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Posted: 4/19/2002 1:02:09 PM EDT
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Originally Posted By Renamed: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I DO NOT wish to go down the same road with israel as we did in Korea. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Does that mean that you consider America's policy of containment during the Cold War a mistake? ? -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ABSOLUTELY. We didn't "contain" anything. We got our butts kicked in Korea and in 'Nam. Both ventures into Asia were TOTAL failures. Conservatives have ALWAYS said communism would collapse under its own financial / socio-economic weight. We didn't need to fight those wars. But this is WAY off topic. If you wish to persue this line of thouight, please start a new thread.
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OK, Garandman, here's a new thread. First of all, would you agree that the United States in particular and the West in general won the Cold War? If you do agree, then doesn't that suggest that the USA's Cold War policies were at least somewhat effective? I agree with the notion that communism would have collapsed on its own, sooner or later. But I have to question whether that collapse would have come quickly enough to have spared an isolationist USA from costs greater than those incurred in waging the Cold War. Do you really think that the communists would have lost power as quickly as they did if they'd been winning a series of easy military victories while economically strangling the West?
Link Posted: 4/19/2002 1:59:50 PM EDT
First of all, would you agree that the United States in particular and the West in general won the Cold War?
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Tough Question. No and Yes , We certainly lasted longer then they did. We outspent them for sure, we had better training and they had more men. We have better technology and they had cannon fodder to feed the defending Germans and NATO. Had they had a Full Scale attack against NATO Western Europe and America would have been in a world of hurt as 100+ Tank Heavy Soviet Divisions poured through the Fulda Gap. It would have been a bloody quick Massacre, and without Nuclear Weapons the US and NATO would have been destroyed at the very least pushed out of Europe bleeding from every orifice (envision a Rocky Fight) It would have been bad. But once in That position I think the war would have followed along the lines of WWII without the USE of Nukes.
If you do agree, then doesn't that suggest that the USA's Cold War policies were at least somewhat effective?
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The US's policies were effective at Deterance. They also helped build a huge Technological lead. I would say that Putting a Non HardLIne Communist in the USSR was a major step forward. Gorbachev Actually Hurt the Soviet Union FROM THE COMMUNIST PROSPECTIVE. Kinda LIke Electing Bill Clinton here from an American Perspective. It always helps to have an Enemy that isn't as willing to Fight you. There were many factors.
I agree with the notion that communism would have collapsed on its own, sooner or later. But I have to question whether that collapse would have come quickly enough to have spared an isolationist USA from costs greater than those incurred in waging the Cold War.
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Yes This is true, Communism from an Economic point of view will collapse (hell the whole system may run from a perpetual state of Collapse) as after 10/5 year plans the Soviets peasentry was still living just as they had in 1917. Their whole world stopped right there and they never took another step forward. I don't know that The COsts of Waging the Cold War were all that much, I mean we got a huge economy out of that. The Defense Industrial Complex creates a hell of a lot of wealth and jobs, unlike Welfare and such.
Do you really think that the communists would have lost power as quickly as they did if they'd been winning a series of easy military victories while economically strangling the West
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Well on this last scentence I am not quite sure what you mean, but I will take a stab at it. If you are speaking hypothetically you will have to give a more full scenario. 70 years is not really a that short of time at least 2/3 generations were almost completely wasted. Their own happiness and also the happiness by which they could have had, had they been free. The Soviets do not really have a Navy which is vital. And History has shown that no Nation Without a Navy has ever Conquered and Kept or Destroyed a Nation without a Navy. I am reaching you have to be more specific on that last question. Ben
Link Posted: 4/19/2002 2:06:47 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/21/2002 6:40:40 AM EDT by 5subslr5]
The United States won the Cold War due to our economy. We simply out produced the Principal Adversary (The Soviet Union). In the end our economy produced both guns and butter while finally the Soviets could produce neither guns nor butter in adequate quantities.
