Courtesy Reuters

Troubles of a Neutral

AMERICANS at the present time seem determined to refrain from joining with other countries in attempts to avert war, and equally determined to remain neutral and to keep out of any war that may occur between other countries.

Personally, I believe that the United States should not so refrain; and I fear, moreover, that it will be impossible to remain neutral in any war between Great Powers resulting from a violation of the League Covenant or of the Kellogg-Briand Pact. But so long as this country holds to the opposite view, it is of immense importance that Americans who hope to keep out of war should be made to realize the burdens which they must probably assume, and the rights which they must probably yield, in any attempt to fulfill their hope. For, in order to keep out of any future war between Great Powers, the United States must do far more than to remain technically neutral. There is no magic in the word "neutrality" as a protection to us against war. In fact, the very condition of neutrality engenders frictions which nowadays are likely eventually to implicate a powerful neutral in any war in which the Great Powers may be engaged (especially if one of those Powers happen to be a naval Power). The United States, therefore, cannot rely on neutrality alone. To the old warning, "in time of peace, prepare for war," must be added another, "in time of peace, prepare for keeping out of war." And in the present unsettled state of international affairs in the world the people of this country should now be giving serious thought to such preparation, by the immediate passage of further legislation, not merely for maintenance of our future neutrality, but for the avoidance of frictions which will otherwise inevitably grow out of that neutrality, and which, unless prevented, will inevitably drag us into the conflict. Statutes for this purpose should be enacted now, so that they may be put into active

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