A CONVERSATION WITH PAUL C. WARNKE Bar Report June/July 1998 – c1- Legends in the Law A Conversation with Paul C. Warnke (Appeared in Bar Report, June/July 1998) Paul Culliton Warnke, 78, was assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs for President Lyndon B. Johnson. Later, he became director of the U.S. Arms Control & Disarmament Agency and chief negotiator in strategic arms talks with the Soviet Union during the Carter Administration. He currently is a retired partner at Howrey & Simon. Bar Report: You graduated from Yale College in 1941, and then joined the US. Coast Guard where you served from 1942 to 1946 in the Atlantic and the Pacific. What was that experience like? Paul C. Warnke: I did anti-submarine work in the Atlantic, and in the Pacific I was first on a small tanker carrying aviation gasoline and later on a landing ship, and LST, for the invasion of the Philippines and Borneo. The nice thing about being on a ship is that if you’re not dead you’re quite comfortable. It’s not like fighting in the jungles because you’ve got a bed and a pillow. I had trouble getting into the service because I had high blood pressure. My mother, who was a widow, befriended a doctor in the U.S. Public Health Service, which did the examinations for the Coast Guard. Without taking my blood pressure, he wrote the necessary numbers on my exam so I could get in. BR: After the war you went to Columbia Law School. Is it true that you were originally headed to journalism school? PCW: Yes. After the war my family was living in New York so I took the subway to Columbia with the idea of joining the school of journalism, but it was full. I asked what other schools they had and they said the law school was across the street. So I crossed the street and became a lawyer. Careful planning, that’s the secret of my life. I thoroughly enjoyed law school. It was a very good class. Practically everybody was a war veteran and as a result we were older than most law school students prior to that time. It was a very good faculty, and I liked it very much. BR: But you did manage to do some journalism as editor-in-chief of the Columbia Law Review? PCW: Yes. I met my wife, Jean, at a party on the evening I got on the Law Review. And come September we will be married for 50 years. BR: After law school you went to work with Covington & Burling where you became a partner in 1957. How did you get that position? PCW: I looked around New York and wasn’t too enthusiastic about the Wall Street firms. One of my professors, Walter Gellhorn, said there was a fine law firm in Washington where he had a friend by the name of Dean Acheson. So I went down and interviewed. It was Covington, Burling, Rublee, Acheson & Shorb then. I liked the firm right away. It was the only Washington firm I looked at and it was the biggest firm in town. I was only the 49th lawyer. BR. What are some of the cases you are most proud of? -2- PCW: I did a lot of antitrust work. When I first went to Covington & Burling, I worked with a partner by the name of H. Thomas Austern and he was primarily involved with antitrust and food and drug law. I worked with him for several years and got deeply involved with antitrust cases. He had a new client, the American Can Company, which was one of two big can companies. They had a lot of antitrust problems. The first case I worked on was a government case against American Can where we negotiated a settlement. Then I represented the Continental Baking Company, the one that makes Wonder bread. They were busily involved in buying up other bread companies. I tried a couple of Federal Trade Commission cases that involved those acquisitions. Back in 1962 and 1963, I represented Procter & Gamble in connection with some criminal antitrust cases in California that involved shortening and edible oils. The contention was that they were involved in price fixing conspiracies. My co-counsel was Warren Christopher, who later became secretary of state. He’s a very highly regarded lawyer. Because the case was in California, we had to have local counsel. Warren was with the best firm I knew of out there and I had known him when he worked here in town. so he was a logical choice as co-counsel. There were a number of cases I enjoyed where I was involved as a negotiator. Before I got into the arms control business, I represented the Congress of Micronesia. The Micronesians were involved in negotiations with the United States on terminating the trust relationship. In that part of the western Pacific a United Nations trust territory was established after World War II and the United States was appointed by the United Nations to be the trustee over the islands that include the Marshalls, the Marianas, Truk, Ponape, Palau and Yap. The Congress of Micronesia wanted an American negotiator to negotiate with the American Government team to help them work out a new relationship with the United States. We established what became known as ‘Treeassociation.” Micronesia became an independent country, with representation in the United Nations, but it is “freely associated” with the United States so that the U.S. handles its foreign affairs and defense. That was good fun. Then in 1970 I represented the Iranian government in connection with the creation of a telecommunications system. One of my colleagues when I was in the Defense Department was Henry Kuss who had developed a good relationship with some of the Iranians and he brought me in to help negotiate this contract with the international consortium headed up by Siemens. That was interesting. It was at a time when the Shah was still in control. BR: What was it like when you went over there? PCW: At that point Iran and the United States were allies. But it was a little dismaying because it was obvious from talking to the Iranians that there was widespread corruption in the government. BR: What led to your appointment as general counsel of the Defense Department? PCW: After Kennedy was elected, I worked in the Democratic National Committee on staffing the Department of Defense, and got to know Robert S. McNamara. I was offered a couple of government jobs that I didn’t have any enthusiasm for and then eventually was offered the job of general counsel at defense. BR: Less than a year later, you succeeded John McNaughton as assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs. Tell me about that position? PCW: It was known then as the “Defense Department’s State Department” and it worked closely with the State Department. Back then a lot of foreign policy was made at what was known as the “Tuesday lunch,” when Lyndon Johnson would have lunch with the secretary of state, the secretary of defense, the director of Central Intelligence, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, and the national security advisor. Much of my job was getting McNamara ready for the Tuesday lunch. He’d be interested in certain topics that he would want to raise with the President, so we’d put together information on them. Then, of course, NATO, the Northern Atlantic Treaty Organization, was very important to our security and Secretary