Day: February 3, 2017

Just wait until the next oneJust wait until the next one

“Perhaps all wars are in some way or another the product of miscalculations. But Korea was a place where almost every key decision on both sides turned on a miscalculation . . . . in the single greatest miscalculation of the war, MacArthur decided to go all the way to the Yalu because he was sure the Chinese would not come in . . . . Mao believed that the political purity and revolutionary spirit of his men greatly outweighed America’s superior weaponry (and its corrupt capitalist soul) and so, after an initial great triumph in the far North, had pushed his troops too far south, taking horrendous losses in the process. . . . Chinese entry into the war had a profound and long-lasting effect on how Americans looked at the issue of national security. It gave the utmost push forward to the vision embodied in NSC 68. It greatly increased the Pentagon’s influence and helped convert the country toward far more of a national security state than it had previously been, so increasing the forces driving that dynamic that in ten years Dwight Eisenhower, in his farewell speech as president, would warn of a ‘military-industrial complex.’ ” – David Halberstam, The Coldest Winter