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With the duty to educate servicemen goes the concomitant obligation that such efforts must be contingent upon a firm undertanding as well as a zealous implementation of the fundamental constitutional principles guaranteeing the preeminences of the civilian, as represented by the President and Commander in Chief, over the Military Establishment. The traditional American professional military attitude toward noninvolvement in the political area is consistent with this tenet. It is our firm contention that to tamper with this delicate relationship is to change the very nature of our society.
We appreciate the courtesy extended our organization through the national commander and assure you and the committee of our desire to cooperate in your efforts. Please feel free to call on us at any time. Sincerely,
FELIX M. PUTTERMAN,
National Legislative Director. The Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America, the country's oldest active veterans organization, has for 66 years devoted much of its energy and substance to promoting programs fostering patriotism among all Americans. The requirements of the national security of the United States are a matter of vital concern to all patriots; most especially is this true for those who have had the privilege of serving our country in its Armed Forces. Accordingly, the JWV is proud and pleased to have been afforded an opportunity to express its views on the four major points under consideration in this investigation by the Special Preparedness Subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
This statement is directed to the following excerpt from Senator Stennis' letter of November 27, 1961:
“The subcommittee's investigation will extend to: (1) the question of the proper role of the military in national security affairs; (2) the adequacy of troop information and education; (3) participation of military personnel in educating the American public to the dangers of the cold war menace."
While there is considerable to be said about a most pertinent collateral matter, namely, the present state of civil-military relations, this testimony is confined directly to the points raised in the chairman's letter.
1. The role of the military in national security affairs is carried out most effectively by an intensive application of all of its resources, personnel, material, training and experience to its particular area of competence, the military security of the United States. The professional military is eminently equipped to implement national policy in that pivotal aspect of national security upon which is focused its mission, the armed defense of the United States from external aggression. At his disposal for advice, the President has the talent and resources of all the other Departments in the executive branch of the Federal Government. Moreover, with the full force of prestige inherent in the office of the Chief Executive, he is able to draw upon the academic, business and other constituent communities for aid and assistance in dealing with the complex problems that go to the very heart of our existence, as a nation.
Despite exaggerated assertions about the variety of experience the American military man has acquired in the course of carrying out his manifold duties the world over, the fact of the matter is that our professional fighting men are not trained diplomats, skillful economists or resourceful scientists, all of whom serve important roles in our national security system. Nor should the Defense Establishment be expected to provide judgments that are clearly within the purview of the civilian policymaking prerogative of the President and his Cabinet.
This does not mean that we should not avail ourselves of the talents of individual military leaders in nonmilitary roles. Perhaps the finest example in recent history of the many magnificent contributions by military leaders in the promulgation of civilian policy was the formulation of the Marshall plan during the late Gen. George C. Marshall's tenure as Secretary of State. Although the economic revival of war torn Europe and the establishment of massive foreign assistance programs, for which the plan set a precedent, are a very important aspect of our national security system, the role of the military in its conception and implementation was a minor one. General Marshall's proposal though addressed to the need for healthy and viable allies was far removed from the technical military strategic requirement of the United States in the immediate postwar period of the forties.
In our view, the role of the military is delimited by the very nature of its mission for which its weighty responsibility is clearly understood and accepted within the framework of the total American experience and in consonance with its traditional constitutional role. The military security of the United States is the clear obligation of our military and is not to be confused with the other aspects of national security that are clearly within the prerogative of other agencies.
2. To a large extent the adequacy of troop information and education must be measured in terms of the objectives of such programs. In our estimation, these objectives must be clear, unambiguous, and positive. Our troops must be imbued with a patriotism born of an understanding of the nature of our proud heritage as a Nation. The keynote of that heritage is the concept of freedom as spelled out in our institutions and documents. Effective troop orientation requires an understanding of the stake of each American in freedom. Such an understanding develops and asserts confidence in our national heritage as well as contempt for tyranny.
All comprehensive means of communication must be coordinated in the effort to acquaint or at least reacquaint the American serviceman with the positive aspects of being an American citizen. At the same time films, slides, and other teaching aids should be used to furnish our troops with a realistic view of the world of tyranny, the enemy. Since the present international situation is a complicated one in which there are many gradations of gray rather than the more convenient and more easily understood black and white, it is the height of folly to oversimplify. Accordingly, it would be well to note weaknesses in our own society to which we as a people are addressing ourselves and to portray the forces of tyranny so that they are understood as mortals with all the human frailties rather than depicted as superhuman or as base monsters.
The information and education programs must be consistent with national policy. Moreover, since each American serviceman is an instrument in projecting the posture of the United States throughout the world it would seem advisable to coordinate information and education programs with the Department of State and other agencies directly concerned with foreign policy aspects of national security.
