no telling what might happen from here-on-out, but so far it's been the first breed of weapons to actually prevent all-out war on such a scale.

McArthur should have never been in the position that he was because he was not what his reputation made him appear to be. He was totally unqualified to handle nuclear weapons (which the Joint Chiefs knew at the time), and even if he had the qualifications to handle them he was too much of a loose cannon to be in a position to manage them. The fact that McArthur appeared to be a hero after WWII didn't mean that he was a great military leader. He was in the right place at the right time and circumstances made him look good. The victories he had, mainly, had less to do with his own ability and more do do with luck.

But, what pivotally showcased his ignorance an arrogance (a nasty combination in anyone, but a truly dangerous combination in a military leader) was when he -in total defiance of Truman's orders- invaded North Korea, which ultimately forced Truman to withdraw to avoid total war with China. McArthur, being the outspoken, pompous fool that he was, then had the temerity to publicly chastise Truman and in so doing disgraced the Military and the office he -at the time- held.

So, to answer the question, using nuclear weapons would have been stupid. It would have incited war with China, and the fact that McArthur was given control of nuclear weapons is a testament to how divine intervention can sometimes prevent catastrophe even when the circumstances are wholly ripe for it.
wrichcirw
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10/16/2014 5:51:22 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 1:38:39 AM, Idealist wrote:
At 10/15/2014 3:54:48 AM, wrichcirw wrote:

The Chinese didn't detonate their first nuclear bomb until 1964, eleven years after the Korean War ended in a ceasefire. You are right, though, that MacArthur wanted to use nuclear weapons against not only N. Korea, but China as well, and since the Korean War was technically a UN war then the nukes would be used under UN auspices. MacArthur was finally canned because of his aggressiveness and insubordination.

Ah, I had a feeling I'd see you in this discussion. =)

All I would add is that strictly speaking, the "Korean War" is a bit of a misnomer...the majority of the forces were Chinese and American (not necessarily numerically, but impactfully)...the war just happened to occur in Korea.

I basically agree with this assessment. At the highest point the US had 140,000 troops deployed there. But there were 13 other nations who sent combat units under UN auspices, and the fact that it was "authorized" by the newly-formed UN put some pretty tough pressure on the US govt in how to act and react to keep the UN happy and united, and to tilt more global opinion our way.

I think we are on the same page regarding the politicization of the war. I would just note though that UN forces other than US forces were negligible in a tactical and even in a strategic perspective.

As far as justification goes, I think the US easily had justification to launch airstrikes into Chinese territory, but the political ramifications of such were...not conducive to such action (i.e. Soviet response).

I think this is highly debatable. For days as the UN forces approached the Chinese border they were repeatedly warned that the the Chinese govt could not tolerate UN (especially US) troops on its border, but the US high command didn't believe they would intervene militarily. Nor did they invade the US or any US ally. Technically they were responding with urgent military aid to a fellow communist country, and the Soviet Union had their back, so it wasn't as one-sided as it appeared to be. Truman had been experiencing a lot of friction with MacArthur, who was obviously riding the coattails of his personal fame following WW2, and came close to "firing" him sooner. I won't go into MacArthur's decision process, but he was pretty egotist throughout the whole conflict.

I understand this is the historical record and the common narrative, but I question the validity of such a perspective. Military necessity dictates that in order to secure a country, you do need forces at the border. Essentially what the Chinese ultimatum translates to is that they simply were not comfortable with their border being shared by a UN-sponsored entity, meaning that it essentially translated to inevitable Chinese involvement in this war the moment the decision was to take Pyongyang. Whether or not US troops could see the Yalu river is not relevant to this assessment...UN troops were going to be there, and the Chinese were not going to tolerate it.

