Time for NATO to Close Its Door
The Alliance Is Too Big—and Too Provocative—for Its Own Good
From time immemorial man's search for peace has been offset by his desire and instinct for conquest and defense. For just as long, probably, the concept of disarmament, meaning the destruction and elimination of weapons or their conversion to peaceful uses, has recurred in men's minds as a hopeful means of attaining peace. Today we are approaching-if we have not already reached-the era of ultimate weapons. That is to say, we live now in a period in which weapons have become so destructive in their power that they can or could encompass the end of mankind itself. If it is said that even more destructive weapons lie ahead, and that we have yet to reach the ultimate, one can safely repeat that we are at a stage of weapons development where destruction is possible on so "grand" a scale that the direct and indirect consequences of their use would be incalculable and totally beyond all standards of previous comparison.
If we do not find a reliable alternative to the settlement of international disputes by war and threats of war, there is a strong probability that it is merely a question of time before the world will find itself engaged in a cataclysmic conflict from which it would require decades, if not centuries, to recover. Possibly the continuance of a nice balance of terrible deterrents can hold off such a catastrophe indefinitely. Arms races have sometimes petered out in the past; most of them, however, seem to have ended in wars. Whatever the balance of probabilities in this respect, the situation today is such that mankind must face up to the necessity of eliminating war as an acceptable arbitrament of international disputes.
At the forefront of the ways and means discussed for the elimination of war is again the proposal that all nations should disarm themselves. It remains the most seriously pressed proposal for the achievement of peace.
There are those who contend that disarmament is more than a means to assist in the elimination of war. They are disposed to equate it with peace itself. It seems to me more realistic, however, to view disarmament as a concomitant of peace or an inducement to peace rather than as a synonym for peace. Indeed, there have been many occasions in history where disarmament or an imbalance in arms has induced war rather than prevented it. As long as man has the capacity to convert ploughshares into swords, or indeed as long as he possesses his present instincts and has his present physical, mental and moral attributes, the temptation to use force in international disputes will persist. It will be moderated only as there emerges a sensible and dependable means of settling such disputes by methods other than war. It is war itself which constitutes the problem and it is the relationship of disarmament to the elimination of war which must be constantly borne in mind in attacking the problem of disarmament. It is in the sense of this relationship that we must weigh the present prospects for disarmament.
The perennial search for peace and the relationship of disarmament to it take their most concrete form today in the effort to find a basis for agreement between the Soviet Union and the United States by which the existing tensions between them, including the arms race, can be moderated and, hopefully, eliminated. It is to the vital interest of these two nations and their peoples, as well as to all other nations and peoples, that progress be made in this field. There has been much fencing for position; ill-conceived and inadequately prepared proposals have been advanced; propaganda purposes have frequently been in the minds of the participants rather than a serious intent to disarm. But an impressive amount of sincere effort and thought has also been brought to bear, with the result that there has been a growing knowledge of the scope and complexity of the difficulties involved.
Unfortunately the fact remains that to date, in terms of actual disarmament, no appreciable progress has been made. I will not attempt to list or even to summarize the content of the disarmament and arms-control conferences, meetings and negotiations in which the representatives of the United States and the Soviet Union, either alone or together with the representatives of other nations, have engaged since the last war. But as a new round of negotiations begins, it may be useful to set down at least some of the salient affirmative and negative factors involved, and then try to form a judgment as to the chances of constructive action in the measurable future.1
There was undoubtedly an accumulation of factors during the past year and at the beginning of the current year which must be classed as negative. Most of these relate to the test-ban negotiations. Indeed, the most discouraging setback was the Soviet Union's abrupt resumption of testing of nuclear and thermonuclear devices on a massive scale at a time when the United States was earnestly striving for an agreement. The persistent determination shown by President Kennedy and Prime Minister Macmillan to find an acceptable basis at Geneva for a ban on testing created an atmosphere in which an agreement seemed possible of accomplishment. Prior to the reconvening of negotiations at Geneva in March of 1961, I believed that the Soviet Union, in spite of its almost pathological abhorrence of any system of thorough inspection-or, perhaps better stated, its traditional attachment to secrecy and its distrust of our motives-did sincerely wish to reach an agreement, even though this involved a substantial system of controls. That belief was sharply modified when the Soviets introduced the "troika" concept into the negotiations, since that would have made the inspection provisions subject to a Soviet veto and thus completely illusory. The belief was further impaired during the summer when Mr. Arthur Dean, the United States representative, made a series of substantive proposals studiously designed to meet many of the stated Soviet objections, only to have them rejected out of hand. And it was practically destroyed on September 2, 1961, the date of the resumption of Soviet testing. As one looks back, it appears that the radical reversals of Soviet positions during the course of these negotiations were induced by the insistent pressure of the United States and Great Britain for the conclusion of a treaty.