Finally, in light of the troublesome situation developed among Reserve and National Guard units called into service during the past 6 months it has become apparent that these units would have benefited from active units are exposed. With military obligation almost universally applied, the Reserve and National Guard units no longer differ in terms of personnel and consequently must deal with the same confusion and misunderstanding prevailing in units consisting of draftees. Accordingly, it behooves the Department of Defense to extend its troop orientation to all troops without regard to the nature of the individual commitment.
Undoubtedly, an effective information and education program must bring to light mnay of our own weaknesses. Unfortunately, this is a price we must pay if we are to expect enlightened yet properly indoctrinated troops capable of putting our Nation's best foot forward. A commander who is something less than completely honest with his troops soon has a substantial morale problem. The same holds true for the entire military function.
3. The participation of military personnel in national security seminars and the proper use of military personnel in educating the American public to the dangers of the cold war menace in our judgment are part and parcel of the same basic problem set in motion by the 1958 action of the National Security Council in authorizing the military to proceed wtih the cold war indoctrination program.
While we do not rule out the possibility that some good may have resulted from the use of military personnel and installations for alerting Americans to the dangers of communism, on balance we are convinced that much mischief has been done, through official auspices, under the guise of indoctrination by "experts.” In one respect, the many wild accusations as well as the intrusion of pet domestic political theories by a variety of speakers play directly into the Communist strategy of sowing seeds of disunity throughout the structure of American society. Moreover, the heavy stress placed on the danger of internal subversion as against the nature of the real threat from Moscow and Peiping makes mockery of the effort of President Kennedy as well as former President Eisenhower to bring to our people the necessary balanced view of the world. Indeed, the War College in Washington, at one time, sponsored an orientation course on foreign affairs for promising officers conducted by a group of consultants identified with theories that are at considerable variance with official foreign policy as laid down by either Democratic or Republican Presidents. As a consequence, there are currently on active duty military personnel who have been indoctrinated with a view of world affairs that is not consistent with those of the Government of the United States.
It is inappropriate to use this opportunity for a detailed analysis of events and personalities. Rather, our concern is that the military has been abused by self-serving operators and that the fine reputation of our Military Establishment has been sullied by the association of a handful of personnel with those who have appropriated military premises for expounding partisan political beliefs that are detrimental and not germane to our national security.
National security seminars, panels, “alerts,” or whatever, regardless of the seeming legitimacy of sponsorship, should not be held on military installations. Veterans' organizations, chambers of commerce, and other worthy groups must exercise sufficient good sense to allow the military to maintain its integrity as a nonpolitical technical arm of national policy. Any involvement, no matter how infinitesimal, lends credence to fantastic notions that the military must agree with participating speakers.
In our estimation, the American public has considerable awareness of the cold war menace. Through the various media of communication our population has been exposed to the most extensive and intensive information coverage in the history of mankind. Our political leaders exploit every possible means of presenting every conceivable facet of world affairs. The military is under no obligation to move into this activity. When it does, it takes on the coloration of partisan policy. It owes no duty to inform the public. Its mission and competence is to make recommendations in the technical military aspects of national policy to the civilian policymakers in the Federal Establishment.
In summary, the Jewish War Veterans of the United States position on the questions raised are as follows:
1. The role of the military in national security affairs in order to be an effective one must focus squarely on the military security of the United States.
2. The military does have an obligation to inform and educate servicemen. These programs should strengthen individual understanding of freedom and the nature of the threat of tyranny. The substance of these programs must be consistent with established national policy as created by the civilian Commander in Chief.
3. The use of military personnel in educating the public to the cold war menace and the participation of the military in national security seminars has been, at best, a matter of considerable controversy and has raised doubts concerning the usefulness of the cold war indoctrination program. The military should confine itself to troop information and education programs properly oriented within the framework of national policy.
RETIRED OFFICERS ASSOCIATION STATEMENT
WASHINGTON, D.C., January 2, 1962. Hon. JOHN STENNIS, Chairman, Special Preparedness Subcommittee, Senate Committee on Armed Services, Washington, D.O.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: This is in response to your letter of November 28, 1961, in which you ask that there be filed with the Special Preparedness Subcommittee a statement setting forth the views and opinions of the Retired Officers Association on the vital questions concerning military activities in cold war education, now under investigation by the subcommittee.
As stated in your letter, the views and opinions of the association are desired on (1) the question of the proper role of the military in national security affairs; (2) the adequacy of troop information and education; (3) participation of military personnel in national security seminars; and (4) the proper use of military personnel in educating the American public to the danger of the cold war menace and related areas.
