Taming the Red Dragon: Peace Operations in North China
Monograph Jun 2013-May 2014
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLLEGE FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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After the Allies defeated the Japanese in World War II, they directed US Marine forces to land in North China, accept the surrender of a large Japanese force, and supervise their repatriation. Upon completion in 1946, they remained in China to assist General Marshall in his efforts to fulfill the US goal of a unified democratic China encompassing the political rapprochement of the Nationalists and the Communists. These efforts were unsuccessful, and the conflict erupted into civil war. In 1949, the last contingent of Marines withdrew. It is the hypothesis of this monograph that the North China Marines received orders to withdraw when the cost of achieving the political aim exceeded its value. Using a case study methodology for the chronological period 1945-1949, the study reveals the impact and effect of the US political and strategic aims on the operational ways and tactical means employed in an attempt to meet these aims. Tenets derived from the current US Marine Corps doctrinal publication Campaigning, and the contemporary Small Wars Manual, provide the lens through which to understand the Marine Corps perspective of the campaign. This topic is relevant to future peace operations or contingencies. If the United States become engaged in operations similar to Afghanistan or Iraq, understanding previous operations will be critical. These wars of limited aims provide useful lessons for the operational artist. This monograph concludes that although the Marines withdrew from North China without defeating the Communists, it was not due to their tactical failures. National policy, and the strategic aims derived there from, determined that the cost to achieve a democratic, unified China was not worth the value of securing it.
- Government and Political Science
- Unconventional Warfare