Korea Shows All That Is Wrong With U.S. Foreign Policy

imageThe tension on the Korean peninsula escalated late last year when South Korea began live-firing drills off its coastline. That was after North and South Korea shelled each other for the first time since the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War. U.S. forces in the area went on high alert even as the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington joined South Korean naval forces in exercises in the Yellow Sea. That carrier had just concluded drills with Japan involving 400 aircraft, 60 warships, and more than 40,000 U.S. and Japanese troops. South Korea was an official observer during the drills.

Korea shows all that is wrong with U.S. foreign policy.

After World War II, the United States and its allies — against the wishes of most Koreans — divided the country at the 38th parallel. After North Korea invaded the South in 1950, Harry Truman intervened with U.S. combat troops in a “police action.” The result was the senseless death of more than 36,000 American soldiers for Truman’s foolish policies, for the United Nations, for the failed diplomacy of World War II, and for the division of Korea in the same place it was divided before the war started. Since that time, a day has not gone by when the United States has not had thousands of troops stationed in South Korea, some no doubt the grandchildren of the soldiers who fought in the Korean War. There are at least 25,000 U.S. soldiers currently in Korea. There are also more than 35,000 U.S. troops stationed in Japan.

There was no U.S. declaration of war against North Korea. On five different occasions, the United States has declared war on a total of eleven other countries: Great Britain in 1812 (the War of 1812), Mexico in 1848 (the Mexican War), Spain in 1898 (the Spanish-American War), Germany and Austria-Hungary in 1917 (World War I), Japan, Germany, and Italy in 1941 (World War II), and Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania in 1942 (World War II).

Only a few Republicans in Congress dared to object to Truman’s clearly unconstitutional intervention in Korea. Most notable was Sen. Robert Taft, who maintained, “The president is usurping his powers as commander in chief. There is no legal authority for what he has done. If the president can intervene in Korea without congressional approval, he can go to war in Malaya or Indonesia or Iran or South America.” The Korean intervention set a terrible precedent, for no declaration of war has ever been issued since, even though the United States has been involved in many military conflicts since then, some of them being major wars, such as Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

View Post