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In such a situation the Soviet Union could impose its demands on the world, without resort to conflict, simply through the preponderance of its economic and military power. The Soviet Union does not have to attack the United States to secure domination of the world. It can achieve its ends by isolating us and swallowing up all our allies. Therefore, even if we were craven enough— [and I do not believe that we could be I say even if we were craven enough) to abandon our ideals, it would be disastrous for us to withdraw from the community of free nations.
We are the most powerful single member of this community, and we bave a special responsibility. We must take the leadership in meeting the challenge to freedom and in helping to protect the rights of independent nations.
This country has a practical, realistic program of action for meeting this challenge.
First, we shall have to extend economic assistance, where it can be effective. The best way to stop subversion by the Kremlin is to strike at the roots of social injustice and economic disorder. People who have jobs, homes, and hopes for the future will defend themselves against the underground agents of the Kremlin. Our programs of economic aid have done much to turn back communism.
In Europe the Marshall Plan' has had electrifying results. As European recovery progressed, the strikes led by the Kremlin's agents in Italy and France failed. All over Western Europe, the Communist Party took worse and worse beatings at the polls.
The countries which have received Marshall Plan aid have been able, through hard work, to expand their productive strength-in many cases, to levels higher than ever before in their history. Without ihis strength, they would be completely incapable of defending themselves today. They are now ready to use this strength in helping to build a strong combined defense against aggression.
We shall need to continue some economic aid to European countries. This aid should now be specifically related to [the] building (of) their defenses.
In other parts of the world, our economic assistance will need to be more broadly directed toward economic development. In the Near East, in Africa, in Asia, we must do what we can to help people who are striving to advance from misery, poverty, and hunger. Wo also must continue to help the economic growth of our good neighbors in this hemisphere. These actions will bring greater strength for the free world. They will give many people a real stake in the future and reason to defend their freedom. They will mean increased production of the goods they need and the materials we need.
Second, we shall need to continue our military assistance to countries which want to defend themselves.
The heart of our common defense effort is the North Atlantic community. The defense of Europe is the basis for the defense of the whole free world-ourselves included. Next to the United States, Europe is the largest workshop of the world. It is also a homeland of great religious beliefs shared by many of our citizens—beliefs which are now threatened by the tide of atheistic communism.
1 See A Decade of American Foreign Policy, pp. 1268–1327.
Strategically, economically, and morally the defense of Europe is part of our own defense.
That is why we have joined with the countries of Europe in the North Atlantic Treaty, pledging ourselves to work with them.
There has been much discussion recently over whether the European countries are willing to defend themselves. Their actions are answering this question.
Our North Atlantic Treaty partners have strict systems of universal military training. Several have recently increased the term of seryice. All have taken measures to improve the quality of training. Forces are being trained and expanded as rapidly as the necessary arms and equipment can be supplied from their factories and ours. Our North Atlantic Treaty partners, together, are building armies bigger than our own.
None of the North Atlantic Treaty countries, including our own country, has done enough yet. But real progress is being made.
Together, we have worked out defense plans. The military leaders of our own country took part in working out these plans, and are agreed that they are sound and within our capabilities.
To put these plans into action, we sent to Europe last week one of our greatest military commanders, General Dwight D. Eisenhower.
General Eisenhower went to Europe to assume command of the united forces of the North Atlantic Treaty countries, including our own forces in Germany.
The people of Europe have confidence in General Eisenhower. They know his ability to put together a fighting force of allies. His mission is vital to our security. We should all stand behind him, and give him every bit of help we can.
Part of our job will be to reinforce the military strength of our European partners by sending them weapons and equipment as our military production expands.
Our program of military assistance extends to nations [of] the Near East and the Far East which are trying to defend their freedom. Soviet communism is trying to make these nations into colonies, and to use their people as cannon fodder in new wars of conquest. We want their people to be free men and to enjoy peace.
Our country has always stood for freedom for the peoples of Asia. [Long, long ago we stood for the freedom of the peoples of Asia.] Our history shows this. We have demonstrated it in the Philippines. We have demonstrated it in our relations with Indonesia, India, and China. We hope to join in restoring the people of Japan to membership in the community of free nations.
It is in the Far East that we have taken up arms, under the United Nations, to preserve the principle of independence for free nations. We are fighting to keep the forces of Communist aggression from making a slave state out of Korea.
Korea has tremendous significance for the world. It means that · See infra, pp. 812–815.
free nations, acting through the United Nations, are fighting together against aggression.
We will] understand the importance of this best if we look back into history. If the democracies had stood up against the invasion of Manchuria in 1931, or the attack on Ethiopia in 1935, or the seizure of Austria in 1938, if they had stood together against aggression on those occasions as the United Nations has done, the whole history of our time would have been different.
The principles for which we are fighting in Korea are right and just. They are the foundations of collective security and of the future of free nations. Korea is not only a country undergoing the torment of aggression; it is also a symbol. It stands for right and justice in the world against oppression and slavery. The free world inust always stand for these principles--and we will stand with the free world.
As the third part of our program, we will continue to work for peaceful settlements of international disputes. We will support the United Nations and remain loyal to the great principles of international cooperation laid down in its Charter.