McNamara developed what was -3- known as the “nuclear planning group” which set NATO’s nuclear policy. We spent a lot of time on that. And then of course there was the Vietnam War. BR: What was it like working with Robert McNamara? PCW: It was great. He was a very good guy to work for, very accessible and as a consequence you had an advantage over your colleagues at State because Dean Rusk was not as accessible as McNamara. BR: Many people back then questioned McNamara’s position on arms control. Did you ever discuss that with him? PCW: He basically invented strategic nuclear arms control. There was the so-called Glassboro Conference in June 1967 with Aleksei Kosygin, who was the premier of the Soviet Union and who was in this country for a United Nations meeting. President Johnson arranged a summit meeting at Glassboro, New Jersey. McNamara went to that meeting and tried to talk the Soviets into getting serious about nuclear arms control. At that particular point, the big problem was the development of anti-ballistic missile defense system and McNamara recognized that by increasing the number of offensive missiles you could always overwhelm any available defensive technology. Therefore if both sides went ahead with extensive anti-ballistic missile defenses it would just fuel the offensive arms race, which is in fact what happened. Then after the Glassboro Conference, McNamara asked me to meet on a regular basis with Yuli Vorontsov, the minister counselor of the Soviet Embassy and now the Russian ambassador to the United States. He said I should try to persuade Vorontsov that it was important to control the arms race. BR: What influenced your strong views on arms control? How did they develop? Was it solely through your work at the Defense Department? PCW: Yes. It was obvious to anyone who studied the subject that the one ultimate disaster would have been a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States. So what we had to do was develop policies and reach agreements to eliminate the risk that one side or the other might start a nuclear war. The risk was that one side would panic. If one side figured that unless they struck first they would be attacked and annihilated that would provide a dangerous incentive for a first strike. What you had to have was what became known as “mutual assured destruction,” which I always preferred to call mutual assured deterrence. This was after the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 when the Soviets tried to station nuclear missiles in Cuba. Florida is only 90 miles from Cuba, so that would have been a very serious threat to the security of the United States. Those were very, very critical negotiations that led to the Soviets removing the missiles. Having had that experience we recognized in 1966 and 1967 that nuclear war was a genuine risk and that we had to work out some kind of arrangement with the Soviets that would eliminate any serious chance of nuclear war. BR: When you were nominated by President Jimmy Carter in 1977 to be director of the Arms Control & Disarmament Agency, critics said you would be too soft on the Russians. How did you feel about that? PCW: I wasn’t too worried about it. I thought I would get confirmed because I had some strong support and unlike a treaty I didn’t have to get two-thirds approval. All I needed was a majority and I figured I could get a majority. The real problem was that one of my major opponents was Sen. Scoop Jackson of Washington, who was a Democrat. If he’d been a Republican it would have been less of a problem. But because he was a Democrat he could carry a certain number of Democratic votes along with him. -4- BR: Was it personal? PCW: No. The principal problem was that he was not a believer in arms control. He thought that I was, and he was right. BR: Only two weeks after taking office you went to Moscow with Secretary of State Cyrus Vance. Who did you meet with then and did you feel ready for negotiations? PCW: I had followed the subject very carefully and had been involved in arms control since 1967. Once you get the bug it never leaves you. I followed all of the SALT I talks closely so I didn’t feel unprepared. There had been an agreement reached at Vladivostok in 1974 when President Ford met with President Leonid I. Brezhnev. They agreed in principle as to what the totals would be in the SALT II agreement. When President Carter took office, he wanted to move more rapidly. He wanted to leap frog SALT II and get lower nuclear weapon totals, which was a perfectly commendable thing to try to do but it turned out that the Soviet position was locked in. At the March meeting in 1977 Secretary of State Cyrus Vance dealt principally with Andre Gromyko. At that point Brezhnev had had a series of strokes so he was no longer the alert guy he had been in 1974. Gromyko was a very experienced foreign minister. After that March 1977 meeting, Gromyko’s deputy, Georgi M. Kornienko asked if I would ride with him to the airport. During the ride he said, “I do not understand you Americans.” He pointed out that “Comrade Brezhnev spilled a lot of political blood at Vladivostok” and therefore they could not consider anything else until a treaty was reached based on the Vladivostok agreement. What we did in response was to put the Vladivostok totals in the draft treaty, but nonetheless provided for a subsequent reduction in the overall missile numbers and the subtotal for MIRV’s (multiple independently-targetable re-entry vehicles). The subtotal would apply not only to MIRVed missiles but also to strategic bombers with long range cruise missiles. So we managed to get an agreement with better, somewhat lower totals than the Vladivostok agreement. BR: That must have been a challenging experience. PCW: It was difficult but it was fascinating. I had no doubt that my Soviet counterparts were seriously interested in reaching an agreement. I came in at a fairly late stage. The SALT talks had been going on since 1969 and we had already reached a SALT I agreement. The chief Soviet negotiator, a fellow by the name of Vladimir Semenov, had been head of the Soviet delegation dealing with our first SALT negotiator, Ambassador Gerard Smith. I found Semenov to be a worthy foe and we became quite friendly. What people frequently ignore is that arms control is not a zero sum game. It’s not one in which somebody’s going to win and somebody’s going to lose. Either it’s good for both sides or it’s good for nobody. Any arms control agreement contains a clause that if either side concludes that continuing with the arms control regime is contrary to it’s supreme national interests it can opt out. So you’ve got to have an agreement that is satisfactory to both sides. It’s not like buying a used car. BR: What were some of the problems you saw negotiating with the Soviet Union? PCW: Part of the difficulty was that the Soviet Union didn’t have any friends. They had a Warsaw Pact just as we had NATO but it contained countries such as Czechoslovakia, Poland, and Hungary, that would have much preferred to have been part of NATO. l always thought it was much, much