Gen. Douglas MacArthur: The Quest for Durable Peace

by Steve Douglas

Printed in the American Almanac, January, 2001

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``It used to be elementary competency in the training of modern civilization's higher military ranks, as typified by General Douglas MacArthur, that the object of warfare, is to produce and offer to one's opponent the circumstances in which his own moral conception of his self-interest efficiently requires him to cease war-fighting.... [T]he fact that the object of warfare should be an early exit to a durable peace, should be clear to any rational, literate, and intelligent person, especially to those who have studied the history of such matters.... The only durable basis for peace, is the commitment of victor and vanquished to the common purpose of the general welfare of each and all equally.

``Peace could never come, except to the degree that the rule by oligarchy is outlawed, as the opening paragraphs of our 1776 Declaration of Independence and the 1789 Preamble of our Federal Constitution prescribe. As long as oligarchy's claims are tolerated--whether Babylonian, Spartan, Roman, feudal, financier, there is no peace on this planet, and can be no peace, except in the grave. Peace exists only to the degree it is brought into being, over the opposition of a corrupt popular will, by those rare persons rightly known as the peace-makers.|...

``The peace-makers are those, who, above everything else find the meaning of their personal mortal lives in their contribution to the future peace and welfare of humanity as a whole.''

--Lyndon H. LaRouche, Jr., ``In Defense of Strategy'', 21st Century Science and Technology, Summer 2000)

The dangerous state of intellectual and moral decay, that, lamentably, permeates the leading ranks of all branches of the United States' Armed Forces today, constitutes a grave strategic threat to both the United States, and the world at large. It defines the urgent need for a thoroughgoing transformation in the quality of thinking that informs American military leaders, in their approach to questions of ``grand strategy.''

Lyndon LaRouche has addressed this problem, repeatedly, in numerous essays, including in his ``In Defense of Strategy,'' as referenced above. LaRouche has often referenced Gen. Douglas MacArthur, as being exemplary of the republican, nation-building, military tradition that the United States must urgently revive, if it is to lead mankind out of the civilizational crisis that now threatens its very existence. It is to that purpose, that this report on Gen. Douglas MacArthur is dedicated. What will emerge, is the picture of a Classically-educated nation builder, steeped the writings of Plato and Classical Greece, who, animated by a deep sense of Christian love, and dedication to the uplifting of mankind as a whole, gave life to his Christian-Platonic ideals, with equal zest and effect, on the battlefields of war, as well as the treacherous terrain of postwar political/economic reconstruction. Moreover, it will be demonstrated, that MacArthur's brilliant campaigns in war, were strictly shaped by his Christian/Platonic quest for the realization of a durable peace, in, implicitly, precisely the sense that Lyndon LaRouche defines the fight for the creation of ``durable peace,'' in his ``In Defense of Strategy'' and ``Jesus Christ and Civilization'' (EIR, vol. 27, no. 39) strategic studies reports.

The four basic areas of Douglas MacArthur's life and activities, upon which this report will focus, are: (1) his fight for a durable peace, as Supreme Commander Allied Powers (SCAP) in post-World War II Japan, between 1945 and 1951; (2) his masterful, life-saving ``leapfrogging'' campaign against the Japanese military in the Southwest Pacific theater, between 1942 and 1945; (3) his most famous flanking maneuver: the surprise landing at Inchon, South Korea, which he successfully conducted with such brilliance, against the opposition of {both} his North Korean military adversaries {and} the unanimous opposition of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff; and (4) his own cognitive development, and the republican family background in which that intellectual activity was embedded.

We should heed the wish expressed by MacArthur himself, in 1945, as we review the almost unparalleled accomplishments and victories of his military campaigns, by always maintaining a focus on his fundamental mission: the securing of a durable peace. Unlike the wretched thinking which has come to predominate in the ranks of the U.S. officer corps today, MacArthur's concept of victory was defined by a commitment to the construction of a durable peace, not merely the physical destruction of a wartime enemy. So, General MacArthur surprised (some) friends and foes, alike, when, in the summer of 1945, speaking in his capacity as SCAP, he categorically rejected demands from Washington, that he impose an economically punitive blueprint on the Japanese, as drafted by Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau, which would have rendered Japan an industrial and agricultural backwater, for decades to come. In rejecting Morgenthau's vindictive plan, General MacArthur spoke of how he would wish to be viewed in history:

``If the historian of the future should deem my service worthy of some slight reference, it would be my hope that he mention me not as a commander engaged in campaigns and battles, even though victorious to American arms, but rather as one whose sacred duty it became, once the guns were silenced, to carry to the land of the vanquished foe, the solace and hope and faith of Christian morals.'' His admonition to the Corps of Cadets at the United States Military Academy at West Point, on May 12, 1962, in MacArthur's last major speech before his death in 1964, should also be borne in mind:

``The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war. But always in our ears ring the ominous words of Plato, that wisest of all philosophers, `Only the dead have seen the end of war.'|''

War vs. the Japanese Enemy and the British `Ally'

Within weeks of Japan's Dec. 7, 1941 surprise attack on the United States at Pearl Harbor, and Adolf Hitler's Dec. 11, 1941 declaration of war against the U.S., British and American leaders convened the Arcadia strategy conference, in Washington, D.C., in order to define strategic priorities for the Allied war effort. Two vital decisions were ratified at that conference: (1) the defeat of Germany was to take absolute priority over the war in the Pacific; and (2) a combined Chiefs of Staff, consisting of U.S. and British military leaders, would assume overall responsibility for the direction of the conduct of the war.

The British could not have been happier about the outcome of the Arcadia deliberations. It provided them with the institutional framework by means of which they hoped to shape the expansion of the British Empire, after the war. Having successfully provoked the outbreak of a second world war, the British oligarchy sought to bleed Germany and the Soviet Union white and prostrate in Europe, while prolonging the ``secondary'' U.S.-Japanese conflict in Asia into the 1950s! With Germany, France, Japan, the Soviet Union, China, and the United States suffering tens of millions of casualties and untold economic devastation between them, the British oligarchy maneuvered for the emergence of a relatively stronger British Empire, and a more subordinate United States, in a postwar world. Central to this British ``bleed them white'' strategy, was the perpetual postponement of the opening of a ``Second Front'' against Hitler's Germany, in continental Europe. Whereas U.S. military planners favored an attack across the English Channel as soon as possible--the spring of 1943 at the latest--the British insisted that such an undertaking was not feasible. And as long as no ``Second Front'' was opened, victory against Hitler was needlessly delayed, and the U.S. war effort in the Pacific was underprioritized, undercut, and undersupplied, accordingly. Such were some of the key strategic constraints which MacArthur confronted, as he waged his desperate resistance against the Japanese onslaught in the Philippines in December 1941 and early 1942. On Feb. 23, 1942, MacArthur received a telegram from President Roosevelt, instructing him to depart from the Philippines within seven days and to proceed to Melbourne, Australia, where he was to assume command of all U.S. troops there.

The Divided Command

Weeks earlier, after the collapse of the Dutch position on Java, the short-lived, cumbersome, and woefully ineffective American-British-Dutch-Australian (ABDA) command staff for the war against Japan had been dissolved. British Prime Minister Churchill and President Roosevelt then re-divided spheres of responsibility, such that the British assumed overall command in the India-Burma-Southeast Asia region, while the U.S. took military command in the Pacific Ocean area, including Australia. It then remained for the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, to define the American chain of command for the Pacific Ocean theater. They did so, by dividing the Pacific Ocean into three subsections: the Southwest Pacific Area (SWPA), the South Pacific Area (SPA), and the Central Pacific Area (CPA) ({Map 1}). General MacArthur was appointed commander-in-chief of the SWPA, while Adm. Chester Nimitz was named head of the CPA and SPA (or Pacific Ocean Area). This divided command structure contributed to innumerable inter-service and inter-theater clashes in the course of the war, and constituted yet another formidable obstacle, that the resourceful MacArthur had to overcome. MacArthur vehemently opposed this unwieldy and unnecessary arrangement: ``I urged, with all the earnestness of which I was capable, that the command of the Pacific be unified.... The failure to do so in the Pacific cannot be defended in logic, in theory, or in common sense. {Other motives must be ascribed}. It resulted in divided effort, the diffusion and duplication of force, and the consequent extension of the war, with added casualties and cost'' (emphasis added).