We are willing, as we have always been, to negotiate honorable settlements with the Soviet Union. But we will not engage in appeasement.
The Soviet rulers have made it clear that we must have strength as well as right on our side. If we build our strength-and we are building it—the Soviet rulers may face the facts and lay aside their plans to take over the world.
That is what we hope will bappen, and that is what we are trying to bring about.
That is the only realistic road to peace.
These are the main elements of the course our Nation must follow as a member of the community of free nations. These are the things we must do to preserve our security and help create a peaceful world. But they will be successful only if we increase the strength of our own country.
Here at home we have some very big jobs to do. We are building much stronger military forces-and we are building them fast. We are preparing for full wartime mobilization, if that should be necessary. And we are continuing to build a strong and growing economy, able to maintain whatever effort may be required for as long as necessary.
We are building our own Army, Navy, and Air Force to an active strength of nearly 34 million men and women. We are stepping up the training of the reserve forces, and establishing more training facilities, so that we can rapidly increase our active forces far more on short notice.
We are going to produce all the weapons and equipment that such an armed force will need. Furthermore, we will make weapons for our allies, and weapons for our own reserve supplies. On top of this, we will build the capacity to turn out on short notice arms and supplies that may be needed for a full scale war.
Above all, we must remember that the fundamentals of our strength rest upon the freedoms of our people. We must continue our efforts to achieve the full realization of our democratic ideals. We must uphold freedom of speech and freedom of conscience in our land. We must assure equal right and equal opportunities to all our citizens.
As we go forward this year in the defense of freedom, let us keep clearly before us the nature of our present effort.
We are building up our strength, in concert with other free nations, to meet the danger of aggression that bas been turned loose on the world. The strength of the free nations is the world's best bope of peace.
I ask the Congress for unity in these crucial days.
Make no mistake about my meaning. I do not ask, or expect, unanimity. I do not ask for an end to debate. Only by debate can we arrive at decisions which are wise and which reflect the desires of the American people. We do not have dictatorship in this country, and we will never have (one in this country).
When I request unity, what I am really asking for is a sense of responsibility on the part of every Member of this Congress. Let us debate the issues, but let every man among us weigh his words and deeds. There is a sharp difference between harmful criticism and constructive criticism. If we are truly responsible as individuals, I am sure that we will be unified as a government.
Let us keep our eyes on the issues and work for the things we all believe in.
Let each of us put our country ahead of our party, and ahead of our own personal interests.
I had the honor to be a Member of the Senate during World War II, and I know from experience that unity of purpose and of effort is possible in the Congress without any lessening of the vitality of our twoparty system.
Let us all stand together as Americans. And let us stand together with all men everywhere who believe in human liberty:
Peace is precious to us. It is the way of life we strive for with all the strength and wisdom we possess. But more precious than peace are freedom and justice. We will fight, if fight we must, to keep our freedom and to prevent justice from being destroyed.
These are the things that give meaning to our lives, and which we acknowledge to be greater than ourselves.
This is our cause--peace, freedom, justice.
We will pursue this cause with determination and humility, asking divine guidance that in all we do we may follow God's will.
7. WAR OR PEACE AND THE SURVIVAL OF HUMAN FREE
DOM: Statement by the Secretary of State Before the Senate Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, June 1, 1951 (Excerpt)
The basic premise of our foreign policy is that time is on our side if we make good use of it. This does not necessarily mean that time must bring us to a point where we can match the Soviet Union manfor-man and tank-for-tank.
What it does mean is that we need to use the time we have to build an effective deterrent force. This requires us to create sufficient force-in-being, both in the United States and among our allies, to shield our great potential against the possibility of a quick and easy onslaught, and to ensure that our allies will not suffer occupation and destruction. And back of this shield we need to have the potential that would enable us to win a war.
This is the measure of the force we need; as we approach it, we approach our objective of preventing war.
Can we do this? I believe we can. We and our allies have the capacity to out-produce the Soviet bloc by a staggering margin. There is no doubt about that. Our capacity to produce has been set in motion and is rapidly getting to the point where its output will be vast and its effect significant.
There is also the critical factor of our will. The future belongs to freedom if free men have the will to make time work on their side. I believe the American people and their allies do have the will, the will to work together when their freedom is threatened.
This is the ultimate source of our faith and our confidence. A free society can call upon profound resources among its people in behalf of a righteous cause.
8. SECURING THE PEACE: Address by the President,
October 15, 1951 (Excerpts)?
It is important to remember, as our defense program begins to turn out more and more weapons, and our alliances for defense begin to take effect, that our basic objective our only objective-- is peace.
I am afraid that some people, here and abroad, believe that the creation of armed defenses must inevitably lead to war. This is not the case. We do not think war is inevitable. We believe that the creation of defenses will make war less likely. So long as one country has the power and the forces to overwhelmothers, and so long as that country has aggressive intentions, real peace is unattainable. The
· Department of State Bulletin, June 11, 1951, p. 926. Printed in full, infra, pp. 2615–2622.
? At Winston-Salem, North Carolina; Department of State Bulletin, Oct. 29, 1951, pp. 679-680.