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in part based on the idea that this would be a temporary thing. Soon there would be a condition called peace and then the military would return to their narrow, strictly military pursuits while the diplomats and other civilian authorities would look after the civil side of the state. War and peace had been tidy little compartments; it would be awfully nice if they could be so again. It was all very much as Secretary of State Cordell Hull had told Secretary of War Stimson about the negotiations with the Japanese a short time before Pearl Harbor: "I have washed my hands of it, and it is now in the hands of you and Knox-the Army and the Navy." 57 Nor must it be forgotten that some military people also yearned for the simpler days when "war” and “peace" were quite separate entities. Not a few must have sympathized with the apocryphal British officer of the First Great War who wanted to "get this bloody war over with so that we can get back to proper soldiering.”
Indicative of the postwar role of the military was the fact that in 1950 the Congress, in accordance with a request by President Truman, amended the National Security Act of 1947 in order to permit Gen. George C. Marshall to become Secretary of Defense. The original act had provided that “a person who has within 10 years been on active duty as a commissioned officer in a Regular component of the armed services shall not be eligible for appointment as Secretary of Defense." 58
General Marshall, a professional soldier, had been Chief of Staff of the Army from September 1, 1939, through the Second World War. He served as Secre tary of Defense with dignity and distinction. Certainly it would be extremely difficult to argue that his appointment as Secretary of Defense brought about military supremacy over the civil authority. Yet in the decade of the 1950's there were those who despite the obvious example of General Marshall's outstanding correct conduct still argued that we must beware of the (supposedly evil) influence of the military. There was more than a little echo of some of the alarmism of the 1920's when one writer urged the church to sweep the “Prussian system” out of every college in the United States by fighting the Reserve Officers Training Corps system." 2. The military's role in the cold war
As the shadows of the cold war lengthened it became more and more apparent that we could not go back again to the casual days when the military were consulted only after hostilities began. And in this regard the appointment of General Marshall as Secretary of Defense helped in the coordination of policy. Former Secretary of State Dean Acheson has said that "it may seem extraordinary, but it is nevertheless true, that not until General Marshall's tenure as Secretary of Defense had the Secretary of State and his senior officers met with the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff for continuous discussion and development of policy. And yet foreign policy and military policy divorced from one another are both operating in the field of fantasy."
The cold war tended to emphasize the importance of the foreign policy-military policy equation. It also revealed a dual role for armed force. Army, Navy, and
57 Quoted, report, "Pearl Harbor Attack," op. cit., p. 45. 58 5 U.S.C. 171a (a).
59 General Marshall's answers to questions by Senator Bridges during the Senate hearings, Military Situation in the Far East, are interesting. The following interchange occurred following a question about an officer's first loyalty :
“Secretary MARSHALL. Yes; it is to his country.
"Senator BRIDGES. And the President of the United States is a creature of the Constitution, is he not?
“Secretary MARSHALL. Yes.
“Senator BRIDGES. Therefore, an officer's primary object of loyalty should be his country as provided by the Constitution.
"Secretary MARSHALL. Would you repeat the last one?
"Senator BRIDGES. His primary loyalty, his first loyalty, is to his country, as set up under the Constitution of the United States.
“Secretary MARSHALL. Correct." 80 Atkinson, op. cit., p. 21. 61 Dean Acheson, “Decision in Foreign Policy," the Yale Review, vol. XLIV (1954), p. 11 ; Mr. Acheson's keen analysis of the role of force in world politics is indicated by his warning that we cannot avoid the hard decisions we face "through the United Nations *** we cannot look to that organization by itself for a solution to problems. We must look to our own understanding of the problems and to our own will and the will of others to solve them." See his excellent "The Premises of American Policy" in American Strategy for the Nuclear Age, edited by Walter F. Hahn and John C. Neff, New York: Doubleday Anchor Books, 1960.
Air components provide an umbrella under which conflict by unconventional methods is waged. Thus economic devices ranging from foreign aid to export controls, intelligence activities, propaganda, political warfare, diplomatic persuasion and pressure, and guerrilla warfare either singly or in concert are the forms of the new warfare. But the other aspect of armed force, the force in being aspect, is equally important. For the quality, the numbers, and the will to use such forces if necessary on the part of the United States largely determine the Soviet bloc's willingness to speak and to act softly rather than to proceed more belligerently. 62
The professional advice of military people, therefore, must necessarily be a part of both the deterrent and the positive aspects of the cold war. An illustration of this dual role of force is supplied by developments in the field of nuclear weapons and of both intermediate range and intercontinental missiles. These are a part of the deterrent; in another sense, however, they can be used by the Soviet bloc as devices of political warfare in an effort to erode the will of the United States to resist. Yet as important as the role of the military would obviously be, in an area such as missiles, it was not a military failure that led to a long delay in getting our first earth satellite up. Instead, wrong judgment by civilian authorities barred the competition among the military services that would have accomplished this feat sooner.63
Indeed, one of the ironies of the cold-war era has been that in the actual decision-making process far from "military” control, we have gradually had the building up of layer upon layer of civilian officialdom between our professional military people and the constitutional officer charged with making the final decision, the President. Gen. Maxwell D. Taylor pointed out, as long ago as September, 1957, that there were “19 civilian officials between the Army Chief of Staff and the Commander in Chief, who either command, control, or influence his [the Chief of Staff's] conduct of the business of the Army.” 64 In an excessive fear of military influence, we may be led to the position of so watering down military advice that we will make mistakes in weapons systems or in ill-considered disarmament schemes which would—as nothing else tempt the Communist bloc to make a surprise attack on the United States.
