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Laird Attacks McGovern On Defense Spending


WASHINGTON--Secretary of Defense Melvin R. Laird said Thursday that Sen. George McGovern's proposal to slash defense spending by $30 billion "would signal to the world a drastic decline in America's will and ability to contribute to international stability."

Leading the Nixon administration attack against the Democratic presidential nomination front-runner on the eve of the Miami Beach convention, Laird again characterized McGovern's program as "tantamount to a white flag of surrender."

"The so-called white flag budget substitutes a philosophy of give-away now, beg later, for a philosophy of strength and willingness to 'negotiate' as followed by the Nixon administration," Laird said at a news conference in which he released two documents containing the Pentagon's analysis of McGovern's proposals.

In the same speech, Laird said that South Vietnamese, after the initial setbacks on the northern front were performing well and he was pleased with their progress.

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