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THE politics of Western Europe center around two great achievements-the Atlantic Alliance and the Common Market. At this point in time, one would be blind not to see that both are in danger. How could this have come about?
WHEN the Western European Union was founded, and when the Federal Republic of Germany became a member of NATO, there existed a uniform political concept which was supported by all partners in the alliance. On it was based the strategic concept, which in turn was the basis for setting force requirements that were to be built up and maintained by all the members. In the course of the last few years, however, we have seen a growing divergence of opinion on the basic questions of our common defense and strategy. By the time President Kennedy took office, the concept which had been in effect up to that time-namely the principle of massive deterrence and, should it fail, of massive retaliation-was no longer considered by the United States to be credible. Strategy was adapted to the development of modern weapons technology and flexible response was made the official and binding American military doctrine.
One hundred and sixty-six years ago, a political writer on the staff of a respected journal-the Philadelphia Monthly Magazine-devoted a column to reports of a civil war then said to be raging in China. This anonymous and unpretentious commentator, unlike some who follow the trade today, admitted that his analysis was almost entirely speculative, for he wrote: "Our knowledge of that nation is very little, and that little, too obscure to be trusted."
"An excellent revolutionary situation exists in Africa" was the way Chou En- lai summed up his visit to the continent earlier this year. Was this mere wishful thinking on his part? Or was it a deliberate attempt to foster revolutionary thinking? The answer to the second question should be obvious. Not so the first. Chou En-lai thinks of revolution in Mao Tse- tung's terms of "the seizure of power by armed force; the settlement of the issue by war is the central task of the highest form of revolution." If Chou En-lai was indeed talking in this sense, his appraisal of Africa's present condition is incorrect. There are a number of African states (other than just the remaining colonial territories) where the violent overthrow of government is possible; but it is highly unlikely that "seizure of power" will herald a Mao Tse-tung-type revolution. There is little reason to suppose that this is what would happen if the present rebels in the Congo were successful.
A Distinguished former United States Ambassador to Canada, Mr. Livingston Merchant, was recently quoted as saying, "Canada is more important to the United States than any other single country." This will startle the average American who thinks of Canada-when he thinks of it at all-as a land of snow, wheat, "Northern Dancer," tourist camps and discontented people who speak French.
In 1947, the "Bible" of the nation's military contractors-Armed Forces Procurement Regulations-was a slim volume about 100 to 125 pages long. Today, the A.F.P.R., which governs in minute detail all those who do business with the Pentagon, has expanded to four huge volumes totaling something like 1,200 pages, with new ones added daily.
DURING recent Congressional debates on aid legislation many harsh things were said about the United Arab Republic and its President. One Senator stated that "Col. Abdel Nasser . . . has been responsible more than any other single individual for keeping the political cauldron boiling in the arid, strife-torn Middle East . . . pouring oil on whatever brush fires break out." President Nasser has been equally sharp and critical. Early in 1964 he publicly described American foreign policy toward the Arab world as "not based on justice but on the support and consolidation of the base of aggression, Israel, and we cannot, under any circumstances, accept it."
For the caboclo of the Amazon flood-plain, jabbing the blade of his paddle into the silty waters of the wide main stream, or gliding through a tunnel of trees and vines in some small black-water tributary, there is one Brazilian reality. Quite another exists for the northeastern vaqueiro, riding in leather armor through the thorny bush of his drought-smitten land. Different images of their country are held by a gold-miner in Minas Gerais, a herva-mate gatherer in Mato Grosso, a sheepherder in Rio Grande do Sul, a coffee planter in São Paulo or another of the many regional types of rural Brazil. The factory hand or the construction worker may think back with nostalgia to the countryside from which he came, but now Brazil is to him a throbbing manufacturing center, an urban sprawl, perhaps a hillside shanty town inserted in a beautiful landscape and overlooking luxurious apartment buildings.
India's military humiliation at the hands of China in 1962 set in motion a process of internal political deterioration which still continues. The first impact of the unimpeded Chinese advance had brought a temporary surge of fellow feeling and patriotic fervor; but the deeper and more lasting consequence of the rout at Bomdila was the virtual destruction of the unprecedented sense of national confidence so carefully nurtured by Nehru during his years of leadership. What was left of dynamism and élan soon faded away as India's inability to strike back in the foreseeable future became more and more abundantly clear to a demoralized nationalist élite.
By the end of the 1950s, it looked to all the world as if Eastern Europe were safely back in the Communist fold. The Hungarians were still stunned by the defeat of the revolution; the irascible Poles were finally subdued; the Czechs were laboring under the most severe repression since the death of Stalin; the Rumanians and the Bulgarians seemed, as usual, to be bearing their yoke with docility; the Albanians were too few, too far and too inconsequent to deserve the world's solicitude. Jugoslavia was effectively quarantined by Moscow and her revisionist influence was at an ebb. The 1956 interlude was over. It was hardly possible to detect at that time the forces that a few years later were to challenge the renewed order and breed confusion and disarray in the Communist ranks.
Amid the various anniversaries of the last year, one seems to have passed unnoticed. It was just ten years ago that the Soviet Union embarked on its program of economic aid to neutralist countries. Beginning with a grain elevator and highway program in Kabul, Afghanistan, and the Bhilai Steel Mill in India, Soviet promises of aid mounted rapidly until they reached a peak of more than $1 billion in the year 1960. In terms of gross national product, this was as much as the United States was providing at the time. Subsequently, however, in late 1961, promises of Soviet aid diminished and remained insignificant until late 1963.