It will be recalled that the test-ban issue was originally a part of general disarmament discussions. In 1958, however, the Soviet Union took the position that negotiations for a test ban must be separated from those general discussions. Following a pattern to be adopted by the United States on a number of later occasions, the American and British negotiators, in an effort to be constructive, acceded to the Soviet demand, with the result that separate negotiations on the test ban itself were commenced on a tripartite basis at Geneva later in 1958. Considerable progress seemed to have been made in reaching a basis for a treaty by the time the conference reconvened on March 21, 1961.
Perhaps even more significant than the introduction of the "troika" was the Soviet insistence later in the summer that the test-ban negotiations be again joined with those on general disarmament. The American and British representatives vigorously opposed this, largely on the ground that such a reversal of procedure would delay agreement and involve extending an unenforced agreement not to test. Then the Soviet tests took place. In the belief that further opposition was fruitless if any negotiations on the test ban were to continue, the Allies did agree, when the conference convened once more on January 16, 1962, to return to the original procedure. Thereupon the Soviet representative at Geneva switched back to a demand for a separation of the test-ban negotiations, but on a basis which would exclude any international inspection or control. Obviously this was unacceptable and the conference broke up; yet still another shift on February 22 suggested further man?uvring for position.
In view of the real potentialities inherent in a test-ban agreement as well as the symbolic effect such an agreement could have had on the larger problems, the failure at Geneva was a serious setback to the cause of disarmament.2
Some latitude in the alteration of positions is understandable; and all the changes of position have not been on the Soviet side. Much has been made of the fact, for example, that in 1960 the Allied representatives altered the position on controls which they had previously proposed. The reason, of course, was that underground tests conducted in Nevada in 1959 had disclosed, contrary to the opinion contained in the expert report of 1958, that there was a threshold below which explosions could be conducted without detection by the methods then existing.
The test-ban negotiations in themselves cannot be taken as decisive, perhaps, of the sincerity or lack of sincerity of over-all Soviet disarmament policy. However, the manner in which the Soviet Union constantly reversed the field during those negotiations raises doubts and introduces an undeniable note of pessimism in regard to future disarmament talks.
In appraising the possibilities of obtaining constructive disarmament results, we must record another set of negative occurrences which took place mainly in 1961. I refer to the various events out of which came a realization of the general ineffectiveness of so-called neutral or non- aligned opinion in the world as regards the test-ban negotiations. For some time much emphasis had been placed upon the existence of a moral opinion among the smaller nations that could be brought to bear, and thus restrain, the main protagonists in the struggle between the Communists and the free world. Many who were aware of the difficulties inherent in the conduct of bilateral negotiations on the disarmament issue hoped that nations not immediately aligned on one side or the other might prove helpful. All through 1960 and 1961 movements were developing in many parts of the world against any resumption of nuclear or thermonuclear testing, and some of them were couched in rather high moral tones. These pressures were mainly directed against the United States. It appeared that one reason for this was to counteract the mounting criticism within the United States against continuing a self-imposed and unpoliced moratorium on testing. Yet when the Soviet Union suddenly resumed tests on an extensive scale, and coupled this action with threats of 100-megaton bombs, the reactions among the neutral or non-aligned countries at Belgrade and again, to some extent, at the General Assembly of the United Nations, were so mild as to be wholly inconsequential. As a result, their position as "guardians" of the world's conscience was greatly weakened.
The tendency of these nations seems to have been to moderate their criticism against those whom they fear and to direct their main blasts against those whom they do not fear; or at best to seek to equate differences in action between the powers rather than to judge them. This, too, has substantially compromised the force of neutral and non-aligned opinion as a helpful factor in the solution of the disarmament problem. The Goa incident did not help. A leading neutral's cynical attitude in respect to the use of force, and the tacit acceptance of the dangerous doctrine of good wars and bad wars, put still more in doubt whether a strong moral opinion in fact exists among the neutrals and whether even where it does exist it counts for very much. It may have been a delusion from the beginning to suppose that the newer independent nations would, in a pinch, act otherwise than in what seemed to them, however shortsightedly, their own self-interest. At any rate, some rather elaborate pretensions were shattered and what had been a hope for helpful objectivity has been weakened.
There is another factor which may have a negative influence on the prospects for disarmament. By the time this article appears, the Soviet resumption of tests may well have induced other nations to undertake a further series of tests in the atmosphere, though so far as the United States specifically is concerned this is pure conjecture on my part.3 The Soviet tests have placed emphasis on the anti-missile-missile field of nuclear development, on the potentialities of increased megatonage, and certain other possible developments. As a result, the pressure on others to test is certainly much greater than it has been for several years. If the meeting on general disarmament scheduled for March assembles to the accompaniment of perhaps unprecedented nuclear tests, the effects on the negotiations will be considerable, though precisely what they may be is difficult to say. Some claim that the resumption of tests may stimulate rather than deter constructive work on disarmament. But the perspective is certainly not optimistic.
