Strategy for Survival
DESPISING WAR, Roosevelt hoped that American independence could be preserved by other means. In retrospect it may appear that military action became inevitable, once we placed our moral and economic strength on the side of nations resisting aggression. Roosevelt was aware that the policy of aid tended toward the ultimate use of arms; but as long as the possibility remained of avoiding war, he clung to the hope that we might keep out. It may be noted that it was the military weakness of the Western democracies, more than our support of them, which drew us ever closer to war in Europe. If, with our aid, they had turned back the Axis drives, it is unlikely that we would have become fighting partners. In Asia, where there was no modern power to resist Japan, the situation was different. Japan could have been prevented from dominating the Pacific only by armed action-and that had to come from the United States. This basic fact could not have been changed-whether we had sent help or had kept hands off.
Roosevelt's principal fear was Germany. After the Munich crisis he moved in numerous ways to bolster the strength and will of the European countries. The means he used ranged from moral support, to sup