The U.S. should attempt to win, and win big, or get out

Monday, December 21st, 2020

In December 1950 MacArthur began to ask for more and more, to prosecute the war in Korea, and, as T. R. Fehrenbach explains (in This Kind of War), the requests were impossible, short of mobilization:

The U.S. Army had one division, the 82nd Airborne, in strategic reserve. NATO was just getting underway in Europe. It was unthinkable that U.S. troops be stripped from that area.


About the only move that could be made was to increase the ROK Army from 200,000 to 300,000 men, armed with rifles, BAR’s, carbines, and submachine guns. About this, MacArthur was not sanguine. He preferred to arm the Japanese.

On 29 December MacArthur sent a message to the Joint Chiefs, as he had before, that he desired permission to blockade the China coast and attack airfields in Manchuria. He stated he did not fear the Chinese would be provoked — MacArthur considered the United States already at war with China. He also stated that if his wishes were not granted, the Korean peninsula should be evacuated.

Summed up, Douglas MacArthur held that the U.S. should attempt to win, and win big, or get out.


Feelers among allies and U.N. had revealed not one government willing to back MacArthur’s course.


  1. Adar says:

    MacArthur was meddling with grand strategy. OK if done in private, but Mac was doing so openly.

  2. Harry Jones says:

    I don’t think grand strategy should be left to an unaccountable class of self-proclaimed experts.

    Literally everyone not on his deathbed has a stake in the future of the world.

    Or we could go full isolationist and hope the world reciprocally leaves us be. I don’t think that’s been a viable option for centuries.

  3. VXXC says:

    Mr. Jones,

    The world of 2020 may conclude indeed that leaving America alone and hoping for reciprocity is a viable option, and the time for them to punish their tormenter is at hand. We, despite the Ace Team of warmongers being assembled by Dementiaius I, will shortly be consumed by ‘domestic’ affairs and they will pounce.

    And why not pounce? And I’m a veteran by the way, who has spent much of his life serving madmen — now madwomen and mad males in dresses in but a month.

    And leaving them alone was always a viable and the best option. Our geography allows it, our resources allow it. Common sense practice of keeping a Republic mandates no militarism, no Empire.

  4. Harry Jones says:

    I’d gladly tell the rest of the world to attend to its own affairs, but the world has a way of defeating isolationist policies. Gunboat diplomacy sails in both directions.

    Before the recent medical-moral panic, I used to enjoy world travel. But now, if we can’t play tourist then there’s no reason we should play policeman either.

    Even so, we need to have a plan for when they decide to meddle in our affairs. And the best plan begins with prevention.

  5. Altitude Zero says:

    A lot depends on what we mean by “isolationism”. Obviously, pretending that the rest of the world isn’t there is a non-starter today, just as it was at the time of the founding of this country, but that doesn’t mean that it’s in the vital interests of the US to meddle in the affairs of every two-bit country on Earth, both because it’s none of our business,and because we usually don’t know what we’re doing. Not wanting to get sucked into every civil war in every sh*thole country in the world, isn’t “isolationism” it’s just common sense, and better for both them and us.

  6. Sam J. says:

    “…A lot depends on what we mean by “isolationism”…”

    Today if you don;’t want to outsource all the labor, manufacturing and have the banks own everything while the people starve and die in the streets…then you’re Isolationist.

  7. Jim says:

    No one will starve and die in the streets. The economy has a duty to its shareholders.

  8. Harry Jones says:

    Jim, does the economy know that?

  9. Sam J. says:

    THE ECONOMY MUST NOT STARVE. Throw the Women and Children over board but the economy must not starve.

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