Another factor not related directly to the test-ban talks may also affect the prospects for disarmament. The situation in Berlin has increased tensions and caused the international situation to deteriorate. Disarmament cannot proceed very far if we continue to glare at each other over the Wall. There has been a tendency to feel that the dangers inherent in the Berlin situation have lessened, but I have not seen or heard of any development to indicate that they are not still there. The erection of a concrete wall with its barbed wire, tank traps, chevauoc-de-frise, watchtowers and machine guns has certainly not improved the situation. The sooner such a sinister symbol of repression is removed, the better will be the prospects for a sensible adjustment of the German problem and, with that, the better will be the atmosphere for fruitful discussions on disarmament. Until constructive progress is made on the Berlin problem, we cannot hope, if we are realistic, for far-reaching progress in disarmament; and from my talks last summer with Soviet leaders I have the distinct impression that this is their view as well.
Before discussing more underlying factors on which the prospects for success in disarmament can be judged, we must make a diversion at this point to give the status of the present negotiations. A new set of general disarmament negotiations was scheduled to begin in Geneva on March 14, to be preceded, according to a proposal by the United States and Great Britain, by a meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the participating countries- namely, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burma, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Ethiopia, France, India, Italy, Mexico, Nigeria, Poland, Rumania, Sweden, the United Arab Republic, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States. The meeting was called to attempt to achieve agreement on a program to ensure (a) that disarmament shall be general and complete and war shall no longer be an instrument for settling international problems, and (b) that such disarmament shall be accompanied by the establishment of reliable procedures for the peaceful settlement of disputes and by effective arrangements for the maintenance of peace in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter. This goal was set for the Disarmament Committee by a joint statement of the Governments of the Soviet Union and the United States made September 20, 1961, which was welcomed by a resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted December 20, 1961.
The convening of the Disarmament Committee is the result of a series of diplomatic activities extending throughout 1961. At the beginning of that year, general disarmament negotiations were at a standstill. The last such negotiations had been at the 10-Nation Disarmament Conference, unceremoniously broken off by the Soviet Union in June 1960. An attempt to reach agreement with the Soviets on the fundamental problem of the composition of a new disarmament negotiating body, as well as certain elementary principles applicable to the conduct and objectives of disarmament negotiations, had been initiated early in 1961 by the United States, represented by Ambassador Adlai Stevenson, in informal contacts with Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko at the United Nations. They led to a decision that there should be further explorations of the problem during the summer, and these were held at intervals in Washington, Moscow and New York. Mr. Valerian A. Zorin represented the U.S.S.R. and I had the honor to represent the United States.
As a result of these discussions, agreement was finally reached on September 20, 1961, on certain accepted principles for disarmament negotiations, referred to as the Joint Statement of Agreed Principles. This was not a disarmament plan in itself, or an agreement as to specific measures. It did, however, attempt to outline a realistic approach to the problem of general disarmament and thus constituted a real step forward. Both sides recognized certain fundamental concepts without which attempts to achieve general and complete disarmament are not realistic.
In preparation for the renewal of negotiations, President Kennedy, shortly after taking office, directed that there should be an exhaustive review of American disarmament policy. This effort went on in parallel with the informal discussions we were holding with the Soviet Union on the establishment of a forum and a frame of reference for disarmament negotiations; it was completed in September 1961. The final product, entitled "The United States Program for General and Complete Disarmament in a Peaceful World," represented not only the combined efforts of all interested elements in the Government, but also took into account the recommendations and advice of more than 60 consultants both within and outside the Government, as well as the views of certain of our Allies. The Program was formally presented at the United Nations by the President early in the Sixteenth Session of the General Assembly and received substantial approbation both in the United States and abroad.
The adoption of a Joint Statement of Agreed Principles, the subsequent agreement on a forum for disarmament negotiations, and the existence of a United States proposal which can be developed in these negotiations indicate that important and necessary preliminary steps have been taken. But they are only preliminary steps. In order to gauge the real prospects for general disarmament we must look a great deal deeper. We must analyze the areas of disarmament in which the interests of the United States and the Soviet Union coincide and the areas in which they diverge.
I have discussed some discouraging prospects for disarmament, referring to recent events which appear as immediate obstacles to fruitful discussion at the March meeting. But we should not dwell exclusively on the discouraging factors; there are basic fields of mutual interest which must also be examined and appraised. One can reasonably assume that both the leaders and the peoples of the Soviet Union and the United States are convinced of the necessity of avoiding a nuclear war. Despite loose statements and conjectures on both sides, the leaders of each country have facts available to them which bear conclusive evidence that "victory" in a serious thermonuclear exchange is a highly questionable concept.
