Go Slow on Crimea
Why Ukraine Should Not Rush to Retake the Peninsula
The Soviet Union has demanded that the United Nations be reorganized on the "troika" principle, with equal executive power given the West, the Communist bloc and the neutral states. Each would wield a veto. This proposal quite clearly aims to emasculate the United Nations and in particular reduce the office of the Secretary-General to the same impotence which blights the functioning of the Security Council.
In this situation it has been suggested that a general conference of U.N. members be called to review and possibly revise the Charter. I believe that a review conference at this time would be an exercise in futility. Quite obviously, the Western powers-and, hopefully, many of the neutrals-will reject the Soviet scheme. And the Russians can hardly be expected to agree to any Western proposals for strengthening the organization when their own objective is diametrically opposed to this.
Whatever inadequacies there may be in the U.N. Charter, the problem is not basically a legal matter but one of power politics in a divided world. Instead of engaging in an arid and irrelevant exercise in legalities, we would be far better advised to seek feasible means of building a cohesive community of free nations. This objective should be pursued as far as possible within the United Nations. In large measure, however, it must be pressed outside of the U.N., through instrumentalities that reflect a limited but real community of common interests.
Despite the existence of a very imposing array of international organs of consultation and coöperation, the free nations of the world seem chronically unable to unify and coördinate their policies. They are at the same time confronted with an adversary who has repeatedly demonstrated an impressive capacity to mobilize diverse resources for the achievement of single-minded objectives. The question quite naturally arises whether some new machinery or system can be devised through which the free nations can advance their common interests with a far greater degree of coördinated effort and shared responsibility than has yet been achieved in the postwar era.
We have created extensive international machinery since World War II-the United Nations, a global system of alliances and, most recently, the Organization for Economic Coöperation and Development. Despite the existence of these and other organs, the United States continues to bear a disproportionate share of the burden of world responsibility-a burden, I fear, which overtaxes even our own considerable resources. Throughout the world, both allied and uncommitted nations display a distressing tendency to stand aside, even when their own vital interests are involved, and leave it to the United States to act while reserving for themselves the right to criticize or to condemn.
A psychology of aloofness has taken hold in much of the free world. Even in Britain the illusion has become widespread, although not in official circles, that somehow the United Kingdom can be neutral in a world-wide power struggle in which only the United States and the Soviet Union have vital interests at stake. France has lessened her military participation in NATO and taken other steps which gravely impair the effectiveness of the alliance. Germany adheres loyally to NATO, but refuses to accept an obligation commensurate with her wealth and resources to carry out the common Western responsibility for assisting the world's underdeveloped nations. India, the largest free nation of Asia, acts as though the expansion of Communist power in Southeast Asia is a problem outside her own interests, in which she can act at most as a disinterested "honest broker."
The psychology of aloofness can be readily understood in terms of a profound feeling of impotence on the part of once-dominant nations which have lost both empire and preeminence, and also on the part of new nations beset with overwhelming internal problems. It is all too easy for such nations to despair of their own ability to influence the course of events and to leave the arena to the giants.
In the case of Western Europe this sense of impotence is as unfounded as it is regrettable. Together the nations of Western Europe surpass the Soviet Union in population, in productivity and perhaps as well in the human skills that are essential to modern industrial societies. Their impotence, in short, is largely self-imposed, a function of disunity and inadequate will to mobilize the full weight of their impressive resources.
The trouble with this psychology of aloofness is that it both underestimates the power of the nations who succumb to it and overestimates the power of the United States, and in so doing exerts a very definite and detrimental influence on events. The fact is that the United States alone has neither the power, the resources nor the will to bear unaided the crushing burden of world responsibility. It is largely trying to do so now, and, as anyone can testify who has followed recent events in Laos, in Cuba or in Geneva, it is not doing well at all.
In the past, the free nations of the world have performed impressive tasks of coördinating their efforts and mobilizing their joint resources in the face of grave external threats. They did so in both world wars and again in the early years of the cold war. Over the past decade, however, their efforts have flagged, while the external danger is more grave than ever from a powerful and skillful adversary whose successes have been stunning and whose ambitions are unlimited. In the face of this danger, the course of both reason and necessity for all of the free nations is to accept a fair share of the responsibility for the defense of their common interests.
