How did the Korean War affect the United States

Americans are known for their conflict between the Soviet Union for the prevention of Communism. There were many events going on, such as the Cold War, the attempt of assassinating Fidel Castro, and competition between the United States and Soviet Union. However, the peak of the war of Communism happened during 1950s, where there was a major clash between the two sides of the Korean peninsula. The Korean War was the declaration of war between communism and capitalism. It was not a war that mattered about the casualties but it was the war that had to be won. The Korean war gave a big impact to the United States symbolizing a major indirect war between Communism vs Capitalism, from the influence of the Cold war and the competition with USSR.

Many students and people of the United States do not know much about the importance of the Korean War. It is regarded as the “ Forgotten War”. Shouldn’t the title be “ A war people want to forget?” The spread of communism reached its peak at the end of World War II. The Cold War shows an example of the dispute between two sides but the Korean War was more of a direct war of communism and capitalism. But the reason why its called the “Forgotten war” is that it is an event that people do not want to remember. This actually was an important war for the United States. United States humiliated themselves through the Korean War and lost many unnecessary soldiers. From their loss of victory, North Korea is currently a big threat to the world and to the United States. Currently in the modern society, North Korea is considered to be a military threat to the world. North Korea consists of which 5-million man army and numerous chemical and biological weapons. They are also the number one ballistic missile exporter in the world. 1 Recently they have been testing extended-range ballistic missiles that flew cross Japan. The Presidential press secretary, Robert Gibb said, “ a serious step in the wrong direction”. From not finishing the war caused North Korea became a major threat to the society. The Korean War proves why the United Sates should not neglect the North Korean threats.

United States is a nation where they strongly disagree with the idea of communism. The two super powers of the past, the United States and the Soviet Union ideals crashed again in the land of Korea . Including their rivalry and hatred toward the ideals of Communism, the two group competed against each other for power and the rivalry between United States and Soviet Union caused the Korean war into a larger war. According to one of the texts , it said that the reason why the Soviet Union took North Korea was to show the world that they could withstand any pressure from other nations politically , socially, culturally, and economically.2 The United States itself didn’t have much interest in South Korea due to lack of resources, disorganized government, and poverty. The pure reason was to prevent communism from growing, hence they supported Korea with many factories, weapons, and soldiers. Later on, Communism grew rapidly, dominating many places like North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Angola. The purpose of Korean War was to defeat the communistic values and compete USSR showing them strength in military terms.

The two major sides of different ideals has been always been in a dormant situation not involving in any major wars but this led to a major war between two ideals. One major objectives of each super powers was to halt each other’s power growing potential. In one of the books, it stated that the far-east was a great location for the United States and USSR to plant their war centers. The far-east had the resources and was very efficient and good in strategic meanings. It was very important for the two groups to dominate the far east, but Korea was not really a land of resources. The society was bad economically and Americans knew that there was going to be more waste than profit.3One major purpose for the Americans to support Korea was not mainly because of their interest in Korea but to prevent the country from developing communism. Korea was in its worst state. The economy was poor and the only raw material it could support United States was graphite. The new technology and the chemical fertilizers brought Korea to produce more agricultural goods and food.4 This is one reason why the Korean War was considered to be a “forgotten war” A war with no clear conclusion and no actual benefit but just casualties and a great usage of money. Japan itself gained its opportunity to develop from the Korean War. American armies established bases and factories in order to produce weapons and defense utilities. This was also their time to get some war bonds from other countries. The Korean war led the United States to earn money and do business through establishing bases in neighbor counties using resources for their own good. In wars, United States tend to earn money. The Korean not only gave benefits to United States, but taught them strategic establishments and helped them achieve resources from other countries.

The Korean War happened right after the Cold War, which involved in an arms race between the United States and USSR. From the influence of the Cold war, the Korean War was the after math of the arms race. They were both in a competition who can dominate more countries through spreading communism and capitalism and supporting allies. One main thing the two sides did were establishing bases in far- eastern area.5 The establishment of each bases had both advantages and disadvantages in the far-eastern area. In one of the graphs the United States had the advantages of area security. They established bases in Korea, Japan, and Pakistan where its air range reaches the objectives of USSR. Also defensively, the base was located in a good position, so it could encounter all kinds of attacks, especially Japan. There were many strategic routes that helped them easily defend the communists including man power. However, they faced may difficulties. Many countries like Korea needed excessive amount of aid . Food shortages and medical aids, these lack of needs restricted many of America’s power during the Korean War. Also, the communicating technology wasn’t developed as well causing America to lack in strategic ways compare to Soviet Union. The weakness of USA was the strength for the Soviets. 6From this information, it could be stated that they were competing to see who is the stronger one. Koreans feared both sides and they didn’t know what they were doing. This action shows importance to the Americans because this could of been referred as another cold war or the road to the next World War.

President Truman gave a big impact with the conflict of communism. He believed that if one nation becomes a communist society, it will follow through. In other words it was referred as the “Domino theory”. The “Domino Theory” was first introduced by president Dwight D. Eisenhower on April 7, 1954 in one of his speeches. But the theory gave more impact during Truman’s presidency. Following the domino principle, Truman declared a foreign policy also known as the Truman Doctrine which was a program that helped the containment of communism. This doctrine was primarily financial, giving monetary aid to the countries who were in a battle with communism. 7 He also opened many nations the free trade, and open market programs unlike the communists. This was also an extension of the Cold War without any direct conflict. President Truman who tried to seek for world ‘peace’ declared a war against North Korea unofficially. Truman faced many internal criticisms from his actions toward “anti communism” . However, the war in North Korea was basically his fear toward the growing powers of China and USSR. During the 1950s, was also the time where people in the United States were in the state of red scare which made Truman even more concerned about the status of the spread of communism. 8 Also in June 27th, he made a statement that “communism has passed beyond the use of subversion to conquer independent nations and will now use invasion and war”. From his statement, many allied powers united to fight in North Korea. Blaming communism, he led the war into a bigger war causing more casualties.9 From this statement, it could be stated that the Cold war is not fully over and that competition between United States and USSR will continue.

Another reason for United States to help Korea was for more allied powers. In case of war conditions, United States needed as much allied powers and supporters in order fight the communists. It might seem like the United States helped to prevent communism to spread, but logically, they wanted more members. Even during the Vietnam war, the United States ordered Korea to to help United States to fight against Vietnam which caused four thousand six thousand casualties out of three hundred thousand combatants.10 This was also a part of competition between Russia to see who can have more people on their team. United States supporting Korean during the Korean war resulted to be not free.

To sum it up, the Korean War should get rid of the title of the “Forgotten War”. The events and the conflict between USSR and United States clearly show that the war showed many important values to the Americans. The competition, North Korean threat, and the leader ship of Truman explain how the war influenced the society right now. The war between Communism and Capitalism is still going on today. The ideals of people can be actually deadly causing wars and conflicts. The Korean war might not be much of a interest to people, but it is a major war that amplified the war between Capitalism and Communism.


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Suh,Suk Bong, Participation of the U.S Forces in the Korean War: Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affiars, Republic of Korea , December 25, 200

Tae, Kwak. “The Legacies of Korean Participation in the Vietnam War: The Rise of Formal Dictatorship” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Studies Association, 2009-02-04

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