Shape Of Warfare
I think if I had one overall purpose in the Korean book, This Kind Of War, which was my first big hardcover bestseller that was to write against the dominant theory, military theory of the time, which I had lived through in the service, that the next war would be a big war we’d fight on a North German plane.1 And I wrote in early 1960s with Vietnam going on, I said that the Korea and Vietnam — is the shape of warfare.2 This is what is going to be the next warfare, much more likely than this big shootout, you know, the atomic. And certainly, we’re not going to use nuclear weapons on the tactical battlefield, because it — they cannot be controlled. I mean you can kill everybody. You can destroy everything, but this is not controlled violence, so you have to be absolute insane to do it.
Well, anyway, the interesting thing was that this did not go over terribly well at the time with our people, because people said “Oh no! We don’t want to fight these kinds of wars.” By the end of Vietnam, I was beginning to get letters from service people, again, professional officers agreeing with me. In other words, they almost made a cookbook out of this book. They’re not military, and they’ve used it for instruction up until the present.