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MacArthur's Farewell Speech to Congress
"In war, there is no substitute for victory."
Douglas MacArthur, General of the Army
The United States is in the midst of a politically divisive war at the western end of Asia, a war that is part of a larger global struggle against radical Islam. This global struggle emerged gradually in the wake of America's victory in the Cold War, and it has helped shape a new national security strategy for the United States. Meanwhile, with Europe enjoying an era of peace, America's geopolitical focus has shifted to Asia, where the global balance of power is being transformed by, among other developments, the rise of China.
Although history never precisely repeats itself, 57 years ago the United States faced similar challenges. A politically divisive war in Korea (at the eastern end of Asia), which was part of a larger global struggle against communism that emerged in the wake of America's victory in the Second World War, helped shape the new national security strategy of containment. One of the first overt challenges to that strategy and the post-war balance of power was China's massive intervention in the Korean War.
When the commander of U.S. and United Nations forces in Korea, General Douglas MacArthur, publicly criticized the Truman administration's war policy, President Truman relieved him of command. Outraged, and sensing a political opportunity to damage Truman, Republicans in Congress invited MacArthur to address a joint session of the Congress.
On April 19, 1951, MacArthur delivered a dramatic, stirring speech, outlining his disagreement with the administration's war policy. While the speech is most remembered...