This html article is produced from an uncorrected text file through optical character recognition. Prior to 1940 articles all text has been corrected, but from 1940 to the present most still remain uncorrected. Artifacts of the scans are misspellings, out-of-context footnotes and sidebars, and other inconsistencies. Adjacent to each text file is a PDF of the article, which accurately and fully conveys the content as it appeared in the issue. The uncorrected text files have been included to enhance the searchability of our content, on our site and in search engines, for our membership, the research community and media organizations. We are working now to provide clean text files for the entire collection.
The greatest asset the Communists have at the present time is neither the hydrogen bomb, nor Soviet Satellites. Of far more value to them is world ignorance of their strategy, tactics, and objectives. The American people, in particular, seem ill- informed and confused about Communist foreign policy objectives. The majority are not aware that they are living in the midst of a world revolution—locked in mortal conflict with the Communist system for mastery of that revolution. This conflict is no less real when masked by fair words about the opportunities for peaceful coexistence.
This appealing, apparently reasonable phrase, “peaceful coexistence,” is the most controversial term in the lexicon of international politics. It poses the critical questions argued between the doves and the hawks: Is the Communist threat truly lessening? Do the Communist rulers of today believe in peaceful coexistence or do they still believe in, and pursue a firm policy directed toward world domination?
The doves assert that the Communism of today is not the same as the Communism of yesterday. They state that we have entered a period of detente and that the Communist leaders have given us many significant evidences of their desire for peaceful coexistence. Two of America’s more sophisticated writers, Walter Lip- mann and John Galbraith, have used the phrase without qualification in articles declaring that the phrase means what it seems to mean, that it means “peace.’’They, like Senators J. William Fulbright, Wayne Morse, and most other respected and patriotic dove leaders, instinctively seek to define peaceful coexistence in terms of their cherished dreams—their yearnings for a world in which nations will live as neighbors—if not good ones—and, ideally, will co-operate with one another for the achievement of “a better world for all.” Most doves see in the phrase the promise of a world in which each nation can pursue its own destiny in ways of its own choice, free from outside political or military interference.
There have always been doves and hawks in the course of human history, but the cleavage today is more sharply evident than ever before. Except possibly for the inevitable radical fringes, both camps are concerned solely with the national interests of the United States and the Free World. There is involved no question of patriotism or selfish interests. There is only the critical question of which philosophy is the right one.
Both the doves and the hawks, like every citizen of the Free World—would welcome a true abatement of the Cold War. Everyone would welcome agreements that would make peace more secure. But, as of today, there is no detente, there is no peace, there is no coexistence—except in the Communist definition of these terms.
The hawks take the position that the very foundation of Communist strategy is the unwavering struggle for world domination; this strategy, they argue, has never altered. Only the tactics have changed. The Communists’ peaceful coexistence propaganda has been employed on and off—successfully—for more than four decades.
In 1921, following reverses in external and internal affairs, Lenin saw the necessity for a modus vivendi between Russia and the rest of the world:
Thus there has been created an equilibrium, although extremely unstable, extremely unsteady, but still an equilibrium, in which the socialist republic can exist, of course, for a short time, in the capitalist encirclement.
This statement is considered by many to mark the beginning of the peaceful coexistence concept.
The “unsteady equilibrium” posture was updated and given increased emphasis by Stalin. The crafty Georgian perceived it as a device which could be used to great advantage in diplomatic and trade negotiations. In 1930, just prior to Stalin’s massive peaceful coexistence campaign, one of his chief lieutenants, Dimitri Manuilsky, had this to say at the Lenin School of Political Warfare in Moscow:
War to the hilt between Communism and Capitalism is inevitable. Today, of course, we are not strong enough to attack. To win we shall need the element of surprise. The bourgeoisie will have to be put to sleep. So we shall begin by launching the most spectacular peace movement on record. There will be electrifying overtures and unheard of concessions. The Capitalist countries, stupid and decadent, will rejoice to cooperate in their own destruction. They will leap at another chance to be friends. As soon as their guard is down, we shall smash them with our clenched fists.
