Accession Number : ADA283283

Title :   The Truman-MacArthur Tug of War - A Lingering Aftermath

Descriptive Note : Final rept.

Corporate Author : AIR WAR COLL MAXWELL AFB AL

Personal Author(s) : Danner, Stephen A.

PDF Url : ADA283283

Report Date : APR 1993

Pagination or Media Count : 38

Abstract : This paper briefly reviews the public disagreement between President Truman and General MacArthur over civilian control of the military, the strategic direction of the Korean war, and the political overtones of their clash. Additionally, it examines the aftermath of MacArthur's relief. What effect, if any, did Truman's wartime relief of his senior field commander have on subsequent civil-military relations? Were later senior military leaders inhibited in presenting their views to their civilian superiors when those views conflicted with administration desires, preferred courses of action, or strategic decisions? Were the decisions of America's civilian leaders influenced or inhibited as they dealt with the desires, beliefs, and recommendations of their senior military leaders of the time? At least one historian has written about the shadow of MacArthur and the lingering effect of his relief That possible effect is explored by looking at four cases of civil-military conflict: (1) General Ridgway and Secretary Wilson, (2) General Westmoreland, the Joint Chiefs, and President Johnson, (3) General Singlaub and President Carter, and (4) General Powell and President Clinton. The conclusion is that MacArthur's relief has not had an adverse restraining effect on civil-military relations when leaders of character and strength of will were involved. Ridgway was the closest in time to MacArthur's relief, but he was the least affected by it. Only during Vietnam, a similarly limited war with unclear national security objectives, did the shadow of MacArthur clearly affect America's senior leaders- particularly President Johnson and General Westmoreland

Descriptors :   *PRESIDENT(UNITED STATES), *MILITARY COMMANDERS, MILITARY FORCES(UNITED STATES), CONTROL, MILITARY HISTORY, MILITARY STRATEGY, NATIONAL SECURITY, VIETNAM, HISTORIANS, WARTIME, LESSONS LEARNED, LEADERSHIP, MANAGEMENT, COMMAND AND CONTROL SYSTEMS, CONFLICT

Subject Categories : Administration and Management
      Government and Political Science
      Humanities and History
      Personnel Management and Labor Relations
      Military Forces and Organizations
      Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE