Military Strategy in Korean and Vietnam Wars Term Paper

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Military Strategy in Korean and Vietnam Wars

There have been numerous wars in the history of the United States. Some of the critical wars in the history of the United States include the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Prior to venturing into the Vietnam War, United States had participated in the Korean War. The case of Korean War proves to be a success because of the implementation of accurate and extensive strategies. Ten years after the success in the Korean War, the United States faced a similar situation, but could not recognize the same success as in the case of the previous war. One of the essential factors in the failure in relation to the Vietnam War was lack of appropriate military strategies. This research paper focuses on the illustration of reasons behind the success and failure with reference to Korean and Vietnam Wars respectively.

Military Strategy in Korea War

One of the essential outcomes of the end of the Second World War was the division of Korea into northern and southern sections. The northern part of Korea was composed of the communist while the southern section was under the administration of the Americans. The two entities were divided at the 38th parallel. The Korean War was fought between 1950 and 1953. The onset of the war was the invasion of the non-communist South Korea by the army of the communist North Korea after crossing the 38th Parallel in 1950

. The army of North Korea was massively armed with soviet tanks hence the opportunity to overwhelm South Korea. The United States came to the rescue of the non-communist South Korea under the leadership of MacArthur who was administrating Japan on behalf Americans. The strategy of the United States in relation to participation in the Korean War was to manipulate the United Nations' Security Council into calling for military defence of the Republic of Korea

This was a reflection of the first attempt by an international body to vote in the opposition of aggression by force. The United States under the support of the United Nations' army adopted and implemented naval, air forces, and ground forces in attempts to curb the threats of invasion by North Korea on South Korea. Authorization and participation of the United Nations was essential in the inclusion of relevant entities such as the Great Britain, France, Australia, and Canada to facilitate efforts of the United States in offering military defence to the Republic of Korea. Despite the contribution of other entities under the influence of the United Nations, the United States was seen as the leader in the pursuit of the communist North Korea because of the major share of burden in fighting the Korean War. Another success factor in relation to the Korean War was the plan known as amphibious attack or invasion of South Korea. This is because the North Koran army never expected the attack thus the opportunity for the United States to cut their supplies. The United Nations' army pursuing North Korea to the farthest province within the communist section consequently realization of the safety of South Korea aided this.

Military Strategy in Vietnam War

Vietnam War was the longest war in the history of the United States. The main objective of the war in Vietnam was to minimize the spread of the concept of communism to other parts of the world following the end of the Second World War

. The Vietnam War is known as the Second Indochina War in some cases. The war took place between 1959 and 1975. There were numerous losses of lives by thousands of American and Vietnamese. The onset of the war was the fight against the global spread of communism in relation to the Domino Theory. The United States entered into the Vietnam War as an individual entity thus lack of public support. Unlike the case of the Korean War, the United States did not obtain the support of the United Nations' Security Council.

This occurred despite massive support from the congress with reference to the need to stop the spread of communism across the globe. The eventual outcome of the United States War in Vietnam was massive failure in relation to adoption and implementation of inappropriate strategies. The United failed to notice on the essence of social and political war in the context of the Vietnam War rather than a global war

. This is an indication the war could not be won by the military influence rather than political issues between the South and North of Vietnam. Failure to focus on the political and social strategies during this War led to the massive failure of the United States as compared to success in the previous encounter in the case of the Korean War.

Carl von Clausewitz's Theories on War

Carl von Clausewitz focuses on the illustration of three critical principles in relation to the art of war. These principles include

The theory of war focuses on the determination of ways of gaining preponderance of physical forces and material benefits in the context of decisive points

It is ideal to have the probability of victory on your side regardless of the essence of physical and moral advantages during the war encounters

During the war encounter, there is always a choice between the most audacious and careful solution in relation to any action by the troop.

Comparison between military strategies in Korean & Vietnam Wars

The main difference in relation to the strategies of the Korean War and the Vietnam War was lack of public support with reference to the authorization of the United Nations' Security Council. The United Nations' Security Council facilitated the success of the Korean War through provision of global troops from participants such as Canada, Australia, the Great Britain, and France. This was essential to the efforts of the United States in the provision of military defence of the Republic of Korea. Another essential difference in relation to the two wars is the need for the implementation of unique solutions to the reasons behind each war. The Vietnam War was more of a social and political war thus the need to adopt and implement appropriate solution rather than the military tactics by the United States with the aim of preventing the global expansion of communism.

The Korean War was more of aggression with force thus the need to adopt and implement military tactics in the elimination of the invasion of North Korea in relation to the context of South Korea. This is reflected in the success witnessed in the case of Korea in comparison to failure in Vietnam.

Why the war in Korea had a much more successful outcome

One of the essential factors for the successful outcome of the United States in the case of Korean War was the approval of the war by the United Nations' Security Council. This was the first time an international body had voted against aggression by force thus aiding efforts of the United States through inclusion of troops from other members of the United Nations. Another factor of success in relation to the Korean War is the spontaneous and unexpected attack by MacArthur on the troops of the North Korea. The amphibious attack is a reflection of the first principle of war in accordance with the Carl von Clausewitz's theories of war.

The attack was essential in the attainment of material advantage through minimizing supplies to the troops of the communist North Korea. Some of the factors that led to the failure of participation of the United States in the case of Vietnam War include inability of the United States to identify the real causes of the war and ambiguity of the enemy in this war. The terrain of Vietnam and low morale of the Americans in association with lack of the public…[continue]

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