Stalin’s terrorism and, in particular, the purges of the Thirties were forgotten, if not forgiven, as Stalin became the “Prince of Peaceful Coexistence” at the Yalta conference in February 1945. He repaid the Free World’s forgetfulness with the systematic rape and subjugation of Eastern Europe as the doves of the world averted their eyes.
Even though Stalin walked the tightrope of coexistence with great skill, the real master of the high-wire turned out to be Nikita Khrushchev. He seemed to have a sixth sense regarding the susceptibility of the Western mentality to such catch-phrases as “easing of international tensions” and “reduction of armaments.” Khrushchev had this to say for internal consumption to his own party:
The policy of peaceful coexistence, as regards its social content, is a form of intense economic, political and ideological struggle against aggressive forces of imperialism in the
international area. Peaceful coexistence helps to develop the forces struggling for socialism, and in capitalistic countries it facilitates the activities of Communist Parties.
What does Mr. Leonid I. Brezhnev, the present First Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, have to say about it? Mr. Brezhnev, like his predecessors, makes it clear that peaceful coexistence is a term to describe partisan political warfare, warfare designed to gain the objective of world Communism. In a statement to the Supreme Soviet in September 1963, he declared:
The Soviet Union and other socialist countries stand firmly on the position of a Leninist policy of peaceful coexistence. Nothing and no one will shake their resolution to struggle consistently for the triumph of socialism and communism.
In November of the same year, he emphasized the propaganda tactic again in a statement to Izvestia: “The condition of peaceful coexistence will assure the success of the struggle for liberation and the carrying out of the revolutionary tasks of the people.”
Despite the consistent foreign policy statements from Lenin to Brezhnev, wishful-thinking doves steadfastly maintain that the end of the Stalin era marked the beginning of a Communist foreign policy demarche, and in the last decade a positive effort has been made to achieve rapprochement with the West and a genuine move toward peaceful coexistence. In the past three years, as a result of the Vietnam controversy, the voices of the doves have become more persistent than ever before. Some of our most respected congressmen and columnists have lectured us on the need for abandoning a rigidly negative attitude toward Communism and for recognizing new tendencies which make the Cold War obsolete. These preachments seem incomprehensible to the hawks since they have coincided with a period during which the Communists have been deploying the broadest, most ruthless offensive in the history of the Cold War. In three continental areas—Asia, Africa, and Latin America—the forces of Communism have confronted the Free World with crisis after crisis in such sequence that the facts are perhaps blurred by the sheer pace of events. In Asia, in the past three years, the Communists have doubled and tripled their efforts to conquer Laos and South Vietnam and have created a situation that jeopardizes all of Southeast Asia. In the process, they have violated most of the major provisions of the Geneva agreements of 1954 for Vietnam and of 1962 for Laos. As a parenthetical note, the hawks are not surprised at these violations or the fact that they have violated every “peace” treaty they have ever made with the West. Through the years, all of the Communist leaders have adopted Lenin’s concept that “treaties are like piecrusts, made to be broken.” On this issue of broken treaties, the doves remain strangely silent.
In Africa, the Communists have seized power or have made the attempt in Zanzibar, Ghana, Kenya, Tanganyika, Burundi, and the Congo. The Communist-supported massacre in the Congo is deserving of special mention. Led by the Communist-trained insurgent leader, Christophe Gbenye, the massacres and atrocities committed against civilian men, women, and children far surpassed even the standard operating terroristic techniques of the Communist Viet Cong against civilians in South Vietnam.
In Latin America, the Communists are conducting intensive campaigns on all fronts, using Cuba as a prime platform for spreading propaganda, treachery, and subversion. In Brazil, the largest country in Latin America, the Communists were on the verge of taking over from within when they were thwarted at the last moment by a popular uprising supported by the army.