The question is how and whether a dynamic "concert of free nations" can be put together. It is clear that the United Nations, although it was designed to form just such a concert, has fallen far short of the hopes which attended its creation; we must look elsewhere for a system that can unify the forces of freedom effectively.
The dilemma of any effort to create an organic unity among nations or even a loose comity is that there is no necessary correlation between human need and human capacity. The need for a new "concert of nations" is very clear: it derives from the formidable threat of aggressive imperialistic Communism. The capacity to build such a concert requires something more than the negative spur of fear and common danger; it requires the positive force of a sense of community, which means a feeling and deep conviction of shared values and interests, a feeling that effective communication is possible, a feeling of trust and confidence in each other's purpose.
It is precisely because no such community is within reach on a world-wide scale that even the United Nations, to say nothing of proposals for world federation, goes far beyond our capacity in its aspirations, however defective it may be in terms of our needs. Indeed the great paradox of this century is that the divisive force of nationalism appears to have reached its historical peak at precisely the time when developments in science and military technology have unified the world in the physical sense and established the need for political units far beyond existing national frontiers.
It is thus imperative that we strive for a broader unity, a unity which is oriented to our needs but rooted in our capacity. While the United Nations will remain a symbol of our aspirations, we can hope at the most, as things stand, to build a viable community of the free world. The question is whether we have yet done all that we can to develop it. Although such a community must for the foreseeable future be limited to the free nations, it can set its sights on universal values.
Prescriptions for the future, if they are to prove effective, must be rooted in the experience of the past. It is more than an academic exercise, therefore, to look back in history for models and examples of a viable spirit of international community.
Such a spirit prevailed in remarkable measure in nineteenth century Europe. In the wake of the Napoleonic Wars, Europe developed a primitive but effective system of public law based on the treaty structure erected by the Congress of Vienna. In order to provide permanent security against a resurgence of French militarism and aggression, Britain, Austria, Russia and Prussia formed in 1815 a quadruple alliance of which Article 6 provided for "periodic meetings of sovereigns or their ministers" for preserving the peace and stability of Europe. France, the defeated aggressor, was granted remarkably generous terms and within three years of her defeat was brought into the system of consultation. Thus emerged the Concert of Europe, an oligarchy of great powers, but none the less a genuine community of nations who identified their common interests in preserving a rough balance of power and the basic integrity of the treaty structure.
The Vienna settlement opened a century of relative peace. The guiding rule of the Concert, never made explicit but none the less effective, was that no change in the treaty structure could be made without the consent of the five-power oligarchy. Thus, for example, with "due process of law," the Concert decreed the independence of Belgium in 1830, a definite regime for the Turkish straits in 1840, the independence of Bulgaria in 1878, and, as late as 1913, the Concert successfully imposed a settlement of the Balkan wars.
The role of Britain in the Concert of Europe is especially instructive. As the leading financial, industrial and naval power, Britain accepted special responsibilities for the enforcement of the public law of Europe. She initiated something of a Marshall Plan after 1815, providing loans and subsidies to revive the war-torn economies of the European powers. Britain was the "holder" of the balance of power and her weight was thrown when necessary to the support of the weaker side in continental controversies and against the potential violator of treaties. When forcible changes in treaty requirements were unavoidable, as in the case of Russia's denunciation in 1871 of the naval restrictions imposed upon her in the Black Sea at the end of the Crimean War, Britain insisted upon a conference to put the stamp of legality on a foregone conclusion and thus to avoid a dangerous precedent.
The point which is most instructive for America in our own time is that Britain led but did not dominate the Concert. She was not the mistress of Europe but its primus inter pares. Her role, in short, was not to exercise sole responsibility but to lead a system of shared responsibility. The Pax Britannica was thus a multilateral system which depended at least as much on its members as on its leader.
The Concert of Europe represented a limited community and a fragile system of law, but it kept the peace for a hundred years -a splendid achievement by contrast with the far more structured and sophisticated international machinery of the twentieth century.
Nevertheless, the Concert had major flaws, and these ultimately proved fatal. It was first of all an oligarchy of great powers which imposed its will on the lesser states with little regard for their desires and aspirations. Secondly, the Concert at times showed little understanding of the rising forces of democracy and nationalism in nineteenth century Europe. Indeed, the eastern powers-Austria, Russia and Prussia-were quite hostile to these forces and sought in vain to use the Concert as an instrument to suppress them and to "make Europe safe for autocracy." Thirdly, the absence of established machinery of obligatory consultation reduced the workings of the Concert to hazardous uncertainty. Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary, tried desperately and vainly to invoke the Concert in the crisis of the summer of 1914. The chaos of telegrams frantically exchanged among the chancelleries of Europe at that time persuaded Grey that, if the Concert of Europe had had some established machinery of obligatory consultation, war might have been prevented.
