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fight land battles in Asia. Our decision had been to pull out of Korea. It was Soviet-inspired action that pulled us back.
2. We did not decide in advance that it was wise to grant billions annually as foreign economic aid. We adopted that policy in response to the Communist efforts to sabotage the free economies of Western Europe.
3. We did not build up our military establishment at a rate which involved huge budget deficits, a depreciating currency and a feverish economy, because this seemed, in advance, a good policy. Indeed, we decided otherwise until the Soviet military threat was clearly revealed.
We live in a world where emergencies are always possible and our survival may depend upon our capacity to meet emergencies. Let us pray that we shall always have that capacity. But, having said that, it is necessary also to say that emergency measures-however good for the emergency-do not necessarily make good permanent policies. Emergency measures are costly, they are superficial and they imply that the enemy has the initiative. They cannot be depended on to serve our long-time interests.
This "long time" factor is of critical importance. The Soviet Communists are planning for what they call "an entire historical era", and we should do the same. They seek, through many types of maneuvers, gradually to divide and weaken the free nations by overextending them in efforts which, as Lenin put it, are "beyond their strength, so that they come to practical bankruptcy". Then, said Lenin, our victory is assured". Then, said Stalin, will be "the moment for the decisive blow" 3
In the face of this strategy, measures cannot be judged adequate merely because they ward off an immediate danger. It is essential to do this, but it is also essential to do so without exhausting ourselves.
When the Eisenhower Administration applied this test, we felt that some transformations were needed.
It is not sound military strategy permanently to commit U.S. land forces to Asia to a degree that leaves us no strategic reserves.
It is not sound economics, or good foreign policy, to support permanently other countries; for in the long run, that creates as much ill will as good will.
Also, it is not sound to become permanently committed to military expenditures so vast that they lead to "practical bankruptcy".
Change was imperative to assure the stamina needed for permanent security. But it was equally imperative that change should be ac
1 See statement issued by the Department of State, June 8, 1949; Department of State Bulletin, June 19, 1949, p. 781.
See "Left-Wing Communism, An Infantile Disorder," in The Strategy and Tactics of World Communism, Supplement I (H. Doc. No. 619, 80th Cong., 1st sess.), p. 59.
3 See "The Foundations of Leninism", ibid., p. 105.
companied by understanding of our true purposes. Sudden and spectacular change had to be avoided. Otherwise, there might have been a panic among our friends, and miscalculated aggression by our enemies. We can, I believe, make a good report in these respects.
We need allies and collective security. Our purpose is to make these relations more effective, less costly. This can be done by placing more reliance on deterrent power, and less dependence on local defensive power.
This is accepted practice so far as local communities are concerned. We keep locks on our doors; but we do not have an armed guard in every home. We rely principally on a community security system so well equipped to punish any who break in and steal that, in fact, would-be aggressors are generally deterred. That is the modern way of getting maximum protection at a bearable cost.
What the Eisenhower Administration seeks is a similar international security system. We want, for ourselves and the other free nations, a maximum deterrent at a bearable cost.
Local defense will always be important. But there is no local defense which alone will contain the mighty land power of the Communist world. Local defenses must be reinforced by the further deterrent of massive retaliatory power. A potential aggressor must know that he cannot always prescribe battle conditions that suit him. Otherwise, for example, a potential aggressor, who is glutted with manpower, might be tempted to attack in confidence that resistance would be confined to manpower. He might be tempted to attack in places where his superiority was decisive.
The way to deter aggression is for the free community to be willing and able to respond vigorously at places and with means of its own choosing.
So long as our basic policy concepts were unclear, our military leaders could not be selective in building our military power. If an enemy could pick his time and place and method of warfare-and if our policy was to remain the traditional one of meeting aggression by direct and local opposition-then we needed to be ready to fight in the arctic and in the tropics; in Asia, the Near East and in Europe; by sea, by land and by air; with old weapons and with new weapons.
The total cost of our security efforts, at home and abroad, was over $50,000,000,000 per annum, and involved, for 1953, a projected budgetary deficit of $9,000,000,000; and $11,000,000,000 for 1954. This was on top of taxes comparable to war-time taxes; and the dollar was depreciating in effective value. Our allies were similarly weighed down. This could not be continued for long without grave budgetary, economic and social consequences.
But before military planning could be changed, the President and his advisers, as represented by the National Security Council, had to take some basic policy decisions. This has been done. The basic
decision was to depend primarily upon a great capacity to retaliate, instantly, by means and at places of our choosing. Now the Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff can shape our military establishment to fit what is our policy, instead of having to try to be ready to meet the enemy's many choices. That permits of a selection of military means instead of a multiplication of means. As a result, it is now possible to get, and share, more basic security at less cost.
In the ways I outlined we gather strength for the long-term defense of freedom.
We do not, of course, claim to have found some magic formula that ensures against all forms of Communist successes. It is normal that at some times and at some places there may be setbacks to the cause of freedom. What we do expect to ensure is that any setbacks will have only temporary and local significance because they will leave unimpaired those free world assets which in the long run will prevail.
If we can deter such aggression as would mean general war, and that is our confident resolve, then we can let time and fundamentals work for us. We do not need self-imposed policies which sap our strength.
