COMPETITIVE rearmament is a permanent process of keeping up with the Joneses. Among practically equal rivals, the latest armament is bound to be the best, only in its turn to be surpassed by something newer. European experts now believe that the point of Germany's military superiority over France will be reached in something like 12 to 24 months. After Germany has attained the top of her military powers any delay in using them might see her outstripped by British or French preparations. The crucial period for Europe therefore is generally assumed to be the years 1937 and 1938. However, if the Germans realize that their opponents have become alarmed to the point of rapidly undertaking effective counter measures, then the date of the crusade (for that is the form it would take) might well be somewhat advanced.
Where might Germany attack? The fundamental aims of the Nazis were early formulated along approved Pan-German lines and there is no reason to believe that they have been seriously modified. The first aim, rearmament and the elimination of treaty shackles, has been virtually achieved. The second is the incorporation into the Third Reich of all those who speak German, as well as of other Teutons, now dispersed among such neighboring countries as Holland, Belgium, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland, Austria, Czechoslovakia, and a strip of Poland -- not to speak of Denmark. The third aim is territorial expansion further east. This last is not yet practical politics. The immediate task for the Nazis is "racial integration." The greatest obstacle is considered to be France.
Could the Germans be sure that France would sit with folded arms while they "rescued" Austria and portions of Czechoslovakia, their temptation would be to leave her severely alone, if only because of the fear lest a contrary policy would risk involving Britain. But can they be at all sure that France, pacifist as she is, can stand aside and watch the Reich absorb odd bits of the European map? In the second place, such a
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