THE CHINA MISSION
George Marshall’s Unfinished War, 1945-1947
By Daniel Kurtz-Phelan
Illustrated. 476 pp. W.W. Norton & Company. $28.95.

《中国任务——乔治·马歇尔未完成的战争,1945–1947》(THE CHINA MISSION: George Marshall’s Unfinished War, 1945-1947)。
丹尼尔·库尔茨-费伦(Daniel Kurtz-Phelan)著。
有插图。476页。
W·W·诺顿出版社(W.W. Norton & Company)出版。28.95美元。

George Catlett Marshall is rightly regarded as among the greatest soldier-statesmen in American history, comparable in his achievements to Dwight Eisenhower and, perhaps, to George Washington himself. Appointed chief of staff by Franklin Roosevelt in 1939, Marshall oversaw the transformation of the United States Army from a small, stagnant force into a mighty engine of war, then helped to direct its successful use in Europe and the Pacific. Praised by Harry Truman as “the greatest man of World War II” and by Winston Churchill as the true “architect of victory,” Marshall would go on to play an essential role in shaping the subsequent, uneasy peace. The enormous program of economic assistance that bore his name helped rebuild the shattered nations of Western Europe, securing their place in an alliance of liberal democracies that contained the Soviet Union and ultimately won the Cold War.

乔治·卡特利特·马歇尔(George Catlett Marshall)堪称美国历史上最伟大的军人政治家之一,他的成就可比德怀特·艾森豪威尔(Dwight Eisenhower),或许还堪与乔治·华盛顿(George Washington)本人相提并论。1939年,他被富兰克林·罗斯福(Franklin Roosevelt)任命为参谋长,负责将美国陆军从一支弱小、萎靡的部队,转变为一座强大的战争机器,然后在他参与指挥下,成功地在欧洲和太平洋战场上加以运用。他被哈里·杜鲁门(Harry Truman)誉为“二战中最伟大的人物”,被温斯顿·丘吉尔(Winston Churchill)誉为真正的“胜利建筑师”,在塑造战后不稳定的和平之中,他也发挥了重要作用。以他的名字命名的大型经济援助计划帮助满目疮痍的西欧国家进行重建,巩固了它们在自由民主国家联盟中的地位,遏制了苏联,并最终赢得了冷战。

Marshall’s many successes bracketed one notable failure. Within days of retiring from the Army and returning to his home in Leesburg, Va., for a well-deserved rest, he received a telephone call summoning him back to government service. Two weeks later, after a series of hasty meetings with Truman and his top advisers, Marshall boarded a plane for the long trip to China. He would spend the next two years there, trying in vain to head off a renewed civil war between forces under the command of the Communist Party chairman Mao Zedong and their Nationalist rivals led by the Washington-backed ally Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek.

但是,在马歇尔的众多成功之中,夹杂着一次重大失败。在退伍回到位于弗吉尼亚州利斯堡的家中后,他休息了没几天就接到一个电话,召唤他回来为政府服务。两周内,他与杜鲁门及其高级顾问进行了一系列仓促的会议,之后登上一架飞机,长途跋涉飞往中国。他将在未来两年的时间里,试图阻止中国共产党的毛泽东指挥的部队与其对手、华盛顿的盟友蒋介石领导的国民党之间再次爆发内战。

Daniel Kurtz-Phelan’s book, “The China Mission,” tells the story of Marshall’s unsuccessful mission to China. Thoroughly researched and compellingly written, it is at once a revealing study of character and leadership, a vivid reconstruction of a critical episode in the history of the early Cold War and an insightful meditation on the limits of American power even at its peak.

丹尼尔·库尔茨-费伦的书《中国任务》讲述了这桩马歇尔在中国未能成功完成的任务。它经过深入研究,写得非常精彩,既是对性格和领导力的揭示性研究,也是对早期冷战史中一段关键历史的生动重构,以及对美国力量的局限性——哪怕是在它的鼎盛期——的深刻思考。

Marshall was renowned for his skills as a strategist and an organizer, but also for personal characteristics. His rectitude and dedication to duty were legendary, prompting Churchill to label him “the noblest Roman of them all.” He could be severe, even forbidding (at one point telling his deputy Dean Acheson, “I have no feelings except those reserved for Mrs. Marshall”), and seems to have evoked a mixture of fear, awe and devotion from his subordinates. But Marshall also had a sense of proportion and humility, and an aversion to self-aggrandizement and self-promotion that set him apart from contemporaries like Douglas MacArthur.

