IT HAS now been seven years since the United States embarked upon a positive and active course of world leadership in time of peace with the object of preserving freedom and preventing another world war. The date that took place was March 12, 1947, when President Truman asked Congress to appropriate $400,000,000 for economic and military and advisory aid to Greece and Turkey and proclaimed what became known as the Truman Doctrine, namely that it is the policy of the United States to support free peoples who resist attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures. Those who had long and anxiously awaited such an historical turning will never forget the elation of those days in the spring of 1947. To me the decision brought a sense of great relief. As recorded in the "Forrestal Diaries," I had witnessed with growing disquietude the evolution of Soviet policies and attitudes during the war and the period thereafter, and had become convinced that unless the United States used its great influence and resources to strengthen the war-wrecked countries of Europe and Asia, the increasingly plain Soviet plan to extend Communist control over them might well succeed. My misgivings about the future were now considerably alleviated, as the President's decision was quickly buttressed by broad bipartisan support in Congress and throughout the nation.

There was no time to be lost. The Soviet-Communist challenge was immediate, blatant and comprehensive; the free world was disunited and most of its members were extremely weak. The Soviet menace to Iran had been checked in 1946 by United Nations action, but in 1947 and thereafter threats in Greece and Turkey, the mounting Communist tide in Western Europe, the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia, the Berlin blockade and the Communist victory in China--these brought home that the danger was both immediate and continuing. And Communist doctrine and the avowed intentions of Soviet leaders as underlined by Stalin's speech of February 9, 1946, left no doubt that the challenge to freedom and independence would stretch out indefinitely into the future. This was confirmed by the Communist attack in Korea.

One great American initiative followed another: the Marshall Plan, the Point IV Program, the Berlin airlift, the Military Defense Assistance Program, the North Atlantic Alliance and the unified NATO military build-up in Europe, the Pacific Pacts, and the successful resistance in Korea. There was little choice or conflict between short-range and long-range policies, for alliances, military strength and economic power had to be built up at once against both imminent and later dangers. Where there was conflict and choice, short-range considerations invariably prevailed, for a common military, political and economic shield strong enough to discourage immediate military aggression was necessary in order to gain time in which to create defenses against longer-range political, economic and psychological penetration.

In the closing months of 1952 the bell rang on round one of the cold war. As a consequence of the vigorous initiative of the United States, the frightful foreclosure of Communism had been prevented except in Czechoslovakia, where the government had been weak from the start because it contained Communists and lived under the shadow of the Red Army, and in China, where the will and capacity to resist had disintegrated. In Korea, the Communists had been thrown back to their original positions of assault in the north. In Indo-China, the indecisive war of seven years' duration continued without change; its intensification as a consequence of increased aid to the Communist side from China and the Soviet Union was still a year away. Elsewhere in the world, especially in Europe, the free nations had been strengthened, had drawn closer together and had taken a new lease on the future.

At the Communist Party Congress held in Moscow in October 1952, Stalin and Malenkov in effect admitted the failure of their plans to extend still further the frontiers of Soviet dominion by instigating early war with its major opponents and promoting immediate revolution in the West. They announced that the Soviet bloc was now so large, strong and self-sufficient that war was no longer necessary between Communism and capitalism, that instead the Communist victory could be achieved over a longer period through relaxing immediate pressures in Europe, promoting political and military disunity in the non-Communist world and encouraging economic and social erosion and weakness there, while at the same time developing steadily the monolithic industrial and military strength of the Soviet Union.

International tensions lessened after the Moscow Congress. It was not that the West was disposed to trust the words of the Soviet leaders; the objective situation itself suggested that the Kremlin might be bowing to necessity. The Soviet admissions merely crystallized a feeling which was growing throughout the Western camp at this time that the military defense and political unity of the North Atlantic Alliance, the economic recovery of Europe and the power of the United States Strategic Air Force operating from new bases in Europe and North Africa were approaching a point in strength sufficient to discourage early military aggression or Communist subversion in Europe; and it was hoped that as a result the situation between East and West might be at least temporarily stabilized.