easier to be the American negotiator than the Soviet negotiator. There was more bargaining power on our side. BR: Did you get the sense that the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapse? -5- PCW: I had the feeling that something had to change. Given modern communications you could not have a totalitarian government of a country that large over an indefinite period of time. As more and more Russians became more familiar with the outside world, I think they realized that their country was not operating under the optimum system. But did I predict that collapse? No. I thought it would take much longer than it did. BR: Did you keep in touch with some of the Russian contacts you made? PCW: At times. On a couple of occasions Mr. Kornienko, when he was in the United States, would come by and we would talk. I had gotten to know Anatoly Dobrynin, who was the long-time Soviet ambassador to the United States and I was in touch with him from time to time. We would meet occasionally at parties given by Averell Harriman, who had been the U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union. Dobrynin and Harriman were good friends. BR: How did your relationship with Clark Clifford begin? PCW: He succeeded Robert McNamara as secretary of defense in March 1968. He was very close to Lyndon Johnson and Johnson had asked him to go to East Asia with Maxwell Taylor in August, 1967 to try to get further support for the Vietnam effort. I met him in McNamara’s office before they went on that mission. Our friendship grew from working together. Clifford became absolutely persuaded that the Vietnam war was a big, big mistake. I think he began to feel that way because of his trip, where he found that those countries, the potential “dominos,” were no where near as concerned about what was happening in Vietnam as we were. He felt that if the people in the region didn’t think it made that much difference, then why were we sending 500,000 American troops to Vietnam and suffering heavy casualties. A lot of people in the Defense Department felt the same way. Many people criticized the recent book that Robert McNamara wrote about our mistakes in Vietnam, asking why he didn’t feel that way when he was Secretary of Defense. Well he did, but he was very loyal to President Johnson. He felt justifiably that Johnson had relied on the advice of the Kennedy foreign affairs team, which included him and some other very impressive people: Dean Rusk, McGeorge Bundy, Maxwell Taylor. McNamara figured that they were the ones who got Johnson so deeply committed. In the latter part of 1967, McNamara sent a memorandum to President Johnson explaining that he felt we were getting nowhere and that we ought to consider some solution other than trying to win a military victory. As a result, he was replaced as Secretary of Defense and made president of the World Bank. BR: You spoke out very strongly against the Vietnam war. Were you ever afraid that your opinions would adversely affect your career? PCW: The nice thing about being a lawyer is that you don’t have to worry about being fired from a government job. You automatically increase your income very substantially by going back to the practice of law. So it gives you a degree of independence. What was the point in being in government unless you could espouse the positions that you believed in? BR: Looking back what are your thoughts now on the Vietnam war? PCW: It was a tragic mistake. We went into it with perfectly commendable motives. We genuinely felt we had to contain China and we had successfully contained the Soviet Union at a period of time when they were trying to take over all of Europe. The trouble is that you always tend to set foreign policy by precedent and the precedents in many instances are not apposite. At that particular time we were saying no more Munichs, the idea being that at Munich Chamberlain caved in to Hitler, and as a result we had World War II. Then after Vietnam, we said no more Vietnam. It’s interesting, if you look back you find that Franklin Roosevelt felt that Ho Chi Minh should -6- win in Vietnam, that it was a fight for independence. The trouble was the State Department was concerned about France. After World War II there was a strong communist movement in France and if it had become a communist country it would have had an adverse effect on the United States. The feeling was that if France lost its lndochinese empire, that would create a greater chance that the communists would take over the French government. So our initial involvement in Vietnam was dictated by our concern about France more than by any concern about China. The interesting thing is that now we are perfectly willing to live with a Communist government in Hanoi. It hasn’t adversely affected us. BR: You served on the presidential advisory board on arms proliferation policy, which was established in 1995. What was the purpose of the board and what were its findings? PCW: The purpose was to consider what control there ought to be on sales of conventional weapons overseas. Our basic conclusion was that we should not sell weapons overseas for the purpose of keeping a production line going, that there are more important policy considerations. You should only sell weapons if it will improve national security. BR: What are your thoughts on selling arms overseas? PCW: I think the arms trade is much too excessive. There ought to be a priority on the international agenda for the big arms producers to get together and be much more restrained. BR: Will that ever happen? PCW: I think it will at some point because it’s contrary to international security to have all these arms floating around. At present one question we’ve faced is, Should we try to sell more sophisticated military equipment to South America? The South Americans don’t have any external threats. Their problems are internal-things like disparity between rich and poor, drugs, faltering national economies. They ought to be devoting their resources to things that make a difference, rather than buying sophisticated jet fighter aircraft. Who are they going to use them against? Unfortunately, we’re under strong pressure to make sales of expensive equipment overseas. It represents a lot of profit inside certain Congressional districts. BR: In August of last year, the Clinton Administration ended a 20-year moratorium on the sale of high-tech arms to Latin America. What are your thoughts on that? PCW: It’s a mistake. We should continue to have that moratorium. The theory is that if we don’t sell them the sophisticated weapons ourselves somebody else will. William Fulbright, when he was chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the same rationalization was used for the slave trade. Don’t do something bad just because someone else does. I think it would be useful if international agreements could be reached among major producers of sophisticated military equipment to exercise restraint. Even from an economic standpoint, the industrialized countries would be much better off. The developing countries could just as easily provide a better market for