The Origins of the Department of Defense Recommendation to Cross the 38th Parallel During the Korean War

Date of Award

Spring 5-1991

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Political Science & Geography

Program/Concentration

Graduate Program in International studies

Committee Director

Willard C. Frank, Jr.

Committee Member

Patrick Rollins

Committee Member

Philip S. Gillette

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.I45K57

Abstract

This thesis considers the reasons the Department of Defense (DOD) developed its recommendation concerning the U.S. involvement in the Korean War. The United states initially committed its forces to restore the status quo antebellum. However, by 31 July 1950, the DOD recommended that a free, unified, and representative Korea should be the policy object of the war and that the occupation of all of Korea and the defeat of the North Korean armed forces north and south of the 38th Parallel should be the military objectives.

Several factors contributed to the recommendation of a change in policy and strategy. A different situation in Korea in June and July 1950 from that assumed in the post-World War II environment, the incremental nature of the decisions committing U.S. forces, the influence of General MacArthur, and the focus of the Joint Chiefs of Staff caused the DOD to recommend a policy and implementing strategy inconsistent with the policy object of June 1950.

Rights

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DOI

10.25777/6g55-a577

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