Barbed wire. Artillery duels. Patrolling in “no-man’s land.” Static warfare from fixed defensive positions. This description could easily fit the western front in 1916. In fact, however, it also depicts the Jamestown Line in central Korea from the beginning of the static phase of the Korean war in late October 1951 to the cease-fire of July 1953. The apparent similarity of this static war to the Western Front from late 1914 to early 1918 has obscured the importance and uniqueness of the Korean experience to recent military history. For while stalemate on the Western Front derived from fundamental military problems, the stalemate in Korea was profoundly political in nature.