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June 27, 1950: At 12 noon, President Truman revealed that pursuant to the Security Council's call to UN Members, he had ordered United States air and sea units "* to give the Korean Government troops cover and support" " and that he had asked Moscow to act to terminate the fighting in Korea. At 10:45 p. m., that night, the Security Council adopted a resolution sponsored by the United States, requesting the member states to furnish assistance to the Republic of Korea "* to repel the armed attack and to restore international peace and security in the area." 18
June 30, 1950: President Truman stated he had authorized General MacArthur to use supporting ground units, and for the air forces "to conduct missions on specific military targets in Northern Korea wherever militarily necessary and had ordered a naval blockade of the entire Korean coast.' Within hours, a battalion of United States Infantry was ashore in Korea.
June 30, 1950: Republic of China offered 33,000 of its troops from Formosa to support UN action; offer refused.
July 8, 1950: President Truman named General MacArthur as United Nations commander.
August 28, 1950: General MacArthur in a message intended for the Veterans of Foreign Wars National Encampment opposed appeasement and defeatism which would lead to abandonment of Formosa.", This speech was withdrawn at White House request.
September 12, 1950: Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson resigned effective September 19.
September 12, 1950: Allies made successful amphibious landing.
October 15, 1950: A conference was held on Wake Island between President Truman and General MacArthur. President Truman issued a statement stating that a "very complete unanimity of view"" prevailed in the discussions covering Korea, Japan, and United States policy in the Pacific.
October 20, 1950: United States troops captured Pyongyang, the North Korean capital.
October 21, 1950: United States parachute troops landed deep inside North Korea.
October 28, 1950: Red Chinese Army elements identified in North Korea. November 24, 1950: General MacArthur launched an end-of-the-war offensive. November 27, 1950: An attack by four Chinese Red armies stalled and threw back General MacArthur's drive.
November 28, 1950: General MacArthur announced that United Nations forces in Korea faced an entirely new war because of the intervention of Red Chinese troops.
December 1, 1950: General MacArthur stated that the orders forbidding him to attack Chinese Communists north of the Korean border were putting the United Nations forces under "an enormous handicap without precedent in military history."
December 6, 1950: Joint Chiefs of Staff advised General MacArthur of a Presidential general order requiring the clearance of speeches, press releases, and other statements concerning military policy with the Department of Defense and of similar materials concerning foreign policy with the Secretary of State. The Joint Chiefs reported that the President had directed the Secretary of 66 * * * State and Secretary of Defense to order officials overseas including * military commanders and diplomatic representatives exercise extreme caution in public statements, to clear all but routine statements with their Departments and to refrain from direct communication on military or foreign policy with newspapers, magazines, or other publicity media in the United States."
January 23, 1951: United States Senate unanimously adopted a resolution calling for the United Nations "to immediately declare Communist China an aggressor in Korea."
March 7, 1951: United Nations forces recaptured Seoul. General MacArthur reported that the battle line would remain in a theoretical military stalemate as long as there was "a continuation of the existing limitation upon our free
dom of counteroffensive action" and no major additions to UN strength in Korea."
March 18, 1951: Former Speaker of the House Joseph W. Martin, Jr., sent a letter, inviting General MacArthur's views with regard to America's position in Asia.
March 20, 1951: General MacArthur, in reply, praised Martin's views and stated that the latter's position "* * * with respect to the utilization of the Chinese forces on Formosa is in conflict with neither logic" nor with United States tradition of mobilizing maximum counterforce to meet force. General MacArthur stressed that "here in Asia is where the Communist conspirators have elected to make their play for global conquest.'
March 20, 1951: Joint Chiefs of Staff advised MacArthur that the United Nations were * * now prepared to discuss conditions of settlement in Korea." The Joint Chiefs stated that the thirty-eighth parallel "has no military significance." MacArthur's recommendations on military procedure were invited."