I think what this points to is several things:
1) There was an evident failure to diplomatically engage the Chinese, or to keep lines of communication open that would signal exactly what the Chinese intended. This is not a military failure, but a failure of other portions of the US government and the UN in general.
2) Mao proved himself over the course of his life to be an exceptionally astute adherent to realpolitik, and I think the Korean war was his magnum opus in this regard. For America, it's the war we'd like to forget, but from my studies the opinion commonly held on the other side of the border is that the Korean war is indeed the "unforgettable war", in that without that conflict, the CCP (Chinese communist party) would more than likely have had a lot more trouble keeping the country together. The Korean war and its inevitable outcome (I will go into this later) meant that China for the first time in over 100 years was able to repel a foreign power and was able to assert control over its own borders. This immortalized the party in the minds of the Chinese, and is something that I think we in America continually underestimate the impact of.
3) On the outcome of the Korean war being "inevitable", I think Mao knew the political calculus of this war - he knew that if China got involved, reciprocation and retaliation would have been at best minimal, more than likely non-existent, and he was right. The UN/US could NOT violate the territorial integrity of China to any extent because of their alliance with the USSR, which allowed them to carry out a military campaign in Korea with impunity, very much like how the Viet Cong carried a military campaign against the US with impunity utilizing Cambodia as a safe zone. This meant that at best, the UN/US could achieve a high body count, but as far as political objectives were concerned, NK was going to exist in one form or another, as the border would never have been secured or even defined otherwise. The only way this could have been avoided was by actually taking out Chinese military targets in China in a similar manner to how Nixon bombed Cambodia to bring the Viet Cong to the negotiation table.

Finally, I would simply add (and I think you would agree) that you build weapons in order to use them. For the military to advocate the use of nuclear weapons is natural...Curtis LeMay was far more aggressive in his approach to nuclear weapons than any other general of his time, and he was lauded for it.

Yes and no. There's a time and place for everything, including nothing. Had the US used nuclear weapons against China, it could very well have led to a third world war, something the world as a whole was ill-prepared for.

Correct, the world as a whole was unprepared for it...except the US, and maybe the USSR, which seemed to have an near incalculable tolerance for warfare.

It is true that every weapon ever built has eventually been used, but I think you would agree that nuclear weapons have had their own unique place in history. The policy of MAD has been mostly deemed a very successful policy, and was largely responsible for preventing a war between the East and the West. There's no telling what might happen from here-on-out, but so far it's been the first breed of weapons to actually prevent all-out war on such a scale.

Agree, but this is ONLY because of reciprocation. Had other countries not possessed nuclear weapons, MAD would not be a valid consideration.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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10/16/2014 8:46:48 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/3/2014 12:50:35 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
I am wondering why the US didn't consider using even some sort of tactical nuke to reverse the Sino-Korea offensive.

Ah, I reread this. The answer is that the US did indeed heavily consider using tactical nukes and radiation screens, even (or especially) in China:

"In interviews published posthumously, MacArthur said he had a plan that would have won the war in 10 days: "I would have dropped 30 or so atomic bombs . . . strung across the neck of Manchuria." Then he would have introduced half a million Chinese Nationalist troops at the Yalu and then "spread behind us -- from the Sea of Japan to the Yellow Sea -- a belt of radioactive cobalt . . . it has an active life of between 60 and 120 years. For at least 60 years there could have been no land invasion of Korea from the North." He was certain that the Russians would have done nothing about this extreme strategy: "My plan was a cinch.""

http://historynewsnetwork.org...

This was not just MacArthur's inclination...Truman also heavily considered using the a-bomb in the Korean war:

"Truman blamed the Soviet Union for using communist Chinese insurgents as part of a devious plan to spread communism into Asia and pledged to "increase our defenses to a point where we can talk"as we should always talk"with authority." The press then asked what Truman planned to do if the Chinese Nationalists, who were already struggling against the spread of communism in their own country, failed to get involved in the Korean conflict. Truman responded that the U.S. would take "whatever steps were necessary" to contain communist expansion in Korea. A reporter asked "Will that include the atomic bomb?" to which Truman replied, "That includes every weapon that we have.""

http://www.history.com...