Thus the fundamental common interest is the elimination of this threat of destruction. Some Soviet leaders continue to contend that if an all-out nuclear war should occur, capitalism would be destroyed while the Soviet Union would merely be damaged. Apart from purely ideological reasoning, they have made some attempt to base this conclusion on concrete military grounds, placing emphasis on such factors as the distribution of population in the Soviet Union, its lesser reliance on communications, and similar matters. Others in the Soviet Union have been more realistic in assessing the possibility of mutual destruction. If the responsible Soviet leadership were frank with itself and the Russian people, it would acknowledge destruction on an unacceptable scale as a ceitainty rather than a possibility.
It may be argued that the tone of some Soviet predictions about the outcome of an all-out nuclear war might mean that the Soviet Union has not abandoned the possibility of embarking on such a war as an instrument of policy, feeling that perhaps out of the ashes it might construct a Communist world. Though my belief in the sincere desire of the Soviet leaders for disarmament was shaken by the manner in which the Soviet Union conducted the test-ban negotiations, and by its resumption of tests, I do not share that view. I believe the Soviet leaders who hold the chief positions of responsibility recognize the true facts. A thermonuclear exchange would involve complete destruction of the Soviet standard of living, built up so painfully since 1917. If the leaders are well informed, and I believe they are, they know that conjecture as to which would survive better, capitalism or Communism, is simply silly. What would be left after such a war would not be recognizable either as Communism or capitalism. Such survivors as there were would have to find a new name for the primitive system by which they would conduct their struggle to recover. Another consideration which must be in the minds of the Soviet leaders is the horrifying thought of a Soviet Union, terribly crippled, living next to a relatively undamaged China with a population of about 700,000,000.
Granted that the Soviet Union may be willing to accept a higher level of risk of war than is the United States, nevertheless, in my judgment, the facts greatly favor the view that, in so far as they understand the risks in any particular step they may be contemplating, and in so far as they can control the situation, the Soviet leaders wish to avoid general nuclear war, if only for selfish reasons.
A second area of mutual interest which arises from the common desire to avoid a nuclear war must be the prevention of any such war by accident, miscalculation or failure of communication. Soviet discussions of this problem have at times tended to be heavily tinged with propaganda aimed at the West's defense arrangements; thus they have often discussed the problems solely in terms of a possible Western mistake or accident. Moreover, the conceptual approach to this problem which they adopt publicly- namely, that measures short of radical or complete disarmament are of marginal or temporary value in meeting the dangers confronting mankind-has been pushed to the extreme. It has appeared to inhibit their discussion of the more immediate measures aimed at reducing these dangers. Finally, they are most sensitive about the possibilities-as they see them-that measures to reduce the chances of war by accident or miscalculation might seriously infringe upon the secrecy surrounding their military establishment, which they cling to as an alleged strategic asset.
Nevertheless, there does seem to be an increasing recognition on their part, as there has been on the part of the United States, of the increased danger involved in the growth of nuclear stockpiles and more particularly in the growth of complex and extensive systems for the delivery of nuclear weapons. They seem aware, too, of the resulting heavier responsibility imposed upon the principal nuclear powers, pending the adoption of a disarmament agreement, to minimize the dangers either by unilateral action or by multilateral agreement.
The revolution in weapons development has resulted in the creation of delivery systems with fantastic rates of speed. Certain missiles that might be used in case of war have a speed of around 16,000 miles per hour, which would mean a delivery time of only about one-half hour between the Soviet Union and the United States; and missile-launching submarines will provide almost no warning time at all. As a counter, defensive systems are being developed with such quick reaction times as to give real meaning to the term "war by accident, miscalculation or failure of communication." Indeed, it is questionable whether the human mind can encompass all the problems involved in controlling these devices even without a war. It is not inconceivable that we could blow ourselves up without help from the Russians; and vice versa. Thus, the arms race has an impressive way of building its own tensions. The Government of the United States is aware of these dangers and is spending a very great amount of time, effort and money in attempting to devise ways to reduce them. It is to be hoped devoutly that there is a similar effort in the U.S.S.R.
Another common desire is to prevent any third country from provoking a nuclear war. In concrete terms, this expresses itself principally in the Soviet Union's concern about the acquisition of an independent nuclear capability by Germany and (judging the situation objectively) by Communist China. For then both these powers would have the ability to involve the United States and the Soviet Union-Germany through its alliance with the United States, Red China through an attack upon some vital American interest which would call forth an American reaction, which, in turn, would require Soviet assistance to Communist China (at least in the present state of the alliance). The Soviets could reasonably conclude that the acquisition of nuclear weapons by West Germany and by Communist China, or indeed by anyone else, would substantially take out of their control the decision of whether or not to go to war. In somewhat different degree, the same danger exists for us.
