Defense spending was the dominant issue last night at a Kennedy School debate on "Foreign Policy and Campaign '80" between three professors representing, the views of President Carter, Ronald Reagan and Rep. John B. Anderson (R-Ill.)
Although all three said the United States should increase its defense spending, they disagreed about the draft, the viability of an all-volunteer army, and increases in nuclear weaponry.
Samuel P. Huntington, director of the Center for International Affairs, said he supports President Carter's defense policies. Huntington cited Carter's 3-per-cent increase in defense spending, his strengthening of ties to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and an increase in the deployment capabilities of cruise missiles as improvements brought about under the Carter administration.
"Things are bad, but they could be worse," Huntington said, adding that although he is not overly enthusiastic about the Carter campaign, "Carter stands head and shoulders above both Reagan and Anderson."
Huntington defended Carter's call for draft registration, adding that the draft is the only economically feasible way to increase existing forces. "No matter who the next president is, he will have to come to grips with the draft," Huntington said.
Richard E. Pipes, Baird Professor of History, a Reagan supporter, and Thomas C. Schelling, professor of Political Economy and an Anderson supporter, both attacked the president's defense policies.
Schelling drew the loudest applause of the evening when he said, "Carter is rather frighteningly inept," adding that when dealing with crises Carter is "too slow to be hard and hard when it doesn't matter."
Schelling said he disagrees with registration and the draft, adding that he favors Anderson's policy to increase the budget of the volunteer army.
Pipes maintained that increasing our strategic nuclear arsenal is "absolutely crucial," adding that defense seems to be of greater concern to the Republicans.
"Thirty per cent of the Republican platform is spent on defense, while only two per cent of the Democratic platform deals with defense," Pipes said.
"We believe the Soviets pursue global superiority, while the Democrats believe that they are more pragmatic and are acting out of fear," Pipes added.