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Worse Than a Monolith by Thomas J. Christensen

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Chapter 3ALLIANCE PROBLEMS, SIGNALING, AND ESCALATION OF ASIAN CONFLICT

There were two intrawar deterrence failures in Korea in late summer and fall 1950, and both were related to alliance politics. Lack of coordination and mistrust in the communist camp rendered the alliance incapable of sending clear and timely signals of resolve to the United States that might have deterred the United States from crossing the 38th parallel in the crucial three weeks following MacArthur’s successful Inchon landing. Once U.S. forces entered North Korea, escalation was assured in large part because previous U.S. actions in relation to its own regional security partners and future allies in recent months had made unification of the Korean peninsula by UN forces ...

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