The most serious handicap to the effectiveness of the Concert of Europe, however, proved to be the disintegration of the international community of shared values on which it rested. During the first half of the nineteenth century, nationalist movements were also liberal and democratic and Europe was increasingly dedicated to the rule of law. This trend was arrested and then reversed by the rise of a new form of nationalism-militant, aggressive and ultimately xenophobic. The prime mover of the new nationalism was Germany, whose unification and preeminence were won by the arms of autocratic Prussia. After the defeat of France by Prussia in 1871, Germany became the predominant nation in Europe, dedicated to Bismarckian "blood and iron." Europe in the late nineteenth century was prey to militarism, secret alliances and nationalist rivalries. The demise of the Concert of Europe in 1914 reflected the gradual enfeeblement and final disintegration of the community which had given Europe its happiest and most productive century.
Out of the ruins of the old European order, British and American statesmen devised the League of Nations-a radically new idea for the creation of a world-wide community of law. The British conceived of the League of Nations as an enlarged and improved Concert, but Woodrow Wilson thought of it as a universalized application of the Monroe Doctrine, which he regarded as a partnership of American states for the advancement of democracy in world affairs. British thinking was empirical in terms of European experience, a latter-day effort to bring in the new world to redress the balance of the old. Wilson's conception was universal and idealist, generalizing the Monroe Doctrine as he conceived it into a world moral order. These two views were not mutually exclusive. The British hoped to revive a community that had disintegrated; the Americans hoped to build a new one. Both looked to their own deeply rooted traditions of ordered society under the rule of law.
The chief British contribution to the Covenant was a system of obligatory consultation,, peaceful settlement of disputes, and sanctions against violators. The objective, inspired largely by the disastrous experience of 1914, was to enforce delay and an attempt at peaceful settlement before nations actually resorted to war.
The major American contribution was Article 10, a mutual guarantee of political independence and territorial integrity among the members of the League. Article 10, said President Wilson, was the "backbone of the whole of the Covenant." It represented the guarantee which is the sine qua non of any valid system of collective security, an obligation inherent in membership, flowing directly from the Covenant, and not dependent upon the decisions of any organ of the League.
The founders of the League believed that it reflected the birth of a new world order and that its very processes would guide a nascent community to full maturity. Wilson had no illusions as to the existence at that time of a genuine international community, but he firmly believed that the historical moment had arrived for such a community to be born. The League, said Wilson in presenting the Covenant to the Peace Conference on February 14, 1919, would depend ultimately on the "moral force of the public opinion of the world." "Armed force," said the President, "is in the background in this program, but it is in the background, and if the moral force of the world will not suffice, the physical force of the world shall. But that is the last resort. . . ."
The year 1919 was perhaps the high-water mark of democracy in world history. The victory was won by democratic nations, unshared with great totalitarian powers. It marked the occurrence of an epochal opportunity to lay the foundations of a world community of law-not to create a community full-grown, for that is the work of generations, but to give birth to a prospect of world peace under world law.
The opportunity so briefly presented in 1919 was lost, and lost completely, by the generation of statesmen who governed during the interwar years. It is not necessary here to rehearse the tragic annals of that era-the retreat of America to isolation, the capitulation of the League to Japanese aggression in Manchuria, Italian aggression in Ethiopia and German aggression in Europe. The result was World War II, more devastating than the first war. By 1945 the statesmen of the West were ready to retrieve the errors of the interwar years. They had the will perhaps, but the opportunity of 1919 was not to be repeated. The victory of 1945 was shared by a dynamic new totalitarianism, one which rejected the values which underlay both the nineteenth century Concert and the Covenant of the League of Nations.
Under these conditions the United Nations was conceived and created, an organ of international community far more ambitious than the League and launched under far less auspicious circumstances. There is no mystery in the failure of the United Nations to fulfill its promise. That promise rested on the assumption that President Roosevelt brought back from Yalta in February 1945-that we had achieved unity "in spirit and in purpose" with our allies. Events proved that hope illusory and with it went the promise of a genuine system of collective security on a worldwide scale.
