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Armament as a Means of Preventing War.



To the Editors of the CRIMSON:

In a recent article in the CRIMSON, an effort has been made to emphasize the paucity of attention which is being given by Harvard men to the subject of arbitration, and to compare this unfavorably with the great sympathy which is being aroused for the development of a new military and naval program. This newly-proposed scheme to infuse greater activity into our army and navy may seem, at first blush, inconsistent with our declared policy of seeking a peaceful solution of international differences. If we were to examine the two pellicles in a vacuum, it must be admitted that they would appear diametrically opposed. But, if we take them out of this purely artificial atmosphere, and examine them in the light of their application to present day international problems, we must at once see the great interest which to United States has in armament as a means of carrying out an end.

Before the United States can agree to disarmament two stasis of facts must concur: first, we must secure the recognition of our national policies and national ideals; and, secondly, there must be a general disarmament.

In order to secure the first of these, the value of a strong armaments cannot be overestimated. In the conferences at the Hague, the smaller states have the optically a right to an equal vote; but who will doubt for a moment the moral effect which a is created by a force strong enough to back up national policies? The nations which control strong armies and navies have been a preponderance of weight in the Peace Conferences of the past, and they will continue to have this advantage in the future. A graphic in stance of this is the United States was able to reserve from arbitration by the Hague Tribunal "strictly American questions." That this reservation was acquiesced in by the European powers was not due to any veneration in which American ideals were held, but rather to the fact that we were a strong power.

Running over the field of history, we find numberless occasions in which our strength enabled as to promulgate doctrines which were of benefit not only to ourselves, but to humanity. A few such instances as the More Doctrine, the opening of Japan and Korea to intercourse with the western national, the Open Door, the integrity of China, Mr. Hay's protest against the Kiev massacres, are enough to show the wholesome effect which our diplomacy has brought about. Our diplomacy accomplished this, because it had behind it the veiled force necessary to carry it through.

The second point which must be emphasized is that disarmament involves the mutual action of states, and the present policy of other governments is rather toward accelerating the growth of armaments than looking toward the reduction of force. In England, one can not but be impressed by the repaid building of Dreadnoughts and the growth of the idea of the Imperial defence. In Germany, there is an even more inconsistent naval development, shown by bills passed providing for a single naval policy which shall cover a term of years. Thus in 1914 England will have 22 Dreadnoughts and Germany 16, but in 1920 Germany will have 41. In 1914 the United States will only have 12 Dreadnoughts. Even Austria has provided for 16 of the vessels.

In short, the policy of permanent arbitration for all disputes is possible as anultimate ideal, but it can only come through a long and slow development. As in the case of the rights of private individuals, recognition must be slow: we must gradually build up a body of law. In the meantime, we must be ready to fight, and in this connection we should remember the words of Washington's maxim that "preparation for war is the best assurance of peace. LOUIS SUSSDORFF, JR., 3L.

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