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THE FACULTY'S recent decision to allow Harvard students to cross-register in the ROTC program at MIT is an unacceptable one. The student antiwar movement which forced ROTC off campus in that late '60s held that there should be no connection between the university and the military; that contention seems as valid today as it did in 1969.
The reasons for the unacceptability of ROTC, in its function as a training ground for the United States military, should be immediately apparent. Since World War II, the United States military has been the primary instrument of an interventionist foreign policy designed to suppress the initiatives of Third World countries towards economic and political self-determination. The full implications of this policy were seen in the fifteen years of war in Southeast Asia where the armed forces conducted a campaign of terror and murder against the Indochinese people. The aggression of the Marines against Cambodia in the Mayaguez incident suggests that the role of the military has not changed. Whenever American policy makers feel the need to combat national liberation movements, the military will be there.
Students faced with the option of participating in a morally reprehensible institution as a way of financing their education should not remain oblivious to the ideological implications of their actions. Enrollment in ROTC is not a value-neutral means of paying for one's college costs.
Given the nature of the Army, no educational institution which claims to have a commitment to human values should have any sort of connection with it. ROTC in its guise as a non-credit, extra-curricular activity is no more acceptable than in any of its previous forms. In reviving the link between Harvard and ROTC, the Faculty has committed an act of grave moral irresponsibility.
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