Thumbnail of the conflict: After World War II and the ejection of the Japanese, the United States and the Soviet Union created two occupation zones separated by the thirty-eighth parallel. North of the line became Communist North Korea, and south of the line, anti-Communist South Korea. In June 1950, North Koreans made significant military incursions into the South. The United States led a UN-sponsored effort to repel the attack.
Korea as a case study in containment: The war ended in an armistice and the restoration of the old boundary. Although Truman judged the war a success for containment, it had exposed Americans' frustrations with the policy. Many had supported General MacArthur's desire to push beyond restoring the integrity of South Korea's border to facilitate the unification of Korea and the elimination of Communist influence on the peninsula.
Expansion of military spending: Following the Korean War, the National Security Council warned that the security of the United States depended on an enormous expansion of the nation's capacity to act as a military world power. Their proposal to expand the military met with approval, and by 1953, 60 percent of the federal budget went to defense spending, and the armed forces had tripled in size. This military expansion confirmed commitment to containment and expanded the resources for pursuing such policy.
Ambiguous legacy for American involvement in Asia: Although some, including MacArthur's successor, General Matthew Ridgway, took away the lesson that the United States should never again pursue a land war in Asia, the conflict contributed to American involvement in Indochina.
Dahia Ibo Shabaka, Larry S. Krieger, Linda Black, Phillip C. Naylor, Roger B. Beck Dahia Ibo Shabaka, Larry S. Krieger, Linda Black, Phillip C. Naylor, Roger B. Beck