Peace and Rearmament

Peace and Rearmament

Peace and Rearmament

Peace and Rearmament

Excerpt

In the early part of 1938 a far-reaching departure was made from our customary policy in regard to national defense. The President asked of Congress a series of authorizations and appropriations for the largest naval and military program that we had ever found it essential to maintain in time of peace. Among the causes contributing to this situation were a series of conflicts abroad, brought about by aggressive policies of dictator nations in violation of the implications of international treaties and agreements, the new armament race initiated abroad and augmented by the expiration, on December 31, 1936, of the naval limitation agreements, and, finally the refusal of Japan to accede to the requests of Great Britain and the United States that she reveal her new naval construction program, thereby giving rise to serious apprehensions as to the Pacific area.

Much discussion has centered about the rearmament program thus inaugurated by the United States, its real necessity and aims, and, not least, its relation to the building up and maintenance of national and international peace. Apprehension has been widely manifest that a supernavy such as our defense program proposes, can only augur a foreign policy intended to interfere in the centers of conflict abroad. The feeling is strong that a moderate, traditional navy is alone consistent with our past ideals and our hopes of peace. At the other extreme, conviction has been likewise prevalent that until the world can be organized for a sound program of peace by international cooperation and enforcement of treaties, no advance in international comity can . . .

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