Pat Buchanan, syndicated columnist, whose commentary often appears on this page, keeps writing off and on that President Ike Eisenhower ended the Korean War in July 1953. He did not end the war; Ike just happened to be president when the shooting stopped.
Anyone who was there the last year of the war (1950-53) will attest that the war was winding down when Ike became president. There still were bloody battles that were fought, even up to the final weeks of the war when the Chinese Communists waged a major offensive. But the end was in sight in early 1953.
Negotiations to end the shooting had been going on for more than a year at Panmunjom. The North Korean forces never could have carried on the war as long as it lasted without the support from communist China. In the last year of the war, the United Nations’ forces, chiefly the United States, were fighting mainly the Chinese. The Chinese wanted out. The war was very costly to China.
In the last months of the war, the Chinese could only sustain an attack for several days. They would run out of resources in the front lines after several days. United Nations forces had air superiority, and the Chinese, and what was left of North Korean forces, couldn’t get additional supplies and munitions to their front line troops.
During the presidential campaign of 1952, Ike said he would end the war. He had to know it was winding down. He really doesn’t deserve credit for ending the war. It was United States forces, supported by other UN countries, that ended the war. Ike agreed to the cease-fire, just as our military leaders did. The UN forces saved South Korea from communism.
In one of his latest commentaries, Buchanan called the war a conflict. He should know by now it was a war in every sense of the word.