A profound change in world outlook thus occurred during the first half of 1953. Soviet pressures were in fact somewhat reduced, various small gestures were made towards Western opinion, and as a result everywhere in the non-Communist world there was a certain relaxation of apprehensions. This dramatic turning coincided roughly with the advent of new leadership in Washington and Moscow: the first change in political administration in the United States in 20 years, and the appearance of new leadership in the Soviet Union following Stalin's death in early March 1953. For a year and a half now, we have been living in a new phase of postwar affairs.


One of the outstanding characteristics of American policy during the last year and a half has been what might be called the short-cut approach, a studied effort to find new-looking and more comfortable ways of carrying our defense burdens. At the risk of exaggeration through brevity of treatment, it is perhaps permissible to mention a few of the short-cuts that have been tried.

The pace of the military build-up has been slowed down notwithstanding the increasing power of Soviet armaments, the repeated warnings of successive United States commanders of NATO forces in Europe that our defenses there are still inadequate, and the increasing intensity of Communist aggression in Asia. This relaxation in effort seemed unjustified in 1953; the further reductions in our military budget in 1954 seem even more so. The Kremlin has turned on the sweet music of "peaceful coexistence" in Europe, while at the same time pressing forward in Asia. If there is one thing we should have learned about the Soviet Union it is that wherever there is localized weakness-- military or social or political--it will be probed and exploited. Weakness anywhere can only be an invitation to further Communist adventures.

Underlying both our current defense policies and our diplomacy has been a preoccupation with the idea of strength through our possession of nuclear weapons. The idea, it would seem, runs something like this: Since we have the capacity for "massive retaliation" at times and places of our own choosing, we can afford to economize on diversified defense forces capable of waging conventional defensive warfare for limited objectives in widely dispersed locations. In the debate that has revolved about the doctrine of "instant retaliation" it has been pointed out-- and I agree--that the idea that we, a peace-loving and democratic nation, will ever initiate offensive war, whether with hydrogen bombs or otherwise, is pure illusion. It is simply not in our character, our tradition, or within the limits of what is politically possible. As for atomic retaliation in the event of local hostilities, Secretary Dulles left the question open, hoping thus to exercise a deterrent force on Soviet Red Chinese aggression. But our overemphasis on atomic and thermonuclear weapons has alarmed even those who are confident that we will never in fact begin a war, since they see that it has decreased the strength of our conventional defense and the effectiveness of our diplomacy; and those who really fear that the policy means that we may indulge in wholesale atomic retaliation, in the absence of a direct attack upon us or our allies, are shocked and repelled.

In Indo-China we have found that defense policies and diplomacy based on the idea of strength through bombs are obviously inadequate. The end of hostilities in Korea had given notice that Communist pressures might well be increased in Indo-China. Yet we proceeded to cut back our military establishment generally and reduce our forces in the Far East. The idea of a defense pact for Southeast Asia had been thought about for some two years, and now the rapid deterioration of the French position in Indo-China led to its sudden revival, just on the eve of the Geneva Conference. Our allies were prepared to consider the idea, but pointed out that it would require time to work out an accommodation of the interests of the various Asian nations whose participation in the pact would be vital to its success. In any case, the proposed pact could not by any stretch of the imagination save Dien Bien Phu. Thus, the United States came up sharply against the problem whether it should intervene directly in the Indo-Chinese war with the French alone (the British declined to consider action until after Geneva). We found that in looking for the short-cut we had neglected to see the nature of the woods we might have to traverse.

What the consequences of this essay in short-cut diplomacy may be for the fate of Southeast Asia it is too early to say, but the possibilities are grave. Our prestige and our leadership in world affairs have suffered a sharp setback. And even more serious may be the effects of the denouement of April and May upon the Western Alliance.

