President Eisenhower, Special Message to the Congress on the Mutual Security Program, March 13, 1959, Public Papers of the Presidents-Eisenhower, 1959, p. 256.


* * *

"I believe that these events of the past year and the stern, indeed harsh, realities of the world of today and the years ahead demonstrate the importance of the Mutual Security Program to the security of the United States. I think four such realities stand out.

"First, the United States and the entire free world are confronted by the military might of the Soviet Union, Communist China, and their satellites. These nations of the Communist Bloc now maintain well-equipped standing armies totaling more than 6,500,000 men formed in some 400 divisions. They are deployed along the borders of our allies and friends from the northern shores of Europe to the Mediterranean Sea, around through the Middle East and Far East to Korea. These forces are backed by an air fleet of 25,000 planes in operational units, and many more not in such units. They, in turn, are supported by nuclear weapons and missiles. On the seas around this land mass is a large navy with several hundred submarines.

"Second, the world is in a great epoch of seething change. Within little more than a decade a world-wide political revolution has swept whole nations-21 of them-with three-quarters of a billion people, a fourth of the world's population, from colonial status to independence-and others are pressing just behind. The industrial revolution, with its sharp rise in living standards, was accompanied by much turmoil in the Western world. A similar movement is now beginning to sweep Africa, Asia, and South America. A newer and even more striking revolution in medicine, nutrition, and sanitation is increasing the energies and lengthening the lives of people in the most remote areas. As a result of lowered infant mortality, longer lives, and the accelerating conquest of famine, there is underway a population explosion so incredibly great that in little more than another generation the population of the world is expected to double. Asia alone is expected to have one billion more people than the entire world has today. Throughout vast areas there is a surging social upheaval in which, overnight, the responsibilities of self-government are being undertaken by hundreds of millions, women are assuming new places in public life, old family patterns are being destroyed and new ones uneasily established. In the early years of independence, the people of the new nations are fired with a zealous nationalism which, unless channelled toward productive purposes, could lead to harmful developments. Transcending all this there is the accompanying universal determination to achieve a better life.

"Third, there is loose in the world a fanatic conspiracy, International Communism, whose leaders have in two score years seized control of all or parts of 17 countries, with nearly one billion people, over a third of the total population of the earth. The center of this conspiracy, Soviet Russia, has by the grimmest determination and harshest of means raised itself to be the second military and economic power in the world today. Its leaders never lose the opportunity to declare their determination to become the first with all possible speed.

"The other great Communist power, Red China, is now in the early stages of its social and economic revolution. Its leaders are showing the same ruthless drive for power and to this end are striving for ever increasing economic output. They seem not to care that the results--which thus far have been considerable in materialistic terms--are built upon the crushed spirits and the broken bodies of their people.

"The fact that the Soviet Union has just come through a great revolutionary process to a position of enormous power and that the world's most populous nation, China, is in the course of tremendous change at the very time when so large a part of the free world is in the flux of revolutionary movements, provides Communism with what it sees as its golden opportunity. By the same token freedom is faced with difficulties of unprecedented scope and severity- and opportunity as well.

"Communism exploits the opportunity to intensify world unrest by every possible means. At the same time Communism masquerades as the pattern of progress, as the path to economic equality, as the way to freedom from what it calls 'Western imperialism,' as the wave of the future.

"For the free world there is the challenge to convince a billion people in the less developed areas that there is a way of life by which they can have bread and the ballot, a better livelihood and the right to choose the means of their livelihood, social change and social justice-in short, progress and liberty. The dignity of man is at stake.

"Communism is determined to win this contest-freedom must be just as dedicated or the struggle could finally go against us. Though no shot would have been fired, freedom and democracy would have lost.

"This battle is now joined. The next decade will forecast its outcome.

"The fourth reality is that the military position and economic prosperity of the United States are interdependent with those of the rest of the free world.

"As I shall outline more fully below, our military strategy is part of a common defense effort involving many nations. The defense of the free world is strengthened and progress toward a more stable peace is advanced by the fact that powerful free world forces are established on territory adjoining the areas of Communist power. The deterrent power of our air and naval forces and our intermediate range missile is materially increased by the availability of bases in friendly countries abroad.

"Moreover the military strength of our country and the needs of our industry cannot be supplied from our own resources. Such basic necessities as iron ore, bauxite for aluminum, manganese, natural rubber, tin, and many other materials acutely important to our military and industrial strength are either not produced in our own country or are not produced in sufficient quantities to meet our needs. This is an additional reason why we must help to remain free the nations which supply these resources."

* * *

"Two fundamental purposes of our collective defense effort are to prevent general war and to deter Communist local aggression.

"We know the enormous and growing Communist potential to launch a war of nuclear destruction and their willingness to use this power as a threat to the free world. We know also that even local aggressions, unless checked, could absorb nation after nation into the Communist orbit-or could flame into world war.

"The protection of the free world against the threat or the reality of Soviet nuclear aggression or local attack rests on the common defense effort established under our collective security agreements. The protective power of our Strategic Air Command and our naval air units is assured even greater strength not only by the availability of bases abroad but also by the early warning facilities, the defensive installations, and the logistic support installations maintained on the soil of these and other allies and friends for our common protection.

"The strategy of general defense is made stronger and of local defense is made possible by the powerful defensive forces which our allies in Europe, in the Middle East, and the Far East have raised and maintain on the soil of their homelands, on the borders of the Communist world."

* * *


Source: The Pentagon Papers, Gravel Edition, Vol. 1 (Boston: Beacon Press, 1971), p. 622-24


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