There are at least three preconditions of a viable system of collective security: (1) a status quo on which the principal powers agree; (2) the availability of overwhelming force to those nations who support the status quo or at least oppose change by violence; (3) a high degree of political and moral solidarity among the great powers. These are the minimum conditions of a minimum international community. None of them existed at the end of World War II. The success of the United Nations depended upon the presence of all of them.
The United Nations' Charter reflects the ambivalence of excessive aspirations toward a world community and the existence in the world of conflicting powers and ideologies. In the words of the distinguished international lawyer, Julius Stone: "The very ambition of the Charter turned it into a two-faced instrument. One face looks nobly towards the beginnings of a super-State well beyond the League of Nations; the other looks grimly backwards to the anarchic self-help of the old world, well before the foundation of the League of Nations. Which was the real face?"[i]
The answer, unfortunately, is the "second face." The global community which the Charter assumed exists today neither in fact nor in prospect. If the social fabric essential to institutions does not exist, even the most brilliant statecraft cannot create it.
The "first face" of the Charter appears in the peace enforcement powers of the Security Council, an organ vested with full authority to apply all sanctions, including the use of force, against any nation which commits a "threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression." The Security Council has the theoretical power to decide on such measures and all members of the United Nations are bound under Article 25 to "accept and carry out" these decisions.
The veto reduces these powers to a nullity because it renders the great powers immune, leaving the enforcement of the peace to their fiat. The Charter was never intended for use against the great powers. They were the policemen, set above the law, whose compliance with the Charter depended not on law but on their own consent, and on the illusion of their unity "in spirit and in purpose."
The history of the United Nations has been in large measure a history of retreat from false hopes and of adjustment to the reality of a divided world. The veto in fact is an accurate reflection of that reality. Its removal would not result in a genuine system of collective security. More likely it would mean the end of the organization. The veto is the reflection, not a cause, of conflict. In its absence, a great power would not comply with the Charter but would rebel against it. The real problem is one not of legalities but of power politics in a divided world.
The veto represents the "second face" of the Charter; it is a clause of escape and evasion. So does Article 51, which recognizes an "inherent" right of individual and collective self-defense. As Western statesmen have repeatedly pointed out, their system of defense alliances is wholly valid under the Charter, clearly licensed by Article 51. But NATO is an essential instrument of collective security precisely because of the failure of the U.N. It is not a realization of the Charter but a substitute for it authorized by a clause of escape and reservation.
The primitive parts of the Charter, those which look to anarchic self-help, have proven viable because they reflect reality. The grand innovation of an authoritative international executive quickly broke down because it defied history and falsely assumed the existence of a community of the great powers.
The gradual transfer of authority from the Security Council to the General Assembly has been an effort to adjust to reality by retreating to looser and more traditional forms of coöperation. Such was the intent of the Uniting for Peace Resolution of November 1950. The Security Council has all but ceased to function and it was the General Assembly which dealt more or less successfully with the Suez crisis of 1956 and quite unsuccessfully with the Soviet suppression of Hungary. The difficulty with the General Assembly is that it is a most unwieldy body and one which bears no relationship to the realities of world power. A body in which Guatemala or Bulgaria exercises the same voting power as the United States or the Soviet Union can scarcely be expected to serve as a reliable instrument of peace enforcement or even of consultation.
The anarchic face of the U.N. dominates. Its forward-looking face is but a shadow and a promise. It seems quite clear that if we are to develop a working concert of free nations, we must look elsewhere for a model and an instrumentality.
By far the most impressive achievements of policy coördination among sovereign powers have occurred in wartime. In both world wars the Western powers, particularly Great Britain and the United States, achieved a high degree of coöperation along specific functional lines in the common war effort.
During the First World War the Allied and Associated Powers dealt through international agencies with such problems as the coördination of military strategy, the allocation of shipping and the maintenance of supplies of food and raw materials. The Supreme War Council, for instance, under Marshal Foch, was virtually an international cabinet for the conduct of the war. Before the war was over, some European statesmen began to think of it as a "rudimentary league of nations." A number of other functional international organs operated with great success during the war and the Peace Conference.
