U.S. foreign policy: Demands of the next; Within the Western Alliance
Mr harsh in view of what you've just said what justification have way for maintaining the six American army divisions in Europe. I don't know that it has to be six divisions mainly it could be less. I think that what whatever is necessary must be left there in our own self interest. Those divisions are not there. For the benefit of Germany or France or Britain or anyone else. They are there because it is a forward position for the United States and as long as they are there we have some control of the direction of German foreign policy. I think if we withdrew those divisions you have to think about what where German policy would revolve if they are abandoned left to their fate by us we pull out. I think that they will immediately see some sort of a of a conciliation with Moscow. You must remember after all that what this is
all about. Basically we fought two world wars and we keep troops in Germany because the one of the first requirement. Of the security of the United States is that no run potentially hostile power controls the whole of Eurasia and the power center of the world is still from the English Channel to the Ural Mountains. If any one man ever gets control of that whole area of the earth he hones the power center of the earth in his hands. If it happens to be a pair of hands friendly to us well all right we don't need to panic about it but a whole series of world wars have been fought to prevent that massive population scale industry in power from falling into unfriendly hands. We didn't want the Germans to have it in World Wars 1 or 2. We don't want the Russians to have it now. After all the Cold War was a
power struggle waged to prevent Moscow from controlling everything that lay not only from the English channel of the Ural Mountains but actually for a moment seen from the English channel of the China Sea. Maintaining military forces in Europe maintaining an alliance with the countries of Western Europe whatever their attitude towards us is merely in the last remaining. A piece of machinery by which we protect ourselves against any possibility of the whole of Western Europe flowing into some sort of a harmony with Russia and we cannot we cannot. Count upon the good will of Russia if they ever held within their control the power to do us harm. I do not think I do not fear Russia as long as there is a balance of power in the world. But I
would greatly fear what she would do with total power if you ever got a hold of it. And I think one of the things we have to do to protect ourselves against that danger is go on maintaining as respectable a military force as we can in Europe. Mr harsh What would you consider to be a respectable military force. Well I'm sure you can trim it down substantially. It is not necessary I suppose to maintain women and children the dependents and all that. You can bring back. You could bring back a lot of. That of the frills of the army of occupation. As long as you lept left the command structure and the and the equipment there you can rotate the actual troops by these big cargo planes that were building No. And you certainly can cut down. Maybe I don't know you could cut from half a million to a quarter of a million I suppose without seriously affecting our ability to influence events in Europe
which would very much help our balance of payments. It is it is the large amount of family that camp followers that are that are spending so much money over there. We can cut that down. The only thing is that I'm a little afraid that if we start cutting You may set in motion a withdrawal tendency which could go much too far. Could be very dangerous. Sir how is Charles de Gaulle parlayed what is a small base of power into what seems to be a worldwide power base. I think the only answer I can give you is force of personality. It is amazing how little power can be translated into large effect by one man with a face with a vision with a dream with an assertive personality and how much great power can be frittered away and left not inadequately used by a man who doesn't have that quality of leadership. Now
what did all is done is done with mirrors the actual real power front doesn't begin to justify the influence which this man wheel's and I suppose it is a reasonable proposition that the minute he go. All of this fabric of influence which France has today will simply disappear overnight. The fact is he's got it now and he has it because he has dignity. He has a commanding presence. He has a certain grasp of reality and a and a willingness an ability to to speak in real terms. He makes pompousness he can explode pompousness with one deft phrase or word. He is a very able public figure and one of the tragedies of the moment is that there are so few other similar Well there is no other figure of such stature. The tragedy of Britain.
