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Acheson Urges Military Expansion, Calls for 'Conventional Weapons'

By Richard N. Levy

A step-up in military power and an increase of small-scale war arms are vital to the maintenance of United States leadership in the free world, and even to the survival of the West, former Secretary of State Dean Acheson said last night. Acheson spoke at the first annual William L. Clayton Lecture at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tufts University.

"The United States must take the leadership if there is any," he asserted, "and create a workable non-Communist system out of the old world order."

To maintain leadership and preparedness, he emphasized, the United States must "turn to conventional weapons" for defense, prepare for "limited warfare," and abandon a popular belief, once advocated by General Mark Clark, that the U.S. should "shoot the works for victory."

The consequence of this all-out policy, Acheson felt, is, in effect, "liberty and death," since "the initiator will receive a retribution as great as the force he exercise." We must aim at "clarity of action" rather than attempt to keep the enemy guessing; for the latter policy might lead to terrible "misjudgment by our opponents."

Acheson also sharply criticized the recent "drastic" reductions in Army power and the Navy's "disproportionate" concentration on atomic submarines and large carriers. He then asked whether Secretary of State Dulles' policy of "massive retaliation" is "credible," and answered his own question with a blunt "No, it is not."

A further need in maintaining the strength of the west, Acheson argued, is the creation of "an international economic system." He cited the extensive overseas employment of British capital during the 19th century, and asserted that if the United States put in effect a similar program, "we could carry on the Marshall Plan twice a year."

Increased foreign investment on such a scale, he continued, would "require that the government play a larger part in making economic decisions," something that unnecessarily "terrifies and shocks Americans."

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