The British, together with their Anglophile American co-conspirators, never tired of stoking the fires that were born of this unwieldy, divided command arrangement, in their ceaseless efforts to undercut and sandbag MacArthur. Notwithstanding its nominal praise for MacArthur's accomplishments on the field of battle, the British establishment maintained a wary and antagonistic attitude toward MacArthur, that was not unlike its posture toward Roosevelt--and for much the same reason. Roosevelt and Churchill clashed bitterly, over the question of the repugnancy of what FDR termed, ``British colonial methods,'' and Roosevelt's intention to rid the world of all such empires and ``colonial methods'' after the cessation of hostilities, as Roosevelt's son Eliot reported in his book As He Saw It. The British were thoroughly familiar with MacArthur's commitment to republican independence for the Philippines. Moreover, they knew that MacArthur conceived of U.S. policy in the Philippines to be a paradigm for an anti-colonial policy, that could define a pathway to nationhood and development, for all of the countries and colonies of Asia. So, the British utilized every devious method in their diplomatic repertoire, in an effort to delimit MacArthur's progress during the war. Limited success in the war, would spell a correspondingly limited role in peace, according to British ``balance of power'' calculations.

MacArthur, Mahan, and the Navy

It should be noted, in this context, that many of the squabbles between MacArthur and the Navy brass, which most historians simplistically and falsely ascribe to petty ``inter-service rivalries,'' were of a far more profound, {axiomatic} nature than has generally been acknowledged, with their roots in the centuries-old conflict between America's republican Founding Fathers and their British Empire adversaries. That is, significant elements of the U.S. Naval leadership's strategic thinking had been infected by the Anglophile, utopian ``sea-power doctrine'' of Adm. Alfred Mahan. Mahan's book, The Influence of Sea Power on History, 1660-1783, which ``analyzed'' and lauded the role of sea power in the emergence of the British Empire, had become the ``bible'' of much of the upper echelons of the U.S. Naval establishment, early in the 20th Century. It produced a degeneration of thinking in naval affairs, comparable to the devastating axiomatic shift that U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Strange McNamara introduced into the U.S. military during the 1960s, with his systems-analysis, cost-accounting, cabinet-warfare, and ``body-count'' doctrines.

The conceptions of warfare that guided the Navy through its bloody, frontal assault ``island-hopping'' campaign in the Central Pacific, and those that guided MacArthur in his far less bloody, flanking attack leapfrogging campaign in the Southwest Pacific were, axiomatically, polar opposites. Whereas MacArthur was guided by an outlook made famous by his ``I shall return'' pledge to the Filipino people, the Navy in the Central Pacific theater, was guided by a ``we shall acquire military bases and annihilate the enemy'' outlook.

MacArthur's commitment to nation building, and his commitment to defeat Japan, came together as one, in the form of his perspective for the liberation of the Philippines. Their liberation would not only fulfill MacArthur's solemn pledge to the Filipino people, and thereby set the stage for a republican U.S. presence in Asia in the postwar period; it would, at the same time, effectively cut Japan off from access to the vital raw materials that it had been extracting from the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) and other areas south of the Philippines ({Map 2}), and thereby substantially shorten the war. The naval planners in the Central Pacific, on the other hand, thought principally in terms of the exercise of sea power. Bases were to be acquired, no matter at what bloody cost, so that the United States could move toward its ``objective'' of bombing the home islands of Japan into submission.

The British made no secret of their support for the Navy's Central Pacific perspective. At the Quadrant strategy conference in Quebec in August 1943, the British proposed that more U.S. troops and landing craft be sent to the European theater, given the successful U.S. landing in Sicily in July. By concentrating all U.S. forces in the Pacific in Nimitz's Central Pacific island-hopping campaign, and directing MacArthur to assume a relatively static, defensive posture in the SWPA, the British contended that the ``necessary'' additional landing craft and troops for Europe, could be made available. The U.S. admirals who were present, of course, concurred with this perfidious British proposal! Only the firm intervention of Gen. George Marshall, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and President Roosevelt, prevented the adoption of the British plan.

The Japanese would have been delighted, had the U.S. embraced the British Central Pacific proposal. After the war, Col. Matsuichi Juio, a senior Japanese intelligence officer told an interrogator, that MacArthur's strategy of ``bypassing'' or leapfrogging Japanese strongholds, was ``the type of strategy we hated most.'' MacArthur, he explained, repeatedly, ``with minimum losses, attacked and seized a relatively weak area, constructed airfields and then proceeded to cut the supply lines to [our] troops in that area.... Our strong points were gradually starved out. The Japanese Army preferred direct [frontal] assault, after the German fashion, but the Americans flowed into our weaker points and submerged us, just as water seeks the weakest entry to sink a ship. We respected this type of strategy ... because it gained the most while losing the least.''

Contrast MacArthur's fluid, economical, life-saving leapfrogging perspective--that MacArthur fondly referred to as ``hitting the enemy where he ain't''--to the bloody assault on the island of Iwo Jima, conducted by the Central Pacific Command in February-March 1945.

Whereas, the Japanese could never guess MacArthur's intended objectives, they easily predicted where Nimitz's forces planned to attack. They started fortifying Iwo Jima--{a full seven months before the American assault}--because they knew Nimitz would want to turn it into an airfield base, from which bombing raids could be conducted on Japan. By the time the American assault began, Iwo Jima had been transformed into one gigantic reinforced bunker, with 361 artillery pieces, 65 mortars, 33 large naval guns, and nearly 100 high-caliber anti-aircraft guns, that were manned by 21,000 elite Japanese troops. The carnage in the month-long battle was hideous. The U.S. Marines suffered almost 27,000 casualties, including 6,821 killed, while all but several hundred of the Japanese defenders were killed. And for what strategic purpose? Iwo Jima never became a major bomber base; yet, the construction of such an airbase {had been the main justification for the American attack}!

In fact, MacArthur argued strenuously against the Central Pacific Area Command Staff's contemplated assaults on both Iwo Jima and Okinawa, at a July 1944 conference in Hawaii, convened on orders from President Roosevelt, to discuss matters of strategy in the Pacific.

``I argued against the naval concept of frontal assault against the strongly held island positions of Iwo Jima or Okinawa.... They were not essential to the enemy's defeat, and by cutting them off from supplies, they could be easily reduced and their effectiveness completely neutralized with negligible loss to ourselves.''

The battle for Okinawa, which lasted from April 1 until June 30, 1945, proved to be even bloodier than Iwo Jima: over 12,000 Americans died, and more then 36,500 were wounded. Would that President Roosevelt had heeded General MacArthur's recommendation, and not simply embraced a compromise, according to which MacArthur would proceed with his return to the Philippines, even as the Central Pacific Area would proceed with its frontal assaults on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. To put the contrasting approaches of MacArthur, the Central Pacific commanders, and U.S. commanders in the European theater into perspective, consider the following:

In {two full years} of intensive campaigning, as he worked his way back to the waters of the Philippines, against the opposition of hundreds of thousands of Japanese Army troops, and multiple, elite units of the Japanese Navy and Air Force, MacArthur suffered 27,684 casualties (including Australian losses). In the single, month-long battle of Iwo Jima, U.S. forces, sustained an almost identical number of killed and wounded: 27,000.

As for Europe, during the month-long battle of Anzio, Italy, in 1944, American forces incurred 72,306 casualties. In the Battle of Normandy, General Eisenhower lost 28,366 casualties.

The Curtin-MacArthur Alliance

When MacArthur first set foot on Australian soil, on March 17, 1942, to assume command of the U.S. forces there, the situation looked bleak, indeed. The offensive which the Japanese had launched on Dec. 7, 1941, had continued almost unabated, throughout the Pacific. Surveying the situation, MacArthur found only 25,000 ill-trained American troops; a small, bedraggled, demoralized Army Air Force, which was largely grounded for lack of spare parts; a virtually non-existent Navy; widespread fear and despair in Australia, regarding prospects for an imminent Japanese invasion; and, Australia's three top combat divisions, deployed thousands of miles away in the deserts of North Africa, against Germany's Gen. Erwin Rommel. The Australian Chiefs of Staff, anticipating the worst, had prepared to abandon over two-thirds of Australia to the expected Japanese attackers, and defend only that portion of the country below the ``Brisbane-Adelaide Line.'' Power stations, military bases, docks, harbors, and other industrial installations were to be blown up, as part of a scorched-earth policy against the invading Japanese troops.