March 24, 1951: Joint Chiefs of Staff in a message to General MacArthur stated that the President had directed that his attention be called to the latter's order of December 6, 1950. The Joint Chiefs stated that "any further state* * must be coordinated" as provided in that order. "The President has also directed that in the event Communist military leaders request an armistice in the field, you immediately report that fact to the Joint Chiefs of Staff for instructions." 28
* * *
March 24, 1951: General MacArthur stated that "within the area of my authority as military commander I stand ready at any time to confer in the field with the commander in chief of the enemy forces in an earnest effort to find any military means whereby the realization of the political objectives of the United Nations in Korea might be accomplished without further bloodshed." The State Department subsequently issued a statement that "the political issues which General MacArthur has stated are beyond his responsibility as a field commander, are being dealt with in the UN and by intergovernmental consultations."
PART III. A BRIEF COMMENTARY ON THE WITNESSES APPEARING
BEFORE THE COMMITTEE
The work of the Joint Armed Services Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee, which has been in the nature of an investigation or inquiry, has been carried forth with a unity of purpose unique in the recent annals of the United States Senate.
Under the able and eminently fair chairmanship of the Senator from Georgia, Mr. Russell, members of the committee have pursued the common purpose of seeking the facts.
The Chairman received outstanding cooperation from the members of both committees who diligently pursued the inquiry, often working far into the night to discharge their other duties. The record time in which the committee received the tremendous volume of testimony and the careful preparation of questions by committee members bespeaks the seriousness with which the Senators approached their task.
The committee has come very close to objectivity. There have been differences; there have been contentions. In some cases, there have been bitter discussions. However, the issues have been confined to procedural matters and, for the most part, involved differences on how best to find the facts.
It is significant that divisions which have occurred within the committee have reflected unpartisan attitudes.
It has proved a stimulating experience to each of us to sit as one of 26 Senators engaged in a task of such importance as to outweight the considerations of partisan political advantage.
We have heard the testimony as United States Senators. We offer our conclusions as Americans. They are the result of our considered judgment after serious reflection and judicial examination of all the facts presented.
25 Op. cit., p. 182.
26 Ibid., p. 186.
27 Ibid., p. 183.
28 Ibid., p. 184.
29 Ibid., p. 184.
80 Ibid., p. 7.
Since there has been over 2 million words of testimony delivered before the joint committee a brief commentary on the testimony of the various witnesses is essential.
1. General of the Army Douglas MacArthur
From Thursday, May 3, 1951, through Saturday, May 5, 1951, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur testified before the joint committee. He read no prepared statement since it was his opinion that his address to the Congress had sufficiently stated his point of view."1
After almost 800 pages of testimony had been taken and the general had responded to literally hundreds of questions, the consensus of the members of the committee was summed up by Chairman Russell when he stated:
"General MacArthur, I wish to state to you that the 3 days that you have been here with us are without parallel in my legislative experience.
"I have never seen a man subjected to such a barrage of questions in so many fields and on so many varied subjects. I marvel at your physical endurance. More than that, I have been profoundly impressed by the vastness of your patience and the thoroughness and the frankness with which you have answered all of the questions that have been propounded.
"We have certainly drawn freely on your vast reservoir of knowledge and experience, not only as a great military captain, but as a civilian administrator of 80 million people."
Differences of opinion may exist between some committee members and General MacArthur. The general, however, presented that which, in his opinion, was the most desirable, positive program to end the war in Korea with victory and honor for the forces of the United Nations.
2. Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall
Beginning on May 7, 1951, and continuing thereafter for 7 days, Secretary of Defense George C. Marshall, who has served as Chief of Staff during World War II, special representative in China with ambassadorial rank during the critical period under discussion, and as Secretary of State during the formulation of many of the far-eastern policies, gave his views to the committee.
Obviously, the views, opinions and decisions of Secretary Marshall were of extreme importance to the work of the committee. The Secretary found it necessary in many instances to refer committee members to the Secretary of State or the Joint Chiefs of Staff for responsive replies.
