Did American POW’s get manipulated into cooperation in Chinese camps during the Korean War?

In Robert Cialdini’s book “Influence: the psychology of persuasion”, he recounts how during the Korean War, Chinese captors were able to get American POW’s to inform on each other. There are, however, no footnotes showing source materials. They started out by getting the Americans to make easy, small easy negative comments about the US like, “America is not perfect.” Then, over time, ask them to say increasingly negative things. Eventually, relying on the alleged human need to be consistent, the Chinese could get the Americans to inform on ea...Read more

How did the Chinese Civil War avoid becoming another Korean War?

In light of the recent news the Korean War has been on my mind.Yet how do we understand the Korean War in the broader regional and global contexts in the aftermath of WWII? Was the Korean War merely the first real contest of the Cold War between two opposing international camps? Or was it in significant ways a civil conflict with deep roots in the social and political conditions in the Peninsula? My main question:The post-WWIIChinese and Korean political and military conflicts shared significant similarities, butwhy didn’t the Chinese Civil War...Read more

korean war - Why did South Korea (and the UN) accept an armistice line that put Seoul in artillery range of North Korea?

In 2017, the main threat that North Korea poses to South Korea (aside from the nuclear weapons) is that Seoul is within range of North Korean artillery. For instance (from an article in The Atlantic): One high-ranking U.S. military officer who commanded forces in the Korean theater, now retired, told me he’d heard estimates that if a grid were laid across Seoul dividing it into three-square-foot blocks, these guns could, within hours, “pepper every single one.”I believe that long-range artillery predates the Korean War. This makes me wonder, w...Read more

Why didn't USSR "bust a move" to veto the Korean War?

In 1950, the USSR boycotted the UN over the Chinese Nationalists, rather than the Chinese Communists being represented there. During their absence, North Korea invaded the South and the UN voted on whether to invade.Had USSR been present, they could have vetoed the resolution to go to war.Was the ambassador simply unable to get Stalin on the phone and ask for permission to break the boycott to perform the veto?ORDid Stalin want the war to go on as an opportunity to defeat the west?...Read more