马歇尔的名声得自他作为战略家和组织者的才能,同时也是因为他的个性。他的正直和尽责是众所周知的,丘吉尔称他为“最高贵的罗马人”。他可能会很严厉,甚至令人生畏(有一次,他对自己的副手迪恩·艾奇逊[Dean Acheson]说:“我没有感情,仅有的一点是留给马歇尔夫人的”),下属对他似乎既敬畏又忠诚。但是马歇尔也很谦逊、有分寸,厌恶自我膨胀和自吹自擂,这和道格拉斯·麦克阿瑟(Douglas MacArthur)等同时代人不一样。

All of these qualities, but especially the combination of doggedness and strategic vision, emerge clearly from Kurtz-Phelan’s finely detailed account. Despite a realistic appraisal of the enormous difficulties involved, Marshall was relentless in his attempts to bring the Communists and Nationalists together, first negotiating a cease-fire and then working to merge their respective armies and to join the parties into some form of unity government. When talks faltered he shuttled back and forth between the two sides, meeting for hours at a time, first with Chiang, then with Mao’s deputy, Zhou Enlai, flying to Yenan to confer directly with Mao and traveling repeatedly by plane, boat, jeep and sedan chair when the generalissimo retreated to his summer home in the mountains outside Nanjing. Marshall “clings so tenaciously to a seemingly hopeless job,” one observer noted. “More meetings and more futility all the time,” another wrote in his diary. “I don’t see how the general stands it.”

所有这些品质,特别是顽强和战略眼光的结合,都清楚地从库尔茨-费伦的细致描述中显现出来。尽管对其中涉及的巨大困难做出了现实的评估,但马歇尔坚持要将共产党人和国民党人聚在一起,首先谈判停火,然后努力合并各自的军队,将两党合并为某种形式的联合政府。谈判进展不顺利的时候,他在两边奔走,先是与蒋进行长达几个小时的会晤,然后与毛的副手周恩来一起飞往延安,同毛直接交涉,之后又换乘飞机、船、吉普车和轿子去往蒋在南京郊外的山间别墅,一位旁观者形容马歇尔“顽强地坚持做着看似无望的工作”。“更多的会议和更多的徒劳,”另一位旁观者在日记中写道。“我真不知道将军怎么能忍受这些。”

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Unlike some Western observers, Marshall had no illusions that the Communists were mere “agrarian reformers” with genuine democratic inclinations. Nor was he blind to the faults of the Nationalists. Although he respected Chiang, Marshall recognized that many of his lieutenants were corrupt and inclined to use brutal tactics to suppress their opponents, including the assassination of moderate, anti-Communist advocates of liberal political reforms.

与一些西方观察人士不同,马歇尔没有幻想共产党人只是有真正民主倾向的“土地改革者”。他也绝非对国民党的问题视而不见。虽然马歇尔尊重蒋介石,但他认识到,蒋的许多下属都很腐败,倾向于用残酷的手段压制自己的对手,包括暗杀温和的、反对共产主义的自由主义政治改革倡导者。

American strategy was based on the hope that forcing the two sides to cooperate would eventually have a moderating influence on both. It was a long shot, but as far as Marshall was concerned, there really was no alternative. Cutting off all assistance to Chiang would only harden his worst inclinations while abandoning any hope of shaping his behavior. On the other hand, notwithstanding the Nationalists’ advantages in American-supplied weapons and logistics, Marshall was skeptical that they could finish off their enemies and establish control over all of China. As he correctly anticipated, trying to do so would plunge the nation back into all-out civil war and open the way for increased Soviet involvement and influence.