Bottom line, all weapons that are built are meant to be used. All weapons.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
suttichart.denpruektham
Posts: 1,115
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10/16/2014 1:01:57 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 8:46:48 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/3/2014 12:50:35 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
I am wondering why the US didn't consider using even some sort of tactical nuke to reverse the Sino-Korea offensive.

Ah, I reread this. The answer is that the US did indeed heavily consider using tactical nukes and radiation screens, even (or especially) in China:

"In interviews published posthumously, MacArthur said he had a plan that would have won the war in 10 days: "I would have dropped 30 or so atomic bombs . . . strung across the neck of Manchuria." Then he would have introduced half a million Chinese Nationalist troops at the Yalu and then "spread behind us -- from the Sea of Japan to the Yellow Sea -- a belt of radioactive cobalt . . . it has an active life of between 60 and 120 years. For at least 60 years there could have been no land invasion of Korea from the North." He was certain that the Russians would have done nothing about this extreme strategy: "My plan was a cinch.""

http://historynewsnetwork.org...

This was not just MacArthur's inclination...Truman also heavily considered using the a-bomb in the Korean war:

"Truman blamed the Soviet Union for using communist Chinese insurgents as part of a devious plan to spread communism into Asia and pledged to "increase our defenses to a point where we can talk"as we should always talk"with authority." The press then asked what Truman planned to do if the Chinese Nationalists, who were already struggling against the spread of communism in their own country, failed to get involved in the Korean conflict. Truman responded that the U.S. would take "whatever steps were necessary" to contain communist expansion in Korea. A reporter asked "Will that include the atomic bomb?" to which Truman replied, "That includes every weapon that we have.""

http://www.history.com...

Bottom line, all weapons that are built are meant to be used. All weapons.

On the principle, yes but it's also heavily depend on time and place to justify the use of weapon which in my opinion, Korean War presented the perfect opportunity for the US to use it. In war where 3 million have died, a few hundred thousand for early peace is cheap - especially when your people are among those casualties.

On that instance, Truman is like Gorbachev, he was a fool not to use it - but it's probably something I would celebrate as a human.
Idealist
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10/16/2014 10:48:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 5:51:22 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/16/2014 1:38:39 AM, Idealist wrote:
At 10/15/2014 3:54:48 AM, wrichcirw wrote:

The Chinese didn't detonate their first nuclear bomb until 1964, eleven years after the Korean War ended in a ceasefire. You are right, though, that MacArthur wanted to use nuclear weapons against not only N. Korea, but China as well, and since the Korean War was technically a UN war then the nukes would be used under UN auspices. MacArthur was finally canned because of his aggressiveness and insubordination.

Ah, I had a feeling I'd see you in this discussion. =)

All I would add is that strictly speaking, the "Korean War" is a bit of a misnomer...the majority of the forces were Chinese and American (not necessarily numerically, but impactfully)...the war just happened to occur in Korea.

I basically agree with this assessment. At the highest point the US had 140,000 troops deployed there. But there were 13 other nations who sent combat units under UN auspices, and the fact that it was "authorized" by the newly-formed UN put some pretty tough pressure on the US govt in how to act and react to keep the UN happy and united, and to tilt more global opinion our way.

I think we are on the same page regarding the politicization of the war. I would just note though that UN forces other than US forces were negligible in a tactical and even in a strategic perspective.

Agreed.

As far as justification goes, I think the US easily had justification to launch airstrikes into Chinese territory, but the political ramifications of such were...not conducive to such action (i.e. Soviet response).

I think this is highly debatable. For days as the UN forces approached the Chinese border they were repeatedly warned that the the Chinese govt could not tolerate UN (especially US) troops on its border, but the US high command didn't believe they would intervene militarily. Nor did they invade the US or any US ally. Technically they were responding with urgent military aid to a fellow communist country, and the Soviet Union had their back, so it wasn't as one-sided as it appeared to be. Truman had been experiencing a lot of friction with MacArthur, who was obviously riding the coattails of his personal fame following WW2, and came close to "firing" him sooner. I won't go into MacArthur's decision process, but he was pretty egotist throughout the whole conflict.