In an article on our own problems of leadership it is not possible to assess the mistakes which we think are being made by other countries. For example, it is clear to us that the French have been unrealistic in not assuring beyond question, some time ago, the independence of the Indo-Chinese states. Likewise, we find the British at times slow in moving to head off trouble that seems to us clearly in the making. Among allies there are always different and sometimes conflicting national and world interests, outlooks and judgments. It is the task of American diplomacy to help resolve these differences through negotiation rather than by announcing policies and expecting other countries to follow. There are times when our national interests require us to take a bold stand and ask others to follow, and then we must be prepared to go ahead regardless of who joins us. But when united action is required, leadership consists in bringing about agreement and common action. This often means that the leader forgoes political credit at home for initiating policy, but more effective action results.

It has long been apparent that the foundation of our security is unity with our allies--unity of spirit, purpose and action--and that such unity is the fruit of patient diplomacy based on mutual trust and understanding. The central objective of all-out Kremlin policy is to divide the Western Alliance, to play off one of us against the other, to set us quarreling among ourselves, and thus to weaken us militarily, economically, politically and morally, while the Soviet Union, held brutally together in enforced unity, drives ahead with singleness of purpose towards world dominion. The crucial test of our leadership in world affairs is therefore the degree to which we are able to maintain unity in the free world. This requires more than bombs and boldness; it requires wisdom, moral attraction, sensitivity to the psychology of others, and willingness to compose differences except on moral issues.


At the present moment the acts and policies of the United States indicate only feebly that although the potential military danger remains undiminished, the main line of the active Soviet-Communist attack upon the free world shifted its emphasis a year and a half ago (Indo-China excepted) to economic, political and psychological ground, that this attack is powerful, dangerous and difficult to cope with, and that an intense mobilization of new effort is required. The prevailing philosophy of the Administration appears to be to rely largely upon the automatic functioning of the market to bring about economic growth in the free world. But the market is not doing the job. Social and political progress in the underdeveloped countries is likewise being left to the market at a time when Communist pressure and penetration is increasing. But only a more rapid advance than the market provides toward socially strong, democratic, national states can provide a successful defense.

In his report to Congress on the Mutual Security Program in September 1953, the President made clear that an additional strain is not to be imposed on the American economy for defense purposes and that we will not press our allies to carry increased defense burdens; that the defense build-up will go on; but that the burden of the slower and more steady defense buildup will be borne by economic growth. The long-range strategy of the Soviet Union for overcoming the West is explicitly based upon the assumption, stated by Stalin and Malenkov in 1952, that the free world will not be able to maintain in the years ahead a rate of economic growth comparable to that which will be forced in the Soviet bloc; that our margin of industrial and over-all economic superiority will narrow; and that our capacity to defend ourselves and dominate the world economy will correspondingly decline. There is therefore this point of agreement, that the security of the free world depends upon maintaining a wide margin of economic superiority.

The increasing examination now being given to comparative rates of economic growth in the Soviet Union and the free world points inescapably to the conclusion that in this respect the Communist world is outstripping the free. The Soviet economy as a whole has been expanding for a considerable period at about 7 percent annually as compared to about 4.5 percent in the United States from 1946 to the middle of 1953. Comparisons between economic growth in the Soviet satellites and in the underdeveloped areas of the free world are even more striking. These high rates of economic growth, especially in industry, have of course been forced at the expense of agriculture, consumption and human welfare. But their implications both for Soviet military power and for the political attraction of the Soviet Union for underdeveloped free countries over a period of time are profound. To many of the proud and aspiring peoples of non-Communist Asia and other underdeveloped areas who are seeking national growth and strength, the industrial accomplishments of the Communist world seem like a miracle.

Today in many of the NATO countries of Europe economic expansion has slowed down to a walk, or has receded, compared to the rates of expansion under the Marshall Plan. In most of the underdeveloped countries the rate of economic expansion is extremely slow. And in the United States there is a recession instead of normal growth.