In his first meeting with the Australian Chiefs of Staff, MacArthur categorically rejected the Brisbane-Adelaide Line perspective: ``Such a concept is fatal to every possibility of assuming the offensive, and ... will bottle us up on the Australian continent.''

From the moment of his first encounter with John Curtin, the fiery Australian Prime Minister, MacArthur established a warm bond of friendship and strategic collaboration, which stood as the indispensable pivot for everything that he was able to accomplish in 1942 and 1943, especially. Together, they battled British sabotage of the Allied war effort in the SWPA. Curtin had declared to the Australian people, on Dec. 27, 1941:

``We refuse to accept the dictum that the Pacific struggle must be treated as a subordinate segment of the general conflict.... [W]ithout any inhibitions of any kind, I make it quite clear that Australia looks to America, free of any pangs as to our traditional links or kinship with the United Kingdom.''

Curtin, personally, fought Winston Churchill, in order to secure the return of the battle-tested Australian divisions from the Middle East, in the spring of 1942. These divisions performed a decisive role in the combat operations against the Japanese in New Guinea in 1942 and 1943, even as the flow of American manpower to MacArthur remained a trickle. Equally important, MacArthur, the West Point engineer, and Curtin, the Labor Prime Minister, presided over an extraordinary industrial and technological mobilization of the Australian economy, which met, and even exceeded, the logistical needs of MacArthur's forces, which otherwise would have languished for lack of vital supplies from the United States. Whereas Eisenhower's troops were allocated 15 tons of supplies per infantry man, for the invasion of North Africa, MacArthur's infantry troops in the field were provided with only five tons per man. Not only did the Curtin-MacArthur economic mobilization adequately supply MacArthur's SWPA troops, it enabled the SWPA to export its ``surplus'' to other sectors in the Pacific. Fully 70% of the supplies consumed by MacArthur's troops during the last half of 1942, were produced by Australia.

Having taken full stock of his abysmal logistical situation, under circumstances in which he had been instructed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to maintain a defensive posture, MacArthur made the first major strategic decision of the campaign: ``We'll defend Australia in New Guinea'' ({Map 3}), he declared. His staff was shocked by the decision, believing it to be, as indeed it was, extremely risky. The lone, remaining Australian garrison in New Guinea was Port Moresby, over 600 miles from the closest staging area in Australia. And MacArthur had practically no Navy with which to maintain it. Yet, on July 20, 1942, General MacArthur established his advance headquarters at Port Moresby, with the intent of launching an offensive against the Japanese on the northern coast of New Guinea. He commented that, if his own staff hadn't expected his decision, neither would the Japanese. He was right. After the war, the senior staff officer of the Japanese fleet based at Rabaul, told an Allied interrogator:

``The Japanese did not think that General MacArthur would establish himself in New Guinea and defend Australia from that position.... because he did not have sufficient forces to maintain himself there.''

MacArthur's bold move disrupted Japanese plans for further expansion of their perimeter. Their misestimation of MacArthur's thinking, was to be repeated many times in the coming three years, and countless thousands of American lives were saved, as a consequence.

Gen. Kenney and the Use of Air Power

It was the imagination and initiative of the newly-appointed Army Air Force Commander, Gen. George Kenney, that made MacArthur's bold decision to relocate his advance headquarters to Port Moresby, a strategic reality. He was responsible for transforming Moresby from a besieged garrison, into the main Allied base in the Southwest Pacific. MacArthur had removed Kenney's predecessor, Gen. George Brett, on July 14, because of his demonstrated inability to wield the U.S. Army Air Force as an effective weapon in combat. Brett had allowed himself to be overwhelmed by the, admittedly, severe logistical constraints, that afflicted the entire SWPA theater. Kenney quickly accomplished most of what Brett had despaired of doing, and consequently, became MacArthur's most important strategic collaborator in the SWPA.

After his first interview with MacArthur on July 29, 1942, Kenney received carte blanche to reorganize the Allied Air Forces in the SWPA, and overhaul all combat doctrine, as he deemed appropriate. MacArthur was positively invigorated by Kenney's aggressive, innovative perspective. Kenney rewarded MacArthur's confidence in him, by performing miracles in the realms of supply, combat, and combat innovations in the domain of ``combined arms'' warfare.

The tee-totaling MacArthur was so impressed with Kenney's leadership, that one day he told his staff, as he threw his arm around General Kenney's shoulders, ``This little fellow has given me a new and pretty powerful brandy. I like the stuff. It does me good. And I'm going to keep right on taking it.'' That General MacArthur would have become such a close friend of airman George Kenney, and such a devout--if not the war's leading--proponent of infantry-Air Force collaboration, is a testament to MacArthur's character, intellect, and flexibility as a commander. MacArthur was totally unyielding, when it came to matters of principle; yet, he was equally as fluid, when it came to the {application} of those same principles. MacArthur, by his own admission, had never been much enamored of the potential of air power. Moreover, he had incurred the wrath of many advocates of the development of American air power, when he served on the court martial board that convicted Gen. ``Billy'' Mitchell in 1925, of ``conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline,'' resulting in his dismissal from the military. As the nation's leading proponent of air power, Mitchell had accurately warned of the way in which World War II would erupt, argued vigorously for the creation of an air force, and antagonized many in the nation's military and political hierarchy, for doing so.

As Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army in 1932, MacArthur successfully blocked the creation of a U.S. Department of the Air Force, which was to have been accorded an independent status equivalent to that of the Departments of the Navy and the Army. The development of combat aviation was significantly stunted, as a consequence.

After only several months of working with Kenney, MacArthur had adopted an entirely different outlook. He told Eddie Rickenbacker, who, at that time, was president of Eastern Air Lines, and who, in World War|I, had been America's top fighter ace:

``I probably did the American Air Forces more harm than any man living, when I was Chief of Staff, by refusing to believe in the future of the airplane, as a weapon of war. I am now doing everything I can, to make amends for that great mistake.'' In another discussion during that period, MacArthur referred to his 1932 opposition to the creation of a U.S. Air Force as ``the greatest mistake of my career.''

Kenney's Fifth Air Force ``broke new ground'' in the skies over New Guinea during the summer and fall of 1942. Kenney's priority number one, the establishment of air superiority--or control of the skies--was achieved, even as he presided over the successful airlifting of division-size units, first into New Guinea, and then into combat zones, on a scale that had never before been achieved. MacArthur said of this kind of coordinated attack: ``We can outguess, out-maneuver, and out-think the enemy; we can put a finger right on his heart and paralyze him with surprise.''

At the conclusion of the eastern New Guinea campaign in January 1943, which was conducted with strictly marginal naval input and support, MacArthur made the following observations about ``combined arms'' warfare, as the central feature of the strategic implications of the campaign:

``The outstanding military lesson of this campaign was the continuous calculated application of air power, inherent in the potentialities of every component of the air forces, employed in the most intimate tactical and logistical union with ground troops. The offensive and defensive power of the air in the adaptability, range and capacity of its transport in an effective combination with ground forces, represents tactical and strategical elements of a broadened conception of warfare that will permit the application of offensive power in swift, massive strokes, rather than the dilatory and costly island-to-island advance that some have assumed to be necessary in a theater where the enemy's far-flung strongholds are dispersed throughout a vast expanse of archipelagos.''

Leapfrogging vs. Island-Hopping

The huge Japanese naval, air, and army base at Rabaul ({Map 3}), brimming with over 100,000 troops, loomed as the principal obstacle to progress in the SWPA, as 1943 began. Unless Rabaul were somehow neutralized, the prospects for a rapid advance by MacArthur through New Guinea to the Philippines, were minimal. At a strategy session in early 1943, MacArthur was presented with glum forecasts by his senior commanders and staff members alike, about the grim outlook for knocking out Rabaul and the constellation of strong points/bases that it sustained. Gen. Charles A. Willoughby, MacArthur's Chief of Intelligence, reported the following inflection point in the discussion:

``I don't see how we can take these strong points with our limited forces,'' said one conferee. ``Well,'' MacArthur replied, ``let's just say that we won't take them. In fact, gentlemen, I don't want them.'' Then, turning to General Kenney, he said, ``You incapacitate them.''