Impressive achievements of close coördination, indeed unification, of policy were achieved by Great Britain and the United States in World War II. The grand strategy of the war was planned in constant and intimate consultations between President Roosevelt and Prime Minister Churchill, and the British and American armed forces were put under a joint command known as the Combined Chiefs of Staff. Under the direction of the political leaders of the two countries, the Combined Chiefs of Staff, sitting in Washington, formulated and executed policies and plans relating to the strategic conduct of the war, allocation of munitions and transportation requirements. A close working relationship developed between the top British representative, Field Marshal Sir John Dill, and General George Marshall, who together made major policy decisions In an informal manner. The Allied war effort was also unified by a system of combined boards whose task was to muster the full economic resources of Great Britain and the United States and Canada.
The combined boards as well as the Combined Chiefs of Staff were created and carried on in an atmosphere in which the common purpose of defeating the enemy overrode all other motives, Survival itself depended upon common effort and a united front. National and group interests were readily subordinated by the two English-speaking nations with their common Interests, their similar outlook and their community of democratic values. Underlying the ability of British and American officials to work closely together was a sense of community derived from long association and a common heritage. It is significant that at no point was the Soviet Union brought Into the system, of unified conduct of the war.
The experience of the joint war effort points to the efficacy of a functional approach toward the building of an international community. Common efforts to deal with specific concrete problems are likely to be more productive in the long run than, comprehensive and spectacular attempts at world constitution-making.
In times of clear and present danger, custom, inertia, vested interests and traditional viewpoints give way to the needs of the times. The problem that now confronts us is whether they will give way in a time of ominous danger, but danger which Is vague, ambiguous and lacking in dramatic urgency. That is the nature of the peril which confronts the free world. Unless we can forge something like the unity of purpose and common action that we so successfully forged in wartime, we may well fall victim if not to cataclysm then to creeping catastrophe.
In a speech on June 10, 1961, to a rally of Young Conservatives, Sir Anthony Eden called for a "political general staff" of Western leaders to enable free countries to stand up to "the monolithic mass which is the Communist world." In a pessimistic assessment of the cold war, Eden declared: "There must be much closer unity within the West before there can be effective negotiation with the East." Ordinary methods of diplomacy within the free world are inadequate, said the former Prime Minister. "Something much more thorough is required." Citing the experience of the Combined Chiefs of Staff in World War II, Eden said that all would have been confusion and disarray without them. "This," he said, "is exactly what has been happening between the politically free nations in the postwar world. We need joint chiefs of a political general staff." Citing the advances of Communist power in recent years, Sir Anthony observed: "This very grave state of affairs will continue until the free nations accept together the reality of the danger that confronts them and unite their policies and resources to meet it."
While I fully agree with Sir Anthony's contention, I think that we must carry the analysis farther, bearing in mind that while common peril may be the measure of our need, the existence or absence of a positive sense of community must be the measure of our capacity.
While it is hazardous to project the trend of history, it seems clear that a genuine community is painfully emerging in the Western world, particularly among the countries of Western Europe. At the end of World War II, free Europe was ready for a new beginning. The excesses of nationalism had brought down upon Europe a generation of tyranny and war, and a return to the old order of things seemed unthinkable. Under these conditions a new generation of Europeans began to discover the bonds of long association and shared values that for so long had been subordinated to nationalist xenophobia. A slow and painful trend toward unification has taken hold, a trend which may at any time be arrested and reversed but which may also lead to a binding federation of Europe. It may well be that the unification of Europe will prove inadequate, that the survival of free society will require nothing less than the confederation of the entire Western world.
The movement toward European unity has been expressed in two currents: federalism and functionalism, one looking to the constitution of a United States of Europe, the other building on wartime precedents of practical coöperation for the solution of specific problems. Thus far the advances made have been almost entirely along functional lines.
Many factors contributed to the growth of the European movement. In 1946 Sir Winston Churchill, who had spoken often of European union during the war, advocated the formation of "a kind of United States of Europe." Had Churchill been returned to office in 1945, it is just possible that Britain, instead of standing fearfully aloof, would have led Europe toward union.
In 1947 and 1948 the necessity of massive coördinated efforts to achieve economic recovery led to the formation of the Organization for European Economic Coöperation to supervise and coördinate the uses of American aid under the Marshall Plan. The United States might well have exploited the opportunity provided by the European Recovery Program to push the hesitant European nations toward political federation as well as economic coöperation, but all proposals to this effect were rejected by the United States Government at the time.