The Secretary defended the many administration policies, in the formulation of which he had presumably played a part. It was the consensus that many of the questions which were raised by the committee were "peculiarly" within the jurisdiction of the Joint Chiefs and the Secretary of National Defense was uninformed.
3. General of the Army Omar N. Bradley
On May 15, 1951, and for 4 days thereafter, General of the Army Omar N. Bradley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, discussed the military decisions and strategy pertaining to the Korean conflict.
All members of the committee were impressed with his comprehensive understanding of our military responsibilities.
General Bradley presented the reasons why from a military point of view the Joint Chiefs of Staff thought that General MacArthur should be relieved. The reasons were as follows:
(1) That by his public statements and by his official communications to the Joint Chiefs he had indicated that he was not in sympathy with the decision to try to limit the conflict to Korea.
(2) He had failed to comply with the Presidential directive to clear statements on policy before making public statements.
(3) The Joint Chiefs feel that the military must be controlled by the civilian authority in this country.31 31a
As the testimony of General Bradley developed, it became obvious that, as a subordinate to the Secretary of Defense, it was embarassing for him to contradict or differ with the basic concepts which had been previously outlined by the Secretary of Defense. As a result of this conviction, on May 24, Senator Bourke Hickenlooper (Republican, Iowa), stated that in his opinion the calling of the three Chiefs of Staff would be a substantial repetition of the testimony
81 See appendix for General MacArthur's address to the Congress. 1a Hearings, p. 878.
of Secretary Marshall and General Bradley. After considerable discussion within the committee a motion was made to dispense with the testimony of the Chiefs of Staff. This motion was defeated and the committee continued with the hearings of testimony from high-ranking military officials.
For 6 days the views of Gen. J. Lawton Collins, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg, Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, and Admiral Forrest P. Sherman, Chief of Naval Operations,* were expressed to the committee and, although providing interesting highlights, in general they buttressed and corroborated the views previously expressed by their superiors.
4. Secretary of State Dean G. Acheson
Beginning on June 1, 1951, and continuing for 8 days, President Truman's Secretary of State defended the Far Eastern policy of the United States and discussed his part in the recall of General MacArthur.
It is the opinion of the signers of this report that the Secretary of State did not always frankly and fully reveal the information requested of him. It would appear from the record, that, under his guidance, the objective of American foreign policy has been primarily to conciliate certain of our associates in the United Nations rather than to advance the security of the United States.
As the successive portions of this report will demonstrate, the Secretary of State was unable to defend successfully the postwar policies of the State Department in the Far East.
Mr. Acheson often agreed with policy statements phrased by committee members. Such agreement was astonishing since it implied a complete reversal of that which, on the record of events, had been presumed to be State Department policy.
5. Lt. Gen. Albert C. Wedemeyer, United States Army, former Chief of Staff to Chiang Kai-shek
On June 11, 12, and 13, General Wedemeyer testified on those aspects of the Far Eastern situation which were within his immediate experience. The frankness and obvious intellectual honesty of General Wedemeyer was impressive. In an impersonal and professional manner, the author of the suppressed Wedemeyer report demolished the military arguments which had been advanced to justify the political policy of the United States in the Far East. A highlight of his testimony was his unqualified statement that at any time a coalition government between Communists and Nationalists in China was impossible.
6. Former Secretary of Defense, the Honorable Louis Johnson
On June 14 and 15, former Secretary of Defense, the Honorable Louis Johnson, testified at the request of the committee.
He made the record clear that it was upon the recommendation of the State Department that the Armed Forces of the United States were committed to the Korean War. He clarified the divergent views between the State and Defense Departments as to the strategic importance of Formosa. The position of Defense was that Formosa was essential to our national security while State maintained Formosa was of slight importance.
