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Military Situation in the Far East, Hearings before the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Relations . . . , 1951

General Douglas MacArthur’s testimony at the Senate hearings weakened his support by revealing his extreme positions and inconsistencies. The joint committee concluded the president was within his constitutional powers in dismissing MacArthur, confirming civilian control of the U.S. military. It criticized the conduct of the Korean War, however, and said the nation should not enter another war without congressional consent.

General Collections, Library of Congress

Military Situation in the Far East, Hearings before the Committee on Armed Services and the Committee on Foreign Relations . . . , 1951

Congress Investigates General MacArthur’s Dismissal

In 1950 President Harry S. Truman appointed war hero General Douglas MacArthur as supreme commander of United Nations (UN) forces in Korea. When the conflict between UN-backed South Korea and Chinese-supported North Korea reached a stalemate, MacArthur publicly challenged the president’s strategy to end the war through diplomacy. Truman fired MacArthur, but popular support for MacArthur prompted a Senate investigation of the Korean conflict and the Far East. The investigation confirmed Truman’s authority over MacArthur but reemphasized congressional war powers.

In 1951 Congress investigated whether President Harry S. Truman acted within his powers when he fired General Douglas MacArthur––and concluded that he did.