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November 16, 2016
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April 24, 2000
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Publication Date: 
March 27, 1972
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PDF icon CIA-RDP75-00001R000100010051-0.pdf121.86 KB
Shrewd With Pen b S~r JUEW YoRJC TIMES 00001 R000100010051- B1BWitq Ppt e'r 8000/05/23 t9If Pig ,, Ff s pwell. D. Taylso 34 Rpagesy Illustrated. Norton. $10. In his "Swords and Plowshares," Gen. axwell D. Taylor has fired off enough s ots to start a private war. Among other -t ings, he says that all too often the poo- e who talk most about the Vietnam war p ow relatively little about it. He includes f this indictment many observers who are ofessionally concerned with the war be- e use they work in government, in news- pers or in television. Though this is what we might expect a eneral to say, we must keep in mind that t is does not automatically invalidate it. common view is that military men have definite interest in war and cannot be usted to talk or write about it without ? ias: it is not easy to fit General Taylor to this stereotype. He treats the waging f war as a business of cause and effect, s an attempt to carry out the govern- 'ent's orders with a minimum cost of ves, money and national prestige. His job as been to advise the three Administra- ions he served how best to get, through he exertion . of the necessary military ressures, not what he wants, but what hey want. - Failure of Communication Staff, McGeorge Bundy an senior C.I.A. officials-it was the first time that any of them except the President had. had the entire operation laid out before him. A model of contrast was the President's, handling of the Cuban missile crisis. Know- ing exactly where he stood, having had all the alternatives evaluated, he did what he felt was necessary, and succeeded in call- ing Khrushchev's bluff. The most explosive part of "Swords and Plowshares" deals, of course, with the Vietnam war. The general was our ainbas- sador in Saigon in 1964-65. Our policy of "gradualism" -piecemeal. employment of military force at slowly mounting levels of intensity-has "ended by assuring a prolonged war which gave time not only for more men to lose their lives but also for the national patience to wear thin, the antiwar movement to gain momentum and hostile propaganda to make inroads at home and abroad." The general feels that, to get the North Vietnamese to the nego- tiating table, we conceded away all our bargaining points-the various forms of military pressure-and thus arrived at the "poker" table in Paris practically broke. lie described negotiation as "a changeling objective which was progressively replac? ing the freedom and security of South Vietnam as the controlling objective of American policy." The author sees two alternatives to "gradualism" if we are faced with another such crisis. (lie uses Israel as a possible case in point to demonstrate the difficulty of avoiding involvement abroad.) We can either "use military force swiftly and de- cisively and risk the international conse- qdences," or we can "do nothing." Speaking of the present conflict he says that, if anyone is guilty of prejudice, it is our media. By dramatizing that particular part of the war with which they are daily confronted, they encourage their readers and viewers to generalize on insufficient evidence-and, in fact, often do so them- selves. doctrine of "massive retaliation, which, The general's parting shot is shrewdly in his opinion, naively assumed that the calculated: he sees the United States as threat of our nuclear weapons would suf- fice to deter Communist expansion or entering h e were, as a a "decliinin xo ger." our aggression. It had never been a question objectives in Vietam, he says, "we cannot of nuclear weapons, says General Taylor, .and the lessons of Korea, Cuba and Viet- completely redeem the unheroic image nam have borne him out. created by many aspects of our behavior President Kennedy ar eed with General in the course of the conflict. The record of Taylor's` doctrine of "flexible response" as our violent internal divisions, our loss of set forth in his book "The Uncertain Trum- morale, and our psychotic inclination, to / pet." After the Bay of Pigs fiasco, the self-flagellation and self-denigration justi- V President recalled the general from the Pies serious doubts as to the performance presidency of Lincoln Center to study that to be expected from us in any future. operation and find out why it had been crisis..." such a humiliating failure. Working with it is difficult to avoid the conclusion Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Adm. that one would have to know more about Arleigh.Burke of the'Joint Chiefs of Staff military matters than General Taylor does V and Director Allen Dulles of the C.I.A., himself to dispute most of the points he General Taylor found that the failure _of makes. If he is biased, it doesn't show: his communications had been nothing short of tone is almost . hypnotically reasonable. "massive" on this occasion. What he seems to he saying is that, if we ppr d F e l e~ ..Cigp ato t9~lt No moral port-to a group that included the rest- rea s, I tYXt ~~dgai dent, Secretary of State Rusk, Secretary tenderness keep us from carrying them to of Defense McNamara, the Joint Chiefs of a successful conclusion. res favor, however, by opposing the Dulles U.S. as `Declining Power' In If, as popular opinion has it, military on cannot be expected to understand olitics, it is a reasonable corollary of this iew that politicians cannot he expected to nderstand military matters. To make hings even more difficult, government fficials are often unable to hear hard ruths about the conduct of war because these are drowned out by the cries of their constituents. Failure of communication is a slogan familiar enough by now to he embroidered on samplers, and this is what General Taylor sees as the root of our ;current troubles. ' A World War II hero and commander of the Eighth Army in Korea, General Taylor was appointed Army Chief of Staff by P ident Fisenhower He incurred his dis-