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What if the US had fully backed the KMT in the late 1940s?

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  • Double Edge
    replied
    Originally posted by astralis View Post
    corruption and no unifying message. KMT was essentially a collection of warlords with CKS at the top. when things got bad, those warlords could and would turn-coat to the CCP. CCP would promptly break up the warlord army and subsume it.

    the Americans tried to build up a modern military but pretty much when it was turned over, whichever warlord was in charge would start putting loyalists and not professionals in charge. morale and unit cohesion would plummet. even the vaunted Burma troops, the creme of the creme of American-trained/equipped troops, were ruined that way.
    There's a stark lesson in there for Afghanistan. Exactly what your ambassador to afghanistan pointed out. Loyalists over competents get promoted

    Happened in Iraq already. Americans left an even split of Shia & Sunni in charge. Maliki starts replacing Sunni with Shia and creates his own private militia. Result ? Isis
    Last edited by Double Edge; 30 Mar 18,, 14:39.

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  • astralis
    replied
    So why did things crumble so quick then. Didn't receive full backing ?
    corruption and no unifying message. KMT was essentially a collection of warlords with CKS at the top. when things got bad, those warlords could and would turn-coat to the CCP. CCP would promptly break up the warlord army and subsume it.

    the Americans tried to build up a modern military but pretty much when it was turned over, whichever warlord was in charge would start putting loyalists and not professionals in charge. morale and unit cohesion would plummet. even the vaunted Burma troops, the creme of the creme of American-trained/equipped troops, were ruined that way.

    Leave a comment:


  • Double Edge
    replied
    Originally posted by astralis View Post
    not yet a year old so i guess this doesn't qualify as a necropost...yet.

    i'm writing a historical piece based on USAAF support to KMT China between 1945-6. What is astonishing to me is the sheer amount of equipment and training we turned over/provided the KMT. hundreds of aircraft, renovated bases, hell, even assistance in modernizing civil aviation. this was an effort almost comparable to the massive building of the South Vietnamese Air Force two decades later.
    So why did things crumble so quick then. Didn't receive full backing ?

    DOR's link will make for some fascinating reading. i've often wondered how things would have turned out had the KMT managed to hold on
    Last edited by Double Edge; 29 Mar 18,, 19:55.

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  • astralis
    replied
    not yet a year old so i guess this doesn't qualify as a necropost...yet.

    i'm writing a historical piece based on USAAF support to KMT China between 1945-6. What is astonishing to me is the sheer amount of equipment and training we turned over/provided the KMT. hundreds of aircraft, renovated bases, hell, even assistance in modernizing civil aviation. this was an effort almost comparable to the massive building of the South Vietnamese Air Force two decades later.

    Leave a comment:


  • What if the US had fully backed the KMT in the late 1940s?

    The CIA’s assessment of China, November 1947

    171 pages of sharp analysis that, if it had been read widely, would have pre-empted any discussion of “Who Lost China?”

    https://www.cia.gov/library/readingr...00090001-6.pdf

    According to the assessment of the day, extremists on both the Nationalist and Communist sides scuttled the 1946 political agreement brokered by General George C. Marshall. Civil war resumed in the Spring of 1946.

    The Nationalist Government is bureaucratic, incompetent and corrupt. It has “a deteriorating supporting economy, lack of adequate communications and industry, corrupt and often professionally incompetent generalship, passive tactics, large and inefficient masses of men under arms, shortages in trained military personnel and technicians, depressed morale among officers and men, and a lack of popular support.”

    The well-developed, little-damaged economy of Taiwan has disintegrated under Nationalist rule. “[T]he native population found it had merely exchanged Japanese domination for subjugation under mainland Chinese. Whereas Japanese exploitation of Taiwan had been orderly and efficient, Chinese administration has been characterized by lawlessness, economic decay, and industrial stagnation.”

    Prospects
    The KMT still holds national power, but it is “gradually losing the sympathetic support of great masses of Chinese.” The faction-driven leadership prevents cohesion; the conservative CC Clique of Chen Li-fu and Chen Kuo-fu controls much of the party machinery while the more moderate Political Science Clique of Chang Chun recently took over government administration. [Note: Chen Li-fu and Chang Chun would remain highly active in KMT politics into the 1980s. This indicates how difficult it would have been for Chiang Kai-shek to purge the KMT.]

    The CCP, on the other hand, is “the most effectively organized opposition party in China today,” largely because of its agrarian reform policies and support for freedom of individual expression. It’s soldiers are better clothed, equipped, trained and fed than KMT troops and officers advance on merit and are “comparatively honest, diligent, and competent.”

    If the US were to withdraw financial support, the KMT government would “probably diminish to such a degree that it will no longer be able to provide effective government for China on the present national scale.” The CCP would step into the power vacuum and separatist tendencies on the periphery would grow. If the US continued to financially support the KMT government, it would be wasted without proper internal reforms that Chiang Kai-shek is incapable of providing.

    Conclusion
    “If a Communist state covering all or a large part of China were established, the Soviet Union would acquire for practical purposes another Soviet republic…The Chinese Red Army would become a wing of the Soviet military machine, with bases in China available for Soviet use”

    “Present trends within China are in the direction of further instability and an extension of Communist military and political influence… [A]cute political and economic disorganization probably would prevail in China for several years. This disorganization would retard the development of a Communist China as an effective instrument of Soviet policy.”

    To slow or reverse this would require nonmilitary aid of a minimum of $1-2 billion over a three-year (1948-50) period [i.e., about 0.6% of the US’ 1947 GDP, or $10-15 billion in today’s money). This would be in addition to military aid sufficient to train, supply and maintain 30 divisions.
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