The fundamental, on our side, is the richness-spiritual, intellectual and material-that freedom can produce and the irresistible attraction it then sets up. That is why we do not plan ourselves to shackle freedom to preserve freedom. We intend that our conduct and example shall continue, as in the past, to show all men how good can be the fruits of freedom.
If we rely on freedom, then it follows that we must abstain from diplomatic moves which would seem to endorse captivity. That would, in effect, be a conspiracy against freedom. I can assure you that we shall never seek illusory security for ourselves by such a "deal".
We do negotiate about specific matters but only to advance the cause of human welfare.
President Eisenhower electrified the world with his proposal to lift a great weight of fear by turning atomic energy from a means of death into a source of life. Yesterday, I started procedural talks with the Soviet Government on that topic.2
We have persisted, with our Allies, in seeking the unification of Germany and the liberation of Austria. Now the Soviet rulers have agreed to discuss these questions.3 We expect to meet them soon in Berlin. I hope they will come with a sincerity which will equal our
1 Infra, pp. 2798-2805.
2 See Department of State Bulletin, Oct. 4, 1954, p. 478.
See infra, pp. 1849-1850.
See infra, pp. 1850-1871.
We have sought a conference to unify Korea and relieve it of foreign troops. So far, our persistence is unrewarded; but we have not given up.1
These efforts at negotiation are normal initiatives that breathe the spirit of freedom. They involve no plan for a partnership division of world power with those who suppress freedom.
If we persist in the courses I outline we shall confront dictatorship with a task that is, in the long run, beyond its strength. For unless it changes, it must suppress the human desires that freedom satisfies— as we shall be demonstrating.
If the dictators persist in their present course then it is they who will be limited to superficial successes, while their foundation crumbles under the tread of their iron boots.
Human beings, for the most part, want simple things.
They want to worship God in accordance with the dictates of their conscience. But that is not easily granted by those who promote an atheistic creed.
They want to think in accordance with the dictates of their reason. But that is not easily granted by those who represent an authoritarian system.
They want to exchange views with others and to persuade and to be persuaded by what appeals to their reason and their conscience. But that is not easily granted by those who believe in a society of conformity.
They want to live in their homes without fear. But that is not easily granted by those who believe in a police state system.
They want to be able to work productively and creatively and to enjoy the fruits of their labor. But that is not easily granted by those who look upon human beings as a means to create a powerhouse to dominate the world.
We can be sure that there is going on, even within Russia, a silent test of strength between the powerful rulers and the multitudes of human beings. Each individual no doubt seems by himself to be helpless in this struggle. But their aspirations in the aggregate make up a mighty force.
There are signs that the rulers are bending to some of the human desires of their people. There are promises of more food, more household goods, more economic freedom.
That does not prove that the Soviet rulers have themselves been converted. It is rather that they may be dimly perceiving a basic fact, that is that there are limits to the power of any rulers indefinitely to suppress the human spirit.
1 See infra, pp. 2673-2684.
In that God-given fact lies our greatest hope. It is a hope that can sustain us. For even if the path ahead be long and hard, it need not be a warlike path; and we can know that at the end may be found the blessedness of peace.
19. BERLIN FOREIGN MINISTERS MEETING (JANUARY 25FEBRUARY 18, 1954): Report by the Secretary of State, February 24, 1954 (Excerpts) 1
Last Friday evening [February 19] I returned to Washington after four weeks of daily discussion at Berlin with the Foreign Ministers of France, Great Britain and the Soviet Union-Mr. Bidault, Mr. Eden, Mr. Molotov. Also, on the way back, I met with Chancellor Adenauer of Germany.3
I find on my return that there is some confusion as to what really happened. That is not surprising. It is difficult to grasp quickly the results of four weeks of debate on many different matters. Indeed, the full results cannot be clearly seen for many months. I can, however, say that this meeting had two results which will profoundly influence the future.
First, as far as Europe was concerned, we brought Mr. Molotov to show Russia's hand. It was seen as a hand that held fast to everything it had, including East Germany and East Austria, and also it sought to grab some more.
Secondly, as far as Korea and Indochina were concerned, we brought Mr. Molotov to accept a Resolution which spelled out the United States position that Red China might in these two instances be dealt with, but not as a government recognized by us. *
The Soviet position was not at first openly revealed. It was masked behind ambiguous words and phrases. But as the Conference unfolded and as Mr. Molotov was compelled to respond to our probing of his words, the Soviet purpose became apparent.
The seating and speaking order at the Conference table were such that it always fell to me to speak first after Mr. Molotov. Then after me came Mr. Bidault of France, and then Mr. Eden of Britain. They carried with conspicuous ability their share of the task. Between the three of us, we exposed what lay behind Mr. Molotov's clever words. For the first time in five years the people of West Europe, America, and indeed all who could and would observe, sized
1 Delivered by radio and television from Washington; Department of State Bulletin, Mar. 8, 1954, pp. 343-347.
Infra, pp. 1850-1871; for full documentation on the meeting, see Foreign Ministers Meeting: Berlin Discussions, January 25-February 18, 1954 (Department of State publication 5399; 1954).
No communiqué was issued in connection with this meeting. 4 * Infra, pp. 2372-2373.