The recurring crises in Berlin, the shadowy war in Laos and South Vietnam, the growing Communist penetration in Africa and in Latin America, indicate how difficult it is to make politico-diplomatic decisions without a military frame of reference. Force may be masked at times, but it is every present in the realities of world politics. Military power has a wide range of applications. In the area of low-intensity conflict-the cold war and “peaceful coexistence"it can be coordinated with the exercise of other forms of power, and be developed, organized, and employed in varied situations without the risk of escalation. The many capabilities of military means can be applied most effectively to situations that range from those relatively peaceful, to those characterized by subversion and insurgency or large-scale guerrilla warfare.95 Of this new age of conflict, Senator Henry M. Jackson has said: “We are at war, and precisely because the guns are not being fired, we need leaders who can teach us the necessity and the art of waging war that looks like peace.' To exclude the military from this teaching and policy-advisory role would be irrational; it would also be perilous in the extreme.
It would seem, then, that a proper concern for the national security would dictate that rather than attempting to make of the military narrow-minded tech
62 Atkinson, op. cit., pp. 296–297.
64 Quoted, ibid. Mr. Baldwin stated that "many of the assistant secretaries, deputy assistant secretaries, and senior civil servants who have entrenched themselves in positions of power in the Department of Defense try to formulate military policy in fields from medicine to personnel to strategy and many of them actually interfere at the lowest levels in the services in administration and operations. The civilians have taken over many of the functions of command formerly vested in the military officer, and they exercise this authority without any coequal responsibility for the results." For the wide ramifications of this problem, see also the informative article by Capt. J. V. Noel, Jr., "The Navy and the Department of Defense,” U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, November 1961, p. 23ff.
65 James D. Atkinson, "In the Shadow of War,” Army Information Digest, vol. 16 (September 1961), p. 22.
68 Henry M. Jackson, “Organizing for Survival," Foreign Affairs, vol. 38 (April 1960),
nicians,ø7 we should encourage them to speak out on what is, after all, the most pressing, the most urgent problem in the American experience: national survival in the cold war. Not necessarily physical survival, but survival of the United States as it exists in our hopes, our beliefs, our aspirations.
That the danger is clear and present cannot be doubted. It is evident that we are entering a final phase of the cold war. The battle plan of the Communist bloc for the 1960's was clearly indicated by the authoritative pronouncement made following the meeting of world Communist Parties in Moscow, December 6, 1960. The manifesto stated: “Marxist-Leninist parties head the struggle of the working class and the toiling masses for implementation of a Socialist revolution and for establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat in one form or another. The forms and ways of development of Socialist revolution will depend upon the concrete relationship of class forces in one country or another, on the level of organization and the maturity of the working class and its vanguard, and on the degree of resistance of the ruling classes." *s
And a cogent warning about the perils to our national security in the 1960's has been issued by President Kennedy. Said he: "It is clear that the forces of communism are not to be underestimated in Cuba or anywhere else in the world. * * If the self-discipline of the free cannot match the iron discipline of the mailed fist-in economic, political, scientific, and all the other kinds of struggles as well as the military—then the peril to freedom will continue to rise.”
The military forces of the United States are not something apart from the life of the Nation. They are, instead, a reflection of and an aspect of our society in its entirety. Additionally, they happen to be that particular segment of our society that especially posseses the corporate knowledge of the employment of force and the will (engendered by the concepts of duty, honor, and discipline) so essential in waging the cold or polyreconic warfare of the times in which we are fated to live. It would seem, therefore, that although the military can render very great services in many areas of the cold war, there is one that has special significance in any inquiry into civil-military relations. This is the military's role in policymaking and policy implementation through its advisory function. This advisory function is twofold: (1) to the constitutional authorities, the President, and the Congress, and (2) to the American public.
The Constitution divides authority over the Armed Forces of the United States between the President and the Congress. There is small room for controversy over the military's role in giving professional advice to the President. Probably the only caution here is the necessity to beware of the tendency for civilian appointees to become filtering agencies between the professional military people and the Chief Executive. Equally, there can be little dispute about the importance of the military's role in giving professional advice to the Congress on the formulation of both military policy and related cold-war policies. Mark Watson has pointed out how important was the “fruitful collaboration” and the cooperation between the military and the Congress in the short of war period of 1939-41 as well as during the war effort after Pearl Harbor." There is need for equally "fruitful collaboration” to meet the challenges of Communist polyreconic warfare.
