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July 72000 Politics and the TrumanMacArthur Controversy The precarious peace following World War II was at times only seconds from degenerating into a world wide nuclear war The intensity of the cold war allowed for minimal error in foreign policy It was during this tense and volatile time that General Douglas MacArthur fought what some deem his war in Korea While he had proven himself time and again a brilliant military leader his behavior was not impeccable He tended to rely too much on his own authority a trait not dear to Congress or the President It was this tendency towards insubordination and his flagrant vocal outbursts that resulted in his dismissal on April 11 1951 by President Harry S Truman1 The outcome of World War II left the world in an unprecedented situation The two primary Allied powers the United States a capitalist nation and the Soviet Union a communist nation were political polar opposites The differences between the two political ideologies lent the two nations to a natural rivalry The post World War II world was a prime playing field for this rivalry to unfold Most of the world powers had been completely devastated leaving formerly self-sufficient nations and their colonies in complete governmental and economic disarray Subsequently they were susceptible to the influence of anyone offering assistance either governmentally of economically Hence the rivalry that had begun prior to the war was foregone out of the necessity to defeat a common foe once again began again in earnest It was against this backdrop of fear and the burgeoning Cold War that General MacArthur would wage his war in Korea The Soviet Union felt that the spread of communism was imminent and set about to assist that trend At the same time the Soviet Union wanted to ensure that they would not be invaded again If control of Eastern Europe could be retained they would be n essence killing
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