I understand this is the historical record and the common narrative, but I question the validity of such a perspective. Military necessity dictates that in order to secure a country, you do need forces at the border. Essentially what the Chinese ultimatum translates to is that they simply were not comfortable with their border being shared by a UN-sponsored entity, meaning that it essentially translated to inevitable Chinese involvement in this war the moment the decision was to take Pyongyang. Whether or not US troops could see the Yalu river is not relevant to this assessment...UN troops were going to be there, and the Chinese were not going to tolerate it.

You have to remember that at this time the US didn't even recognize communist China as a valid political entity. We were still backing Chiang Kai-Shek, and there were many in mainland China who thought we wouldn't stop at the border but might try taking the opportunity to return "our man" to power. We might seem like good-guys to us, but to them we didn't, and the speed of the UN counter-advance didn't leave them much time for thinking. MacArthur's own reputation only added fuel to the fire.

I think what this points to is several things:
1) There was an evident failure to diplomatically engage the Chinese, or to keep lines of communication open that would signal exactly what the Chinese intended. This is not a military failure, but a failure of other portions of the US government and the UN in general.
2) Mao proved himself over the course of his life to be an exceptionally astute adherent to realpolitik, and I think the Korean war was his magnum opus in this regard. For America, it's the war we'd like to forget, but from my studies the opinion commonly held on the other side of the border is that the Korean war is indeed the "unforgettable war", in that without that conflict, the CCP (Chinese communist party) would more than likely have had a lot more trouble keeping the country together. The Korean war and its inevitable outcome (I will go into this later) meant that China for the first time in over 100 years was able to repel a foreign power and was able to assert control over its own borders. This immortalized the party in the minds of the Chinese, and is something that I think we in America continually underestimate the impact of.
3) On the outcome of the Korean war being "inevitable", I think Mao knew the political calculus of this war - he knew that if China got involved, reciprocation and retaliation would have been at best minimal, more than likely non-existent, and he was right. The UN/US could NOT violate the territorial integrity of China to any extent because of their alliance with the USSR, which allowed them to carry out a military campaign in Korea with impunity, very much like how the Viet Cong carried a military campaign against the US with impunity utilizing Cambodia as a safe zone. This meant that at best, the UN/US could achieve a high body count, but as far as political objectives were concerned, NK was going to exist in one form or another, as the border would never have been secured or even defined otherwise. The only way this could have been avoided was by actually taking out Chinese military targets in China in a similar manner to how Nixon bombed Cambodia to bring the Viet Cong to the negotiation table.

Being that we didn't recognize China it made communication difficult. Remember, the war isn't technically over yet. We still have a lot of troops stationed there. At the start of the war the US military had shrunk so dramatically that we couldn't even enforce a naval blockade of N. Korea, so in a way the war was a blessing to us, as it showed our govt. just how weak our conventional forces were becoming because of our total emphasis on nuclear weaponry such as bombers and missiles which we couldn't use in that situation. The rest of what you are saying is pretty much what I meant earlier. The one thing you don't want to do is to fight a land-battle against China in their neck of the woods, and that certainly did help cost us victory in Vietnam.

Finally, I would simply add (and I think you would agree) that you build weapons in order to use them. For the military to advocate the use of nuclear weapons is natural...Curtis LeMay was far more aggressive in his approach to nuclear weapons than any other general of his time, and he was lauded for it.

Yes and no. There's a time and place for everything, including nothing. Had the US used nuclear weapons against China, it could very well have led to a third world war, something the world as a whole was ill-prepared for.

Correct, the world as a whole was unprepared for it...except the US, and maybe the USSR, which seemed to have an near incalculable tolerance for warfare.

