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Leach Calls Inadequate Finances Main Cause of U.S. Defense Lag


The United States must spend more money on defense if it is to keep pace with Soviet Russia, W. Barton Leach '21, Storey Professor of Law, said last night. Leach was the third lecturer in a series on "Foreign Policy in the Nuclear Age," sponsored by the International Development Society.

"The truth is that as of this time defense planning starts with the dollar sign," Leach asserted. He claimed that this attitude of "economic conservation" has hurt our defense effort.

Leach, who is a Brigadier General in the U.S. Air Force, outlined six basic objectives of American defense policy. In most of these six areas, he commented, we are short in either manpower or equipment. "The reason for this short-age can be summed up in one word--money."

He especially deplored the lack of advance in the field of research and development. He cited three main reasons for this lack of progress.

First, there is, he asserted, a lack of organization in research work. He laid this difficulty to the "archaic distinctions" between the various branches of the services. Leach added that "there is an element of friction between the services which could be reduced."

Secondly, he said, a governmental attitude of "anti-intellectualism" causes "good scientific brains to shun the military."

Money Factor Predominant

"However, if you eliminate the money factor," he continued, "the other factors will disappear." The lack of money available to scientists doing research for the government is "the bottleneck that really hurts," the professor concluded.

Leach expressed alarm at the difficulty which the military faces in recruiting and retaining high-grade personnel. "We are losing both officers and enlisted men in technical fields at a disastrous rate," he said.

The Soviet Union, he pointed out, is apparently willing to disregard high costs in planning for its military power. "It may be sure that we need more of this attitude," he concluded.

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