From such information as we possess, Communist China intends to become a nuclear power and there are strong indications that its leaders will not be bound by any commitments the Soviet Union may make to others in regard to disarmament. The true attitude of Communist China may be "a mystery wrapped in an enigma," but the auguries for its good will in international affairs at the moment hardly seem propitious. For one thing, the Red Chinese leaders may not share the same sober feelings that many of the Soviet leaders have about the effects of a nuclear war. Certainly no far-reaching agreements on disarmament can be undertaken without having in mind the position of Red China. If we question the willingness of the Soviet Union to submit disputes in which it has an interest to determination by an international institution, our reservations must be even greater about Red China's willingness to do so in similar situations.
Whenever Red China was brought up in the course of our discussions on the test ban, the usual Soviet retort was, "What about France?" That France is presumably a long way from an ability to make and deliver a significant number of bombs did not deflect the question. The fact remains, however, that although France's desire to become a nuclear power has quite different implications than does Red China's, the French position has not been helpful to the general cause of disarmament. It has contributed to a plurality of nuclear power which involves the danger that the employment of nuclear weapons may be irresponsible. But Red China's possession of the bomb is clearly a greater threat- a view with which, I have the impression, Moscow would agree.
The Soviet interest in avoiding an extension of nuclear weapons to additional countries coincides to a substantial degree with our own. The United States policy, as expressed in our national legislation, is directed against a proliferation of nuclear weapons. The United States Program of September 25, 1961, includes as one of its important measures a provision that states owning nuclear weapons would not relinquish control of them to any nation not already owning them nor transmit to any such nation information or material necessary for their manufacture.
The similarity of American and Soviet interests in this regard should not be overestimated. The geographic and political relationship between the United States and the other members of NATO is quite different from the geographic relationship between the U.S.S.R. and the other Warsaw Pact nations. The President of the United States indicated in Ottawa that our relationship with our Allies would have to be taken into account in determining the physical disposition and political control of nuclear weapons that are available for the area covered by the NATO treaty. In this connection, there is substantially more security to be derived from having nuclear weapons under the control of NATO than independent of its control. If the U.S.S.R. is seriously concerned to see that these weapons are disposed and controlled so as to eliminate the danger that any nation at present without them could one day start a war which would engulf the world, then a real mutuality of interest exists.
The fourth area of mutual interest is economic. It would be advantageous to the Soviet Union, one would think, to be free of the economic burden of the arms race and thus be able to devote all its economic resources to fulfilling its long-range plans for internal improvement. According to the best estimates, it is at present spending considerably more than 10 percent of its gross national product for defense purposes.
In the United States we devote just under 10 percent of our gross national product (which is about twice as large as the Soviet G.N.P.) to defense. Furthermore, in the United States a smaller proportion of the working population is dependent upon defense for employment than is the case in the Soviet Union. However, statistics do not fully reflect the great concentration of capital, energy, thought and skills which are devoted directly or indirectly to armaments in the United States. Admittedly, this concentration has a deep impact on our economy and it is not going to be a simple matter to switch the human and physical resources involved to purely peacetime pursuits. Advance planning will be required at all levels of government and on the part of business and labor if we are to make appropriate provision for the maintenance and growth of aggregate demand and if we are to master the structural problems which would be involved in the process of conversion.
In the United States serious studies have already been instituted in this field. Like other nations, we have many unmet needs, public and private, and with imagination and determination they can be translated into economic demand once we are free to turn our backs on the production of weapons of destruction. It is enough to think simply of the unsatisfied needs in the fields of education, natural resources, urban renewal, transportation and social welfare to realize what a vast economic interest we really have in disarmament. And beyond these domestic needs are the almost inexhaustible requirements of the underdeveloped countries of the world.
In the past, moreover, this country has moved successfully from mobilization to demobilization more rapidly and completely than any other country of comparable size. Going back to the time of the Rush-Bagehot Agreements, which initiated the demilitarization of the Canadian-United States border, down to the demobilization and disarmament after both World Wars, the record of the United States in actually carrying out disarmament compares most favorably with that of any other country. Under present circumstances the problems may be more complicated, but there is no basis for Soviet contentions that the United States does not genuinely seek disarmament because of its concern for economic consequences. If anti- capitalistic propaganda is not swallowed in this respect, the over-all economic benefits of disarmament are seen as a definite field of common interest between ourselves and the Soviet Union. Indeed, it is to be hoped that the Soviet leaders are as clear on this point as our own leaders are.
