The Korean War, then, may offer a glimpse of strategic debates yet to come as Asia enters another age of peacetime competition.
The struggle was especially acute in Korea. Japan had annexed the peninsula in 1910, gone to extravagant lengths to expunge Korean culture, and played divide-and-rule among Korean factions to neutralize the opposition. Venomous politics was the rule following Japan’s departure, strife on the peninsula almost a foregone conclusion.The Korean War, then, convulsed Northeast Asia during the aftermath of World War II, when the victors were still trying to sort out a durable postwar order. Prosecuting a new war within war termination poses a challenge of a high order for statesmen and commanders.