Is that in the wake of a Churchill. They have perfectly nice people. I like them all. Harold Wilson is is is a good conversationalist. He's a very bright fella but he's not a great man. He doesn't have he doesn't begin to have the stature of a Churchill or a to go all Roosevelt or a Kennedy. You can't help feeling when you talk to him that he's. Well he'd make a very good professor of economics and one of your colleges out here he's very bright at that sort of thing he knows his history pretty well. But you can't imagine him really infusing Britain with a new sense of goal and purpose. The trouble is that there's nobody in the Tory party either who has as yet demonstrated the capacity to do that. I know Ted Heath I know Reggie modeling I know in Macau they're all
very able politicians. McLeod is the ablest political operator of the lot. And I think he has had a bit as a bit of vision he can articulate a concept but it's not the kind of concept it's going to set the prairie is ablaze or set the British off on some new great crusade. There is no great leadership. The French haven't. The amount of the French know that many of the things that the Gold says and proposes are outrageous. This attempt of his to break up the Canadian federation is an outrageous thing and isn't sensible you know perfectly well equipped back it's not going to be re-united with France which is what he wants when he's really trying to do is simply express. His own resentment at the victories which British arms won over French arms in two world wars. But more
isn't the Duke of Marlborough in the wars of Wellington and no saint in the Polian taken the Louis the Fourteenth wars. This is he still resents the fact. That the British won the battles of plenum and on the Plains of Abraham and Trafalgar and Waterloo but because he feels this because he wishes to do these things many of which he can't do he never he is a great world figure. I just wish we had some others to match in my. Any other questions. Mr harsh is military force our dominant means of influence as opposed to diplomatic means. You are overstating it of course you're overstating it but I would certainly go along with what you implied to this extent that it is my opinion that we had. Do tend frequently in our
history and right now as an example to rely more on military power than is necessary and less on diplomacy than we cut. I don't think that we're unbalanced. I think that Europe is a case where I think our relations with Europe are victims of the fact that we have sought in by military means a solution of a problem in the Far East which I think could have been solved. I personally think it need not have been made a military issue a tall. And I do think that we could resort to other means for finding a solution to that problem if we could ever disentangle ourselves from the present problem there. But I must warn you that I am not supposed to be talking here about Vietnam. It would be very easy for me to let myself be drawn into that subject because there I feel quite strongly on it and write about it but I'm supposed here to be talking only about Europe. Now I don't know how I
can be more responsive to your question without getting outside the area of my proper field of discussion in this room. I can only say that I do think that we are over relying on military power right now. Mr harsh. Why does the United States give money that is foreign aid to countries that are not friendly to us. I don't know of any case where we're giving money to anyone for the purpose of buying friendship. I know of a lot of places where we are investing money. Usually on loan for the purpose of improving economic conditions with the idea that the country in which we so invest will become a less subject to what the communists call wars of national liberation. I think it's a pity that it's called aid it isn't foreign to most lay. It is bookkeeping that covers the
deploying of surplus military equipment. We are arming armies with World War to cast off guns and airplanes and things like that in order to make it possible for countries to to be a little more self defensible than they otherwise would be the case. If you look at the books on the so-called aid program you'll find that a great deal of it is merely writing off World War 2 equipment which no longer has any market value. The Pentagon loves it because they get a book credit. For stuff that they couldn't possibly sell on a normal market so that they they get a book credit which they can use them for buying new weapons and some other country way off which may or may not need it gets a lot of cast off weaponry from us. But when it comes to economic aid. Well I I believe I'm correct in saying that the first
beneficiary of American economic aid is India. We give more to India than anyone else. When India is a vital piece in the world power pattern we don't want India controlled by China. And if you believe that it is necessary China or Russia. If you believe that it is necessary to contain the imperial power of both China and Russia then I think you must believe that it is desirable that we do all we possibly can to make it in via AIM. A viable modern state able to live her own life and independence of both Moscow and Peking. I happen to believe that I do not believe that it is desirable to allow either Moscow or Peking to control India. It seems to me that well ma'am put it this way when the present foreign minister of
France coup de morphia was in baster in Washington. The time came when he received notice that he was being appointed to. The Foreign Office in Paris. A group of us came around for a sort of farewell session and somebody said Come on Koos tell us now. What more do you see on the horizon of the future. And he sat back for a moment he said Well I think I can only see one possible war. And we said what he said a war between China and Russia over a possession of India. Well I think that was a profoundly perceptive thought which has in large measure been borne out by the fact that since then when he really foresaw has happened the realisation in both Moscow and Peking that there is a conflict of interest between them which is far more important in both capitals than the common
