Mobilization for a Prolonged Emergency

March 6, 1952

Report Outline
Eurrent Four-Year Rearmament Program
Special Factors in Long-Term Defense Effort
Defense Problems After Military Build-Up

Eurrent Four-Year Rearmament Program

To Meet the persisting threat of Communist expansion, the United States and other leading nations of the free world have embarked upon a rearmament drive comparable in many ways to the defense and war efforts of a decade ago but differing in certain important respects. The primary purpose of building up military strength today is to prevent war, not to prepare for imminent conflict or to win a war already in progress. A second major difference is that the current emergency threatens to be of long duration. The nations cannot look forward to an intensive but relatively brief effort that will bring early reward in the shape of victory and relief from extraordinary strain. For an indefinite time, they will need to stand ready for war, if war should come, and ready also to take non-military action that may be of equal importance in strengthening the free world and eventually putting an end to the period of tension.

Events Leading Up to the Decision for Rearmament

When the United States decided to dispatch aid to Greece and Turkey in the spring of 1947, there was no expectation that the policy of containment thus initiated would lead in little more than three years to vast programs of rearmament. But events were to prove that economic assistance and limited military aid, even when extended to all of Western Europe, were not enough. Nothing short of formidable military power in being would give the containment policy a fair chance of success.

The Marshall Plan, put into operation in 1948, generated sufficient economic recovery to counter internal Communist threats in Western Europe. Meanwhile, however, the Communist coup in Czechoslovakia and the Berlin blockade made the free world aware of the menace of external aggression and directed its attention to the necessity of erecting military safeguards. Negotiation of the North Atlantic Pact, which made the United States an active partner in the defense of Western Europe, followed early in 1949.

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