To Acknowledge a War

Contributions in Military Studies

Book 193
Greenwood Publishing Group
Free sample

Historians often refer to the Korean War as the forgotten war, but Edwards argues that in many respects it is a conflict that has been deliberately ignored for the past fifty years. This broad look at the war examines how Americans have attempted to remember and commemorate the confrontation which played such a major role in America's Cold War experience. As a United Nations effort or Police Action, the hazy identification of the war has in part contributed to a lack of public understanding of what happened in Korea. This book considers the American response to the loss in Korea, and how this response played out as a failure to remember.

After discussing the phenomenon of historical absence, the essays turn to the still considerable disagreement about who started the war and why. They provide the latest information concerning the relationship between Chairman Mao, Premier Kim Il Sung, and Chairman Joseph Stalin at the outbreak of the conflict. Edwards identifies lesser known figures and comments on operations that are not generally known or discussed. He discusses the impact that revisionist historians have had on our views of the war and why it produced a cease-fire rather than a peace treaty. The study also places this still unresolved conflict in the context of multi-national forces and peacekeeping actions as we understand them today.

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About the author

PAUL M. EDWARDS is Coordinator of Assessment and Evaluation for Baker University at Overland Park, Kansas. He is also the founder and Executive Director of the Center for the Study of the Korean War, an archival foundation located in Independence, Missouri. The author of several books on the Korean War, he teaches classes on the Korean War at Baker and Park Universities.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Greenwood Publishing Group
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Published on
Dec 31, 2000
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Pages
176
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ISBN
9780313310218
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Military / Korean War
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Content Protection
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Eligible for Family Library

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After the Civil War, the U.S. Army demobilized at a high rate and soon found its numbers literally gutted. A captain testified before Congress in 1876 that his unit was so few in number that he frequently performed drill with only four men. He said he once saw a parade carried out in which one company was represented by a lone sergeant forming its front line and its captain occupying the rear line. They were their unit's only participants. 1 Many Americans know that the U.S. military has undergone a large downsizing effort in the 1990s. Fortunately, it has not been to the extent of that experienced by the Army after the War between the States. Although many equate the initiation of personnel and force structure reductions with the end of the Cold War in 1989 or the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Department of Defense (DOD), as a whole, started downsizing earlier, in 1988. Troop reductions came about due to the growing pressure to hold defense spending in check. This led two services, the Army and the Air Force, to begin downsizing moderately and internally in 1987. One of the first groups targeted was commissioned service members, in response to congressional attention directed at what the legislative body perceived as a bloated officer corps. The Marine Corps began to grow smaller in 1988. The Navy did not start declining in number until 1990. Its delay in carrying out personnel cuts was due to the fact that it had been pursuing a major program to build up to a fleet of 600 ships. In the late 1980s, the service still did not have the sailors it needed to crew a fleet of that size. The rise of Gorbachev in the USSR signaled a change in the U.S. security environment. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was evidence of that transformation. The disintegration of the Soviet Union two years later was proof. This event, probably one of the most important in this century, boded well for the United States. Downsizing of the U.S. war machine, halted tempo. -- Introduction.
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