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if it is agreeable with the subcommittee I am going to have these responses inserted in the record.1
Now, the Secretary's request regarding the insertion of the extracts from State Department speeches will be granted. Mr. Reporter, you will insert those excerpts in the record at the point mentioned in the Secretary's statement.
CHAIRMAN'S REMARKS ON BALL STATEMENT
Mr. Ball, I have one or two observations on your statement before you get into testimony on the written explanation about these various changes.
I certainly approve of the changes that you have outlined in your statement. I think that it will greatly improve the effectiveness of your purposes and be of great benefit to the men who send their speeches in for review and clearance, and lead to a far better understanding by the men in the State Department and in the Department of Defense as to what the reasons are for these changes and also a better understanding of policies upon which the changes are made.
It will certainly accrue to the benefit of those who are doing the reviewing in the Department of Defense. They certainly have a hard job and a thankless one. It will clear up the confusion and give a far better understanding to the gentlemen who write these speeches, whether it is the man who is going to deliver them or whether it is th one that is helping him. On page 6 of your statement you made
a point with reference to the assignment of a State Department officer to Defense. What I was concerned with there was that the testimony, I thought, developed to too great a degree that those two Departments were acting independently of each other, and that there could be better coordination and better understanding and a constant link, as you referred to it here, between the two.
I think what you propose is certainly as good as, if not better than, the solution that I proposed, and it smacks less, too, of your having a "commissar," if someone should want to use that term, from the State Department over the Department of Defense.
I do not use that term myself, because I do not think evidence justifies from all these hearings that there has been any effort to have anything akin to the system of what is called "commissar" in the Russian regime.
I have seen some of those commissars in operation, in Russia. I have seen them go around with the school superintendents and me all day long.
What I wanted was this coordination, or what you call a constant link, and I hope and believe that you will strengthen your position on that.
I believe that is all I have now.
Senator Thurmond's questions provoked these responses, and I am going to pass to him now.
Senator Thurmond ?
1 The State Department explanations of speech changes appear in final printed form in Part 7 of the subcommitee hearings.
Senator THURMOND. Does Senator Bartlett wish to ask questions? Senator BARTLETT. I will be here for a little while. Go ahead.
DISCUSSION ON POLICY OF DETERRENCE-POWER SPEECH, NO. 103
Senator THURMOND. Mr. Secretary, there are many questions which are raised by the State Department as to the policy reasons for revision in speeches.
The State Department commented on the various speeches more or less in chronological order, so speech No. 103, which is first in order commented on by the State Department, is as good a place as any to start.
This speech was proposed and submitted for review by General Power, commander in chief, Strategic Air Command. As such, he is commander of a major element of our retaliatory strike force.
This speech was scheduled for delivery on May 19, 1960. In this speech General Power made reference to "our national policy of deterrence.”
Was General Power accurate in stating at that time, Mr. Secretary, that we had a national policy of deterrence ?
Mr. BALL. Yes, I would see no reason why that was not an accurate statement, Senator Thurmond.
Senator THURMOND. The policy of deterrence referred to by General Power was one primarily based on our capability of nuclear retaliation, was it not?
Mr. BALL. That is right, sir.
Senator THURMOND. At that time, as had been the case for a number of years, the Strategic Air Command was the essence of our retaliatory force on which our policy of deterrence was based, is this correct?
Mr. Ball. That is right, sir.
EFFECT OF BUILDUP OF CONVENTIONAL WEAPONS ON POLICY OF DETERRENCE
Senator THURMOND. Would it be correct to say that if we still have a policy of deterrence, that it has been, to say the least, modified or expanded so that it is no longer based solely or even primarily on our nuclear retaliatory forces?
Mr. BALL. No.
I should say, Senator Thurmond, that the policy of deterrence rests very heavily upon the possession of nuclear retaliatory force.
It has, however, been reinforced by a buildup of conventional weapons and the encouragement of a buildup of conventional weapons among the Allies, in order to give an additional element of credibility to the deterrent itself.
CONCEPT OF DETERRENCE AS AN ELEMENT OF U.S. POLICY
Senator THURMOND. We formerly were constantly reminded of our national policy of deterrence. I presume that the concept of deterrence is still an element of our policy?
Mr. BALL. Very much so.
Senator THURMOND. It is certainly no longer stressed in public statements of our officials.
To what extent does the concept of deterrence permeate our present policy toward the Sino-Soviet bloc?
Mr. BALL. To a very great extent, Senator Thurmond. Naturally, I think that I could find for you plenty of examples in which this point is still made emphatically clear.
I think it is quite well understood that the whole defense posture of the West rests primarily upon the deterrent effectiveness of U.S. nuclear capacity, Senator.
Senator THURMOND. From what you say, we still have a policy of deterrence?
Mr. Ball. That is right, sir.
Senator THURMOND. Even if it is not now often referred to by that term?
Mr. BALL. Well, it is in my experience, Senator Thurmond, still very commonly referred to by that term.
INCREASE IN EFFECTIVENESS OF DETERRENT POLICY THROUGH BALANCED
Senator THURMOND. But our present policy of deterrence is based on a more balanced structure of defense capabilities and is less dependent on nuclear retaliatory power than was formerly the case, is that not correct?
Mr. BALL. Actually, the reason for the stress on conventional capabilities is to deter the kind of attack, the kind of localized attack, where the potential enemy might make an assumption that the interests involved on our side would not seem to us adequate to risk nuclear war. Therefore, we should possess conventional capability to deal with this kind of local attack in order to give credibility to the very policy of deterrence which is basic to our whole strategic concept.
