Kim’s “invasion” of the South gave the US the pretext they needed to ramp up military spending via NSC-68 and to support Rhee directly and indirectly by committing one of the classic blunders: never get involved in a land war in Asia.

Admiral Forrest Sherman, Chief of Naval Operations, declared later: ‘I was fully aware of the hazards involved in fighting Asiatics on the Asiatic mainland, which is something that, as a naval officer, I have grown up to believe should be avoided if possible.”

But they did it anyway.

United Nations Security Council Resolution 83 was pushed through – the Soviet Union did not veto it because it was still boycotting the Security Council – and Truman immediately decided to throw everything he had at Korea, shocking not just the Koreans, the Soviet and the Chinese, but also the British.

Truman call it a “police action”, a phrase he would later regret.


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