Whether the problem of building security is looked at from the point of view of maintaining the West's margin of industrial power for a defense base, or of promoting the free world's production of raw materials, or of maintaining an upward trend of economic, social and political development in countries as a bulwark against Communist penetration, one always comes back to the necessity for a high rate of economic growth in the free world accompanied by measures designed to assure that that growth shall result in social advancement and satisfaction, political stability through democratic institutions, and national dignity and strength. This last point is important. History shows that rapid economic growth in itself does not necessarily produce stable, democratic societies. Unless economic growth is accompanied by growth of democratic attitudes, methods and institutions, as well as social justice, the result may not be an asset to free world strength. The West has much to offer to underdeveloped countries in the way of assistance that will increase the likelihood of over-all development along solid democratic lines.

During the last 25 years a great deal has been learned about what is needed to promote economic growth, social stability and democratic political development in the world and how to go about providing it. Here are a few of the more important things that are necessary:

1. Maintenance of a high and expanding rate of economic activity in the United States.

Not since the fall of Rome has one country so dominated the economy of the civilized world as does the United States today, and whereas Rome's dominion rested upon imperial control, ours rests upon sheer size. Ours is the master wheel of the world economic machine that determines the speed at which all others run. An extended decline in our economic activity can cause unemployment, financial crisis and political instability throughout the world. Economic expansion in the United States can provide a basis for world economic expansion.

The economy of the United States at the present time is failing to expand. Experience has shown that government policies and actions can promote economic expansion. Our government has appeared to believe, however, that a "readjustment" is needed as a matter of principle to keep our values, and our sense of values, sound. The subject is far too complex to be treated adequately here, but the question is raised whether we can afford to rely upon the automatism of the market to assure economic expansion at a time when not only our own well-being and security but that of the whole free world is at stake.

2. Maintenance of a steady international flow of the world's raw materials at reasonably stable prices.

With 10 percent of the free world's population, the United States accounts for more than half its combined gross national product. A sharp reduction in rubber-buying in this country can cause virtual economic collapse in Malaya; a speculative spurt in wool-buying here can cause serious inflation in Australia. Latin America's well-being and political stability depend to a high degree upon a steady flow of raw materials to the United States at reasonable prices. Since a steady economic and social advance in underdeveloped countries is so important to our security today, it is imperative that we recognize the significance of the problem of raw materials and our responsibility, as the world's largest consumer, for maintaining a greater degree of stability in raw materials markets.

3. Maintenance of a large and steady flow of capital from wealthy and industrially advanced countries to those in need of capital for development.

The world has prospered only when there has been an adequate flow of capital for the development of resources and the expansion of production. The problem is peculiarly our responsibility because of the vastness of our accumulations of capital and the paucity of surplus capital in Europe following the devastation of two world wars. United States private capital is now flowing abroad for investment only in a trickle to the countries that need it most to build the foundations of social and political stability. It is flowing in substantial quantities only to Canada and a few oil-producing countries.

The three principal channels through which American capital may flow abroad now are private investment, the World Bank and the United States Export-Import Bank. The Government appears to be largely preoccupied with the encouragement of private foreign investment through offering greater incentives and through negotiating essential changes in the policies of other countries. To the extent that these measures can make private capital flow abroad, they are important forward steps. But there is scarcely an economist to be found who believes that the maximum of practicable encouragement can induce more than a moderate increase under circumstances now prevailing. In the countries which stand most in need of investment capital there exist factors which intimidate foreign investors--dangers of war, revolution and nationalization, and restrictions, actual or potential, upon profits, management and the transfer of profits. Meanwhile, American capital can find good profits from investment here in the United States. In spite of this, there is reason to believe--and limited experience has shown--that if grants, public investment and technical assistance pave the way in an underdeveloped country as part of sound development programs, then private investment can in time be attracted in much larger volume than otherwise would be the case.

