Courtesy Reuters

Our Defense Needs


THE United States may face a dilemma over the extent and use of its military power in the event the cold war with the Soviet Union eases before major steps are taken toward general disarmament.

This dilemma was foreshadowed in President Johnson's first major policy statements. In his November message to the Joint Session of the Congress, he rededicated the government to "the maintenance of military strength second to none," and in his December address to the United Nations he stated a new national objective: "We know what we want: The United States wants the cold war ended, we want to see it end once and for all."

Another indicator of this forthcoming dilemma was in two votes by the United States Senate on September 24, 1963. In the morning of that day, the Senate voted 80 to 19 to ratify the partial test-ban treaty, and in the afternoon it voted 77 to 0 for the largest defense budget in peacetime history.

In June of 1963 President Kennedy's speech to the American University had also reflected the same two lines of U.S. policy, namely, to keep our defenses strong while seeking to improve East-West relations and stop the arms race. These were his words:

Today the expenditure of billions of dollars every year on weapons, acquired for the purpose of making sure we never need to use them, is essential to keeping the peace.

... both the United States and its allies, and the Soviet Union and its allies, have a mutually deep interest in a just and genuine peace and in halting the arms race.

Let us reëxamine our attitude toward the Cold War. . . .

We must, therefore, persevere in the search for peace in the hope that constructive changes within the Communist bloc might bring within reach solutions which now seem beyond us.

In January of this year President Johnson's State of the Union message reëmphasized the same points. On the one hand, he pledged that there would be maintained the "margin

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