Hoffmann Cites Algeria, 'Atom Club' As Central Problems for Kennedy

DeGaulle: 'Psychologically Obstinate'

The spread of nuclear weapons and the Algerian situation are the most immediate West European problems the Kennedy Administration will face, Stanley H. Hoffmann, associate professor of Government, declared last night.

Speaking at Winthrop House, Hoffmann questioned whether the Kennedy Administration will be able to handle the "enormous complexities" of these problems without "bungling."

To understand the problem of Algeria, Hoffmann maintained, one must understand the "psychological obstinacy" of French President de Gaulle. The French President has demonstrated in Madagascar, in the Ivory Coast and in Guinea that he is willing to permit colonial liberation--on the condition that France grant the liberation without pressure from internal revolutions, Hoffmann said.


Thus, he continued, de Gaulle meets the obstinate rebellion of the FLN, the Moslem liberation movement, with an equally obstinate repression and the demand that the FLN accept a cease-fire on French terms.

The role of the U.S., Hoffmann argued, must be to make both sides aware of the other's position by "secret diplomacy" and to put "mild pressure" on both to accept a "mutually face-saving" cease-fire. Considering the past immaturity of U.S. foreign policy, Hoffmann expressed doubt that the Kennedy Administration would prove capable of "enough subtlety" to handle the explosive situation.


Hoffmann declared that the U.S. must face the antiquity of its atomic "secrets," and pointed out that Europe is rapidly developing facilities for the manufacture of nuclear weapons. He went on to describe the problem of NATO as a possessor of nuclear deterrents.

Our European allies will not accept a NATO arsenal of atomic weapons when NATO is headed by an American, General Norstadt, he asserted. On the other hand, he declared, a representative committee would be too cumbersome to act efficiently in emergencies.

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