ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: NATO Strategy.

Editorial from Volume IX, No 19, May 11, 1957.

War may be too serious a business to be left to generals. But, during the post-war era of open diplomacy, generals must have wondered on more than one occasion whether bluffing is an occupational disease with politicians. NATO’s military experts must have felt flabbergasted at the audacious speeches made by its Foreign Ministers. Informed world opinion will equally deplore the undiplomatic contents of the communique issued by NATO Foreign Ministers. Since Mr Dulles, diplomacy may have ceased to be an attribute of a Foreign Minister. But the Bonn communique is a rude reminder that consistency is not a virtue of politicians or of Foreign Ministers.

Only a few days ago, President Eisenhower expressed satisfaction over the progress of the London disarmament talks. No agreement has yet been reached. But M Zorin’s latest disarmament proposal had revived hopes about a limited compromise agreement on disarmament. It would be too hasty to say whether the NATO communique is to be interpreted as a definite rejection of the Zorin proposal. But one common problem which confronts both camps may be emphasised. It will be conceded that Russia’s repeated gestures about disarmament reflect the heavy strains and stresses of full-scale armament. But these identical political and economic pressures explain the changing basis of NATO’s military planning. That much is clear. But the shift of emphasis in the Western Powers’ strategy is evident, and deserves emphasis.

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