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Senator George McGovern's controversial plan for major American troop withdrawal in Europe would be good for the United States and not bad for the continent, a major foreign policy advisor to the Democratic nominee said at the Law School yesterday.
Abram J. Chayes'43, professor of Law, praised McGovern's planned withdrawal of some 170,000 Unites States military in Europe before an audience of about 60. "There is a fairly strong argument for a reduction of U.S. troops in Europe and it is hard to beat that argument unless you see military need for troops there," he said.
Chayes, who coordinates foreign policy task forces for the McGovern campaign, spent a few weeks this summer in Europe and the Mideast. "If you go and talk to political leaders, you find a decadence in intimacy in Unites States relations with Europe," Chayes said.
The withdrawal of the 170,000 men is a matter of European concern, Chayes said, "not because it represents sharp departure from policy--they see it as the climax of a policy that has been going on for four to eight years."
Chayes, former staff director of the 1960 Democratic Platform Committee, asserted that "McGovern has not proposed a precipitate withdrawal of these forces, he has discussed a three year reorganization of American troops."
The withdrawn European troops, he said, could be added to the United States contingency in Asia, saving about $1 billion per year for the U.S.
"By withdrawing troops you give the Soviets the capacity to make a little trouble in the Mediterranean. but you gain resources that you can use here." Chayes continued. Chayes was asked if he had been offered a major foreign policy position in the McGovern Administration; he smiled broadly and rasped, "No. You don't pay before you get the merchandise."
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