The Political Economy of National Security: A Study of the Economic Aspects of the Contemporary Power Struggle

The Political Economy of National Security: A Study of the Economic Aspects of the Contemporary Power Struggle

The Political Economy of National Security: A Study of the Economic Aspects of the Contemporary Power Struggle

The Political Economy of National Security: A Study of the Economic Aspects of the Contemporary Power Struggle

Excerpt

In the far-flung engagements of the cold war, the West has been losing ground. Partly for domestic reasons, the United States has assumed an attitude of intransigence. We have indulged in rash statements, yet when the chips are down, we have been readier to retreat than to pay the costs of defending our position. Eager as we have been to denounce appeasement, we have -- like the lady of easy virtue in Bryon's poem -- while "vowing we would never consent, consented." Part of the erosion of American, and of Western, power has been inevitable in the light of the changes that have come about in the nature of the international conflict -- the unfreezing of the fixed lines of power that marked the period of the Korean War, the rise of the Afro-Asian bloc, and the gradual deterioration of the "great deterrent" that has been evident since the collapse of our fitful Indo-China policy in 1954. In countering a politico- economic offensive based upon subversion and penetration, as opposed to direct military aggression, it appears that we are overextended in our commitments. The vulnerability of our position in certain areas means that some losses have been and still are in the cards. The unhappy feature of our present policy is that we have been unwilling to consider just where our long- run interests lie. Obeying a vague injunction to oppose Communist penetration wherever it may appear, we have been weakening our position in regions that we must and can hold . . .

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