National defense probably will become an organized field of University study in the near future, the CRIMSON learned last night.
Although no definite plans have been announced yet, W. Barton Leach, professor of Law and organizer of the plan, revealed last night that he will devote next year to working on the new program, and will carry a reduced teaching load himself.
The new program which Leach wants would include hiring teaching and research personnel, developing library material for defense study, writing books on the subject for student use, and founding a publication devoted to objective study of defense problems.
Leach believes that any new program must: train civilian experts for government work in national defense; create a nucleus of informed public opinion on defense matters among University graduates; conduct research aimed at improving policies.
Academic training currently fills these needs for all other government problems, Leach argues, yet despite the fact that defense problems affect the budget, foreign policy, business planning, scientific development, and the lives of every potential draftee, no study has been made of the field.
Few Trained Experts
Defense policy in America is made by civilians, and yet, he said, not one government policy maker has had any academic training in the field, and few have acquired the necessary knowledge elsewhere.
Moreover, he added, public opinion on defense is uninformed, few books have been written on the subject, and there are no men with academic training in the field.
Leach believes that an "academic break-through" rather than the usual gradual development is necessary, because of the pressing need for defense study. No new courses will be offered next year, but he has suggested possible future instruction ranging from undergraduate study of the Korean crisis to a graduate seminar on the scientist in defense.
The greatest need of the new program is for trained experts in teaching, research and writing, Leach feels. Such men must come from professional positions, he adds, since there are few academic experts in the field.
Since the new program will also provide many of the men needed for defense work, he expects a continually shifting faculty, and calls for flexible financial financial policy rather than any attempt at long range planning.