Message from Douglas MacArthur to Harry Truman
FAR EAST COMMAND
OFFICE OF THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF
30 October 1950
I am most grateful for your kindly expressions which I have just received. Operations in Korea are proceeding according to plan and while as we draw close to the Manchurian border enemy resistance has somewhat stiffened, I do not think this represents a strong defense in depth such as would materially retard the achievement of our border objective. It is my current estimate that the next week or so should see us fairly well established in the border area, after which it shall be my purpose, as I outlined during the Wake Island conference, to withdraw American troops as rapidly as possible - this to the end that we may save our men from the rigors of winter climate at that northern latitude, and the Korean people from the undue impact of American troops upon the peaceful settlement of their internal affairs. For as you recognized during our conference on Wake, the political situation in Korea is both sensitive and explosive and calls for practical rather than idealistic diplomacy if our prestige and leadership gained through victory is to have a lasting hold upon the Oriental mind.
I left the Wake Island conference with a distinct sense of satisfaction that the country's interests had been well served through the better mutual understanding and exchange of views which it afforded. I hope that it will result in building a strong defense against future efforts of those who seek for one reason or another (none of them worthy) to breach the understanding between us.
With expressions of deep respect,
Most faithfully yours,
The Honorable Harry S. Truman
President, The United States of America
The White House
Washington 25, D.C.
Proposed response to MacArthur's letter as suggested by General George M. Elsey
[Dear General MacArthur]
The progress the forces under your command have made since we met at Wake continues to be most remarkable, and once again I offer you my hearty congratulations. The military operations in Korea under your command will have a most profound influence for peace in the world.
Very sincerely yours,
Harry S. Truman"
GEORGE M. ELSEY
Source: Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
Added By: C. Peter Chen
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Captain Henry P. Jim Crowe, Guadalcanal, 13 Jan 1943