CHANGED MINDS

THE MAIL

To the Editors of The Crimson:

I advocate the full return of ROTC to Harvard. As an undergraduate in 1969, I was twice suspended from Harvard for occupying buildings with the demand to abolish ROTC. Why is my position changed?

United States involvement in Southeast Asia continues. Our massive infusion of dollars and weapons is criminal and must be stopped. But the absence or return to Harvard of ROTC will have no effect on the course of the war now. Only by weakening Nixon and his policies of aggression can we help the Vietnamese to find peace among themselves.

While the size of the U.S. military should be reduced and contracts for certain weapons systems cancelled, some level of military strength is necessary. Roughly, this level is equivalent to the military forces of the Soviet Union. Given that economy as well as strength is desired, the United States should seek the best officers possible for our armed forces. The best officers combine leadership and discipline with humanitarian instincts. Harvard has an obligation to educate men and women to complement the officers of the military academies. We need Marshalls as well as Pattons.

Without a draft, the United States has a professional army. If a domestic crisis should arise--riots or a prolonged strike in a critical industry--professional soldiers would quell the disturbance. With the recent disclosure that the Joint Chiefs of Staff were subverting civilian control by spying on the executive department, I think it all the more important that men of democratic philosophies rise to positions of responsibility in the military.

All nations are imperialistic. All nations are capable of working for freedom and justice. Returning democracy to Greece or preventing its overthrow in Chile are achievements that must be wrought by a partnership of a progressive government and an enlightened military. So while we work for the removal of Nixon from the White House, let us return ROTC to Harvard. John Hook '69

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