Another powerful factor in the European movement was the threat of Soviet aggression. The Communist coup in Czechoslovakia in 1948 was followed immediately by the conclusion of the Brussels Treaty, a 50-year alliance among Britain, France and the Benelux countries. And of course the Soviet threat was responsible for NATO, the grand alliance of the Atlantic nations.
New organs of unification proliferated in the decade following the conclusion of the NATO alliance. In 1949 the Council of Europe came into existence, a purely consultative parliamentary body but the first organ of political rather than functional unity. In 1952, the European Coal and Steel Community was launched, placing the coal and steel production of France, West Germany, Italy and Benelux under a supranational High Authority. For a time it appeared that a common European army might be created, but the project for a European Defense Community was rejected by the French National Assembly in 1954. In 1957 the social-economic approach to European integration was capped by the formation among "the Six" of a tariff-free European Common Market, and Euratom for coöperation in the development of atomic energy.
The "overseas" democracies have generally encouraged the European unification movement without seriously considering the wisdom of their own full participation in a broader Atlantic community. The United States and Canada belong only to NATO and the new O.E.C.D. Britain until recently went along in some areas with all of the enthusiasm of the groom at a shotgun wedding. In other areas it held back, pleading its Commonwealth bonds. Now Britain has decided to seek admission to the European Economic Community and it seems certain that she will be joined by some of her partners in the loose Free Trade Area of the "Outer Seven." Besides its historical significance as a break with the centuries-old tradition of British insularity, Britain's move, if successful, will constitute an historic landmark of the first importance in the movement toward the unification of Europe and the Western world.
If a broader Atlantic community is to be formed-and my own judgment is that it lies within the realm of both our needs and our capacity-a ready nucleus of machinery is at hand in the NATO alliance. The time is now ripe, indeed overdue, for the vigorous development of its non-military potentialities, for its development as an instrument of Atlantic community. What is required is the full implementation of Article 2 of the Treaty, which provides: "The Parties will contribute toward the further development of peaceful and friendly international relations by strengthening their free institutions, by bringing about a better understanding of the principles upon which these institutions are founded, and by promoting conditions of stability and well-being. They will seek to eliminate conflict in their international economic policies and will encourage economic collaboration between any and all of them." As Lester Pearson wrote in 1955: "NATO cannot live on fear alone. It cannot become the source of a real Atlantic community if it remains organized to deal only with the military threat which first brought it into being."
The problem of NATO is not one of machinery, of which there is an abundance, but of the will to use it. The NATO Council is available as an executive agency, the Standing Group as a high military authority. The unofficial Conference of Parliamentarians is available as a potential legislative authority. This machinery will not become the instrument of an Atlantic community by fiat, but only when that community evolves from potentiality to reality. The existence of a community is a state of mind-a conviction that goals and values are widely shared, that effective communication is possible, that mutual trust is reasonably assured.
An equally promising avenue toward Atlantic community may lie through the development and expansion of the O.E.C.D. Conceived as an organ of economic coöperation, there is no reason why O.E.C.D. cannot evolve into a broader instrument of union if its members so desire. Indeed it might be a more appropriate vehicle than NATO for the development of a parliamentary organ of the Atlantic nations, because it could encompass all of the members of the Atlantic community including those, like Sweden and Switzerland, who are unwilling to be associated with an essentially military alliance like NATO.
Underlying these hopes and prescriptions is a conviction that the nations of the North Atlantic area do indeed form a community, at least a potential community. There is nothing new in this; what is new and compelling is that the West is now but one of several powerful civilizations, or "systems," and that one or more of the others may pose a mortal danger to the West. For centuries the North Atlantic nations dominated the world and as long as they did they could afford the luxury of fighting each other. That time is now past and the Atlantic nations, if they are to survive, must develop a full-fledged community, and they must also look beyond the frontiers of "Western civilization" toward a world-wide "concert of free nations."
The burden of these reflections is that a broader unity among the free nations is at the core of our needs. And if we do not aspire to too much, it is also within our capacity. A realistic balancing of the need for new forms of international organization on the one hand, and our capacity to achieve them on the other, must be approached through the concept of "community." History has demonstrated many times that concerts of nations based solely on the negative spur of common danger are unlikely to survive when the external danger ceases to be dramatically urgent. Only when a concert of nations rests on the positive foundations of shared goals and values is it likely to form a viable instrument of long-range policy. It follows that the solution to the current disunity of the free nations is only to a very limited extent a matter of devising new machinery of consultation and coördination. It is very much a matter of building the foundations of community.