Elaborating later, MacArthur said to Kenney, ``Starve Rabaul! The jungle! Starvation! They're my allies!''

In an interview with Collier's magazine in 1950, MacArthur observed that Japan had ``failed to see the new concept of war which was used against her, involving the bypassing of strongly defended points and by the use of the combined services, the cutting of essential lines of communication, whereby these defensive positions were rendered strategically useless and eventually retaken.''

MacArthur commented, specifically, regarding the development of his strategy during this period:

``I intended to envelop them, apply the `hit 'em where they ain't--let 'em die on the vine' philosophy. I explained that this was the very opposite of what was termed `island hopping,' with extravagant losses and slow progress.... New conditions and new methods require new and imaginative methods for solution and application. Wars are never won in the past.''

Not only was MacArthur leapfrogging within his own SWPA theater, he was, at the same time leapfrogging within the entire Indian Ocean-Pacific Ocean strategic sphere. That is, by maintaining his line of advance up the northern coast of New Guinea, with an intermediate strategic objective of the Philippines, MacArthur refused to allow himself to be sidetracked into making wasteful campaign thrusts from Port Darwin, Australia into East Timor, Java, or islands neighboring Borneo, as the British often recommended. MacArthur regarded the Philippines as the ``keystone of Japan's captured island empire.'' He knew that ``whoever controlled the air and naval bases in the Philippine Islands, logically controlled the main artery of [raw materials] supply to Japan's factories. If this artery were severed, Japan's resources would soon disappear, and her ability to maintain her war potential against the advancing Allies would deteriorate to the point, where her main bases would become vulnerable to capture.'' MacArthur's leapfrogging campaign toward the Philippines, thus had {multiple dimensions of strategic envelopment potential} embedded within it. That is, by leapfrogging through New Guinea, he was bypassing, isolating, and rendering strategically useless, over 150,000 Japanese troops {within} his own theater. By leapfrogging into the Philippines, he was, in turn, bypassing, isolating, and rendering strategically useless several hundreds of thousands of Japanese troops, as well as the vital economic resource potential, of the entire Southern Sphere of the Japanese Empire--all of which lay south and west of the Philippines, {outside} of his SWPA theater. The Central Pacific island-hopping campaign, lacked all such strategic ``extra-dimensionality.'' Unable to prevent the Central Pacific island-hopping thrust, MacArthur was at least able to exploit it as ``flank protection'' on his right, as he advanced toward the Philippines.

Japanese war records attest to MacArthur's correct understanding of the decisive priority that the Japanese attached to the Philippines, in their overall strategic war plans. The Japanese Operations Chief stated:

``Viewed from the standpoint of political and operational strategy, {holding the Philippines was the one essential for the execution of the war against America and Britain.} If they were captured, the advantage would be two to one in favor of the enemy.|...'' (emphasis added)

A brief review of how General MacArthur conducted his operations in Hollandia will suffice to illuminate the dynamic that animated his leapfrogging campaign, throughout the war.

When MacArthur's troops landed at Hollandia, on April 22, 1944, they were completing an incredible 580-mile leap from their base of operations at Saidor ({Map 3}). The Japanese were taken totally by surprise, as MacArthur's troops established bases of operations over 300 miles behind the major Japanese supply depot and base at Wewak. MacArthur's staff had already designed plans for a landing at Hansa Bay, well east of Wewak, and approximately 200 miles west of Saidor, when the General received intelligence indicating that the Japanese had a weak, understaffed, and undersupplied garrison of 11,000 troops at Hollandia. So he scrapped the prior plan, and launched his boldest initiative, yet. One of the major reasons that the Japanese High Command did not expect that MacArthur would leap all the way to Hollandia, was that Hollandia was located well beyond the 350-mile flight radius of General Kenney's Fifth Army Air Force P-38 fighter planes that were based at Saidor. Without fighter escorts, Kenney's B-24 bombers would be exceedingly vulnerable to the attacks of Japanese Zero fighter planes. Moreover, MacArthur had never before leapfrogged beyond the combat radius of his land-based P-38s. The innovative Kenney procured special 300-gallon fuel tanks for the wings, and equipped many of his P-38s with them during March, thereby extending their combat range to 650 miles. In order to lull the Japanese into a false sense of security, Kenney directed his units to concentrate their raids on Wewak, and remain no more than 15 minutes in the sky over targets at Aitape during the days of March. Just as Kenney hoped they would, the Japanese based 139 bombers and 125 fighters at airfields at Hollandia, wingtip to wingtip, unprotected, in the belief that they were beyond American land-based flight radius. Kenney's surprise raids of March 30 and 31 at Hollandia, resulted in the destruction of 199 Japanese aircraft in the air and on the ground, while he lost only four planes to enemy fire. The Japanese withdrew what few planes they had left further west, out of MacArthur's targeted zone of operations.

On the day of the landing, in the largest operation in the SWPA to date, MacArthur deployed a convoy of 217 ships to land over 80,000 men in the landing zones of Hollandia and Aitape, which were 150 miles apart ({Map 3}). For the first time, MacArthur's assault troops were supported, almost exclusively, by naval carrier-based aircraft. Kenney had all but eliminated Japanese presence in the air, and the combined diversionary deployments of the Navy and Kenney's Air Force had convinced the Japanese that Wewak and Hansa Bay were to be MacArthur's targets. In the Hollandia area, 159 American lives were lost, while 3,300 Japanese were killed, and only 1,000 escaped. At Aitape, three Americans died, while 625 Japanese were killed. Tens of thousands of troops of the Japanese 18th Army had been masterfully enveloped by MacArthur, with minimal loss of life. The effect of the element of surprise in MacArthur's operation was devastating. The Japanese commander at Hollandia said, during a postwar interrogation:

``After considering the past operational tactics of the enemy ... we believed they would attempt to acquire an important position somewhere east of Aitape.... Because we misjudged ... we were neither able to reinforce nor send war supplies to their defending units.''

MacArthur's conduct of the war during this period, was truly astounding. Between April and September 1944, culminating with the seizure of Morotai, his forces had advanced 1,400 miles toward the Philippines, while suffering only 1,630 combat deaths, as they killed 26,400 Japanese in combat, and bypassed and neutralized over 150,000 Japanese troops. General MacArthur situated his SWPA campaign in history, as follows:

``Ground, air, and sea operations were thoroughly co-ordinate. It was a new type of campaign--three dimensional warfare--the triphibious concept.... [I]t was actually the adaptation of modern instrumentalities of war to a concept as ancient as war itself. Derived from the classic strategy of envelopment, it was given a new name, imposed by modern conditions.... It [envelopment] has always proved the ideal method for success by [numerically] inferior but faster-moving forces.''

To be continued.


Douglas MacArthur was steeped in a love for the study of world history--especially including Plato, Classical Greece, and American history--by his parents and grandfather. His grandfather, Judge Arthur MacArthur, was an avid reader, and accumulated an extensive library. He was particularly fond of the study of Scottish history, the poet Robert Burns, and Shakespeare, although he lectured on a myriad of topics in Washington, D.C. society. He became a close personal friend of President Ulysses S. Grant and first introduced him to his son Arthur, in 1872. By the 1880s, Captain MacArthur was seeking to be redeployed away from America's quiescent western frontier. So Judge MacArthur arranged for a meeting with President Grant, in order to discuss prospects for other assignments. Grant recommended that Captain MacArthur seek a posting to China, as U.S. military attache@aa. The Captain had read extensively about the Far East, and was thrilled with the idea. Grant had considerable personal knowledge of the region, as a consequence of a world tour he took in 1877, 1878, and 1879, after leaving the White House. He was appalled at the ravages of the colonial policy of the British Empire, that he witnessed around the globe:

``As I was traveling through the East, I tried hard to find something in the policy of the English government to approve. But I could not.... England's policy in the East is hard, reactionary, and selfish. No one can visit those wonderful lands ... without seeing what they might be, under a good government.... As I understand the Eastern Question, the great obstacle to the good government of these countries is England.... [I] have seen things that made my blood boil, in the way the European powers attempt to degrade the Asiatic nations.... [R]ights which at home we regard as essential to our independence and to our national existence, are denied to China and Japan. Among these rights, there is none so important as the right to control commerce.... We have great interests in the Pacific, but we have none that are inconsistent with the independence of these nations.''
Grant's anti-(British) colonial outlook was shared wholeheartedly by Arthur MacArthur, just as it was later embraced by Arthur's son, Douglas.

