Events in Asian have recently spotlighted the work of the University's Far Eastern experts, long among the nation's best informed students of Asiatic affairs. The CRIMSON this week questioned several of these experts about the chief problems involved with the Korean conflict.
Four of these experts were consulted: John K. Fairbank '29, professor of History, member of the Committee on Far Eastern Studies, and director of Regional Study Program on China; Bruce C. Hopper '24, associate professor of government, instructor in the Regional Program on the Soviet Union, and teacher of a course on "Russia and Asia in World Politics;" Edwin O. Reischauer, professor of Far Eastern Languages, member of the Committee on Far Eastern Studies, and instructor in the Regional Program on China; and Benjamin Schwartz, instructor in History and member of the Russian Research Center, Far Eastern Division.
Intervention in Korea
All of the University's Far East scholars agreed that the United States was justified in leading the United Nations against the North Korean attack. Fairbank noted, however, that considerable Asiaties, even outside the range of the Communist propaganda machine, feared that American intervention in Far Eastern affairs would inevitably carry American domination with it.
Peoples exposed to Communist propaganda, regard U.S. troops in Korea as "aggressors and beasts," Fairbank said. While India has officially sanctioned the U.N. Stand in Korea, Fairbank suggests that elements in its people are suspicious of U.S. intentions because this country has supported a colonial power, France, in Indo-China.
Reischauer believes that although Communist propaganda can be made out of our entry into Korea, "our willingness to take a forceful stand there, plus India's backing of the U.N. decision, increased our prestige with the border countries.
Schwartz, on the other hand, declared that there "was grumbling among the Indians over Prime Minister Nehru's hookup with U.N. policy."
Military victory in Korea by the United Nations forces now seems assured unless Mac Tzo Tung's Chinese Communists enter the war. All of the experts feared that war with Mac would be fruitless for both sides and Fairbank and Hopper feel that Chinese entry into the Korea fight is a possibility. Fairbank says there is still a danger of Chinese intervention if U.N. troops cross the 38th parallel. War with Red China, he said, would be a bleeding conflict in which "we could not beat them or they us."
Reischauer, however, was less pessimistic on this point. "The Chinese Communists," he said, "are striving to create a strong China and are unlikely to run the cost of getting involved in Korea. Perhaps Moscow could force Mac's entry, but that will only occur if Russia is ready for all-out war."
The Formosa Dilemma
President Truman's decision to send the Seventh Fleet to the defense of Formosa was considered a false move by Reischauer. Truman, he said, "made a mistake in underwriting the Chiang regime in Formosa."
Reischauer questioned whether the stragetic value of keeping the Reds out of Formosa was enough to offset the loss of United States face in Asia caused by supporting Chiang. "Fortunately," he added, "the defense of Formosa is tied in with Korea, and when we, leave Korea we can quietly retreat from Formosa."
Both Fairbank and Schwartz took issue against the recent MacArthur letter on Formosa. Fairbank asserted that the MacArthur statements overrates the Far East in our global policy. He also felt that the letter was politically in-expedient, in so far as it "went against our argument in Asia that we had no designs on Formosa."
Schwartz particularly objected to MacArthur's assertion that the Oriental mind appreciates only force. "If anything," Schwartz said, "the articulate Oriental mind has become hypersensitive to force because of the unpleasant memories it has played in its recent history."
All agreed that an overt act in Formosa would be unwise because it could lead to a war with China.
Beyond the 38th
The University's Far Eastern scholars unanimously favored extension of the U.N. military campaign beyond the 38th parallel. Reischauer put the issue plainly. "The only conceivable military tactic," he said, "is to push on... in fact, if we stopped, few Asiatics would understand why."
Fairbank and Schwartz, while while they were in fundamental agreement, emphasized the need for caution in crossing the 38th parallel. A blunt march over the line could fire Russian feeling beyond the kindling point, they suggested. Hence the campaign in what is now Northern Korea should be waged only after such a project has received the blessing of the U.N.
Once peace is restored in the northern sector, Korea must be unified and provided with a U.N. sponsored provisional government to rule during a free campaign and election, Fairbank prescribed. The results of the election should be accepted, he added, even if they result in a part Communist government.
Schwartz warned that we should go "very slowly" about launching a military occupation of North Korea because such an act might alienate Asian sympathy toward this country. "Instead we should promise ultimate unity and inde- pendence," he said, "because that is one thing we can get all Koreans to agree on."
When a government is established, Fairbank and Reischauer stated, the Koreans will need much economic help. With the U.N.'s resources in back of them, however, the Koreans should be able to rebuild their communications and some basic industry pretty quickly, Fairbank feels.
The appointment of George C. Marshall, who headed a special mission to China in 1946, as Secretary of Defense, was applauded by those questioned. Schwartz maintained that although the official Communist line was anti-Marshall the Truman appointment "would probably be received favorably in the Far East."
Reischauer agreed that Marshall Commanded world-wide respect, but tended to minimize the importance in Asia of Marshall's personal contacts with the Chinese Communists. He said that "the Communist bible of beliefs is not affected by personalities.
Discussing the nation's over-all foreign policy in Asia, Reischauer declared, "Our biggest mistake in Asia is our failure to spread out ideology." He deplored the policy of a Congress which now is spending billions of dollars on arms in Korea but which "refused to spend even a million to train the South Koreans in the art of democratic government."
Reischauer stressed that Russia had won "cheap success" in Asia by the primary use of propaganda and that the United States might profit by this lesson. Economic and military aid should be employed in that order after ideological training, said 'Reischauer.
Hopper noted, however, that the Communist propaganda machine which promises immediate economic reforms runs at a tremendous advantage because it has "the ally, poverty." Meanwhile, the Western propaganda machine can spout only abstract concepts such as democracy, freedom, and the hope of material improvement.
The "Nehru Program" of removing the economic conditions on which Communism thrives would take 100 years to fulfill, Hopper feels.
Asked where the next Communist outbreak might be expected, Hopper replied that it would "probably come where it is least expected by the West." He said the Korean show was a complete surprise at the time, though is retrospect it should have been obvious. The next move might be similar.