It is for these reasons that proposals for a "new world order," through radical overhaul of the United Nations or through some sort of world federation, are utterly fatuous. In a recent book called "World Peace Through World Law," two distinguished lawyers, Grenville Clark and Louis Sohn, call for just such an overhaul of the U.N., basing their case on the world-wide fear of a nuclear holocaust. I believe that these proposals, however meritorious in terms of world needs, go far beyond our capacity to realize them. Such proposals look to an apocalyptic act, a kind of Lockiari "social contract" on a world-wide scale. The defect of these proposals is in their attempt to outrun history and their assumption that because something may be desirable it is also possible.
A working concept of the organic evolution of community must lead us in a different direction. The failures of the U.N. and of other international organs suggest that we have already gone beyond what was internationally feasible. Our problem, therefore, is to devise processes more modest in their aspirations, adjusted to the real world of sovereign nation states and diverse and hostile communities. The history of the U.N. demonstrates that in a pluralistic world we must develop processes of influence and persuasion rather than coercion. It is possible that international organization will ultimately supplant the multi-state system, but its proper function for the immediate future is to reform and supplement that system in order to render pluralism more compatible with an interdependent world.
New machinery of coördination should not be our primary objective in the foreseeable future-though perhaps the "political general staff" of Western leaders proposed by Sir Anthony Eden would serve a useful purpose. Generally, however, there is an abundance of available machinery of coördination-in NATO, in O.E.C.D., in the U.N. and elsewhere. The trouble with this machinery is that it is not used and the reason that it is not used is the absence of a conscious sense of community among the free nations.
Our proper objective, then, is the development of a new spirit, the realization of a potential community. A "concert of free nations" should take its inspiration from the traditions of the nineteenth century Concert of Europe with its common values and accepted "rules of the game." Constitutions of and by themselves mean little; the history of both the League of Nations and the United Nations demonstrates that. But a powerful sense of community, even with little or no machinery, means a great deal. That is the lesson of the nineteenth century.
A realistic "concert of free nations" might be expected to consist of an "inner community" of the North Atlantic nations and an "outer community" embracing much or all of the non-Communist world.
The North Atlantic nations represent an almost-existing community and, because they do, they can press forward in the development of supranational institutions. Because their community is fragile, these institutions for the time being should be functional rather than federal, piecemeal and pragmatic rather than general. In practice, this would mean the further development of NATO as an organ of political and economic coöperation, the vigorous implementation of the O.E.C.D., and the expansion of existing organs of European integration, with Great Britain, Canada and the United States moving toward full participation.
The "outer community" poses much more difficult problems, because it is a potential community still far from realization. Our objective must be to bring it into existence, a task which will take time and patience. The problem here is to persuade the new and underdeveloped nations that for certain purposes at least their interests and objectives coincide with our own. Their aspirations for economic development, for military security and for freedom are all objectives which represent our interests as well as their own. The way to persuade these nations of this community of interests is for the West to assist them in their realization. In practice, this means a unified Western program of economic assistance for sound development programs, rigorous respect for the sovereignty of newly independent nations, and a growing practice of consulting these nations on specific common problems.
Such a policy also means the encouragement of a greater sense of responsibility among the underdeveloped nations than now exists. If their economic development programs are unsound, we must not be "blackmailed" into providing lavish aid for fear they will otherwise go to the Communists. When we consult them on matters of security, we must make it clear that their security as well as our own is involved and they must accept responsibility accordingly.
In all these ways we can work toward a "concert of free nations," a community rooted not only in common peril but also in common values and aspirations. Such a community falls far short of the stable world order we desire. Its merit is that it represents a realistic accommodation between our needs and our capacity.
Freedom is not its own defense. Its survival in this century will require the construction of a new community of unified effort and shared responsibility. In the words of the Spanish philosopher Salvador de Madariaga: "The trouble today is that the Communist world understands unity but not liberty, while the free world understands liberty but not unity. Eventual victory may be won by the first of the two sides to achieve the synthesis of both liberty and unity."
[i] Julius Stone, "Legal Controls of International Conflict." New York: Rinehart, 1954, p. 280.