Civil Affairs in the Korean War
January 28, 2009
Civil Affairs in the Korean War is often criticized for forgetting the lessons learned in WWII because of the mission’s delayed implementation and repeated organizational mistakes. Yet Korea represents a turning point in CA history because of the role CA forged for itself. The variety of CA personnel was extensive, from survey teams and intelligence reporters to combat medical personnel and engineers. In October 1950, after the U.S. military had “rolled back” the North Vietnamese, civil affairs units established socio-economic threads of unification between the two Koreas and tried to stabilize the region quickly. Once the Chinese beat back U.S. troops south of the 38th parallel, many U.S. and UN civil-military missions had to be revised or set aside in hopes of re-launching them once the U.S. re-conquered the North.