peaceful goods, like automobiles. BR: What are your thoughts on the events now unfolding in Pakistan and India? Was this inevitable? PCW: It was not inevitable. The problem is that the government of India is weak and as a matter of pride the Bharatiya Janata Party Platform kept saying that India should become a declared nuclear power, that they should institute a nuclear test program. And they have. BR. We see Pakistan responding. Where do you see this going? -7- PCW: Well, being an optimist I like to think that it may end up all right. The reaction of the rest of the world will be so adverse to these nuclear tests that there is some chance that India and Pakistan will now sign some arms control agreements like the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The thing we have got to do is get across the idea that having nuclear weapons doesn’t make you a big shot. Some of the most powerful countries in the world don’t have nuclear weapons. Japan and Germany don’t have them, and Japan and Germany are much more important economically and politically and than India or Pakistan. BR: Will there be a day when we’ll get rid of nuclear arms? PCW: It’s going to be very hard to get rid of all of them. The problem is that you can’t make the nuclear secret a secret again. Even if we got rid of all nuclear arms people would still know how to make them. The real risk is that in a time of crisis there might be a race to see who got nuclear arms back first and that would be very destabilizing because the one that gets them first may feel compelled to use them first. What can be done is substantially reduce the numbers and get them down to a point where they don’t represent that much of a threat. That’s the response we ought to have to India and Pakistan’s testing. One of the things they say is that the nuclear powers are hypocritical because they want to maintain their nuclear arsenals but prevent other countries from entering the nuclear club. So we have to start living up to our commitments and make substantial reductions, then make it clear that we regard nuclear weapons as not being useful military weapons. Oddly enough Ronald Reagan put it about as well as anybody when he said: “The only purpose for either side to have nuclear weapons is to see to it that they are never used.” There won’t be anything again like World War I or World War 11. Circumstances have changed so dramatically and the countries that are capable of engaging in a world war are not possibly going to do it. The problems today are regional and internal conflicts. The break up of Yugoslavia and the consequence of ethnic cleansing-that sort of thing will continue to occur. It’s not a perfect world by any means, but the industrialized countries of the world are not going to wage World War 111. BR: How would you compare the mood of the world today regarding the threat of nuclear arms with the Cold War era? PCW: We aren’t yet used to the fact that the Cold War is over. There are still thoughts of, “What if Russia becomes aggressive again?” But I think the chances of that are nonexistent. I mean, under what circumstances would Russia want to attack western Europe? BR: If there was anything in the world you could change, what would it be? PCW: The big thing you want to get rid of is intolerance. If you look at the bad situations in the world today it’s because people don’t recognize our common humanity. Look at the former Yugoslavia, ethnically they are all the same; they’re all Slavs. The difference is religion. Why should that religious difference breed violent intolerance? Then in Africa, some of the dreadful things that take place are due to historic tribal and ethnic disputes. People have got to learn to live with one another. BR: That sounds simplistic. PCW: What’s wrong with that? The recognition of our common humanity is the most important thing that needs to take place. January 1969 INTERVIEWS OF PAUL C. WARNKE Interviewer: Dorothy Pierce – c2 – GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS SERVICE Gift of Personal Statement By Paul C. Warnke to the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library In accordance with Sec. 507 of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended (44 U.S.C. 397) and regulations issued thereunder (41 CFR 101-lo), I, , hereinafter referred to as the donor, hereby give, donate, and convey to the United States of Americ? for.eVentua1 deposit in the proposed Lyndon Baines Johnson Library, and for administration therein by the authorities thereof, a tape and transcript of a personal statement approved by me and prepared for the purpose of deposit in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library. The gift of this material is made subject to the following terms and conditions: Paul C. Warnke 1. Title to the material transferred hereunder, and all literary property rights, will pass to the United States as of the date of the delivery of this material into the physic31 custudy of the Archivist of the United States. 2. It is the donor’s wish to make the material donated to the United States of America by the terms of :he instrument available for research in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library. At the same time, it is his wish to guard against the possibility of its contents being used to embarrass, damage, injure, or harass anyone. Therefore, in pursuance of this objective, and in accordance with the provisions of Sec, 507 (f) (3) of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949, as amended (44 U.S.C. 397) this material shall not, for a period of five years, be available for examination by anyone excspt persons who have received my express written authorization to examine it. This restriction shall not apply to employees and officers of the General Services Administration (including the- National Archives and Records Service and the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library) engaged in performing normal archival work processes. 3. A revision of this stipulation governing access to the material for research may be entered into between the donor and the Archivist of the United States, or his designee, if it appears desirable. 2 4. The material donated to the United States pursuant to the foregoing shall be kept intact permanently in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library. Archivist of the United States Date March 11. 1975 .. Oral His tory Collection Tape Index continuation sheet ?age or estimated time on tape 14 15-16 16-17 17-18 19 20-23 23-26,32,33 27 ..– 28-32 33-38 ,. Tape #2 1-4 4-13 13-16 16-17 17-19 21-24 26-29 29-31 31-32 32-33 33-35 35-36 36-37 ~ – 37-38 Narrator Paul C. Warnke Subject (s) covered First meeting with Lyndon Johnson Chairman of the Department of Defense Prisoner of War Advisory Comittee Meetings with President Johnson Served on task force to study Pueblo crisis Task force dealing with labor disputes Interpretation of International Security Affairs Military Assistance Program Controversy over “Country-X Loans” Criticism of arms supply policy American foreign policy Assessment of the Military Assistance Program Views on the course and strategy of the Viet Nan war Domino theory National interest in Southest Asia Bombing of North Viet Nam Limited wars Seizure of the Pueblo Tet Offensive Chairman of thi POW Committee Coordinating with State Department Effectiveness Importance of Disarmament ABM of the National Security Council NATO in regard to national security Oral History Collection Narrator Paul C. IJarnke Tape Index continuation sheet Page or estimated time on tape 1-2 2-6 6-7 7-10 10-11 11-13 13-14 ,. . ,. 