The Korean War (1950-53) is sometimes called America’s “Forgotten War,” the one that came between our crushing victory in World War II and the turmoil of our defeat in Vietnam.
It’s forgotten in part because its results were, at first glance, inconclusive: the North Korean regime survived, and the war was suspended in a ceasefire. In other words, a “draw.”
I’ve argued before that this is an incorrect way to view the war. True, we failed in our initial objective: to liberate all the Korean peninsula. But our later goal, the survival of the South Korean state, turned into a good few could have anticipated. Since the war, South Korea has become a prosperous democratic nation and a close ally of the United States. So, while we didn’t achieve all our war aims, it’s hard not to call this “victory.”
North Korea, on the other hand, gives new meaning to the phrase “Hell on Earth.”
For Prager University, historian Victor Davis Hanson (1) looks at the Korean War and offers not only the same reasons I adduce to call it a win, but also points out why it was an intensely moral fight on the part of the US and its allies:
The Korean War, and the men who fought it, should never be forgotten.
(Reposted in honor of Memorial Day)
(1) One of my intellectual heroes.