Link Posted: 4/19/2002 2:21:20 PM EDT
A relative of mine spent a lot of Time in Germany. He usta tell me stories of guys trading anything for a box of Marlboro's. One East German traded his T-72 for a case of Cigarettes. Drove the tank across one of the Checkpoints, Got out, picked up his Cigarettes and walked back across the line in Berlin. Near the End they were just wanting Cigs and Liquir and the Soviets had lost all Control, they hadn't been paid in months,etc. It got really bad by the time the Soviet Union Collapsed. Really the Soviets rotted from within. Trying to keep up with the west really served as a catalyst to their downfall. Ben
Link Posted: 4/20/2002 6:18:06 PM EDT
Let me put this another way: Imagine that after WWII, the USA had adopted an isolationist foreign policy. That would have meant no NATO (or at least no US in NATO), no Korean War, no Vietnam War, no aid to the Afghan resistance, no support of allies such as Taiwan or Israel, and no intervention in countries like Greece, El Salvador, Guatemala, the Congo, Grenada or anywhere else the USA tried to stop communism. Would the Soviet Union still have collapsed by the early 1990s?
Link Posted: 4/20/2002 7:21:15 PM EDT
I believe that it would have collapsed...maybe not in 1989, but sooner or later, yes...it would have fallen in on itself like a house of cards. I've read quite a bit of info that has come out of the former Soviet Union since the early 1990's. While in my mind there's no question that Ronald Wilson Reagan was the guy that succeeded in killing off the USSR, the Soviet system was so corrupt, poorly led, and managed that it was only a matter of time. I started soldiering during Reagan's first term. I knew that the Soviet beast was immense, and that defending against its oppression would be my chosen profession. A few years later, I found out that the USSR was a paper tiger...and that they were one hell of a lot more scared of us, and really worried that we would attack them in mass. I guess it's not that hard to believe. During the Great Patriotic War, the USSR lost 20 million people against the German Army (assisted by the Finns, Bulgars, Romanians, Italians, Croats, etc.) Think about that for a moment. The leadership felt they had to have the biggest army in the world - so they never really drew down from WWII. They had a couple of reasons for this; one being the West/NATO, and the other being China. But it was too big, and too unwieldy. They couldn't supply their soldiers in the field, they couldn't train year-round, since they had to send their soldiers to cut wheat, and they couldn't afford to train their soldiers properly without professionals in their ranks. The last decent leader (from their point of view) was Nikita Khrushchev; Brezhnev was a broken man afflicted with severe Alzheimer's, Andropov was more concerned about getting rid of dissidents, and Chernenko lasted, what, a year? The nation depending on external sources for FOOD, and couldn't manage to push forward any decent programs outside of the major cities. For the peasants that survived the purges of the 1920's and 30's, nothing really changed for them. Of course, Stalin didn't really help things get better, as it's a toss-up on who killed more Russians during WWII - him or the entire German Army. He let engineers do earth-moving projects in the early 1950's with nukes, for Pete’s sake! A lot of knowledgeable people feel that Russia could be an economic powerhouse, provided it gets a grasp on its natural resources and learns how to take care of its citizens. Perhaps a few light bulbs will finally go on over there, and they'll join the 20th century, and possibly the 21st.
Link Posted: 4/20/2002 7:42:04 PM EDT
I think that our policy of containment was needed to slow the fire of communism until the economic weight doomed it. Running an arms race with USSR did bolster our economy while probably hurting theirs. Without us opposing them every inch of the way I think the USSR would have lasted a lot longer than she did.
Link Posted: 4/21/2002 6:38:06 AM EDT
So what do you think of Garandman's assertion that the Korean War was a "TOTAL" failure for the US? Granted, US forces were routed twice: first in the initial North Korean invasion, then later when the Chinese intervened. In the end, though, the US achieved its goal of stopping communist aggression, and South Korea went on to become a valuable trading partner.