Just as there are underlying points of mutual interest, so there are underlying points of divergence, and if we are to be realistic some of these must be identified here, even though most of them are only too well known.
For some years the stated policy of the United States has been to maintain a decisive military superiority over the U.S.S.R. and our responsible government officials have made it quite clear that we do have a substantial superiority in nuclear weapons and the means of delivering them. In the last few years the Soviet Union has taken the position that it possesses a military superiority. It has based this contention mainly upon its superiority in propulsion, as evidenced by its larger satellites, though other items have also been stressed. Clearly, a situation in which each of the two most powerful nations in the world is committed to the proposition that it must retain a decisive military superiority over the other does not create a climate conducive to the negotiation of a far-reaching disarmament agreement.
A second underlying obstacle, already mentioned, is created by the Soviet attitude toward inspection and controls. The Joint Statement of Agreed Principles included an agreement upon the need for a control system capable of assuring all parties that obligations undertaken as part of a disarmament agreement are being faithfully fulfilled. The Soviet Union, however, refused to accept what the United States believes to be an inherent and essential element in this concept, namely, that whenever an agreement stipulates that only certain levels of forces and armaments are to be retained, the control organization shall have the authority to verify that these levels are not exceeded. That is, verification of compliance must consist not only in assurance that specified units have been demobilized and specified weapons destroyed, but also that what remains is not in excess of agreed limits. Therefore, the control organization must have the right of free access to search for clandestine facilities.
In the discussions on this point, the Soviet representatives usually stated the Soviet position in purely semantic terms. They insisted that the Soviet Union could agree only to inspection and control over disarmament, not control over armament; therefore, they said, the inspector could verify only the dismantling of arms. The difference, of course, goes much deeper than semantics, indicating a fundamental difference in attitude. This was sharply brought out in the letters exchanged between Mr. Zorin and myself on September 20 and 21, 1961.
The United States is a free society, and within certain well-defined limits it has very little to hide from an international inspector. This is not to say that it does not have important installations and devices to guard, or that it would enjoy having a burdensome system of inspections imposed upon it. The fact remains that an effective inspectorate would be tolerable and would be accepted provided there was a reciprocal means of determining what was going on in the Soviet Union.
The Soviet Union, on the other hand, is a closed society. Its claim that the American insistence on inspection and control is designed merely to create a cover for espionage is nonsense. It is a fact, however, that an international inspectorate, operating freely within the Soviet territory, would run counter to the concept of Soviet secrecy as a military and political asset. It must be ascertained to what degree the Soviet leadership can be persuaded that secrecy, far from being a military asset, can constitute a real military danger. Secrecy breeds suspicion and distrust. Since we do not know the facts and since we receive repeated intimations of fantastic new Soviet weapons we naturally seek to arm more intensively than ever, perhaps even to a degree which is unnecessary. The disposition is to credit fearsome rumors and to redouble our own efforts to improve our weapons.4 It would be immeasurably healthier for both of us if this secrecy were to be diluted.
In the view of the Soviet leaders, an international inspector may also represent a threat to the insularity and secrecy which form part of the Soviet and Russian way of life. The Russian aversion to foreign intrusion is traditional, at least in certain parts of the country and in certain strata of society; it far antedates 1917. It has been diminished somewhat in the past few years, but it still plays a role as part of the control which the Party exercises over the people. Vast areas of government operations are simply not known to the masses of the Soviet people or to the peoples of the world. Any external inspection might be considered as endangering the government's control.
The American and Soviet approaches diverge again in the attitude of the U.S.S.R. and other Communist countries toward the use of threats of force, indirect aggression and subversion as means of overthrowing free societies. We have felt bound to set up counter forces to meet this form of aggression, but we would be quick to abandon them if the threat were removed. If significant progress is to be made toward disarmament, the dangerous distinction between just and unjust wars must certainly be abandoned. We cannot be asked to disband the means of self-defense, while the Communists seek to exempt certain kinds of conflict from the process of international settlement. The same is true of attempts from abroad to bring about changes within a free country by force of arms. It is hard to see how we can reach the goal of a secure world in which there no longer is need for national armed forces and armaments so long as the Communist leadership sets the destruction of free governments as a basic aim, in achieving which it feels justified in using any method, including force.
Nor is it easy to be trustful of a nation whose leaders insist that our American society is about to crumble away and who say openly that they will do all in their power to accelerate the process. This is not our concept of peaceful coexistence. For example, Mr. Khrushchev's speech of January 6, 1961, to the Communist leaders assembled in Moscow, does not create confidence among those societies whose collapse he declared to be the chief objective of Soviet policy, and who are called upon, at the same time, to agree to wide areas of disarmament.