In all of these areas, the issue is not whether the Communists are winning or losing. The hawks are striving only to make the point that there has been no lessening of international tensions and no evidence to indicate the Communists have given up their quest for world domination “by peaceful means if possible, otherwise by force and violence.”
Pragmatic hawks look for deeds, not words, as indicators of a true Communist demarche. What is needed, they say, is not rhetoric, is not academic discussion, is not wishful thinking. What is needed is positive proof that the “new” Communist regimes are taking positive action to enforce their noble words about peaceful coexistence and a reduction in international tensions. There are actions, the
hawks contend, that would speak far louder than words. The Soviet Union, for example, might:
• Stop aiding Communist subversion and terrorism in South Vietnam.
• Tear down the Berlin Wall.
• Permit the people of Eastern Europe to vote.
• Accept disarmament with inspection.
• Stop using Cuba as a platform for subverting the Western Hemisphere.
• Honor agreements and treaties.
• Stop the flood of vicious, false propaganda that inflames Cold War tensions throughout the world.
The Communists have always held that war is indeed a continuation of policy “by other means.” They may apply the pressure differently at different times and different places, but the pressure is always on—and the goal is always the same—destruction of the Free World.
It is a remarkable phenomena of our times, and a tribute to their tenacity, that less than 50 years ago Communists, numbering in the hundreds, plotted for power in the coffeehouses of Europe. Today, they control the governments, lives, and destinies of a billion people, or one-third of the earth’s population.
The doves espouse the theory that Communism is growing more “liberal” and “democratic” and thus promises to approximate social democracy, if not the American “way of life.” The hawks contend that we are in the midst of World War III with the Communists, which, because it has not been declared, is not recognized by the West. If war had been declared, certainly none of the Free World positions forfeited since World War II would have been abandoned without determined resistance.
Except for the radical fringes of the dove group, it is generally agreed that for some years we have lived in a state of conflict called the Cold War. Yet, somehow, local wars, far- off rebellions and the recurring direct and indirect clashes with Communism are being taken as deviations from the norm. That nostalgic norm is peace. So persistent has been this illusion in the United States and other democratic countries that even the most massive evidence to the contrary has failed to
shake it. This remarkable state of world affairs can be explained in part by the enemy’s skillful manipulation of its peaceful coexistence propaganda campaign, and in part by the equally deceptive unconventional strategy and tactics.
Fundamental Communist strategy, as we have seen, is to avoid a confrontation with a stronger foe. To seek a direct military engagement, under circumstances which would put the outcome in doubt, is unthinkable. While avoiding the decisive military encounter, the Communists war upon the West through auxiliaries or proxies—satellite governments, national Communist parties, “neutral” states, national liberation guerrilla movements, front organizations and “volunteers.” The proxy tactic cloaks the challenge with ambiguities. It enables the Communists to maintain relentless pressure upon the West without presenting that precise casus belli which historically has provoked the West into casting aside its Hamletian doubts and going to war.
Just as the popular phrase for the manifold Communist peace movements is “peaceful coexistence,” the all-embracing term for the enemy’s strategic battle plan has been assigned the sobriquet, “wars of national liberation.” This plan was developed and, indeed, became imperative in January 1954, when Secretary of State John Foster Dulles announced that all Communist acts of aggression would be met with a policy of “massive retaliation.” To circumvent this threat, backed as it was by the increasing superiority of America’s nuclear delivery system, the Communists were forced to devise some important tactical innovations. Many of Mr. Dulles’ critics were convinced that “massive retaliation” was not a credible policy. The fact remains, however, that after the policy was announced, the Communists abandoned the idea of instigating any more direct Korea- type limited wars. They were forced to devise subtler, less overt techniques of penetration than they had employed theretofore.
Concomitant with this shift in strategy, the Communists were encountering stiffening resistance to “creeping Communism” in Europe, while at the same time discovering better targets in the uncommitted and underdeveloped regions of the world. Here they could exploit the resentments built up in many of these areas against colonial rule and could associate themselves effectively with the desire of the emerging nations for independence, for status on the world scene, and for material progress. They found the weak transitional governments struggling for survival during this modernization process were highly vulnerable to Communist-directed subversion, guerrilla warfare, and wars of national liberation.