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, drawing its funds, as it does, from the private money market, has made an important contribution in this field; but it is obliged to insist upon standards of security and guaranteed return that have necessarily held it from participating in a large area of development needs. The U. S. Export-Import Bank was conceived primarily to promote American exports rather than as an instrument of the United States for foreign development. Its charter, its continuing legislative history, and the pressure upon it to tie loans to the purchase of supplies from the United States, make it difficult for the Bank to finance a balanced economic development abroad or promote multilateral international trade. The recent loan of $100,000,000 to the European Coal and Steel Community is an encouraging sign that some efforts are being made to extend the Bank's rôle. But it is clear, I think, that the charter of the Bank should be revised so as to give it authority to make loans in support of our foreign policies even though the repayment of them might have to be deferred in unfavorable circumstances.

Consideration was given in 1951 to putting the Export-Import Bank under a unified agency combining authority over all overseas economic operations, increasing the funds available to it, and revising its charter so as to make it a more effective instrument of the government in building social and economic and political strength abroad. There is a great deal to be said for doing that today under the Foreign Operations Administration, thus improving the integration of loans with grant and technical assistance. Freedom and security require a vast increase in the United States capital flow abroad for development, and in the period immediately ahead, if the job is to be done, public investment will have to lead the way.

4. Provision of grants in aid--for the development of basic public services to health, education, agriculture and industry, and where necessary for the construction of basic facilities.

The combined experience of the Economic Coöperation Administration and the Technical Coöperation Administration of the State Department has shown conclusively that grant aid, moderate in amount but considerably larger than that contemplated today, is necessary to make it possible for underdeveloped countries to (a) mobilize their own resources, (b) attract private capital from abroad, and (c) speed up the process of economic development to a pace socially and politically acceptable. This was likewise the conclusion of the International Development Advisory Board (Chairman, Nelson Rockefeller) and of the committee (Chairman, Gordon Gray) appointed by President Truman in 1950 to study and report on Foreign Economic Policies. The conclusion is also shared by United Nations experts and buttressed by the investigations of a large number of students of the subject. There are definite limitations upon the amount of grant aid that can be used effectively in any underdeveloped country--limitations of technical skill, administrative competence and economic organization. But a carefully considered program of grant aid, moderate in amount, can act as a powerful "multiplier" of capital investment and technical assistance in promoting economic growth. The cost of an adequate world program of grant aid is less than we would be willing to spend in a single country for military defense should Communists be on the point of capturing control by military means.

The Government is today in principle terminating economic aid except as it supports directly military programs that could not otherwise be carried on in a few countries on the periphery of Red China or the Soviet Union. There are exceptions, of course--India being a case in point--but they are exceptions to a stated rule; and the volume of economic aid in these exceptional cases is, in my opinion, not enough. The attitude of the Government toward grant aid misses the point that our security requires a sharp speed-up in the rate of economic development throughout the free world.

One of the principal reasons officially advanced for terminating grant aid is that giving creates hostility rather than friendship toward the giver. This is nonsense. Some people make enemies in giving, others make friends; it all depends upon how it is done. It is true no one enjoys receiving aid from another; but if the giver manages to make the receiver feel he is a partner whose growing strength is important to his own welfare, and if he does not expect maudlin manifestations of gratitude, both giving and receiving can be attended by increased self-respect and friendship. Lendlease had this great virtue. Likewise the Marshall Plan, which was based and administered on the proposition that the recovery of Europe was essential to American well-being and security. That these programs, which rank among the most statesmanlike and successful acts in American history, generated both strength for the common good and friendship for the United States is over-whelmingly plain.