14 Subject(s) covered Tape 83 Nonproliferation Treaty Future pressure points in the world National Security geared to the impact and respc from other superpowers Assessment of the relations of the Defense Dept. with Congress Comparison of Secretaries McNamara and Clifford Effect of Viet Nam on the Johnson Administration Sinking of the U. S. S. “Liberty” Transition INTERVIEWEE: PAUL C. WARNKE (TAPE #I) INTERVIEWER: DOROTHY PIERCE January 8, 1969 P: W: P: W: P: W: P: W: P: This interview is with Paul C. Warnke, Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. Today is Wednesday, January 8, 1969. It’s three -thirty in the afternoon. We are in Mr. Warnke’s office in the Pentagon, and this is Dorothy Pierce. Mr. Warnke, I would like to begin our interview with brief background information on you that I’ve gone into and see if I have got the correct information. of Defense for International Security in June of 1967. You were nominated and confirmed as Assistant Secretary That is correct. Your first government appointment had been just eight months earlier in September 1966 as General Counsel to the Department of Defense. That’s also correct. And prior to that you were an associate and partner in a Washington, D.C., law firm. Yes. And since 1948. And I do have all correct information so far? Yes, you do. Mr. Warnke, your predecessor in this office, Mr. John MacMaughton, also served as General Counsel of Defense. with these positions, or reasoning, that the two of you have had a similar background? Is there any relationship here 2 W: I would say that the only comparison is the fact that Bob McNamara had the feeling that the General Counsel’s spot was a good spot into which to introduce new people into the Department of Defense. the General Counsel’s office was as a sort of a utility infielder; that you could utilize somebody who had been legally trained in a variety of sort of special missions. How, in addition to that of course, the Deputy General Counsel, Leonard Niederlehner, has been around the Department of Defense for many, many years. As a consequence, the general law work of the Penta.gon is very competently handled, .which leaves the General His concept of Counsel free to undertake special tasks for the Secretary and the Deputy Secretary of Defense. So, as a consequence, Bob McNamara first brought Cy Vance in as General Counsel, then after a period made him Secretary of the Army, and then eventually Deputy Secretary of Defense. days, John was made General Counsel after having served, I believe, in Arms Control. him to the Secretary of the Navy job before he was killed. Mr. Warnke, who brought you in originally? Actually, I think it was more Cy Vance’s idea than anybody else’s. had known Cy and, of course, Cy himself was a lawyer. reason was that he and Bob McNamara anticipated that Senator ElcClellan was going to hold an extensive hearing on the F-111; so I was brought in to defend the F-111 program. never held, or at least they have not been held as yet. In John MacNaughton’s And then he moved John to this job, and then had moved P: W: I The principal 3 As a matter of fact, those hearings were P: That may happen soon. What made you decide to come to work for the government ? 3 W: I’d say a couple of reasons. First of all, I practiced law in Washington for about eighteen years. I think I probably would have taken on a government assignment prior to that tine if it hadn’t been for the vast wasteland of the Eisenhower years. would have been eligible for a more junior position. Then when Kennedy cane in in 1960 I was quite available, but nobody ever offered me the kind of a job that I wanted. the Department of Defense because I had net McNamara, knew Cy, and was very impressed with the caliber of the people here and the nature of the problems. and this struck me as being an ideal opportunity. As a lawyer, did you find government work a different type of discipline or requiring different techniques? That cane at about the tine when I I was particularly interested in going with My specific interest was in the field of national security, .. P: W: I would not say so. You have to first of all understand something about It’s not like the law practice You’re dealing very the nature of a Washington law practice. in New York City or in any other part of the world. basically with sort of the interrelationship between big American business and the United States government so that an awful lot of your contacts are government contacts. long hours in a Washington law practice that you find that you work in the United States government. Not only that, but you get used to working the As far as the techniques are concerned, it seems to =–and this is terribly parochial on my part–that a lawyer’s training really puts you in a good position to cope with governmental problems on a policy basis. In other words, your job as a lawyer is to take a look at an overall situation, try and isolate the salient facts, and then come to the best possible conclusion, or the best possible recommendation for your client. SO, essentially, it seemed to me that what I was doing was changing clients, rather than changing techniques. The big change however, apart from the change in client, was the nature of the problem. Your approach to the problem was the same. The only difference, and a very cardinal difference, was that the problem made an awful lot more difference. significance, so that it made the challenge greater and, also, the at tractions greater . You’ve somewhat answered this for me already, but do you find the demands of public service distinguish themselves from private practice in any other ways than what welve covered? Yes. I’d say that one other way is that you can approach them with a greater degree of objectivity because of the fact that you’re trying to represent the national interest. a client, you kncw in advance where it is that you want to come out. Then it’s the question of trying to do the best possible job of advocacy in order to promote your client’s obvious selfish interests. It was a problem of infinitely greater P: ,. W: If you’re dealing with a problem of Now if you’re dealing, instead of that, with a problem in the field of national security, it’s more important that you endeavor to be objective, at least until you reach the point At which your superior has come to his conclusions. At that point it again turns into an advocate’s role because then you do the best possible job you can of marshaling the facts to support the conclusion. Are you in effect saying that there’s room for greater development of idealism in