At Grant's urging, Arthur drafted a 44-page ``Chinese Memorandum'' on U.S. industrial policy and its proper policy toward China, reflecting the foregoing outlook, which Grant, in turn, personally submitted to the President. The memorandum did not secure MacArthur the post as the U.S. military attache@aa to China, but it did contribute to the deliberations on how the U.S. could counteract British imperialism in Asia.

Arthur MacArthur's ``American System'' industrial development outlook, was otherwise embodied in his 1903 design for the construction of a huge artificial harbor contiguous to Los Angeles, which both the city, and the state of California immediately adopted. It was the development of the MacArthur harbor design, which made that area the major international center for trade, which it has since become. Douglas said his father ``felt that engineering skill could provide what nature had failed to do.''

In 1893, Arthur MacArthur was ordered to report to Fort Sam Houston in Texas, where he was to remain for the next four years. This period was to have a profound impact on Douglas MacArthur's life, and he characterized it as, ``without doubt, the happiest of my life.'' ``For,'' said MacArthur of his years as a student at the West Texas Military Academy: ``It was here that a transformation began to take place in my development.... There came a desire to know, a seeking for the reason why, a search for the truth. Abstruse mathematics began to appear as a challenge to analysis; dull Latin and Greek seemed a gateway to the moving words of leaders of the past, laborious historical data led to the nerve-tingling battlefields of the great captains, Biblical lessons began to open the spiritual portals of a growing faith, literature to lay bare the souls of men.''

When the Spanish-American War erupted in 1898, Arthur MacArthur was deployed to the Philippine Islands theater of conflict. In May 1900, the newly promoted General MacArthur was named military commander and governor of the Philippines, which on Dec. 10, 1898, had become a U.S. possession. The bitter conflict that MacArthur waged against the rabidly Anglophile imperialist William Howard Taft, the President of the Second Philippine Commission, was a harbinger of the conflict that his son Douglas was to wage, almost 50 years later, against President Harry Truman and his Anglophile controllers in the U.S. State Department, in the context of the Korean War.

The same British-loving Taft, acting in his capacity as U.S. Secretary of War, while serving under the even more Anglophile President Theodore Roosevelt, deployed Arthur MacArthur on an eight-month, 19,949-mile tour of Asia in 1905, in order to keep him out of the hotly-contested Philippines. Ironically, it was this Taft-mandated ``trip in temporary exile,'' that Arthur's son Douglas subsequently referred to as, ``without doubt, the most important factor of preparation for my entire life.'' For Douglas, who had graduated from West Point in 1903, accompanied his father, as his aide-de-camp, during the journey. Arthur, whose personal library exceeded 4,000 volumes, insisted that Douglas acquire and read every book possible, to learn about the countries that they were visiting. In the evenings during their trip, they read, conferred, and analyzed their experiences. By the conclusion of their odyssey, they had read dozens of books about the countries whose leaders they had just met. Years later, Douglas elaborated on the significance of the trip:

``We saw the strength and the weakness of the colonial system, how it brought law and order, but failed to develop the masses along the essential lines of education and political economy.|...

``The true historic significance and the sense of destiny that these lands of the western Pacific and Indian Ocean now assumed, became part of me. They were to color and influence all the days of my life.... It was crystal clear to me that the future and, indeed, the very existence of America, were irrevocably entwined within Asia, and its island outposts.''

This ``entwining'' that was true for America and Asia, generally, was even more so the case, with respect to MacArthur, personally, and Asia.

MacArthur's grounding in universal history, Classical Greece, the American System, and ecumenical Christian principles, was what guided him, both on and off the battlefield. His collaborators and co-thinkers were the great minds that spanned the entire course of recorded human history. Numerous observers attested to this distinctive, animating quality in MacArthur. George Johnston, an Australian journalist, in describing MacArthur's conduct at press conferences, said, ``The General would pace up and down incessantly, drawing for parallel and metaphor on ... a speech by Lincoln, on a statement by Plato, or sometimes on a passage from scripture.''

Biographer William Manchester described MacArthur, speaking without notes, answering U.S. Senators' questions during public hearings in 1951: ``A single question would touch off a ten or fifteen minute performance in free association during which MacArthur might cite the Caesars, medieval customs, the Magna Carta, the French Revolution, England's nineteenth century corn laws, Ireland's potato famine, and the average daily caloric consumption of Japanese farmers.''

And the General himself, in commemorating America's war dead, declared, ``He who dares to die--to lay his life on the altar of his nation's need--is beyond doubt the noblest development of mankind. In this he comes closest to the image of his Creator who died on the cross that the human soul might live.''

FDR and Postwar Japan

On April 3, 1945, only nine days before his untimely death, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt announced a reorganization of the Pacific Command, which was to have immense implications for all of Asia, far beyond the end of the war as such. At that time, FDR dissolved the SWPA and CPA theater commands, and appointed General MacArthur to head all U.S. ground forces, and Admiral Nimitz to head all U.S. Naval forces in the Pacific, in preparation for the contemplated assault on Japan, and the ending of the war. This meant that General MacArthur would be the ranking American officer on the ground in Japan, at the time of the cessation of hostilities and, therefore, the one who would, most likely, have immense oversight responsibilities and powers, for the design and implementation of postwar reconstruction policies.

In late March, as FDR first informed Gen. George Kenney of his Pacific reorganization plans, he already knew that his days on this Earth were numbered. Had FDR not carried out this decision before his death, then Admiral Nimitz would have been the ranking commander in Japan, at the time of the war's conclusion, since Japan was in his original, Central Pacific theater of operations. While FDR had certainly had more than his share of political conflicts and disagreements with Douglas MacArthur over the years, and FDR's background as former Undersecretary of the Navy might have induced him to favor the Navy in the Pacific, in ways that MacArthur found disconcerting, FDR's important--if underappreciated--command decision of April 3, 1945, is properly viewed as a central feature of an anti-colonial ``Last Will and Testament,'' that he was bound and determined to bequeath to mankind as a whole. FDR had told an infuriated Winston Churchill, that he intended to rid the world of ``British colonial methods,'' after the war. FDR no doubt had in mind, that MacArthur would not only oversee the final defeat of Japan with a minimum of casualties; but that also, {MacArthur, and virtually only MacArthur}, could be relied upon to implement an anti-colonialist reconstruction policy after the war, that would be consistent with FDR's own anti-British, postwar grand design. In mid-August, based on the foundation of Roosevelt's April 3 initiative, General MacArthur was named Supreme Commander Allied Powers (SCAP). By late August, President Truman had decided, in response to Soviet efforts to become co-designers and co-administrators of postwar Japanese reconstruction policies, that ``General MacArthur would be given complete command and control after victory in Japan. We were not going to be disturbed by Russian tactics in the Pacific.''

Douglas MacArthur as SCAP

The thinking that guided Douglas MacArthur in his fight to secure a durable peace in Japan, from Day One of the Occupation on Sept. 2, 1945, until the formal signing of the peace treaty in 1951, was succinctly summarized in a message which MacArthur directed to the War Department on Feb. 20, 1947. During the prior months, the General had diverted, on an emergency basis, large quantities of U.S. Army food which had been stockpiled in the Pacific for consumption by U.S. military personnel, for immediate use by the starving Japanese people. Some members of Congress complained about the utilization of U.S. military food supplies, to feed former enemies. MacArthur addressed their complaints, in part, as follows:

``There is a popular misconception that the achievement of victory in modern war, wherein a clash of ideologies is involved, is solely dependent upon victory in the field. History itself clearly refutes this concept. It offers unmistakable proof that the human impulses which generated the will to war, no less than the material sinews of war, must be destroyed. Nor it is it sufficient that such human impulses merely yield to the temporary shock of military defeat. There must be a complete spiritual reformation, such as will not only control the defeated generation but will exert a dominant influence upon the generation to follow as well. Unless this is done, victory is but partially complete and offers hope for little more than an armistice between one campaign and the next.|...''