religion of communism. They have been put apart by. A vast common frontier I've forgotten what it is an empty space is there all sorts of reasons which have driven them apart. Producing a power pattern in the world today of great interest I mean what are the power factors in the world that two great ones the United States and the Soviet Union. There's there's a third coming up fast. China. And there's a potential fourth in in India. I don't think that potential is likely to be realized in a long time. And then of course there is the first world power in potential which is Western Europe. If Western Europe ever did become one. It would exceed in all respects except geography. Both the either the United States and the Soviet Union. So what we're talking about is the interplay of these power elements. We do not want Russia controlling China or China controlling
Russia. I say that it is a first national interest of the United States to see that both Russia and China are contained within roughly their own present frontiers. But I think in thinking in those power terms which I do you have to also bear in mind that containment involves all of these powers just as we wish to see Russia and China contained. Russia and China wish to see us contained. They are concerned about the containment of American power. And I think what is what you must realize is to get this thing in perspective is that the containment of any one is a constant process involving all others. In fact we in the Chinese collaborate in the containment of Russia and we and the Russians collaborate in the containment of China. And they are both collaborating in the containment of the
United States that is there are points where we and the Russians have a common interest against China. Are we in China have a common interest against Russia and so on. This is a game that is going on all the time and must be played. And to us the vital thing is that we are not outclassed by a decisive combination of two unfriendly powers. Mr. harsh one is the influence of the United Nations in this matter. To me the United Nations is a forum of the nations. It is merely a neutral meeting place where they come together. The United Nations is a place where. Decisive opinion can be organized and made effective. But first you have to have the majority. The United Nations is a place where the United States and the Soviet Union can meet and talk and work out possibly a solution to some one particular problem. But the United Nations is not a thing in itself with power
of its own. It is merely a forum it is a meeting place it is a marketplace where diplomats can come together. The ability of the United Nations to act can never rise above the degree of cooperation which is possible at any given time. Among the great powers and I go back at the present moment there are only two great powers the United States and the Soviet Union. So at the present time the limit of the effective action of the United Nations is the limit of the degree of cooperation possible on any given subject between the United States and the Soviet Union. Mr harsh What are some of the factors involved in the deterioration of the North Atlantic Treaty alliances. There are many factors involved in the growing estrangement of the United States and Western Europe and certainly one very important factor is that there were so many of us there for so long there. One of the most human of reactions is the
feeling in the household when the guests who stayed perhaps a day longer than you originally intended have gone and the family looks around says gee isn't it wonderful to have a house to ourselves again. This is true in all households. It is German national households as well as in individual households we were there a long time. We were on the present and sometimes a little oppressive. I think it was inevitable. Obviously the native Alliance was put together under threat of a great danger. And as the danger recedes so does the vitality of the institution we put together. It is certainly not entirely our fault. I do myself feel and this I cannot prove that I am correct about this but it is my feeling that the decay need not have gone as far as it did. And above all it was not necessary that. That the Grand Design be lost entirely. I think this is the tragedy that the that the
March 24 times. No matter how slow towards a closer unity of the great European tribes the Anglo-Saxons the Germans the French the attentions has been halted. And I would say that today they are moving away from unity rather than towards you. This I think is the tragedy and I have a feeling that somehow if we played our cat cards a little more wisely we might have preserved at least some slight movement towards unity even. Even though the goal might be a hundred years away Mr harsh the United States has strong economic ties with Western Europe. Do you think this can lead to a compulsion toward political ties of some sort. Being a journalist I always exaggerate journalism the essence of journalism is both oversimplification and exaggeration. You wouldn't have newspapers if if you didn't do that to the news because there's relatively little news on any given day
what you appointed know. Is that there is a deep underlying community of interest between the United States and Western Europe we are each other's greatest trading partners and no matter what the estrangement may be there is an ultimate stop to the and strange estrangement arising out of this community of economic interest which we do have. And therefore I am being slightly over pessimistic when I talk the way I do. Because surely surely this community of interest will at that time assert itself and a readjustment of the new relationship must must emerge. It just has to. We can't we can't allow Europe to be totally alienated from us because that would be a that would be a true defeat for our purposes and for a national interest. Sir what our French president de Gaulle's real reasons for keeping Great Britain out of the European Common Market.