Senator THURMOND. Is it true that our present policy of deterrence is based on more balanced structure of defense capabilities and less dependent on nuclear retaliatory power than was formerly the case ?
Mr. BALL. I think that is a fair statement, Senator Thurmond, with the interpretation which I have just given it.
Senator THURMOND. By increasing the spectrum of our military forces, the fundamental policy of deterrence was made more effective so that it could be applied as a policy to a wider scope of situations. The expansion of our deterrent forces gives greater flexibility to our policy of deterrence.
Would it be correct to say that by expanding our deterrent capabilities we made our policy of deterrence more effective?
Mr. BALL. Yes, I certainly think so.
OBJECTIVE TO WHICH DETERRENT POLICY IS DIRECTED
Senator THURMOND. It occurs to me that the verb “deter" is transitive and must have an object. We cannot understand a policy of deterrence unless we know what it is against that our policy is directed.
Just what is it that our policy was designed to deter when we relied primarily on a nuclear retaliatory force, and what is it that our policy is designed to deter now that we have a broader spectrum of military capabilities?
Mr. BALL. I think it is designed in each case to deter aggression against the vital interests of the United States or the free world, and I think that there has been no change in the objective to which the policy of deterrence is directed. I think that what has happened is that by a greater emphasis on conventional as well as nuclear capabilities, the policy has been made more effective and the deterrent consequences are greater.
WHETHER USE OF THE WORD "DETERRENCE" HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED
Senator THURMOND. Was there some particular reason, such as the psychological or propaganda aspects, for the discontinuance of the use of the term “deterrence” in public statements in connection with our current policy objectives? I realize you said the State Department has not discontinued it, but it has been discontinued in certain places to a great extent.
Mr. BALL. Frankly, Senator Thurmond, I am unaware that it has been discontinued.
That comes as rather a surprise to me, because certainly in State Department speeches we have continued to speak of deterrence.
Senator THURMOND. Have you had occasion to read the military speeches in the last year and a half?
Mr. Ball. I have not-
Mr. BALL. Only the ones that were concerned in these hearings. I have not read others.
Senator THURMOND. In the context in which the term “deterrence” was used in former years, there came to be a close association of the term with our nuclear strike capabilities. The subject of nuclear capabilities is, of course, very sensitive, particularly among governments and peoples in the so-called uncommitted or neutralist nations, among our allies, and even to many in our own country.
Would this particular connotation of nuclear capabilities which is associated with the term “deterrence” and the sensitivity about nuclear weapons be the reason why our officials in a great many instances no longer refer to our policy as one of deterrence?
Mr. Ball. As I say, Senator Thurmond, I was unaware that they had desisted in using that term.
Senator THURMOND. Assuming that it has been discontinued to a large extent, how would you answer the question?
Mr. BALL. I could only do it on a hypothetical basis, and I know of no reason, quite frankly, why it should be discontinued.
As far as the uncommitted countries are concerned, they are perfectly aware of the fact that we possess nuclear capability; that we regard it as a deterrent factor of very great importance; and certainly I should suppose that from the point of view of the uncommitted countries they would much rather have aggression deterred than aggression encouraged, particularly when some of them are likely to be the subject of aggression if aggression does occur.
Senator THURMOND. Has a directive of any kind been issued by the State Department to the Department of Defense that the word “deterrent” should not be used, or have they just on their own initiative, realizing how their speeches have been censored, discontinued using it to a large extent?
Mr. BALL. To the best of my knowledge, we have never issued any such instruction, and, as I say, I was unaware that there had been any discontinuance of use of it.
Senator THURMOND. Actually, it is unfortunate that there is not a broader understanding that our nuclear forces are maintained to
Our policy of deterrence is aimed only at preventing armed aggression which would breach the peace, and is not for the purpose of precipitating a war, is this correct? Mr. BALL. I am entirely in accord with that, Senator Thurmond.
I think it is important that our policy of deterrence be widely understood.
REASON FOR DELETION IN POWER SPEECH, NO. 103 Senator THURMOND. Now, to get to the specifics of General Power's speech, which, as the State Department noted in its reply to the committee, was to be delivered during the period of the Paris meeting between President Eisenhower and Khrushchev:
It is clear from the proposed speech that General Power was trying to convey to his audience the thought that the success of a policy of deterrence is contingent on more than just the existing capability of retaliation. He wanted to state in his address that if we are to deter the persons or groups sought to be deterred, we must not only be aware that we have the ability to retaliate but also that the persons or groups sought to be deterred must be convinced that should they undertake certain action, that the probabilities of retaliation are high.
What it boils down to is that our policy of deterrence is no more effective than is the strength of the belief of those sought to be deterred in the likelihood of our response to particular actions.
Now, if I understand the State Department's explanation of the deletion of this material, it was not the accuracy or truthfulness of General Power's expressions that were questioned but, rather, that the clear statement of such details was inappropriate at a time when the President of the United States was conferring face-to-face with the Soviet Premier, is this correct?
Mr. BALL. I would not use the word "inappropriate," I think, Senator Thurmond.
I should say that there was every desire not to give the Soviet Chairman an excuse for creating an incident at the time of a meeting upon which the world was putting so much importance.
Senator THURMOND. Would you say "indiscreet,” then, rather than “inappropriate”?
Would that be a better word?
Mr. BALL. I would say that it would be inadvisable from the point of view of American policy just at that moment. The circumstances at that moment were that the President, President Eisenhower and Chairman Khrushchev, were to meet the Paris summit.
The U—2 incident had just occurred.
The feeling was that there was no reason to give the propaganda mill of the Communist bloc any more ammunition than they already had.