MacArthur added: ``My professional military knowledge was no longer a major factor. I had to be an economist, a political scientist, an engineer, a manufacturing executive, a teacher, even a theologian of sorts. I had to rebuild a nation that had been almost completely destroyed by the war.... It was clear that the experiment in Japan must go far beyond the primary purpose of the Allies--the destruction of Japan's ability to wage another war and punishment of war criminals.''

The chief source of difficulty and opposition which MacArthur confronted, as he presided over the reconstruction and transformation of Japan, emanated not from Japan, nor from Moscow, nor from Peking, nor even from London. Rather, it came from Washington, D.C.--President Harry Truman, to be most specific. It was Truman's abandonment of President Roosevelt's perspective and intent to rid the world of the British, Dutch, Portuguese, and French colonial empires, by building nation-states around the world, through the application of American System economic principles and methods, which was the ultimate source of MacArthur's problems as SCAP.

Nothwithstanding his nominal appreciation for the military accomplishments of MacArthur, President Truman harbored a visceral aversion for the general. Truman confided to his diary in 1945 that, MacArthur (whom he had never met) was ``Mr. Prima Donna, Brass Hat, Five Star MacArthur, ... play actor and bunco man.'' This attitude pervaded all of President Truman's relations with MacArthur, right up until he relieved him of his command in April 1951.

Reform and Reconstruction of Japan-Sparta

The problems confronting General MacArthur, as he undertook the rebuilding of Japan in September 1945, were staggering. The country had been economically, financially, and psychologically completely shattered. Japan had not lost a military conflict for centuries, and its people had believed it never would. Truman's murderous, {militarily unnecessary} decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, had taken a horrible toll on the Japanese people, and the world-at-large. In defeat, Japan had lost its access to all the vital raw materials sources and export markets, on which its prior economic existence had been pivoted. The specter of starvation and pandemics of life-threatening diseases stalked the home islands, as millions of soldiers from the defeated Japanese Armed Forces were repatriated into civilian life.

Armed with a thorough knowledge of the central political, institutional, social, and spiritual role that the Emperor played in Japanese life, MacArthur summarily rejected the many shrill and hysterical demands for the abolition of the Emperor's office, and the trial of the Emperor as a war criminal. The British, in particular, had been especially vocal and insistent, on the latter demand. The deferential, productive, steady collaboration that developed between MacArthur and the Emperor, proved to be a bedrock of stability for the Japanese people, during these turbulent times. The Emperor, by voluntarily renouncing his ``divinity'' months after the war's end, and accepting a constitutionally-defined, much-reduced role in Japanese political life, led the Japanese people, ``by example,'' into the realm of spiritual ``reformation,'' which MacArthur had identified as the key to securing the basis for a lasting, durable peace.

Notwithstanding the degree of economic progress which Japan had experienced since the adoption of the Meiji Constitution in 1889, and the existence of certain ``American System'' political/economic networks in the country, Japan had remained an oligarchical society, which relied heavily on a secret police apparatus, and maintained a state-subsidized Shinto religion that had glorified war. MacArthur found Japan to be ``more nearly akin to ancient Sparta than to any modern nation.'' Consulting Plato, who had written much about how to overcome the evil that was Spartan society, MacArthur embarked upon a series of great reforms that profoundly altered Japanese political, spiritual, and economic life. He consulted two other advisors, as well. He said at the time, that ``My major advisors now have boiled down to almost two men--George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. One founded the United States, and the other saved it. If you go back in their lives, you can find almost all the answers.''

MacArthur was unrelenting in his insistence, from the first day that he assumed responsibility as SCAP, that the Japanese government continue to govern in uninterrupted fashion, always operating on the idea that his most fundamental mission was to help Japan to change itself {from within}, not simply acquiesce to demands made {from without}, by SCAP. MacArthur was hampered in his efforts, by the original directive from Washington which delineated his responsibilities as SCAP, wherein it was specified that he should not ``assume any responsibility for the economic rehabilitation or the strengthening of the Japanese economy''! That prohibition, along with the fact that MacArthur received less than one-fourth the amount of aid, per capita, for Japan, relative to that which was allocated by the U.S. to reconstruction efforts in West Germany, during the first three years after the war, represented major constraints that the General had to overcome. Moreover, MacArthur constantly had to combat insane recommendations, like the 1946 Pauley Commission Report on Reparations, which was heartily endorsed by President Truman. Pauley insisted that Japan's heavy industry should not be allowed to develop beyond 10% of the level that it was in 1935! He undertook a number of initiatives and reforms, during the early period of the occupation, that were to have a lasting impact on Japanese life.

  • Public Health. The massive emergency sanitation and immunization program which MacArthur mandated, that was overseen by U.S. Army physician Dr. Crawford Sans, achieved extraordinary results. Within two years, cholera was wiped out, tuberculosis deaths were down by 88%, diphtheria by 86%, dysentery by 86%, and typhoid by 90%. Sans estimated that during this first two-year period, the control of communicable diseases alone, had saved 2.1 million lives. The life expectancy of men had been increased by eight years, and of women by nearly fourteen years, a phenomenon, in San's words, that was ``unequaled in any country in the world in medical history in a comparable period of time.''

  • Land Reform. With regard to the agricultural domain, MacArthur found that ``Japan's feudalistic regime was most evident in the matter of landholding ... a system of virtual slavery that went back to ancient times was still in existence. Most farmers in Japan were either out-and-out serfs, or they worked under an arrangement through which the landowners exorbited a high percentage of each year's crops.'' A rural oligarchy of 160,000 absentee landlords, each of whom, on the average, owned 36 farms, controlled the countryside and all of its produce.

    With MacArthur's prodding, the Diet (parliament) passed a law which compelled all absentee landlords to sell their holdings to the government, at extremely low, non-inflation adjusted prices. Each acre sold for the equivalent of a black-market carton of cigarettes! The government then offered purchase options to the tenant-farmers, at the same price. The tenant-farmers were granted thirty-year lines of credit, at 3.2% interest, to facilitate the purchases. The buyers were required, by law, to farm their land themselves. Farm sizes ranged from 7.5 to 30 acres. By this process, tenants acquired over 5 million acres from the former absentee landowners. As a result, proclaimed a proud MacArthur, 89% of the country's farmland finally belonged to the people who were farming it.

    MacArthur historically situated his effort in this realm, by stating, ``I don't think that since the Gracchi effort of land reform in the days of the Roman Empire, there has been anything so successful of that nature.''

  • Religion. MacArthur insisted on strict separation of Church and State, along with absolute freedom of religion. On Dec. 15, 1945, a directive was issued which prohibited the use of state funding to promulgate Shinto teachings, support any of the 110,000 pre-war Shinto shrines, or promote Shinto activities. Shinto had been at the heart of the Japanese militarist world outlook. MacArthur encouraged the activities of Christian missionaries in Japan. The Pocket Testament League, for example, distributed ten million Bibles in Japanese translation, at the General's invitation. But Christian education was not mandatory. MacArthur sought to uplift, inspire, and transform the Japanese people by example, beginning with his own conduct.

  • |Labor. MacArthur encouraged the growth of labor unions, which grew rapidly. The Trade Union Law of December 1945 guaranteed the rights of workers to organize trade unions. While only 100,000 Japanese workers were unionized in ``company-type'' unions in 1941, and only 707 workers were members of unions in October 1945, fully 6.3 million--48% of the non-agricultural workforce--were unionized by December 1947. MacArthur's confrontation with these same unions over a threatened general strike in January 1947, was part and parcel of the tumultuous reformation process which the General navigated in the course of his reconstruction journey.

  • |Constitutional Reform. The new constitution, which went into effect in the spring of 1947, was referred to by MacArthur, 17 years later, as ``probably the single most important accomplishment of the Occupation.'' It included a bill of rights, modeled upon that of the U.S. Constitution; stipulated the separation of powers of the legislature, executive, and judicial branches of government; severely delimited the powers of the Emperor and his family; eliminated titles of nobility and peerage, with the exception of the Emperor's family; and included a prohibition on offensive war, along with many other landmark reforms and changes in Japanese political life. Its guarantee of the right to vote for women, dramatically altered the political landscape in Japan. Whereas in elections in 1928, only 12.4 million males were eligible to vote; in 1946, 36.9 million men and women over the age of 20 were eligible to cast their ballots. MacArthur referred to this change in the legal status of women, as the ``most heartwarming'' of all the changes brought about by the Occupation.