This new strategy was best summarized by Nikita Khrushchev at the 1961 Communist Party Congress. In that speech, Khrushchev stressed the horror of thermonuclear war, while at the same time he pledged increased support for internal brushfire-type wars. The Kremlin leader stated that a major war in the nuclear age has become too dangerous to play the “role of midwife to revolution.” At the same time, the Soviets wish to keep alive the threat of nuclear war as a means of intimida-' tion, a form of blackmail intended to discourage the Free World from resisting Communist encroachment at other levels. These other levels are primarily limited wars of liberation and popular uprisings which “will continue to exist as long as Capitalism exists.”
“Such wars,” Khrushchev asserted, “are not only admissable but inevitable and we will recognize such wars and help the people striving for their independence.” Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara remarked later that he considered this to be one of the most significant speeches by a world leader in this decade, and one that offered valuable clues to the future Communist design for world conquest.
Communist China’s Mao Tse-tung is recognized as the master strategist for wars of national liberation. Mao, in turn, has openly acknowledged his debt to the ancient Chinese strategist, Sun Tzu, who wrote one of the world’s oldest military treatises, “The Art of War,” about 500 B.C. Sun Tzu maintained that “All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe that we are near ... To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy’s resistance without fighting ... In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle, but indirect methods will be needed to insure victory.”
To this ancient Chinese tradition Mao owes his keen appreciation of the psychopolitical factors in warfare and the role of human intelligence in the manipulation of violence. Mao’s strategy shuns a head-on clash with the enemy so long as the latter enjoys a clear advantage. It is a strategy of ruses, designed to bluff the antagonist out of fighting and to induce him to retreat and appease rather than seek a major engagement. Mao is a master in the art of using truce negotiations to outflank the enemy, to sap the morale of his forces, and to prevent him from seizing the tactical initiative.
Today, Vietnam is the focal point of the struggle between East and West. It is an example of precisely the kind of war of national liberation that the Communists have proclaimed to be the wave of the future all through the underdeveloped regions of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Russia and Red China are acting as chief sponsors to the Viet Cong-North Vietnam cause, and are supplying the major share of Communist arms. At the same time, they have been very careful to avoid any move that might lead to a direct confrontation with the growing U. S. power.
The Vietnam war has also become the focal point and crucial struggle between the doves and the hawks. The doves argue that this is the wrong war at the wrong place at the wrong time. The United States, they coo, has become hopelessly enmeshed in a war that is none of our affair. The Viet Cong or the National Liberation Front is a nationalistic movement and is not a puppet of Hanoi or Peking. According to Senator Fulbright: “If we had never stuck our nose in this business, it would have long since been settled in accordance with whatever the major forces within Vietnam were ... I think we have a good deal on our consciences for having intervened there.”
After the bombings of the North Vietnamese oil depots in the suburbs of Hanoi and Haiphong in June 1966, Senator Morse hit out forcefully “at this shocking outlawry.” He said that it “demonstrates that the greatest threat to world peace happens to be the United States,” and added that this action “will redound to the discredit of our country for generations to come.”
The deepest concern of the doves is on the subject of escalation and provoking war with Red China. The Fulbright program which is in essence the program of the more rational and respected members of the dove “peace bloc” is to achieve accommodation by negotiation. Senator Fulbright says he is convinced that “de-escalation of the war would increase rather than decrease the chances of negotiation leading to accommodations.” He goes on to state that the Administration and the hawks believe exactly the opposite and this is the “key difference” between us.