It is true that every weapon ever built has eventually been used, but I think you would agree that nuclear weapons have had their own unique place in history. The policy of MAD has been mostly deemed a very successful policy, and was largely responsible for preventing a war between the East and the West. There's no telling what might happen from here-on-out, but so far it's been the first breed of weapons to actually prevent all-out war on such a scale.

Agree, but this is ONLY because of reciprocation. Had other countries not possessed nuclear weapons, MAD would not be a valid consideration.

Of course.
wrichcirw
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10/16/2014 10:50:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 10/16/2014 1:01:57 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
At 10/16/2014 8:46:48 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
At 10/3/2014 12:50:35 PM, suttichart.denpruektham wrote:
I am wondering why the US didn't consider using even some sort of tactical nuke to reverse the Sino-Korea offensive.

Ah, I reread this. The answer is that the US did indeed heavily consider using tactical nukes and radiation screens, even (or especially) in China:

"In interviews published posthumously, MacArthur said he had a plan that would have won the war in 10 days: "I would have dropped 30 or so atomic bombs . . . strung across the neck of Manchuria." Then he would have introduced half a million Chinese Nationalist troops at the Yalu and then "spread behind us -- from the Sea of Japan to the Yellow Sea -- a belt of radioactive cobalt . . . it has an active life of between 60 and 120 years. For at least 60 years there could have been no land invasion of Korea from the North." He was certain that the Russians would have done nothing about this extreme strategy: "My plan was a cinch.""

http://historynewsnetwork.org...

This was not just MacArthur's inclination...Truman also heavily considered using the a-bomb in the Korean war:

"Truman blamed the Soviet Union for using communist Chinese insurgents as part of a devious plan to spread communism into Asia and pledged to "increase our defenses to a point where we can talk"as we should always talk"with authority." The press then asked what Truman planned to do if the Chinese Nationalists, who were already struggling against the spread of communism in their own country, failed to get involved in the Korean conflict. Truman responded that the U.S. would take "whatever steps were necessary" to contain communist expansion in Korea. A reporter asked "Will that include the atomic bomb?" to which Truman replied, "That includes every weapon that we have.""

http://www.history.com...

Bottom line, all weapons that are built are meant to be used. All weapons.

On the principle, yes but it's also heavily depend on time and place to justify the use of weapon which in my opinion, Korean War presented the perfect opportunity for the US to use it. In war where 3 million have died, a few hundred thousand for early peace is cheap - especially when your people are among those casualties.

On that instance, Truman is like Gorbachev, he was a fool not to use it - but it's probably something I would celebrate as a human.

lol, you're saying that Truman was a fool not to use nuclear weapons when the USSR had nuclear weapons? Are you serious? Do you have any conception of escalation? Do you have any idea how many MORE people would have died had the Korean war involved even limited usage of nuclear weapons? Do you have any idea what the calculus is involving body count when it comes to nuclear warfare?

You asked why the US didn't consider nuking NK during the Korean war...I pointed out how your question involves a factually incorrect take on history because the US DID heavily consider using nuclear weapons not only in that conflict but in EVERY conflict that we've engaged in since the development of nuclear weapons.

To then turn that into asking why the US didn't actually nuke people is akin to asking why we don't nuke people now. It's the same calculus. The answer is MAD as was already explained numerous times by various people in this thread alone. It is ridiculously irresponsible to ask why we were so ostensibly careless not to engage in nuclear warfare when the result would have been something akin to MAD.

Even if the USSR could not retaliate by nuking America directly at the time, you have to ask yourself what America would accomplish by risking the elimination of our troop presence in the Korean theater, and whether or not you are prepared to expand nuclear warfare to the wholesale destruction of the USSR, and exactly what strategic objectives such a nuclear annihilation of a country would accomplish, and whether or not it would simply sow the seeds for our own eventual destruction later.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?