What does MacArthur mean when he says "appeasement but begets newer and bloodier wars?"

MacArthur said this in the context of the Korean War. He believed that the US military should have reacted more strongly to Korean and Chinese aggression, rather than being more conciliatory towards them. He likely had Chamberlain's reaction to the German militarization in mind when he said this. Any victory or space that the US gave their foes made them want to challenge the US more, rather than decreasing the fury of war.

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Towards the end of his farewell address to Congress, delivered on 19 April 1951, General Douglas MacArthur makes the point that the object of war is victory, "not prolonged indecision." He goes on:

There are some who for varying reasons would appease Red China. They are blind to history’s clear lesson, for history teaches with unmistakable emphasis that appeasement but begets new and bloodier wars. It points to no single instance where this end has justified that means, where appeasement has led to more than a sham peace. Like blackmail, it lays the basis for new and successively greater demands until, as in blackmail, violence becomes the only other alternative.

Throughout the address, MacArthur emphasizes that he is a soldier whose view of war is different from that of a politician. MacArthur and his President Harry S. Truman frequently disagreed with each other. In this passage, he makes his case clearly and forcefully. Victory ends wars. Appeasement merely postpones them, and the...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 841 words.)

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