  • |Economic Reform. A central included feature of MacArthur's reconstruction program, was his plan to break up the immense financial power that was concentrated in the hands of ten of Japan's most powerful families--the Zaibatsu (literally, financial cliques or combines). MacArthur characterized these families as practicing a form of ``private socialism.'' A postwar study determined that ``through 67 holding companies and over 4,000 operating subsidiaries and affiliates, the Zaibatsu families at the end of the war asserted effective control over 75% of Japan's financial, industrial, and commercial activities.''

While MacArthur made some progress in this direction, his effort was ultimately aborted by various U.S. Eastern Establishment families, operating through their agents in the State Department, Newsweek magazine, and elsewhere. Undersecretary of the Army William Draper, who had been a long-time investment banker with the New York firm of Dillon Reed, and George Kennan, a ``policy planner'' at the State Department and the architect of the ``containment'' doctrine against the Soviet Union, collaborated with Newsweek international affairs editor Harry F. Kern, to plant a sensational article against MacArthur on Dec. 1, 1947 entitled, ``Lawyer's Report Attacks Plan to Run Occupation...Far to Left of Anything Now Tolerated in America.'' Kern's article quoted extensively from the {classified} FEC-230 document, which mandated the economic ``deconcentration'' or breakup of the Zaibatsu. Senator William F. Knowland of California led the charge in the Senate against FEC-230, and demanded ``a full-scale investigation of American Policy in Japan.'' The uproar created by Newsweek and Knowland, proved to be enough to derail MacArthur's policy in this realm.

This pattern of Anglophile-Wall Street-State Department-Armed Forces sabotage, was the combination which gave rise to the Korean War, and was the nexus against which MacArthur plunged into ever-intensifying conflict during the following months and years, culminating in his removal by Truman in April, 1951.

The Korean War

On June 25, 1950, units of the North Korean Armed Forces streamed across the 38th Parallel, and attacked the Republic of Korea ({Map 4}). They had, in effect, been invited to do so, by the rabidly Anglophile U.S. Secretary of State Dean Acheson, six months earlier. In a speech that he made at the National Press Club on Jan. 12, 1950, Acheson had conspicuously neglected to include either South Korea or Taiwan as territories in Asia that the United States was prepared to defend, in the aftermath of Mao Zedong's consolidation of power on the Chinese mainland. With the outbreak of the Korean War, the proverbial ``other shoe'' was dropped, in the Anglo-American Establishment's drive to obliterate the nation-state and inaugurate the era of ``one-world government.'' The ``first shoe'' was dropped, in August 1945, in the form of the two atomic bombs that President Truman ordered dropped on Japan. This militarily unnecessary, murderous act was undertaken, not to hasten the end of the war, but to define the advent of a postwar, international regime of nuclear terror, in which nation-states could be terrorized into surrendering their sovereignty to a British-dominated supranational ``one-world government,'' in return for assurances that they could avoid the devastating effects of these new weapons. The Korean War, in that strategic context, represented the first step into the hell of British ``cabinet-warfare'' methods, for the American military, as it was misled and misdeployed by President Harry Truman. General MacArthur's refusal to embrace this anti-nation-state cabinet-warfare doctrine, was the reason that President Truman relieved him of his command, in April 1951. The forces of British treachery, Anglophile treason, and State Department sabotage that were unleashed against General MacArthur, have been amply documented in Lyndon LaRouche's Executive Intelligence Review magazine (Vol. 22, No. 20).

What will be presented here, in this concluding section of this report, is a review of General MacArthur's Inchon landing and campaign, one of the greatest ``flanking operations'' in military history ({Map 5}). In actuality, MacArthur had to conduct {three} ``Battles of Inchon.'' The first, was waged against the {unanimous opposition of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff}, beginning with its chairman, Gen. Omar Bradley, who had definitively declared to a Congressional Committee Hearing on Oct. 19, 1949, that, amphibious warfare was outdated, and for that reason, would not be utilized in the future. The second Battle of Inchon, was waged against the North Koreans; the third was fought against the U.S. State Department. The battle which MacArthur had to conduct against the Joint Chiefs, in order to secure their grudging and belated authorization for his Inchon design, is paradigmatic of what the distilled essence of warfare actually is--combat in the realm of ideas. No shots were fired in the course of MacArthur's fight with the Joint Chiefs over Inchon, yet, {it was in that conflict}, where the Battle of Inchon--and the attendant potential for ending the war--was, essentially, won. The performance of the land, sea, and air components of MacArthur's assault force, on the day of the landing, was incontestably brilliant. But, it was MacArthur's victory over the Joint Chiefs, which secured the basis for their triumph, on the battlefield. The ``third'' Battle of Inchon--the one MacArthur fought against the U.S. State Department--was the one he lost. In the immediate aftermath of the stunning battlefield successes at Inchon and Seoul, {the State Department adamantly refused to offer terms of surrender to North Korea}, notwithstanding MacArthur's insistence that it do so. It is through the aperture of this critical moment of the Korean conflict, that one can see most clearly, the nature of the indispensable relationship between victory on the battlefield, and a timely, viable ``exit strategy''/peace offer, as the necessary components of the process, by means of which peace can be secured. Otherwise, brilliant, victories won on the fields of war, are condemned to be squandered as ``lost victories.'' Regarding the crucial period immediately after Inchon, MacArthur stated:

``Unquestionably the failure ... of our diplomacy to utilize the victory of Inchon as the basis for swift and dynamic action to restore peace and unity to Korea, was one of the greatest contributing causes to the subsequent war initiated by Red China.''

General Whitney reports further, that MacArthur expressed his sense of foreboding to General Walker, during the days after the Inchon victory, as the State Department continued to maintain its deafening silence:

``The whole purpose of combat and war is to create a situation in which victory on the battlefield can be promptly translated into a politically advantageous peace.... But I am beginning to fear a tremendous political failure to grasp the glittering possibilities of ending the war and moving decisively toward a more enduring peace in the Pacific.''

What MacArthur failed to understand, was that the Anglophile Washington, D.C. policy-making establishment {did not want to} ``grasp the glittering possibilities of enduring peace in the Pacific.'' They wanted a protracted, no-win war, through which they could establish the principles of cabinet warfare that were to be wielded against the nation-state, on behalf of a ``one-world government'' empire, during the postwar period. MacArthur's unexpected victory at Inchon took the U.S. State Department and its Anglophile cohorts as much by surprise, as it did the General's North Korean military adversaries! The State Department Anglophiles could not stop MacArthur from winning at Inchon; but they could, through diplomatic sabotage, prevent the victory from ending the war, as indeed, they did. In the absence of State Department peace initiatives, MacArthur himself made a peace offer to the commander-in-chief in North Korea, on Oct. 1. But without the full backing of the U.S. government, MacArthur's overture fell on deaf ears.

The Inchon Flank

The situation which MacArthur confronted in mid-July 1950 was extremely bleak. General Walker's U.S. Eighth Army troops had been pushed back into what amounted to an extended beachhead perimeter around the port city of Pusan, on the southeastern coast of the Republic of Korea. Notwithstanding Allied air and naval superiority, over 13 divisions of North Korean troops, heavily armed with Soviet tanks and artillery, stood poised to break through against the thin defense perimeter around Pusan. MacArthur recognized that the beachhead could not be maintained indefinitely--politically or militarily--under these circumstances. He decided to remedy the situation with a bold counterstroke that called for a surprise landing at Inchon, hundreds of miles behind the enemy's front lines. It was conceptualized as a blow which would relieve the pressure on Pusan, and secure victory in the war, in its totality. He cabled Washington on July 23 with his proposal, to that effect.

For three full weeks, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff said nothing. Finally, they cabled to inform him that Gen. J. Lawton Collins, Army Chief of Staff and Admiral Forrest Sherman, Chief of Naval Operations were coming to Tokyo, to ``discuss'' the matter with him. So it was, that on Aug. 23, a strategy summit was convened, involving MacArthur, Collins, Sherman, General Lemuel Shepherd, Chief of the Marine Corps, and a host of additional admirals and generals and their chiefs of staff, to discuss the pros and cons of MacArthur's proposed Inchon operation.

