Established during World War II to advise the President regarding the strategic direction of armed forces of the United States, the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) continued in existence after the war and, as military advisers and planners, have played a significant role in the development of national policy. Knowledge of JCS relations with the President, the National Security Council, and the Secretary of Defense in the years since World War II is essential to an understanding of their current work. An account of their activity in peacetime and during times of crisis provides, moreover, an important series of chapters in the military history of the United States. For these reasons, the Joint Chiefs of Staff directed that an official history be written for the record. Its value for instructional purposes, for the orientation of officers newly assigned to the JCS organization, and as a source of information for staff studies will be readily recognized. The series, The Joint Chiefs of Staff and National Policy, treats the activities of the Joint Chiefs of Staff since the close of World War II. Because of the nature of the activities of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as well as the sensitivity of the sources, the volumes of the series were originally prepared in classified form. Classification designations, in text and footnotes, are those that appeared in the original classified volume. Following review and declassification, the initial four volumes, covering the years 1945-1952 and the Korean War, were distributed in unclassified form within the Department of Defense and copies were deposited with the National Archives and Records Administration. These volumes are now being made available as official publications. Volume I describes JCS activities during the period 1945-1947 except for activities related to Indochina, which are covered in a separate series. The volume was originally planned by Dr. Ernest R. May, who developed an outline and wrote a preliminary draft. Following a lapse of some years, Dr. May's draft was revised by Dr. Walter S. Poole. Subsequently, Mr. James F. Schnabel reviewed the existing drafts, carried out additional research, and wrote the volume in its present form. Resource constraints have prevented revision to reflect recent scholarship.