The purposes and objectives of the Retired Officers Association, as stated in the bylaws, are as follows:
To inculcate and stimulate love of our country and the flag;
To defend the honor, integrity, and supremacy of our National Government and the Constitution of the United States;
To advocate military forces adequate to the defense of our country;
To foster fraternal relations between all branches of the various services from which our members are drawn;
To further the education of children of service personnel ;
To aid active and retired personnel of the various services from which our members are drawn, and their dependents and survivors, in every proper and legitimate manner; and
To present their rights and interests when service matters are under consideration. Although these purposes and objectives of the association are broad, there has been no specific policy established by the association, as such covering the areas concerning which the subcommittee desires the association's views and opinions. As a matter of fact, the association has, in the past, refrained from taking part in, or expressing views and opinions concerning, the administration of the activities and conduct of active duty personnel.
However, officers of the uniformed services know that, in our constitutional republican form of government, military personnel, in the discharge of their official military duties and responsibilities, are, and always have been, subject to the control of the properly constituted civilian authorities under whom they perform such duties and responsibilities. Every military person knows, or should know, that all of the Executive power of the United States is vested in the President, for the conduct of which he, and he alone, is responsible to the people of the United States. If the problems and demands of the office of the Presidency were few enough in number and scope so as to permit it, his would be the only voice heard in the promulgation and implementation of the policies concerning them. This not being so, although the power and the responsibility of the duties of the office are solely his, he must needs be assisted by vast groups of assistants, civilian and military, all responsible to him. No one of this vast number of assistants, be they the highest civilian employees or the lowest military recruits, has any more independent authority than that which is vested in him by his official status or delegated to him by Executive authority.
The question, then, is not a matter of what constitutional power exists, or in whom it resides, it is solely a matter of how the President chooses to exercise it. If he chooses to prohibit any or all of his assistants in the executive branch of the Government from expressing themselves, officially, on certain matters, or wishes to circumscribe in any manner what they may say in their official capacities concerning any such matters, they have no choice but to comply with such a directive or resign their positions. In other words, when acting in their official capacities, they have no independent right to express their own views, except in support of the policies and programs of the President. All of the vital questions involved in the investigation in which the subcommittee is now engaged must be considered in the light of this truism and the views and opinions herein expressed are governed by this realization.
Before commenting specifically upon the four areas outlined in the first paragraph of your letter and related areas, it is thought desirable to express the opinion that the policies of the Government concerning them should, insofar as possible be clearly and definitely established and the duties and responsibilities of the members of the executive branch of the Government, civilian and military alike, with reference to them, likewise, should be clearly and definitely delineated.
(1) The question of the proper role of the military in national security affairs
National security in this connotation no doubt encompasses this subject in its broadest aspects. Military officers are often called upon in the discharge of their official duties and responsibilities to make public pronouncements in support of the military aspects of national security. In order that they may do so intelligently, they should be aware of the national policy concerning national security. They should be permitted to express themselves freely in such matters but in support of the national policy. Without this latitude, it is felt that their effeciveness in support of national policy would be reduced. It is further felt that the best way in which consistency in national security pronouncements can be accomplished is through indoctrination and self-restraint, regardless of personal views, and through an understanding of a well-defined national policy with respect to our national security interests.
(2) The adequacy of troop information and education
Troop information and education can never be considered fully adequate and there always has been, and always will be, constant need for proper education and indoctrination of our service personnel. True facts should be constantly disseminated to the service personnel of our uniformed services and this can be done only if those charged with the responsibility are fully aware of the national policy concerning national security and are authorized and required to disseminate such information to those who serve under them. (3) Participation of military personnel in national security seminars
National security seminars properly conducted and participated in can be expected to contribute to the enlightenment of those who participate in them. Here, again, it is believed that this can be accomplished only under a clearly defined and well-understood national policy with regard to our national security. Officers should be encouraged to participate in such seminars for through them, it is believed, they will gain knowledge helpful to them in the discharge of their duties and responsibilities and also they will be provided with the necessary understanding to conduct the education of their troops with regard to our national security destinies. (4) The proper use of military personnel in educating the American public to
the danger of the cold war menace Much of that which has been said above applies here. Within the field of the military aspects of national defense, which constitutes such an important part of our national security, it befalls the military to disseminate information to the public. So long as the national policy concerning the overriding considerations of our national security are well established and understood by military officers who perform official duties in military activities, it is felt that military officers should have as wide a latitude as possible to enable them to make known to the public information which it should have in order to stimulate interest in and support for the military requirements of our country. Sincerely,
F. O. WILLENBUCHER. Senator STENNIS. Thank you gentlemen. The subcommittee will adjourn subject to the call of the Chair.
(Whereupon, at 4:35 p.m., the subcommittee adjourned subject to the call of the Chair.)