美国战略的基础是希望通过强迫双方合作,最终会对两党产生温和的影响。这是一个风险很大的赌局,但就马歇尔而言,确实没有其他选择。切断对蒋的一切援助只会加剧他最坏的方面,同时也等于放弃了影响他行为的希望。另一方面,尽管国民党在美国供应的武器和后勤方面具有优势,但马歇尔怀疑他们是否能够完全击败敌人并控制整个中国。他正确地预料到,国民党试图击败对手的行动,会使中国重新陷入全面内战,并为苏联加强干涉和影响开辟道路。

Looking back, it is difficult to escape the conclusion that a final duel to the death between Nationalist and Communist forces was inevitable, even if its outcome perhaps was not. As Kurtz-Phelan correctly notes, Marshall’s ability to exert influence over the Nationalists was limited from the start by Chiang’s belief (bolstered by back-channel communications with his friends in Washington) that, in the end, the United States would have no choice but to support him. (Here American policymakers were faced for the first time with what would become a recurrent problem of the postwar era: how to impose reform on a weak, corrupt and dependent client facing a ruthless and highly motivated opponent.) In retrospect it also seems obvious that, despite Marshall’s earnest efforts, both Chiang and Mao were simply playing for time, waiting for the most opportune moment to finish their two-decade struggle.

回顾过去,很难不得出这样的结论:国民党和共产党军队的最终殊死决斗是不可避免的,尽管它的结果并非不可避免。正如库尔茨-费伦正确地指出的,马歇尔对国民党的影响力从一开始就很有限,因为蒋介石相信(得益于他与华盛顿的朋友们的私下沟通),美国将最终别无选择,只能支持他(这是美国政策制定者第一次面对二战后反复出现的一个问题:如何推动一个弱小、腐败、严重依赖美国的附庸国改革,以应对有着强大动力的无情对手)。回想起来,似乎同样十分明显的是,尽管马歇尔十分努力,但蒋和毛都只是在拖延时间,等待最合适的时机,结束二十年的争斗。

The eventual Communist victory triggered recriminations and an ugly, polarizing debate back in the United States. Congressional Republicans claimed that the Truman administration had “lost” China by not backing Chiang to the hilt. Some suggested that this failure was the work of a vast web of Communist spies and sympathizers operating at all levels of the government. Even Marshall, with his towering reputation, was not immune. Senator Joe McCarthy, an early practitioner of the dark art of spreading “fake news,” denounced him for “criminal folly” and put him at the heart of “a conspiracy so immense and an infamy so black as to dwarf any previous venture in the history of man.”

共产党的最终胜利在美国引发了相互指责以及丑陋的、两极化的辩论。国会的共和党人声称,杜鲁门政府未能全力支持蒋介石,因此“失去”了中国。有些人认为,这个失败是共产党在美国政府各个层级的间谍和同情者组成的庞大网络造成的。就连享有崇高声誉的马歇尔也未能幸免。参议员乔·麦卡锡(Joe McCarthy)是传播“假新闻”这门黑暗艺术的早期践行者,他谴责马歇尔做了“罪恶的蠢事”,认为他是“一桩阴谋和丑闻的中心,阴谋之庞大,丑闻之黑暗,令人类历史上所有的创举都相形见绌”。

Marshall’s reaction to such demagogy was nonchalant: “If I have to explain at this point that I am not a traitor to the United States I hardly think it’s worth it.” On the more serious question of whether an alternative approach could have prevented Mao’s victory and perhaps put China on a path toward liberal democracy, he does not appear to have harbored deep doubts. Even a commitment of several hundred thousand American troops would not have been sufficient to guarantee success, and it would have diverted scarce resources from “more vital regions,” like Western Europe, where the United States had “a reasonable opportunity of meeting or thwarting the Communist threat.”

马歇尔对这种蛊惑言论的反应非常冷静:“如果我必须在此刻解释自己不是美国的叛徒,那么我认为是不值得。”在关于本来是否有其他办法可以阻止毛泽东获胜、也许能让中国走上自由民主道路这个更严肃的问题上,马歇尔似乎并不这样认为。就算派出几十万美国军队,也不足以保证成功,而且还会把稀缺的资源从“更重要的地区”转移走,比如西欧,美国在西欧“有机会应对或挫败共产党的威胁”。

The “loss” of China may have been unavoidable, at least at anything close to an acceptable cost to the United States, but it was still a tragedy. As China continues to gain in wealth and power, while its political system devolves into a one-man dictatorship, it would appear that the final chapters of this tragedy have yet to be written.

如果前提是美国付出的代价要在可接受范围内,“失去”中国也许是不可避免的,但这仍然是一场悲剧。随着中国继续获得财富和权力,而它的政治体系则沦为一人独裁统治,这场悲剧的最后篇章似乎尚未被书写出来。