If you’re following the news these days you should recognize the photo here. This is Korea now. Over 60 years since the conflict began, North Korea just shelled South Korea and killed four persons. China has asked for calm and talks but the US and South Korea have refused saying, in essence, that this sort of action goes beyond talking. There is a US aircraft carrier right now patrolling the coast. The war began back in the era of Stalin, and Truman, may end now, in the era of Obama and Putin. Let’s hope cool heads prevail.
No peace was ever signed in 1953. There have been conflicts before most natably the “god-damned tree” incident, as I heard it called at a Society for Historian of American Foreign Relations meeting, which is worth a look.
Here, in Kissinger, you need to see him, gleaning lessons for us, from Korea, vis-a-vis Vietnam, and US actions there 20 years hence. We will bomb North Vietnam, the infamous X-mas bombings, not just during, but after peace negotiations had supposedly been concluded, to avoid what he points out here as American ignorance to halt aggression and allow an almost defeated enemy to dig into positions of strength.
What other lessons does Kissinger have for us here in this early Cold War conflict, that has gone on, like Iran, and Cuba, to extend for beyond the Cold War years?