the government? P: 5 W: Oh, of course there is–obviously so. lures of government service. period of my years in Washington who have found it impossible to leave government service even though they could make infinitely more money I think that’s one of the great I’ve had a great number of friends over the practicing law on the outside, just because of the fact that they had the appeal and the infinite attraction of working for what they regarded as being the best interest of the United States rather than the inevitably selfish interest of a large corporate client. p: Of course, power is rather attractive. W: Yes, but Rower in the United States Government is sufficently centralized in the President, and in his Cabinet advisers, so that you don’t have that illusion of omnipotence yourself. You have a certain amount of authority, but as far as power is concerned, your only real power is the power to recommend, and hence the influence. outside. smaller magnitude. Mr. Warnke, you’ve already mentioned that in coming on as General Counsel you believed you were going to work at the beginning on the F-111 series. Would you give me your views on how this case developed? On how the case developed? would have to say that it originated in a personality conflict. entire matter since the initiation of the contract award developed because of the fact that there was a clash of personality between two very strong and two very stubborn men. hand, and Senator McClelland on the other. Apart from that, it’s hard to distinguish that contract, except in size, from any of the awards You have that degree of parer on the It’s just that the affairs you’re influencing are of a far P: W: Well, if you look at it as a case, I think you The That was Secretary McNamara on the one 6 that take place. Anytime you make a decision on a major weapons system there are, quite clearly, competing contestant to whom it makes a great deal of difference whether or not they get the award. . There aren’t that many big weapons systems contracts open at any one time. In this instance you had two competitors, both of whom had come up with what appeared to me to have been quite comparable proposals. decision was made to give the award to General Dynamics. Senator McClellan, I think largely at the instigation of Senator Jackson, A At that point asked that the award be held up. his position to determine who should get the award. had been made and he wasn’t going to let the Legislative Branch interfere Bob McNamara figured that it was The determination with the prerogatives of the Executive Branch. As a consequence Senator McClellan’s nose got very far out of joint, and has remained so, and I think the pain has increased over the years. P: Did you have any views as a lawyer before you came to Defense on the developments as they had been so far because, of course, all of this was back in ’62, I believe–’61. W: On the F-111 contract? P: Yes. W: I had never had any acquaintance with the facts at all, so that I had no views except for my instinctive bias that Secretary McNamara was probably correct. 1 P: Did you actively play any role in reviewing the contracts and the–? W: Yes, I did. A good bit of my time during my first months in the Department was devoted to trying to deal with the investigation. And in that connection, of course, it was necessary to review the documents; to talk 7 to the people who participated at that time; and to try and form some sort of opinion of what the issues would be in this hearing, which as yet has not been held. So that I became quite familiar with the background. Then, in addition to that, as you probably know, Secretary McNamara had set up what was initially a weekly review meeting with the contractors. That was with General Dynamics, who was responsible for the airframe, and Pratt and Whitney, who were responsible for the engine. purpose of those was not to deal with the McClellan investigation, but to solve some of the highly complex technological problems that are inherent..in the development of a weapons systems of this complexity. You spoke of sort of isolating the issues involved here. see them as–the major ones? First of all, you’ve got to sort them into the objective ones and the subjective ones. I’ve referred to the subjective ones. The subjective one was a clash in strong personalities. Now the – P: What did you W: The objective ones were, I would suppose, basically three in number. The first one was whether there had been any impropriety with respect to the award itself. order to come to a preordained conclusion. that there had been no abuse of the procedural techniques employed. In other words, had procedures been subverted in It was pretty obvious to me A second issue was whether the entire project was a bad idea in terms of do- ability. In other words, the concept was one of comrmonality. That here you have the Air Force with one particular requirement- the Navy with another requirement- and the conclusion made that whichever of these two proposals–by Boeing and by General Dynamics–was accepted, each one of them was to be evaluated in tenus of whether or not you did 8 have a common airplane. have endeavored to arrive at a connnon airplane for the two missions: one Air Force and one Navy mission. The real key technological issue was should you And then the third issue, as I saw it, was the competence and efficiency with which the contract had been carried out by the contractor under government management. What was your view on the practicality of a common plane for these two services? 1 never arrived at any really satisfactory conclusion because I was never sure that the missions which were contemplated by the two services had been adequately defined. In other words, if you look at it in the abstract, there is no reason why you should not have a cmon airplane for certain missions where the objectives are reconcilable. In this But those were the basic issues. P: w: .. instance, viewed in the abstract, the two missions were reconcilable. Both services wanted a plane which would be capable of flying very fast, flying very high, also flying very low at supersonic speeds, and with an appreciable range and loiter time. could see, sufficient elements of similarity in the original concepts, so that you could aim at a single airplane. Therefore, there were as far as I After all, we do have instances of commonality at the present time. You have the F-4 which is utilized very extensively both by the Air Force and by the Navy. which can be both land-based and carrier-based. Accordingly you do have already a prototype of a plane But the question that still remains in my mind is whether you don’t end up with a problem–when you start out trying to reconcile two missions–because the chances are very great that either or both missions will 9 be revised during the development process. And those revisions in mission may really frustrate your initial objective of arriving at a common airplane because the missions are no longer reconcilable. I think that that, to some extent, happened in this case. P: There has been recent publicity that, in effect, this