Our interest in giving other countries economic aid is that of enabling them to carry out agreed programs for mutual benefit, or it is based upon the disciplined expectation that economic aid will bring about a mobilization of local resources which will result in an increased independence and strength from which we cannot fail to benefit. It is inadmissible, of course, that our interest should be that of securing control over the policies and internal affairs of another country. But it is a very real question how we should go about seeing to it that governments receiving our aid carry out effectively the programs mutually agreed upon and that they adopt the internal policies necessary to that end. As a matter of principle we should insist that freely negotiated agreements should be carried out; and as a matter of amity we should offer advice and assistance as to how, in view of our experience with economic and social development, we think mutually agreed programs can most effectively be implemented. But again, it all depends upon how it is done. I know from my own experience that the officials of other countries do not resent--on the contrary, they appreciate--frank and even blunt private discussions of these matters. But these discussions must always be conducted as between equals, with full understanding and respect for the problems and compulsions of the other, and on the basis that getting a job done well is of mutual benefit. Above all, every effort must be made to avoid putting foreign leaders in the position of bowing publicly to American will. The art of diplomacy lies in inducing the leaders of other countries to come forward publicly with desirable ideas and proposals, rather than obligating them to support and defend policies publicly demanded by a more powerful country in return for favors granted. In this kind of diplomacy personal public credit may not accrue to the American negotiators, but it certainly advances American interests.

One other comment on this subject needs making. It is incumbent upon the leaders of other countries, if they are serious in their desire for economic aid, to give due regard to elementary political reality. Alliance or tested friendship, or in some cases simply publicly-observed neutrality in the East-West struggle, offers a basis which we should regard as adequate for economic aid. But it is politically extremely difficult to extend economic aid to any country which our people think is continuing to show an unreasoning fear of outside influence, exhibiting its worst public manners to the country which is willing to help bolster its strength and independence, or demonstrating its greatest indulgence to the country which threatens to enslave it. Aid is a matter of mutual benefit; if the benefit is lacking in marked degree on one side it simply will not be forthcoming for long. We should nevertheless recognize that political attitudes do change, as we have demonstrated in our own history, and that with respect to certain countries we must proceed in the hope and expectation that fundamental interests will assert themselves and bring about more favorable attitudes.

5. Provision of an increased flow of technical assistance of the Point IV type integrated with grant aid and investment programs.

It is not necessary or possible within the compass of this article to argue the case for an expanded program of technical assistance. Today, technical assistance is being somewhat curtailed. I believe that this is a time when it should be increased, both through the United Nations and directly. Moreover, United States technical assistance is being subordinated wherever possible to support for military defense programs. The very name "Point IV," which had gained currency among the masses throughout the world as a symbol of hope and which was an asset of enormous value to the United States, is being consciously effaced.

6. Reduction or removal of trade barriers.

Trade restrictions are not coming down; instead, they have been wavering upwards. For well over a year, action to remove or reduce United States trade barriers was frozen while a commission appointed by the President under the chairmanship of Mr. Clarence Randall surveyed anew our foreign economic policies. The recommendations of the Commission with regard to tariffs, as well as with regard to other economic policies to promote our exports and world trade generally, are wholly inadequate in a time when our very survival depends upon how well the free world economy can be made to work. Yet even the mild recommendations of the Randall Commission, forwarded to Congress, met vigorous resistance, and the President has asked simply for a one-year renewal of the Trade Agreements Act.

7. A concerted attack by regional defense organizations upon the problems of economic, political and social defense.

The signers of the North Atlantic Treaty pledged themselves in Article II to eliminate conflicts in their economic policies and to undertake mutual economic coöperation for the promotion of stability and well-being. But up to now the major Powers in NATO have used that organization almost wholly as an instrument of military build-up without recognizing that the implementation of Article II was and is necessary to strengthen the economic and social foundations upon which military defense must rest. A number of proposals have been made in recent years looking towards the assumption by NATO of responsibility for planning and directing a common effort aimed at strengthening Atlantic and free world defenses in economic and social and political fields, comparable in scope and spirit to those that have characterized the building of NATO military defenses. These have not, however, been acted upon. Unless NATO and other regional defense organizations undertake increasingly the job of building the several kinds of defenses needed, it is difficult to see how the job can be done effectively.

