>No battle plan ever survives first contact with the enemy. We went into
>Korea with a limited plan; do not allow the Communists to take over Korea.

John:
And that is the whole problem.  Nations have no business going to war with
a "limited plan."  Do you think that either the North Koreans or China had
a "limited plan?"  Talking about a "limited plan" is talking about pulling
your punches.  And in any fight, pulling your punches is  the road to
defeat such as we suffered in Vietnam.

Dan:
Sure they do, the 'ideal' limited plan would be to just defend our country
right? The North Korean's plans were limited to the overthrow of the
sitting government. The Chinese plan was limited to helping the North
Koreans with theirs; else why didn't the Chinese take the opportunity to
invade Japan? A limited plan takes into account what your intentions,
abilities, and resources are. Expanding the scope of the Korean war, as
MacArthur wanted to do, would have involved the Russians and their nukes at
some point. Our intentions from the beginning of the Korean war was simply
to reject the North Korean take over of the Korean government. We were
doing that, quite successfully, until the Chinese stepped in. Truman had no
intention of attacking China because of their alliance with Russia; he
didn't want to try to take both of them on at the same time. A war with
China was outside the scope of the original purpose of our actions in
Korea.

>When the Chinese entered the battle the scope completely changed . Truman
>was not willing to throw us into another full-scale war with all of the
>negative impacts it would have at home.

John:
Truman was a traitor to his country and a betrayer of the men who served
under him in battle.  And if "negative impacts" were going to keep us from
going for a victory, then we never should have gone into Korea in the first

place.  Victory is the ONLY moral objective in a war.  First, may darn sure

you are justified in going to war, and second, win it or die trying.

Korea was an undeclared, ie. unconstitutional, police action.  We had no
business there, especially as part of a UN operation.  And all of the top
civilian leaders who put us there and then didn't let us take the war to
the enemy are going to burn in hell unless they repented.

Dan:
Where does the Constitution state what specific wording is required for
congress to declare war? The Senate ratified the multinational treaty
creating the UN in '45. Congress ratified the UN resolution stipulating the
use of military force in Korea. In addition, we had a treaty with the
Korean government to come to their aid if attacked. Our involvement in the
Korean war was constitutionally sound - even though the treaties that made
it so were certainly closed-minded.
The negative impacts were the complete loss of an entire generation of
young men vs. a relative handful, significant economic hardship for the
people that remained home, and the very real probability that Russia might
drop a nuke on American soil. The moral objective of going into Korea was
_very_ clear; until the Chinese jumped in.

>The Korean war needed to stay within the initial scope of denying the
>Communists all of Korea.

John:
Wrong.  The only morally acceptable "initial scope" should have been
defeating North Korea for their incursion into the south.  And China should

have known up front that if they interfered they would have to deal with us

in a full scale war.

Dan:
It was. The Korean war was basically a civil war. The North Koreans already
controlled part of Korean; hence their distinction as 'North' Koreans. Our
scope was limited to ensuring that they did not overthrow the government,
and thus control all of the Korean peninsula. The Chinese were likely
_hoping_ that we would start a full scale war with them; they were
expecting backup from the Russians. Once that battle started, there would
have been nothing to stop the Russians from rolling over Europe.

John:
The truth of the matter is, we had people in our government that were on
the side of North Korea and China.  That is why they conducted the war the
way they did.  The same thing happened in Vietnam.

If a country isn't going to go all out to win a war, it should stay out of
it in the first place.  Anything else is a betrayal of the men who fight,
their families, their communities, and the nation.

Dan:
In war you have to choose which battles you want to focus your efforts on.
You don't want to throw away resources on something that will provide
limited tactical or strategic benefit.

We have also had government leaders that wanted our country to be a
monarchy instead of the constitutional republic it's supposed to be. We
also had an Army General who was more interested in fighting than the good
of the country. We owe it to our fighting men to waste as little of their
blood as possible while living up to our agreements. I personally would
like to see most of those agreements scratched, but until they are we have
a duty to honor them.

We didn't 'pull' our punches in Vietnam - we just declared everything but
the glove out of bounds.

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