What Arms Policy to Prevent World War III?
Facing Up to the Problem of Atomic Defense
With a flourish of trumpets and a ruffle of drums, the administration last January unveiled what it called a new defense policy. The phrase for it was the “New Look,” and it was described, in the Madison Avenue manner, as “a bigger bang for a buck.” To a nation which, at times, appears to fear death less than it does taxes, the administration offered relief from both. The “New Look,” said administration spokesmen, would cut the cost of living in the same world as the Communists. The administration proposed to place the major reliance for the defense of the United States and its allies on the Strategic Air Command. SAC would answer further Communist aggression with “instant, massive retaliation at times and places of our own choosing.”
With the “New Look,” the United States would have a bigger air force, but a smaller army and navy. The administration planned to cut the army down to 16 divisions and to lay up 50 combat ships. However, this would not in any way decrease the effectiveness of the army and navy, the administration spokesmen insisted. For the army would have the support of air force fighter-bombers carrying tactical A-bombs, and it would itself be armed with atomic weapons, like the new atomic cannon. Atomic warheads would be put in naval shells and in guided missiles. The wonderful, wonderful era of atomic plenty had made it possible to substitute atomic power for manpower.
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