It's the merest fact that as long as the British are out he really does control the Common Market right the minute the British get in there's an opportunity for the interplay of political forces within the market. And his own influence will be very much reduced and so a lot of friends he bestrides Europe by buying keeping the British out of the common market of course. Mr. harsh What is the current Russian threat to West Berlin. At the present moment I'm not aware of any Russian threat towards West Berlin at the present moment. The tide is going the other way and the Russians are primarily concerned about how they can retain the loyalty of what we used to call their satellites. The only truly loyal satellite they have left is East Germany and one of the ways of holding East Germany is by continuing to pretend that someday Russia is going to get West Berlin for East Germany. This is something that the West that the East German regime very much wants. It is a constant threat
to the survival of the regime that there is in this island of freedom in the middle of their prison. And they keep saying to the Russians Well now you must get it for us so the Russians keep making noises. But you may be sure that the Russians at the present moment are not going to do anything serious about West Berlin because the instant they try to. Well that's the quickest way of triggering a nuclear war. There's no question about our commitment to West Berlin and to West Germany and the Russians know that. But if the Russians were ever to renounce the goal of capturing West Berlin for their East German stooges at that moment the cement of the of the Warsaw Pact disappears the Warsaw Pact is built on anti German ism. Which is the theory of it the theory of the West German menace to all the countries of East of Eastern
Europe. If Russia at any moment abandons the doctrine of the German menace at that moment the Warsaw Pact ceases to have any meaning. And it is being eroded and undermined today by the tendency of some of the Eastern communist countries Eastern European countries countries to enter into a new and much more rational and reasonable relations with the West Germany the Roumanians exchange diplomatic representation to ambassadors with Bonn about a year ago when it was almost a year to the day when the Romanian delegation walked out last week. From that gathering of the Communist clan in Booker and in Budapest. Yugoslavia now has diplomatic relations again with the Czechs have just had a an internal sort of palace revolution which is thrown out the old hardline pro-Moscow
crowd and put in place of it and a new younger nationalist crowd of Czechs and I should think that within another year you probably will see the Czechs coming to terms with the bomb. How much longer is Moscow going to pursue an anti German policy just to please the East German regime remains to be seen. There is a good deal of speculation in diplomatic quarters that you may see a complete. Transformation of the attitudes of Germans and Russians towards each other developing over the next few years which brings us back to the question of how long we remain maintained six American divisions in Germany. I don't think it would be to our interest to have Germany become much closer to Russia. I don't I wouldn't look forward happiness to that prospect I do feel that
the safe balance of power for us is a balancing of a far less organized Western Europe against the Soviet Union. The minute you get European countries West European countries playing games with Moscow it gets pretty risky and pretty tricky and I would not be happy to see that come about. Well as. This has been the first in a series of seven programs about the United States foreign policy intitled demands of the next decade. Our guest today was Mr. Joseph C. Hutch author columnist and news commentator. He spoke and
responded to questions on the general subject within the Western alliance. This program series is based on presentations from the foreign policy associations traveling foreign policy conference. These programs are designed to stimulate the thinking of an informed American public about some of the issues to be faced by the nation during the coming decade. Today's program was presented in cooperation with the World Affairs Council of Oregon the Oregon great decisions Council the Foreign Policy Association and TIME magazine. And this has been a public affairs presentation of Oregon educational broadcasting. This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
- Within the Western Alliance
- Producing Organization
- KOAC (Radio station : Corvallis, Or.)
- Oregon State University
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Series Description
- Recorded speeches from the 1968 Portland, Oregon, conference sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Oregon, Foreign Policy Association, and Time magazine. This prog.: American Broadcasting Company News commentator Joseph C. Harsch discusses NATO and other western alliances.
- Media type
Producing Organization: KOAC (Radio station : Corvallis, Or.)
Producing Organization: Oregon State University
- AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-41-1 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- Chicago: “U.S. foreign policy: Demands of the next; Within the Western Alliance,” 1968-09-09, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed March 3, 2024, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-xg9f965m.
- MLA: “U.S. foreign policy: Demands of the next; Within the Western Alliance.” 1968-09-09. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. March 3, 2024. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-xg9f965m>.
- APA: U.S. foreign policy: Demands of the next; Within the Western Alliance. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-xg9f965m