There is, finally, another respect in which the attitude of the U.S.S.R., and to some degree of the United States as well, must undergo a change if disarmament negotiations in Geneva or elsewhere are to succeed. The Joint Statement of September 20, 1961, is quite clear that progress toward general and complete disarmament is closely linked with improvement in the international machinery for peaceful settlement of disputes. One side of the coin cannot be dealt with successfully without the other.
In recent years many disarmament negotiations have proceeded on the assumption that a system of inspection which gave promise of detecting violations would be sufficient by itself to assure compliance with whatever agreement might be reached. On this assumption, the only penalty for violating a disarmament agreement would be the cancellation of the agreement, with the consequent threat of the resumption of the arms race and perhaps the condemnation of public opinion throughout the world.
This assumption may be valid for some first steps in the disarmament process, particularly if, as proposed in the Statement of Principles, disarmament proceeds through stages subject to balanced, phased and safeguarded measures. There will come a point, however, where a control system which merely reports a violation is not adequate. Precisely when this point will be reached cannot be stated with certainty in the absence of actual experience with institutions for control; but clearly it will not be long deferred. Indeed, the greater the degree of disarmament achieved, the greater might be the temptations for a potential violator to transgress the agreement and the greater the risks presented to all those who were complying with it in good faith. It would not, for example, take many hidden megaton bombs to constitute a most formidable threat against any nation or group of nations which had already disposed of its own weapons. In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. Nations cannot be expected to pass this point in disarming, to give up the means of defending themselves against aggression, unless they can be assured that there exists the machinery to guard against illegal accumulations of arms.
But, as indicated earlier, the necessity for effective control machinery is only one reason why international institutions must be strengthened as steps are taken toward total and universal disarmament. They must not merely be able to enforce disarmament agreements; they must be strengthened to the point where they are capable of bringing about just settlements of international disputes, including adjustments which are necessary and appropriate in a changing world. This poses fundamental questions for both the Soviet Union and the United States, indeed for all countries, Communist and non-Communist alike; and they must be faced and dealt with if we are to advance far on the disarmament road.
It was not intended by the Joint Statement of Agreed Principles merely to introduce meaningless words and generalities into the future disarmament discussions in referring to the need of improved machinery for the adjudication of international disputes and the maintenance of peace. In due course, specific proposals implementing these principles will have to be made. This will require the application of the best minds and statesmanship. It will demand common effort and thought on the part of all the nations, for the interests of all are involved. The hope of reaching the objective of general and complete disarmament is dependent upon having specific plans for improved methods of keeping the peace which will keep pace with specific plans for general disarmament.
All this having been said, however, the exigency of the situation in which the world finds itself is such, the danger of nuclear war by miscalculation, accident or design is so great, that we cannot wait until all obstacles have been eliminated before taking steps to reduce tensions and control the armaments which in themselves generate tensions. These steps must be taken whether they be classed as disarmament measures, test bans, arms control, arms limitation or the improvement of means for settling international disputes. The immediate need is to deflect downward the intensity of the present arms race. Each step that increases confidence will not only permit us to edge out from under the danger now hanging over us but to move toward a condition of mutual trust on which far broader measures may be based.
And now what is the over-all balance between these positive and negative factors? President Kennedy said in his address to Congress on January 11: "World order will be secured only when the whole world has laid down these weapons which seem to offer present security but threaten our future survival. That Armistice Day seems very far away." However, he also went on to say: "But the world was not meant to be a prison in which man awaits his execution. Nor has mankind survived the tests and trials of thousands of years to surrender everything-including his existence."
It does indeed seem true that before the world lays down its arms in reliance on a secure international order many years may have passed. Nevertheless, the positive elements in the present world situation which have been pointed out here do give hope that progress can be made toward the goal. Statesmen should not find the obstacles in the way insuperable. To say this does not imply that threats of inevitable destruction will stampede either side into taking reckless risks with disarmament. Yet the very obstacles-the tensions, the diverse ideologies, the fears, the suspicions-act as a stimulant to action. Were not the dangers so real and the obstacles to their removal so great we would not be concentrating so much attention on disarmament.
Even the resumption of large-scale testing of which the Soviet Union was guilty, like the actual or threatened resumption of large-scale testing by others in retaliation, may finally impel both sides, at long last, to agree on an effective test ban. In the same way, the heavy tensions of the Berlin crisis, induced on the one hand by the Soviet Union's threat of unilateral action and on the other by the realization that the West will certainly resist by force the impairment of its rights in Berlin, produce a powerful urge to action.
The United States now has a plan for the achievement of general and complete disarmament which is realistic and balanced. The Joint Statement of Agreed Principles, to which the Soviet Union subscribed, envisages the intermediate measures to be implemented on the way to the ultimate goal. It commits both countries to continue their efforts until the total program has been achieved. The Soviet Union is committed, to the same degree as is the United States, to a program by which war shall no longer be an instrument for settling international problems and in which the twin requisites-reliable procedures for the peaceful settlement of disputes and effective measures for maintaining peace- go hand in hand with disarmament.