The importance of the military's advisory role both to the President and to the Congress has nowhere been stated more lucidly than by the chairman of the Armed Services Committee of the House of Representatives. Congressman Carl Vinson must be reckoned among the most knowledgeable civilians in the field of military policy in the United States. Speaking with reference to the Joint Chiefs of Staff he outlined the role of the military generally when he said that, “our top source for military judgment is the Joint Chiefs of Staff who, under the law, are charged among other things with the Nation's strategic and logistic planning.
67 It was generally considered a favorable trend when, after the Second World War, the military began to play an increased role in politico-diplomatic affairs and to write widely. Do we consider ideal the situation in England at the time of the Crimean War when "he writes books” was considered a damning criticism of an army officer. See, for example, Christopher Hibbert, “The Destruction of Lord Raglan," London: Longmans, 1961, p. 143; and passim. as to the role of the military and civilian authorities in the conduct of policy.
88 Emphasis supplied.
69 Statement of the Moscow Conference of Representatives of Communist and Workers Parties, Dec. 6, 1960. 70 Address to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Apr. 20, 1961.
TI Watson, op. cit., pp. 8, 9; with reference to the short of war period he states that it "is not fully understandable unless one is aware of the part which a military witness played at that time in the decisions of a friendly and trusting Congress."
It is to these men, who have risen to the top in the Nation's Armed Forces after a generation of experience and effort in military life, to whom we must look, and to whom the President must look, for the most authoritative advice on our national defense requirements." 72
We begin to enter more controversial ground when we consider the advisory function of the military vis-a-vis the American public.? Under a directive of the National Security Council in 1958, military people were encouraged to undertake this advisory function, primarily through seminar-type discussions on the cold war. These seminars led to criticism from some quarters that the military had no proper role in such public advisory activities and the further raising of the chimera of military control over the civil authority.
Shelves of books could be written and learned arguments adduced both against and in support of the military role in advising the American people about the many facets of the cold war. But the essence of the matter is whether or not we wish fully to inform the public. James Madison wrote in the Federalist Papers that "the genius of republican liberty seems to demand on one side, not only that all power should be derived from the people, but that those intrusted with it should be kept in dependence on the people." No one has yet discovered how this genius our noblest achievement in Government-can function except through an informed public.
Senator Strom Thurmond has said with reference to the public information or advisory role of the military that there are “facts that the American people must have, regardless of where the chips may fall. Censorship and suppression shield behind a smokescreen of civilian control policies on which the American people have too few facts. If these policies cannot stand the spotlight of public attention and discussion, then they should be rejected.
How portentous is the presentation of the facts of the cold war to the American public in the 1960's may be seen by comparison with the sleepwalkers of the Munich era in Great Britain. How much might not have England and the world—been spared had the appeasers heeded Churchill's advise : “Tell the truth, tell the truth to the British people.” 75
SECOND ADDENDUM TO RECORD
KENNEDY LETTER TO STENNIS ON NATIONAL POLICY PAPERS Subsequent to the final hearing, Chairman Stennis transmitted to President Kennedy the request by Senator Thurmond that the subcommittee be furnished with copies of certain National Security Council papers and the policy paper prepared by Mr. Rostow. Senator Thurmond's request for these documents appears on pages 2951 through 2957 of the printed transcript. The President replied to this request by a letter dated June 23, 1962. In order that the record might be complete, and by direction of the chairman, President Kennedy's letter is printed below.
THE WHITE HOUSE,
Washington, June 23, 1962. Chairman, Special Preparedness Subcommittee, U.S. Senate.
DEAR SENATOR STENNIS: I have your letter enclosing excerpts from the record of the Special Preparedness Subcommittee hearing during which Senator Thurmond requested you to ask me to furnish copies of National Security Council papers to the Subcommittee.
As you know, it has been and will be the consistent policy of this Administration to cooperate fully with the Committees of the Congress with respect to the furnishing of information. But the unbroken precedent of the National Security Council is that its working papers and policy documents cannot be furnished to the Congress.
72 Congressional Record, 81st Cong., 1st sess., vol. 95, Mar. 30, 1949, p. 3540.
73 Of course, classified information cannot be disclosed to the public except in such instances in which the President would decide it to be in the interest of the United States.
74 Quoted, World, Jan. 31, 1962, p. 23. 75 See p. 6, supra.
As President Eisenhower put it in a letter dated January 22, 1958, to Senator Lyndon Johnson: “Never have the documents of this Council been furnished to the Congress."
As I recently informed Congressman Moss, this Administration has gone to great lengths to achieve full cooperation with the Congress in making available to it all appropriate documents. In the case of National Security Council documents, however, I believe the established precedent is wise. I am therefore obliged to decline the request for Council papers.
It seems to me that explanations of policy put forward in the usual way to Committees of Congress by representatives of the State Department are fully adequate to the need expressed by Senator Thurmond during your hearing. Sincerely,
JOHN F. KENNEDY. O