"Un Activity In The Korean War Was Nothing More Than A Cover For Us Anti Communism." Discuss.

1106 words - 4 pages

The Korean War was the United Nation's first international conflict, in terms of its magnitude, it outstripped all other ventures conducted under the auspices of the UN, and is matched perhaps only by the Gulf War. The controversy surrounding its ambiguous commencement in June, 1950, resolves around the United States, the Security Council and the U.S.S.R, and it has often been argued that UN activity in the war was merely a cover for latent US interests, namely its containment policy.UN activity in the Korean War began with the Security Council Resolution of July 7th, 1950, establishing UNC under the command of American general Douglas MacArthur. Prior to this, Truman had already given orders for the US forces to protect ROK troops before the Security Council had time to take measures to resolve the conflict. This generated an outcry from the Soviets, who, briefly by their own actions of the opportunity to veto, argued that this effectively reduced the UN into a "rubber stamp" approval system for actions already taken by the U.S.A. These facts alone form a strong case for the hidden American hand in UN activity. Why did the US intervene in Korea unilaterally before even the Security Council? Why, if UNC was a unified UN command, was it under the control of an American unsupervised by the UN and accountable only to Truman?Shen Zhihua defends MacArthur's position as "logical leadership" by the natural leadership of the UN effort- the US, with its uncontestable superiority in terms of sheer resources. However, it does not account for the US unilateral decision to act in Korea before receiving its UN mandate- an incident repeated in October 1950, when the UN sanctioned the crossing of the 38th parallel after MacArthur had already ordered US troops across. Also, Zhihua offers no explanation for the lack of UN restraint on MacArthur, which created the opportunity to pursue American rather than UN interests.A rift between these two interests became evident when the UN resolved that it would not recognize any current regime having legal control over the whole of Korea, while the UNC, under MacArthur, was simultaneously administered a military government throughout the North. This was clearly an anti-Communist action, but it can be noted that UN "backing" for the US was maintained despite this abrupt shift in policy from containment to rollback. This is often cited as evidence for the extent of the US influence on UN decisions.Then again, to what extent was the US motivated by an anti-Communist platform? MacArthur and the rollback policy personified the anti-Communist sentiment in the Korean War, his impatience with the policy of containment, desire for rollback and favour for an attack on China appealed to what David Rees calls a "nation of impatient idealists", to whom the limited and gray-area objective of the pre-rollback phase of the war was inherently frustrating in its half-heartedness. Senator McCarthy's campaign against communism was already...

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