The catch phrases that Americans came to associate with the Korean conflict--"Police Action," "Forgotten War," "The Big Picture"-- indicate that the Far Eastern battlefield was another postwar area where civilian and military viewpoints and interests intersected. To the fighting cadres the very term "Big Picture" had an offensive ring. They associated the expression with undue political interference in military matters, which prolonged the war, prevented a victory, and reduced the chances of personal survival. And, although there certainly did exist Big-Picture considerations that had to be taken seriously by those civilian and military leaders ultimately responsible for the operations in Korea, their inability to explain this picture to the American people--and American servicemen--created a breach of confidence and credibility that affected both the view of the conflict and its development. Hence, before looking into the response of American authors to the war in Korea, a review is in order of some of the factors behind and the facts about this first major superpower confrontation.
In the early fifties civilian and military policymakers in America were becoming increasingly aware of the implications of the technological advances in weaponry and the possibly disastrous consequences of their application to practical warfare. After the American