On this latter point the hawks concur. It is the “key difference” in philosophy regarding Southeast Asia and all other regions of the world where there is positive evidence of Communist aggression. The hawks warn that, if the Free World is unwilling or afraid to use force to combat aggression wherever and whenever it is committed, it will find itself retreating from one position to another, as it retreated before Hitler in the Thirties, until it is forced to fight, with its back to the wall. Neville Chamberlain’s policy of appeasement and accommodation by negotiation proved unsuccessful in combating aggression just as the policy proved unsuccessful at the Yalta and Potsdam conferences in dealing with Communist aggression in Eastern Europe. It offers the most—not the least—possibilities of escalation.
On the subject of Vietnam, the position taken by the hawks is simply that the United States is engaged in a war and in war there is always risk. But the greatest risk of all is to continue to do too little too late. In Southeast Asia, the United States is committed to a war which should have only one conclusion—victory. Victory is not defined as unconditional surrender or the obliteration of North Vietnam. Victory means, as President L. B. Johnson has stated over and over again, “the elimination of Viet Cong aggression in South Vietnam.” It means an end to Communist terror, and the creation of a climate of law and order in which a South Vietnamese government can govern.
The crisis is not one of competence but confidence. What we must do is to instill in our-
selves and our allies a determination to win this crucial war—and win it decisively. We must recognize that we are in a life-and-death struggle that has repercussions far beyond Vietnam, and that victory is essential to the survival of freedom.
Within the framework of military action, the philosophy of the hawk to curb Communist aggression has always been clearcut and consistent: (1) To prevent hostilities from breaking out by a positive show of force as was demonstrated in Western Europe in the Forties, in the Iran, Quemoy and Matsu crises in the Fifties, and the Cuban missile crisis in the Sixties; (2) if the aggression escalates to a limited war, to employ whatever military power is necessary to take the initiative away from the enemy and achieve victory.
Intent on victory in war, the hawks deplore fighting with too little too late and fighting with one hand tied behind one’s back. The Yalu River sanctuary, the Bay of Pigs fiasco, and the initial constraints imposed upon military actions in Southeast Asia are prime examples of how not to fight a war and win. Until July 1965, the futile attempt was made to win in Vietnam by half measures and partial effort. The name of the game then was for them to act and we would react. We would shoot only when shot at. Hawks argue that this policy of gradualism is a losing game and fraught with danger. At best, it leads to a stalemate; at worst, to ultimate defeat. It definitely plays into the hands of Communist subversion and their “nibbling” tactics.
The doves are frankly horrified by some of the aggressive tactics recommended by hawks to halt Communist aggression in Vietnam. They brand them immoral and barbarous actions. Examples of these tactics proposed in the past two years are:
• Destroy surface-to-air missile installations before they become operational.
• Destroy key military targets in the Hanoi and Haiphong complexes.
• Mine or blockade the strategic port of Haiphong.
Hawks are acutely aware that a shooting war is the antithesis of a sporting contest or a teach-in talkathon; but their point is that it is more immoral and barbarous to fight with half-measures which only serve to prolong the war and increase casualties. The hawk’s
A graduate of the University of California, NROTC Unit, with the class of 1943, Captain Hodgson served in the USS Cleveland (CL-55) for 18 months in the South and Central Pacific until he reported for flight training in September 1944. Subsequently, he served tours in dive-bombing, light-attack, and fighter squadrons. He assumed command of VA- 146 on the USS Oriskany (CVA-34) in 1959, and served as Commander Air Wing 19 on the USS Bon Homme Richard (CVA-31) in 1961. After a tour as a student at the U. S. Naval War College, he returned to the Pacific as Operations Officer of Commander Carrier Division 5 and Commander Task Force 77 in 1964-65, and Commanding Officer of the USS geltma (AF-49) in 1966. He is presently under orders to take command of the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42) in June 1967.
philosophy is to win as quickly as possible with all the conventional power available. The basic tactics to win that have been recommended by military commanders in Vietnam and Washington are sound tactics that have proven effective throughout history.
These measures seem considerably less immoral and barbarous when compared to the guidelines offered by handbooks and history of Communist guerrilla warfare. Barbaric acts of terrorism and torture are standard operating procedure whether the war is cold or hot.