series has cost the American taxpayer a loss of about one billion dollars. there’s any validity in that? No, I think there’s no validity at all. I think it’s also impossible to prove or to disprove–except in the Sense that you cannot say that there has been a LOSS, because the loss is compared to what! Do you feel W: It’s sort of like a client’bf mine who told me one year that he lost five hundred thousand dollars. thousand dollars, and he anticipated making three million; so he lost five hundred thousand dollars. What he meant was that he made two million, five hundred In this particular instance, what they are saying is that Bob McNamara initially said that by having a cmon airplane we could save one billion dollars. maybe not even approximate–let’s say that the contract had cost us to date two billion dollars more than you initially anticipated. you could I think by wholly flagistic reasoning come to the conclusion that your total loss had been one billion dollars? or three billion dollars, Now let’s say, and these figures aren’t exact– Well, then or you name it. It’s just sort of playing with numbers. P: Did you feel any pressure from any area regarding your assessment of this contract award of the program? W: None whatsoever. P: Just a general question. Were there some major legal problems that you. N : 10 faced during your appointment as General Counsel to the Defense Department that come to mind? Yes. problems. Tbt has to do with the issue as to how you treat contractor personnel, or, let’s say, merchant seamen who are caught engaged in illegal activity in Viet Nam. We had a variety of what I regarded as being quite interesting legal One of them has not as yet been satisfactorily resolved. As you probably know, there are two sections of the Uniform Code of Military Justice which initially gave court martial jurisdiction over civilians under some circumstances. because it provided that in peace time people, such as dependents of members of the Armed Forces stationed overseas, could be tried by court martial. decide that they would do in their husbands on foreign soil, and the Supreme Court held that the court martial jurisdiction was not applicable under those circumstances. >* One was held to be unconstiKutiona1, In a couple of instances there were service wives who would There’s another provision that states that in time of war court martial jurisdiction exists over civilians who are accompanying an Armed Force into the field. which you have a number of American civilians who are in fact accompanying an armed force in the field. in addition to that the contractor personnel who make–my be working on building something like an Air Force base. they engage in black market activities; sometimes they beat up on one another; sometimes they murder one another. cular reason why they should try and prosecute an American who has Now, in Viet Nam, You’ve got a situation in You have the Merchant Seamen. You’ve got In some instances regrettably The Vietnamese see no parti- 11 comitted a crime against the United States Government or against another American, so that you’re faced with the question that whether under those circumstances you should exercise court martial jurisdiction. There has been a difference of opinion between the State Department and the Department of Defense on this issue. I felt as General Counsel, and still feel, that there is no nore reason why you should shrink from bringing court martial proceedings against the civilian contractor personnel employee who is engaged in black market activities in Viet Nam than you should about bringing court martial proceedings against somebody who is aGinvoluntary member of the Armed Forces. yo^ could make the argument that morally there is more reason to take the position that the contractor employee has submitted himself to court martial jurisdiction. He’s there on purpose. In many instances the nineteen or twenty-year old kid, who happens to be a member of the Armed Forces, is there very much against his will. As a matter of fact, Then we did have a number of very interesting questions with respect to the law of the sea, which I think is much too technical for me to get into at the present time. Another one that we did have that I thought was a very interesting . problem had to do with whether you could declare segregated housing near Army bases, or Air Force bases, or Naval installations to be off-limits. Secretary McNamara wanted very much to insure that the colored serviceman did not encounter discriminatory treatment in endeavoring to find housing Y for himself and his family near a service base, so that over a period ! that real estate owners– trailer camps, anything of of time we developed a policy of requiring by that I mean people who owned apartments 12 a multiple housing nature–open up their facilities to all servicemen regardless of color, or else their particular facility would be declared off-limits. There was some considerable doubt, I think, in the minds of lots of people as to whether or not that was legal. could you tell one serviceman, “You may not rent from a particular proprietor because he discriminates against other servicemen because of their color.” of the other Southern legislators would not have been very enthusiastic about any such policy. In other words, Also, which you might anticipate, Chairman Rivers and some ~ We decided that it had to be attempted because it was getting to be a very inflamatory issue. which the State of Maryland, in connection with open housing legislation, called upon the Secretary of Defense to take action to insure that no discriminatory practices existed. We were able to point to this provision in the Maryland law as sort of the opening wedge, so that initially we evolved the policy of requiring that any housing near bases in Mary – land be open to all service personnel or else be open to none. Not only that, we ran into a situation in As a matter of fact, since that time the policy has been made generally applicable and has been accepted, I think, with considerable cooperation of both the realtors and our service personnel. P: Has it been challenged? W: It has not. And of course now, it cannot be because of the Fair Housing provisions that have been enacted into law since then. We were a little ahead of the Fair Housing Legislation, but were able to use the Maryland precedent to make it applicable on a nationwide basis once the Fair Housing provisions went into effect. 