Détente—Shadow or Substance?

Détente—Shadow or Substance?

Some rather hard-headed observers, not ordinarily given to the strategy of appeasement as a means of achieving peace, have been heard to argue recently that increasing contacts with the Soviet Union, especially expanded trade, will encourage the Soviets to assume more liberal attitudes in both external and internal affairs. As a goal, it is difficult to find fault with détente—or with the pursuit of greater and mutually advantageous economic relations with the Communist countries.

How can one possibly oppose détente in a nuclear era, especially with regard to the nuclear powers? I am not about to offer such opposition. Rather early in the period of nuclear confrontation between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., a case for agreement between the non-Communist and Communist powers was made most forcibly by an unlikely proponent of détente , General Douglas MacArthur. To a startled audience of Daughters of the American Revolution in Los Angeles, General MacArthur brought the word that war with the Communists was out. He argued that the new technology of warfare had rendered war obsolete.


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