Link Posted: 4/21/2002 6:10:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/21/2002 6:12:10 PM EDT by AndyTN]
The Korean War can hardly be called a total failure; rather, a conventional war followed by 50 years of LIC (that's "low intensity conflict" for you civilians out there). Sure, there were problems with the way the war was fought...go find anyone that's ever served in the US Army during wartime...hell, go read history books if you have to...and show me unilateral agreement on the conduct of ANY war this nation has ever fought! Considering that we whipped the nKPA like a surplus government mule, and fought the largest army in the world to a virtual standstill...AND have kept hostile invaders at bay for 50 years, AND assisted South Korea in turning their nation into an economic power house - how could anyone POSSIBLY see this as a failure? Granted, up on the DMZ, and sporadically across the country, the nKPA tries its best to disrupt the hard charging economy of its neighbor to the south. For the most part, though, "Dear Leader" Kim Jong-Il has accepted the fact that he can't win, and I believe it's just a matter of time before North and South reunite as one. Kim's suffering far worse problems that his once greatest trading partner (the USSR) and is only staying in power thanks to help from his fellow "communists" in the PRC. So, like the USSR...it's just a matter of time.
Link Posted: 4/21/2002 6:20:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/21/2002 6:50:10 PM EDT by 5subslr5]
Originally Posted By AndyTN: Kim's suffering far worse problems that his once greatest trading partner (the USSR) and is only staying in power thanks to help from his fellow "communists" in the PRC. So, like the USSR...it's just a matter of time.
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OR, is South Korea and the U.S. keeping Kim in power ? (I don't classify Vietnam or Desert Storm as a LIC.)
Link Posted: 4/21/2002 6:52:35 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/21/2002 6:53:59 PM EDT by AndyTN]
Subsailor, I didn't mention, nor did I imply anything concerning the Vietnam War in my post. The Vietnam war happened. It started when the French came back in 1945, and ended for us in 1975, when Soviet-built T-55 tanks belonging to the PAVN rolled through President Thieu's palace gates. Now, nearly 30 years later, the Vietnamese want us back. I think we should do everything we can to become actively involved with that country. And, I think that it could be an important ally for this nation in the future. We did far more for a country that we nuked, remember? As far as the question about keeping Kim Jong-Il in power, I have but one thing to ask...are you high?
Link Posted: 4/21/2002 6:57:50 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AndyTN: The Korean War can hardly be called a total failure; rather, a conventional war followed by 50 years of LIC (that's "low intensity conflict" for you civilians out there).
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".......a conventional war followed by 50 years of LIC............" Guess I was confused.
Link Posted: 4/21/2002 7:00:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AndyTN: As far as the question about keeping Kim Jong-Il in power, I have but one thing to ask...are you high?
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Are you capable of posting without including a personal insult ? North Korea should have run out of food in January 2002 but did not. Who do you think provided the food ?
Link Posted: 4/21/2002 7:06:51 PM EDT
Sorry, didn't know you were referring to humanitarian aid as "propping up" a hostile government. Of course, with the way the Clinton administration handled the affair, I'm certain that "Dear Leader" got a ton of other things out of it as well. So good point. Meant to put a little smiley-face after the post. No offense intended.
Link Posted: 4/21/2002 7:08:20 PM EDT
Yeah, 50 years of LIC on the DMZ...and I should have added, "with periods of downright conventional warfare."
Link Posted: 4/21/2002 7:15:18 PM EDT
Originally Posted By AndyTN: Yeah, 50 years of LIC on the DMZ...and I should have added, "with periods of downright conventional warfare."
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Of all the smaller likely adversaries, the North Koreans bother me the most. During the Korean War they were able to bring in both the Chinese and Russians directly into the battle and would like nothing better than to do so once again. I don't know what the answer is. Starve out the regime and take a chance the people will revolt rather than attack South Korea or better stated will the people revolt 'before' the North Korean leadership can order an attack on the South ? With the limited information I have I would not have sent the food.
Link Posted: 4/21/2002 7:23:04 PM EDT
Well, like John Lennon used to say, "give peace a chance." Kim just can't afford to keep going. His nation's broke. He doesn't have any pull with the Kremlin anymore, and if South Korea and China ever start going into business together (how does Daewoo shipbuilding in Shanghai sound?), it'll all be over. To be honest, I would've sent the food, along with medical assistance...but you'd better believe there would have been some concessions.
Link Posted: 4/22/2002 6:05:47 AM EDT
Let's suppose that the US hadn't fought in either Korea or in Vietnam. Suppose, too, that the US hadn't pledged its support to Taiwan. Would communism have spread even farther than it did? What would the economic impact on the USA have been if Taiwan and South Korea had become collectivist backwaters instead of thriving economic centers?
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