Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Complicated Narrative: The Korean War


I concur with this:
The Korean War, then, may offer a glimpse of strategic debates yet to come as Asia enters another age of peacetime competition.

The Korean War offers important lessons that are still worth studying today.  This short excerpt is exceptionally important as it explains why we see the continued friction in the region (and not just the north-South divide):
The struggle was especially acute in Korea. Japan had annexed the peninsula in 1910, gone to extravagant lengths to expunge Korean culture, and played divide-and-rule among Korean factions to neutralize the opposition. Venomous politics was the rule following Japan’s departure, strife on the peninsula almost a foregone conclusion.The Korean War, then, convulsed Northeast Asia during the aftermath of World War II, when the victors were still trying to sort out a durable postwar order. Prosecuting a new war within war termination poses a challenge of a high order for statesmen and commanders.
V/R
Dave

By James R. Holmes

January 11, 2013

For a compact, relatively small-scale conflict, the Korean War—this week’s sojourn for the Strategy & War Course at the U.S. Naval War College—abounds in insights. The historical narrative appears straightforward—an invasion, two outside interventions, eventual equilibrium at roughly the midpoint of the Korean Peninsula—yet the conflict defies easy classification. Or rather, it can be classified in a multitude of ways.

That may help explain why it was so hard for the belligerents to wring lasting political value out of fighting on the Korean Peninsula, and why the war ended disappointingly for them.Think about it. The Korean War was a post-imperial, anti-imperial struggle amid the ruins of the Japanese Empire. Who would rule territories vacated by Japan? Speaking from the decks of the battleship Missouri, General Douglas MacArthur proclaimed that the guns had fallen silent with the downfall of Imperial Japan. MacArthur’s words might ring true for Americans. But the fighting for supremacy resumed in East and Southeast Asia almost instantly—if it paused at all.

The struggle was especially acute in Korea. Japan had annexed the peninsula in 1910, gone to extravagant lengths to expunge Korean culture, and played divide-and-rule among Korean factions to neutralize the opposition. Venomous politics was the rule following Japan’s departure, strife on the peninsula almost a foregone conclusion.The Korean War, then, convulsed Northeast Asia during the aftermath of World War II, when the victors were still trying to sort out a durable postwar order. Prosecuting a new war within war termination poses a challenge of a high order for statesmen and commanders.
(Continued at the link below)

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