Three years ago, members of President Nixon’s own Blue Ribbon Defense Panel warned that the growing Soviet nuclear superiority would cause the Kremlin to become “hostile, disruptive and imperialistic,” and might result in “a Soviet-inspired and supported war against Israel [and] some other form of Soviet takeover of the Middle East, with its coveted oil reserves.” This Blue Ribbon Panel Supplemental Statement urged a restoration of U.S. nuclear superiority as the only rational policy to defend America and our allies. Unfortunately, the Administration did not take this advice, and now the chickens have come home to roost.
The principal problem in the Middle East is the tragic, undeniable disappearance of the U.S. nuclear umbrella. Our great nuclear superiority, which once protected ourselves and our allies, and which Winston Churchill said was responsible for the freedom of every man, woman and child in Western Europe, is gone; and Israel is the first nation to feel the bitter consequences.
President Nixon, in awarding the Congressional Medal of Honor to nine Vietnam veterans on October 139 made this spontaneous remark about the Middle East: “If I were to describe our policy, I would say it is like the policy we followed in 1958 when Lebanon was involved.”
This was a reference to President Eisenhower’s sending the U.S Marines into Lebanon in 1958 to prevent a threatened takeover there by the Communists. The reason why that military operation was so successful was the world’s sure knowledge that those few Marines were hacked by the vastly superior military power of the United States. Everyone knew we had the marbles to play in any game, and that kind of power received the respect it deserved from friend and foe alike.
Much as President Nixon wants to help Israel, he is handicapped by the harsh fact that he folded up our nuclear umbrella at the Moscow-SALT-Summit last year -— an Agreement which proclaimed to the whole world that the Soviet Union is now Number One, and that America is a poor second.
Our NATO allies are also beginning to realize that they are no longer sheltered by the U.S. nuclear umbrella. General Sir Walter Walker, Former Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Forces in Northern Europe, said recently in a speech in London: “The whole crux of the problem now is that the time has arrived to stop thinking that NATO can go on sheltering under the American nuclear umbrella which, up to the present, has protected us not only from Soviet threats and intimidation, but also from attack. Now that Russia has caught up, and because the strategic balance is no longer favorable to the United States, it is my firm conviction that the role of the American strategic force will be limited to striking at Russian cities only as a last resort, and then only in retaliation for attack against the continental United States itself…. In plain language, we must face up to the …quite extraordinary growth of Soviet strategic forces.”
The most important step we can take to insure the survival of Israel and our other allies in peace and freedom is to restore the nuclear superiority of the United States.