Hughes Delivers Policy Speech on Defense During Holyoke Rally Monday Evening
In the past few months a fundamental shift in American military strategy has dangerously increased the chances for nuclear war, Stuart Hughes, chairman of the history Department and independent candidate for the U.S. Senate, remarked in a campaign speech in Holyoke Monday night.
The decision to change from a policy of finite deterent to one of massive counter-force, Mr. Hughes emphasized, has come only recently. In effect the United States will now build nuclear power capable, of in air force terminology, of "winning" a thermonuclear war. American force will not only be strong enough to wipe out all Soviet missle basis in a fist strike. But, even after U.S. first-line bases have been attacked, U.S. power will be capable of destroying cities in a second major blow. In the past, Hughes stressed, American strategy had relied on a minimum force, sufficient to deter Russian attacks, but had discounted the notion of "Prevailing" in the event of war.
Hughes pointed to a comment by President Kennedy in a recent Saturday Evening Post Interview as the most open indication of a policy change so technically complicated that it has been virtually ignored by the press.
In the interview the president mentioned that under some circumstances the U.S. might be first to attack with nuclear weapons. As further evidence of the shift in strategy, which represents a triumph of air force thinking over the other branches of the military, Hughes cited a speech a speech by Air Force Deputy Secretary Gilpatrick a few months ago. In it Gilpatrick announced that the U.S. would aim for twice the striking power by 1965 than it has now.
Much of the increased tension in international relations Hughes attributed to this shift in military strategy. Such a change in Policy, which depends so heavily on penetrating the secrecy of Russian missle bases has only given credence to the fears of Soviet leaders that American inspection demands in disarmament agreements would be shields for espionage activities.
Even the Soviet resumption of testing, Hughes suggested, could be explained in light of this. With Russian secrecy, until recently an important part of Soviet strategy, threatened by spying U-2 planes and satellites the Soviets would have to develop bombs with so much "bounce to the ounce" that the possibility of even a fear of their bombs getting through an American strike would be enough to deter an attack from the U.S.
As an example, Hughes pointed out the heavy yield bombs in the recent Soviet test series.
Unfortunately, Hughes emphasized, our change in strategy made it necessary for us to resume testing ourselves, thereby accelerating the arms race further. Up to now Hughes stressed, we've been engaged in merely an arms "walk." When other irony of the new strategy, Hughes pointed out, is that it can only fail. Assuming "complete rationality in setting of destruction beyond human imagination," the plan depends on the President, his advisors and the entire military command maintaining perfect communications after the first Russian attack.
Earlier in his speech, Hughes cited a detailed report on the effects of a unclear attack in Massachusetts drawn up recently by a group of Boston doctors. He indicated that the report leaves doubt about the impossibility of maintaining "laboratory rationality" in the chaos of unclear war.
The relationship of this One of the great tragedies present American politics,
One of the great tragedies present American politics,