Courtesy Reuters

Science and Foreign Policy

THE latest types of weapons -- the robot bomb, the rocket, the jet-propelled airplane -- are, fortunately, coming into extensive use only as this war draws to a close. If the collective intelligence of mankind is unequal to the task of preventing another war, these weapons and others even more terrible will be used in perfected form at the outset, perhaps with instantly decisive effect. In earlier times those who were the strongest in mere muscular strength were the ones who profited from the anarchic lack of collective security. The stupendous scientific developments of the last hundred years have now been brought to the point where it is entirely conceivable that an anemic professor in an underground chamber may reach over and touch a button and kill a thousand men a thousand miles away.

In considering how to guard against a catastrophe which threatens the total destruction of the civilization built up painfully by mankind through the centuries, we must ask whether we have not reached the point where the discoveries of science must become the common property of all, for the use of all. Can we permit any more secrets if machines secretly produced threaten to destroy us all? Can there any longer be private research, in the old sense of the word, for military purposes or for the commercial processes which can serve those purposes?

Modern war is total war. It demands the participation of every citizen. It absorbs all, or nearly all, the resources of the state. It strikes directly at the person and property of every individual. Because it does this, and because modern weapons have attained such range, speed and destructive power, the civilized nations are joining in a world-wide organization to prevent the recurrence of total war. In this task, the people of the United States are taking a leading part and are likely to continue to do so.

This fact will profoundly affect future American foreign policy and future American military policy. The two

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