Q: There was tension between Truman and his Administration and MacArthur
after the Chinese did intervene. What was it about? Was there disagreement
over the aims of the war or was it simply clarity of what Washington wanted?
What was MacArthur trying to get out of Truman, what was the cause of the
DINGMAN: After the Chinese came into the war, I think the central issue
that developed between President Truman and General MacArthur was the issue of
defining an end and when it would come. I don't think General MacArthur wanted
to fight a war against China, for the sake of fighting a war against China.
General MacArthur wanted to end the war in Korea successfully, with a victory,
however that might be be defined. And the more people that President Truman
sent out from Washington, to talk to, or carry papers to General MacArthur, the
more General MacArthur became convinced that Washington didn't have an end
plan, an end game. Its sense of how to end the war simply wasn't clear enough
to provide the direction a military man needed to conduct the war.
This led to the development of a kind of war which again General
MacArthur had seen in the First World War--trench warfare. A seemingly endless
conflict with loss of life, where you see a decline in morale, a decline in the
performance ability of the troops, and eventually, a decline in the willingness
of the American public to support such a war. And, I think that's the central
issue -- how are we going to end this war, why are we fighting it, and what
should be the clear statement of policy which would enable us to define a way
to end it.
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