And, although doves contend that Communist terrorism ended with the death of Stalin, they become mute when questioned about Communist atrocities committed during the Hungarian and Polish uprisings, the Stanleyville massacre, and the present war in Vietnam where Viet Cong brutality of innocent civilians is commonplace. The facts speak with terrible eloquence. Last year alone, more than 12,000 South Vietnamese civilians were murdered or kidnapped by Viet Cong terrorists.
American airmen, by contrast, are warned constantly against bombing non-military targets in North Vietnam of any type or description.
It is incongruous and incredible to the hawks that they must defend themselves against accusations of immorality and barbarism when their country is fighting according to the Marquis of Queensbury rules while a ruthless opponent is permitted to use knees, elbows, and thumbs. The most immoral aspect of this war may be considered if we can point to the death of even one allied soldier or airman whose loss might have been prevented had we employed all our available resources in this behalf.
Hawks prescribe a five-point program for halting Communist aggression in Vietnam and throughout the world. We must:
• Recognize clearly that the Communist tactic of peaceful coexistence—pleading for peace when they do not mean peace—is a device for promoting a Communist takeover by every means short of nuclear war. In other words, it is a weapon of political warfare and is not a modus vivendi whereby countries with different social and political institutions can live in true peace.
• Recognize early and act immediately to defeat wars of national liberation as relentlessly as the Communists promote them. To carry out this mission, we must rely heavily on U. S. sea power. Spearheaded by fast attack carrier groups coupled with Marine Corps amphibious landing forces, sea power is one of the most effective weapons in our nation’s arsenal to confront rapidly and halt or slow down Communist-inspired brushfire wars of liberation. This applies particularly to the vast, underdeveloped areas of the world where adequate land bases are not immediately available. In past crises, the mere presence of this powerful armada has prevented the first shot from being fired.
• Communicate fully our purposes—and military preparedness—to halt Communist aggression wherever and whenever it occurs. Prior to the Korea and Vietnam conflicts this point was not made clear. In fact, many historians now share the opinion that the key factors that triggered the Korean war were America’s lack of military preparedness coupled with the official announcement that Korea was not of vital strategic interest to the United States. Communist leaders were convinced they had carte blanche to attack without risk of U. N. intervention.
• Be sensitive to, but not the captive of, world opinion. While some memories linger longer than others, world opinion subsides quickly in the face of accomplished fact and does not argue indefinitely with success. U. S. actions in the Berlin, Lebanon, and Cuba crises serve as prime examples.
• Recognize that in Vietnam we now face the hardest test—not giving up when victory is in sight and when the Communists will be tempted to carry the world to the brink of holocaust before yielding their ambition. In Vietnam, the West may well be dealing with the last means of aggression which the Communists have open to them—aggression by guerrilla warfare and subversion across an open frontier. This form of aggression has not yet been successfully countered. If we can win on this battlefield, we not only will have preserved the independence of South Vietnam but also will have set back the whole pattern of Communist wars of liberation to which both the Soviet Union and Red China remain committed as their primary strategy to gain world domination.
The stakes in Vietnam and other trouble spots in the world are high. We could defer and appease as Neville Chamberlain did at Munich and as Franklin D. Roosevelt did at Yalta. But all the lessons of history show that if we do, we mortgage the nation’s tomorrows.
The hawks argue that we have the power to win—we need but summon up the courage to employ it. Not tomorrow, now.
Fortunately for Rome
The old Chief had been driving his men relentlessly for several weeks and showed no sign of letting up. Finally, one of the young petty officers, showing signs of weariness and exasperation, blurted, “C’mon, Chief, Rome wasn’t built in a day!”
“That’s right!” snapped the Chief. “And I wasn’t in charge, either!”
•-------------------------------- Contributed by Lieutenant Melvin E. Pearson, U. S. Naval Reserve
(The Naval Institute will pay $10.00 for each anecdote published in the Proceedings.)