Summing up the Navy's extensive, initial presentation, Admiral Sherman said, ``If every possible geographical and naval handicap were listed--Inchon has 'em all.'' His staff had delineated a number of them:

  • |The horrible tides at Inchon: On the projected date of the landing, the tides would rise and fall 30 feet! At low tide, quicksand-like mud flats stretched out two miles into the harbor, away from the landing beaches. Whatever troops could land in the two-hour window around high tide in the morning, would be ``on their own'' for the day. The landing craft which brought them in would be stuck in the mud, helplessly exposed, until the next high tide came in 12 hours later, to float them out.

  • |The main approach to the port of Inchon, ``the Flying Fish Channel,'' was a narrow, winding channel, with treacherous currents of up to six knots. Any ship sunk at a particularly vulnerable point in the channel, could block access to the port for all other ships.

  • |The formidable Wolmi-Do Island fortress, which rose 350 feet above the water at the mouth of the harbor, could not be ``softened up'' by pre-invasion bombardment and bombing, because to do so would forfeit the element of surprise in the landing, which was the key to its success.

  • |The landings would have to be made in the heart of the city, itself. This meant that the enemy would have a series of excellent strong points, from which to wage resistance against the first wave of marine assaults troops.

Following these and other objections raised by the Navy, Army Chief of Staff Collins weighed in with an even longer litany of objections. Among his contentions:

  • |Inchon was too far removed from Pusan, to have an immediate effect on that battle area. It was so far away, that the Inchon forces and those of Walker's Eighth Army would not be able to complement one another, as pincers, in a joint action.

  • |MacArthur's plan called for extracting the First Marine Brigade from Pusan, and attaching it to his landing force at Inchon. This would so weaken the already tenuous defenses at Pusan, that it could collapse the entire defense perimeter.

  • |MacArthur's troops moving out from Inchon, would likely encounter heavy enemy resistance around Seoul, and could suffer an overwhelming defeat.

  • |Collins propounded an alternative to Inchon--a landing at the west coast port of Kunsan. This city was within 100 miles of the Pusan perimeter, had better landing beaches, and few of Inchon's imposing physical obstacles, otherwise. Admiral Sherman immediately endorsed Collins' proposal, whereupon Collins concluded his presentation.

The silence that gripped the room, thereafter, was matched only by the tension generated by the attendees' anxious anticipation of MacArthur's response. MacArthur began his remarks noting that, the enemy had committed the bulk of his troops in deployment against General Walker's defense perimeter.

``The very arguments you have made as to the impractabilities involved will tend to ensure for me the element of surprise. For the enemy commander will reason that no one would be so brash as to make such an attempt.... Surprise is the most vital element for success in modern war.''

MacArthur then went on to describe how, using the element of surprise, just as he intended to do, Gen. James Wolfe was able to defeat the Marquis de Montcalm at Quebec in 1759. The Marquis had believed that the steep riverbanks south of that city were impregnable, and so left them undefended. Wolfe's forces did the ``impossible,'' scaled those heights, surprised and defeated Montcalm, captured Quebec, and effectively ended the French and Indian War with that victory. As Wolfe had defeated Montcalm with surprise, so MacArthur would best the North Koreans. Turning to Admiral Sherman, MacArthur acknowledged the validity of his expressed concerns. He added, however, that he had developed a deep respect and appreciation for the exceptional capabilities of the U.S. Navy during the course of World War II, and he was, therefore, confident that it was entirely capable of overcoming, even all of the formidable obstacles, which Sherman had so compellingly enumerated.

As for the proposal to land at Kunsan, MacArthur admitted that it would be less risky, than landing at Inchon. But, at the same time, he noted, it would accomplish nothing of any strategic consequence:

The key to the seizure of Inchon and nearby Seoul, was that {it would cut the enemy's supply lines, and seal off the entire southern peninsula}. Without supplies, the North Korean troops that were besieging Pusan would become weakened, and have to abandon their positions. MacArthur's troops at Inchon would become the anvil, against which the hammer of General Walker's advancing Eighth Army would be wielded. MacArthur then intoned:

``The only alternative to a stroke such as I propose, would be the continuation of the savage sacrifice we are making at Pusan, with no hope of relief in sight. Are you content to let our troops stay in that bloody perimeter like beef cattle in the slaughterhouse? Who would take responsibility for such a tragedy? Certainly I will not.''
After pausing for a moment, in a move that was reminiscent of his conduct in his bold ``reconnaissance-in-force'' landing on the Admiralty Islands, MacArthur reassured the assembled leaders:

``If my estimate is inaccurate, and should I run into a defense with which I cannot cope, I will be there personally and will immediately withdraw our forces before they are committed to a bloody setback. The only loss then, will be my professional reputation.''

But, he concluded in an earnest whisper, Inchon would {not} fail, ``and it will save 100,000 lives!'' The deferential silence that filled the room was punctuated only by Admiral Sherman, murmuring in admiration, ``A great voice in a great cause.''

It was only on Aug. 29, that the Joint Chiefs of Staff finally notified MacArthur of their approval for the landing at Inchon. Had he waited until then to commence his preparations, he never would have been ready for the Sept. 15 landing date. Moreover, on Sept. 8, only seven days before the target date, the Joint Chiefs sent MacArthur yet another message of misgiving, expressing their apprehension about the entire enterprise!

After MacArthur recapitulated his reasoning about Inchon, yet again, he finally received a message that stated simply ``Approved ... so informed the President.''

Such was the fight which MacArthur had to wage within his own ranks, in order to gain clearance for his flanking/envelopment maneuver at Inchon. It proved to be more difficult than the landing, itself, on Sept. 15. The first assault wave did not suffer a single fatality, as the element of surprise was complete. Within three days, General Walker was reporting palpable dislocation of the enemy forces around Pusan, as the effects of the disruption of their supplies began to make themselves felt. By Sept. 28, Seoul was liberated. In the two weeks after Inchon, over 130,000 North Korean soldiers were taken prisoner, as the gigantic pincer movement between Inchon and Pusan was completed, just as MacArthur had conceptualized it. The General immediately hastened to reinstall the government of President Singman Rhee, as the civilian authority in Seoul. But for the aforementioned sabotage of the U.S. State Department and its British collaborators, peace was within reach.

MacArthur Today

It was the quality of MacArthur's mind, which was his greatest weapon, in both war and peace. The ``flanks'' that MacArthur exploited against his adversaries in wartime, were flaws in their thinking, not geographic locations on the battlefield. It was not by virtue of the application of the most {advanced weaponry} in the world, but by virtue of the application of the most {advanced thinking} in the world, that MacArthur was able to win one engagement after another, with minimum loss of life. All of his tactical undertakings in any particular military theater, were always subsumed by a strategy for winning the entire war, which, in turn, was embedded in a strategic orientation, that was designed to secure a durable peace. The recent, miserable, hideous performance of the U.S. military in the Balkans and Iraq, is the very antithesis of MacArthur's anti-colonialist, nation-building outlook. Contrast, for example, the genocidal death rates among Iraqi children, especially, in the continuing destructive aftermath of Desert Storm, with the 2,100,000 Japanese lives that MacArthur saved with public health measures and emergency food aid, in 1945 and 1946. The study of MacArthur, his campaigns, his comprehension of history, and his strategic commitment to the development of the nation-state, is an undertaking that would be vital for the revival of a republican outlook and operational capability in the ranks of the U.S. military, and citizenry.

Recommended Reading

  • William Manchester, American Caesar, Dell, N.Y., 1978
  • Douglas MacArthur, Reminiscences, McGraw-Hill, N.Y., 1985
  • Ronald Spector, Eagle Against the Sun, Free Press, N.Y. 1985
  • Maj. Gen. Courtney Whitney, MacArthur, His Rendezvous with History, Knopf, N.Y. 1956
  • D. Clayton James, The MacArthur Years, Vol. I-III, Houghton-Mifflin, Boston, 1965
  • Thomas E. Griffith, Jr., MacArthur's Airman: General George C. Kenney and the War in the Southwest Pacific, Univ. of Kansas Press, Lawrence, 1998
  • Kenneth Ray Young, The General's General--The Life and Times of Arthur MacArthur, Westview Press, Boulder, Colo., 1994
  • Major Vorin E. Whan, Jr., ed., A Soldier Speaks, Praeger, N.Y., 1965

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