True, the issue of inspection and control remains unsettled; but the McCloy- Zorin exchanges brought into the open for the first time the essential difference between the Soviet and Allied concepts of inspection and control, and as a result it should be possible now to attack the realities rather than the semantics of the problem.
While the United States need not feel at all on the defensive in respect to its past record on the disarmament issue, it should now be still better equipped to develop and support well-thought-out positions. With the establishment of the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, we now have a statutory organization, responsible both to the executive and legislative branches of the Government, which is prepared to do the work necessary for effective representation at disarmament meetings. The problems of disarmament are connected with some of the deepest interests of our national life; they also involve difficult and puzzling technicalities. In the postwar period, the United States has frequently given the appearance of having been ill-prepared to deal with them, or uncertain of its attitude, or too technical in its approach. I believe this appearance has not been due to any lack of sincerity on the part of American representatives but rather to the perverse complexity of the subject and their desire to examine deeply the practical results of any proposal. I have the impression, also, that the Soviet Union has not done as much homework on the practical aspects of disarmament as has the United States. It seems to have placed much more emphasis on catch phrases or ultimate goals rather than on developing practical and reliable means of getting there. The time has come to face and attack the obstacles in common, to forego striving for propaganda effects, and to discard, let us hope, forever, the tongue-in-cheek man?uvring which marked the Soviet position at the test-ban talks last summer.
A word may be in order as to the role of other countries, whether they participate in these negotiations or express their views from the outside. Unfortunately, very few of them have done or are prepared to do the work which is involved in making a real contribution to the subject. Very few have even one man, much less an adequate staff, whose whole time and preoccupation are applied to the problem. Such a highly technical and frequently abstruse subject demands knowledge, thought and considerable research. Those who sit on the sidelines and merely chant "general and complete disarmament" without putting their minds to mastering the difficulties of the problem neither make much of a contribution nor are they apt to influence those whose efforts are more serious.
It would be a real mistake for these nations to assume that their only role is to press others to take action or merely to line up with one side or the other. In addition to doing the independent homework needed for making a real contribution, they can in a number of cases, by their own concrete example, indicate the affirmative steps which they believe the international community must take. Such action would be much more persuasive than an exhortation to others to take risks they are not prepared to take themselves. The situation of Pakistan and India is only one of many cases which come to mind.
The full disarmament process will take a long time to complete. Let us then not ask too much of the early phases of the resumed negotiations. Let us bear in mind also that the negotiations cannot produce worthwhile results if they proceed in isolation; other efforts must be made simultaneously to relieve the underlying tensions. It is my view, further, that increased trade and cultural exchanges must take place as we go along in order to develop and maintain a proper atmosphere for success. The hope must be that the experience of past negotiations will induce all the parties concerned to understand better that they are tackling one of the most complex problems imaginable and that their endeavor must be to unify all efforts toward its solution. The time indeed is short within which to make real progress; it is not so short as to compel the final solution during the course of any one meeting. 1 A prudent appraisal should probably be prefaced by a cautious set of assumptions and a definition of terms. In this article, however, beyond pointing out that the term "disarmament" is meant to include arms limitation and control as well as the reduction and elimination of armaments, no attempt at definitions and assumptions will be made. 2 On a number of occasions the charge has been made by Soviet representatives that, while the negotiations were in progress, the United States was clandestinely preparing to conduct tests in Nevada and that, therefore, the United States representative at Geneva was not acting in good faith. I made an informal proposal to deal with this false charge during the course of my exchanges with Soviet officials in the summer of 1961 and prior to the Soviet resumption of tests. The proposal provided that the United States would permit a team of Soviet or neutral experts to examine the site of our proving grounds to determine for themselves the extent, if any, of our preparations, provided the Soviet Union would permit a team of Allied or neutral experts to do the same thing on the proving grounds of the Soviet Union. An agreement on this proposal, it was argued, would go far toward removing suspicion and mistrust on both sides, and we could get on with the conclusion of a treaty. In each case I was told that this proposal was impractical. Why it was impractical from the Soviet point of view became apparent on and after September 2, 1961, when the Soviet Union undertook its ambitious program of testing; for this program must have been readily discernible during the summer of 1961 had an inspection of Soviet proving grounds then been made. 3 With the passage of the Arms Control and Disarmament Act on September 26, 1961, I ceased to be the President's Advisor on Disarmament. 4 An example of this was the increased effort to produce I.C.B.M.s in the United States as the result of what now seems to have been an exaggerated estimate in 1959 of the number of such operational missiles which the Soviets would shortly possess.