字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント >> Jim Lindsay: Most Americans believe that presidents should listen to the military advice that generals give. But a bedrock principle of American politics is civilian control of the military. What happens when those two beliefs come into conflict? I’m Jim Lindsay, and this is Lessons Learned. Our topic today is President Harry Truman’s announcement on April 11, 1951, that he had dismissed General Douglas MacArthur as commanding general of U.S. forces in Korea. Douglas MacArthur was an American hero. The son of an U.S. army general, he graduated first in his class from West Point, fought with great distinction in World War I, and became chief of staff of the Army in the 1930s. After a brief retirement, he returned to lead the U.S. Army in the Pacific during World War II. When Japanese forces pushed U.S. troops out of the Philippines in 1942, he famously vowed, “I shall return.” And he did. MacArthur was awarded a Medal of Honor for the Philippines campaign, and he became one of only five Americans to ever hold the rank of five-star general. He accepted Japan’s formal surrender on board the USS Missouri in September 1945, and for the next five years he ran the U.S. occupation of Japan. MacArthur’s military career did not end with World War II. When North Korea attacked South Korea in June 1950, Truman tapped MacArthur to command U.S. forces sent to repel the invasion. He responded brilliantly. In September 1950, he ordered one of the most daring—and successful—military operations of all time: the amphibious assault at Inchon. The operation cut North Korean forces in half and turned the tide of the war—at least for a while. MacArthur pressed his military advantage, pushing across the 38th parallel into North Korean territory. But as U.S. forces drove toward the Yalu River and the border with China, the unthinkable happened: Some 300,000 Chinese troops came to North Korea’s defense. The war’s entire military and political calculus suddenly changed. Unwilling to risk a wider war with China, and perhaps with its ally, the Soviet Union, Truman refused to order attacks on targets in China. Truman’s decision to limit the fighting infuriated MacArthur. He wanted to take the war to China. Despite being told to keep his views to himself, MacArthur wrote a letter in late March 1951 to the Republican Speaker of the House criticizing the limited-war strategy. Truman wrote in his diary: “This looks like the last straw. Rank insubordination. . . I’ve come to the conclusion that our Big General in the Far East must be recalled.” On April 11, 1951, Truman announced with “deep regret” that he had relieved MacArthur of command. >> President Harry S. Truman: A number of events have made it evident that General MacArthur did not agree with that policy. I have therefore considered it essential to relieve General MacArthur so that there would be doubt or confusion as to the real purpose and aim of our policy. It is of the deepest personal regret that I found myself compelled to take this action. General MacArthur is one of our greatest military commanders. But the cause of world peace is much more important than any individual. >> Jim Lindsay: It was a risky move for the president. His public approval rating was just 26 percent; the man he had just fired was a national hero. Within a week of his firing, MacArthur returned to the United States. Some thirty million Americans watched on TV as he gave a rousing address to a joint session of Congress. Lawmakers responded with thunderous applause when MacArthur declared “In war there can be no substitute for victory.” >> General Douglas MacArthur: I now close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty. Good bye. >> Jim Lindsay: MacArthur then went to New York City, which gave him the largest ticker-tape parade in history. There were no parades for Truman. Hotheads called for his impeachment. He was hanged in effigy in several cities. And in a major breech of manners for the 1950s, he was publicly booed. Truman had one thing on his side, though. Most Americans, and most U.S. generals, opposed the military strategy that MacArthur favored. They wanted nothing to do with a war with China, not when America’s main foe was the Soviet Union. As General Omar Bradley told the Senate during hearings prompted by the dismissal of his fellow five-star general: “in the opinion of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, [MacArthur’s] strategy would involve us in the wrong war, at the wrong place, at the wrong time and with the wrong enemy.” What is the lesson of Truman’s dismissal of MacArthur? Just this: Presidents can be justified in overruling the military advice of even their most decorated generals. MacArthur’s desire to take the war to China, though well-intentioned and certainly heartfelt, failed to consider America’s broader interests, the public’s appetite for war, and the merits of other strategies. But those were precisely the factors that weighed most heavily on Truman’s mind. Today the United States is again at war. How long U.S. troops should stay in Afghanistan and what they should do while they are there are matters of dispute. The U.S. military will recommend steps that the White House should take next. The president may accept those recommendations, revise them, or reject them entirely. That is the meaning of the principle of civilian control of the military, and it’s what the Framers intended when they make the president “commander-in-chief.” So here’s a question to consider: How much deference should presidents give to the military, and under what conditions should they overrule military advice? I encourage you to weigh in with your answers on my blog, The Water’s Edge. You can find it at CFR.org. I’m Jim Lindsay. Thank you for watching this installment of Lessons Learned.