An erratic, aging North Korean leadership intent on dynastic succession and development of nuclear weapons is attracting a lot of attention in the Asia-Pacific Region -- an area of utmost importance to the United States. Current concerns about security in Korea provide the backdrop to this volume, which offers an overview of the evolution of security on the Korean peninsula and an assessment of the U.S. role there from the 1940s to the present. A distinctive feature of this volume is the long historical perspective that is brought to bear on contemporary security dilemmas. The renowned contributors examine U.S. policy prior to and during the Korean War and look at the subsequent changes in U.S. commitment to South Korea during a period of global stalemate that had been shaped in part by the war itself. The authors then assess the future of U.S.-Korean relations within the context of the changing international environment, considering the prospects for future strife, the merits of a cooperative security system, and the possibility of reunification.
Foreword -- Preface: Matthew Ridgway and the Korean War -- Security in Korea: The Road Less Traveled -- The War -- U.S. Policy on the Eve of the Korean War: Abandonment or Safeguard? -- The Korean War: Background and Overview -- Collision in Korea: Misperception or Miscalculation? -- The Politics of the Korean War -- No Winners, Many Losers: The End of the Korean War -- The Consequences -- Reaping What Was Sowed: Effects of the Korean War -- "The Past Is Not Dead, It Is Not Even Past": The Korean War Through the Lens of Vietnam -- President Carter's Troop Withdrawal from Korea -- Beyond Stalemate -- The United States Commitment to South Korea: An Uncertain Future -- The U.S. Military Presence in Korea: The Warfighters' Perspective -- The Context of Korean Unification: The Case for a Multilateral Security Structure -- Korea Amidst the Great Powers -- Korea at the Crossroads: Nuclearization or Reunification?