To date, proposals for the building of an alliance for the defense of Southeast Asia have given no suggestion of the need for accompanying common military defense measures there with a concerted program for building up the economic and social strength of the area. Unless this is done, not only will it be more difficult to attract the membership of the countries of Southeast Asia, but any military defenses there may prove in the long run to have been built upon sand.


In 1950, looking forward to the end of the Marshall Plan in 1952, and conscious of the rising danger of Communist penetration in the underdeveloped countries, the United States Government gave intense study to the kinds of long-range foreign economic policies that should follow the emergency postwar relief and recovery programs. The conclusions reached were along the lines suggested above. But the Korean War and the danger of imminent aggression in Europe upset all plans and calculations. The speculative scramble for raw materials shot up prices and adversely affected the terms of trade of the industrial countries. This, combined with the virtual doubling of defense programs, temporarily threw the European Recovery Program off balance. The military program rapidly eclipsed concern for long-range economic policies, and the Mutual Security Act of 1951 marked no advance towards a transition from emergency to long-range economic policies and programs. The same overshadowing conditions prevailed in 1952, heightened by the effect of the national elections.

It would seem important to give renewed attention to these matters now. The underdeveloped countries fear contracting markets and declining prices for raw materials, with attendant social and political unrest. The economy of Western Europe is being partly supported by our military expenditures and by some economic aid to certain countries; but both of these are scheduled to fall away sharply next year. A collective worldwide effort is needed. But it will not be made unless the United States first recognizes the need and takes the lead in adjusting its own policies and in developing and organizing the program. Of all the countries in the free world, we alone have freedom of economic initiative and action. We are in the driver's seat of the world economic machine. We may not drive where the world wants to go or even where our own best interests suggest; but it is certain no one else can.

Within the past few months the affairs of men have been thrust into a new and sinister frame. We are now obliged to figure out how we must conduct ourselves in a world in which both we and those dedicated to our ruin possess hydrogen bombs of Armageddon power. As much as we would wish some quick solution through negotiations for a fool-proof contract, such appears unlikely under present circumstances and we must adjust ourselves to living in great physical danger for a long time to come. In this situation it is imperative that we reappraise our acts as individuals and our policies as a nation to make certain that we do all that is humanly possible to diminish the possibility that the horrifying weapons now at man's disposal will ever be used for destructive purposes. Unless some system of control in which we have complete confidence is worked out, we must, of course, maintain and increase our capacity to retaliate powerfully in the event the bomb should be used against us or our allies. This means that we must strengthen our allies and our alliances and thus protect our bases around the world. But this is only the beginning of defense. It is possible that the consequences of nuclear warfare are now such as to decrease the likelihood--given the maintenance of retaliatory power--that it will be launched. But it does not mean any change in the Kremlin's design to dominate the world and destroy freedom. Soviet efforts to this end can be carried on and are being carried on with conventional weapons and the methods with which we have grown familiar. It is possible for these efforts to succeed in extending Soviet control over large parts of the world now free without any resort to nuclear warfare or indeed to aggressive military warfare of any kind.

We can frustrate this Soviet design by using our energy and great resources not only to strengthen military defenses throughout the free world, but to root freedom more firmly in economic development, rising standards of living, national dignity and the political and social conditions in which democracy flourishes. Doing this, our hope for the future lies in the belief that the attraction of freedom, strengthened in the non-Communist world, will in time undermine tyranny in its citadel and bring about changes in the Soviet Union that will remove the shadow of destruction from the earth.

You are reading a free article.

Subscribe to Foreign Affairs to get unlimited access.

  • Paywall-free reading of new articles and a century of archives
  • Unlock access to iOS/Android apps to save editions for offline reading
  • Six issues a year in print, online, and audio editions
Subscribe Now
  • W. AVERELL HARRIMAN, Ambassador to Russia, 1943-46; Secretary of Commerce, 1946-48; Special Assistant to the President, 1950-51
  • More By W. Averell Harriman