Although he expressed confidence in our military leaders, one could not help but conclude that the former Secretary of Defense was convinced that the State Department was exerting too much political influence in military matters. 7. Vice Adm. Oscar Badger
On June 19, Admiral Badger gave the committee his views as to development of events in China since 1945. After his testimony it could only be concluded that the failure of the United States to deliver promptly sufficient arms and ammunition to the Republic of China was a major cause for its subsequent defeat by the Communists.
8. Maj. Gen. Patrick J. Hurley
On June 20 and 21, General Hurley presented to the committee a complete exposition of the diplomacy during the period of the Yalta Conference. General Hurley maintained that Yalta was one of the greatest tragedies in the history of American diplomacy, since it appeased Russia and nullified the provisions of the Atlantic Charter.
*The tragic and untimely death of Admiral Sherman has deprived our country of an outstanding naval leader.
Under intensive interrogation, General Hurley maintained his position. He left the firm impression with the committee that, in 1945, the United States had unquestionable power to make Russia respect her solemn agreements, but that we surrendered that power in the secret Yalta Agreement.
9. Maj. Gen. David C. Barr, United States Army, commander of the United States military mission in China in 1948
General Barr, commander of the United States military mission to China in 1948, vigorously defended the idea that the Communists overthrew the Government of the Republic of China due to the internal corruption of the Nationalist Government and the unwillingness of the Nationalist troops to fight.
He reiterated the State Department white paper thesis that in no case did the Chinese Nationalists lose any battles as the result of lack of ammunition, thus directly contradicting the testimony of Admiral Badger.
10. Maj. Gen. Emmett O'Donnell, Jr., United States Air Force
As commander of the Far East Bomber Command, General O'Donnell was in the best position to evaluate the effectiveness of air power in the Korean conflict. His testimony as to ability of the Air Force to inflict damage on Red China in accordance with the strategy advocated by General MacArthur was compelling.
As an Air Force officer of great experience and ability, General O'Donnell bluntly stated that it was his professional opinion that Rachin could be bombarded and destroyed without any damage to or encroachment on Soviet territory. 31b He impressed the committee with the importance, from an airman's viewpoint, of the doctrine of "hot pursuit."
His testimony clearly indicated the inadvisability of allowing political decisions to overrule military judgments in the course of battle.
PART IV. AREAS OF AGREEMENT
The lengthy hearings extending over a period of weeks have produced remarkable results. Although the hearings began for the purpose of inquiring into the military situation in the Far East and the facts concerning the relief of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, they soon broadened to include an examination of entire Far Eastern foreign policy of the United States with emphasis on the period since 1944.
The hearings began in the midst of turmoil and confusion. The American people were not clearly informed as to our objectives in the Far East. As the hearings progressed, the interrogation by members of both political parties developed information which forms the basis for a widening area of agreement. Many of the policies which have been announced and with which all are now in agreement were clearly defined for the first time in the forum provided by these hearings. The points of agreement emerge naturally from a detailed examination of the situation. They represent common-sense conclusions which anyone regardless of political party would draw after the facts had been set forth.
The conviction that the administration's Far East policy was one of appeasement toward communism was proven to be fact as a result of the investigation. Some significant reversals of this policy are directly attributable to the inquiry; for example, the administration's categorical statements regarding China and Formosa.
The hearings further revealed numerous situations in which no policy existed at all. The joint committee's revelation forced action.
Why was there a major shift by the State Department in its foreign policy? The reasons are several. One, the State Department found itself unable to defend policies in the face of the questions which were propounded to it. Two, the march of events in Korea itself has proven the wisdom of policies which the Department had previously for so long scorned. And, three, the ground swell of American public opinion, which expressed itself in one of the greatest floods of spontaneous correspondence which has ever descended upon the legislative and executive branch of the Government, required the State Department to alter policies which were disapproved by the public, which had been ill-informed and misinformed by the State Department on far-eastern affairs.
31b The United Nations air force had been prohibited from bombing Rachin, a supply depot, because State Department feared that attacking planes would violate Russian territory.