13 P: W: P: W: P: W: P: W: Was your work as the General Counsel strictly legal, or in this position did you also get involved in policy matters? As I’ve already indicated, Secretary McNamara did not visualize the General Counsel’s job as being completely a legal position; so, as a consequence, I did get into policy matters of various types. What are some of the major ones that come to your mind? Well, for one thing I was in charge of a review of the tactical aircraft study that had been put together by a panel of the President’s Scientific Advisory Council. Then, frequently, I was asked by Secretary McNamara to consider various problems that arose with respect to the Viet Nam war. What were these at that time? I think that the first one arose out of a series of articles that had been written by Harry Ashmore and Bill Baggs based on their visits to North Viet Nam and certain allegations that had been made either by them or by North Vietnamese to them with respect to the bombing of North Viet Nam. So I was asked to talk with Ashmore and Baggs, and then to find out what I could about the facts which had been reported either through or to them. In some other instances, I was asked to review various memoranda that had been prepared, again in some instances dealing with the efficacy of the bombing; in some other instances dealing with other aspects of the military campaign in South Viet Nam. What were your conclusions from your meetings with Mr. Ashmore and Mr. Baggs? It was really impossible to come to any kind of a conclusion about which 14 YOU could have a real degree of confidence. and they admit it, that the North Vietnamese were reporting to them in a highly colored basis. evitability of some attacks on civilian targets in the course of any sort I think it was very clear, But at the same time you had to concede the inof a bombing campaign. Typical, for example, was a charge with respect to a particular town, somewhat south of Hanoi. The North Vietnamese used that town as an illustration of an indiscriminate bombing attack that was designed to terrorize rather than to neutralize any sort of military facilities, or . facilities that might have been more war supporting. Now I think that .. both Ashmore and Baggs, in all good faith, accepted that because, for one thing, some of the facilities that had previously been war supporting had been totally destroyed so that even their on-the-scene review did not put them in a position where they could assess the validity of the charge that was made by the North Vietnamese. But at the same time, it was very clear from some of the pictures that they had received and from some of their eye-witness accounts that some civilian targets had been attacked. Now, you never know whether that’s inadvertence, or whether it’s recklessness on the part of a particular pilot. well under the pressures of war. Mr. Warnke, on what occasions have you met with President Johnson, beginPeople .don’t always behave terribly P: ning with the first? Let’s see. when he came by and shook hands with the people who were sitting at my table at a luncheon intended to raise funds for Senator Wayne Morse. Third party: (This is Capt. Robert Pace, Military Asst. to the Asst. W: I think the first occasion was back in 1950, and that was Secretary of Defense.) 15 Did you want to interject the chairmanship of the Defense POW Policy Committee as a General Counsel, or pick it up later? W: B: W: P: W: P: W: P: W: P: I don’t think that I took over that as General Counsel, did I? I think that came afterwards. I think, Bob, that that was after I became Assistant Secretary for ISA, wasn’t it? (Indistinguishable) You’re right. I did become that as General Counsel. While I was General Counsel, I was asked to become chairman of the committee which had been established by Paul Nitze. That was the Department of Defense Prisoner of War Advisory Committee. That consisted of representatives of the various services–the Secretaries of the Army, Navy, and Air Force; Defense Intelligence Agency; Joint Chiefs of Staff. The objective was to coordinate all of the Department of Defense activities dealing with prisoners of war and to act as the point of liaison with the Department of State where Averell Harriman had primary responsibility as the President’s representative on prisoner of war matters. This is primarily, of course, concerned with Viet Nam? Primarily concerned with Viet Nam. Also, of course, it Concerned itself with the Pueblo crew, and with the occasional detainees in Cambodia; and also the pilots–1 think there are three of them now, aren’t there, Bob–who are being held by the Communist Chinese. When was this appointment? It was in the early summer of 1967. Until when? It’s still continuing. And are you still the General Counsel? 16 I’m still the chairman of the committee, right. I probably will come back to that. I do have some questions later on on the Pueblo, and we can draw on that. We were talking about occasions when you have met the President. The occasions on which I have met President Johnson have been just about as intimate as that first one. directly. I think I sat in on possibly two meetings at which the President was present. I can’t think of more than two, can you, Bob? I’ve had almost nothing to do with him W: P: W: Bob : Of course, he recognized you when you came to OSD. W: P: W: P: W: P: Yes, but my contact has always been with the President through the Secretary .of Defense. question of whether or not to try and sell F-5’s to Brazil and Peru in order to forestall their purchase of French Mirages. I think I participated in one meeting on the I was an attendant at a meeting that the President held with respect to the Middle East crisis back in June of 1967, and I think one meeting in connection with the Pueblo. at which I’ve even been present when the President was in the chair. Did you offer any information or conclusions, or were any opinions requested of you in these meetings? On the Middle East one, no–1 was there purely as an observer. In the case of the jets for South America, yes–1 interjected a remark or two of monumental triviality. What was your position? That there wasn’t a darned thing we could do about it. to buy Mirages, they were going to buy Mirages, that we shouldn’t get ourselves in a demeaning position by trying somehow to bribe them not to. And the Pueblo meeting? Was that a recent–? I think those are the only three meetings If they wanted 1J : B: W: P: W: P: W: P: W: B: W: B: W: 17 NO, this was immediately after the seizure. yes we were on our Far East trip at the time of the seizure. We were called back by the Secretary of Defense at the time of that crisis. And there was a task force that was set up, wasn’t there, Bob? I think, you and I, Bob,– Yes, sir. The task force was set up. I think that Sam Berger, who is now Deputy Ambassador in Saigon, was in charge of the task force. of the initial meetings the President was a participant; and I was there in one of them. Were you a member of the task force? Yes. How many were on that task force? I’d say that the regular members during the fairly brief period of time in which it was in existence were Ambassador Berger; Walt bstow; Clark Clifford, who had been named to succeed McNamara but who had not yet taken over the job; McNamara; Rusk; and I think Max Taylor was in at some of the early meetings. How long did you meet in this capacity? I’d say for about a week, and after that period of time the task force-. The task force at really the Secretariat level then disbanded. just, you know, to determine what the immediate steps might be that the United States should take. . It was to collect the facts in chronology. Yes. It was a task group lower echelon. But then the task group continued at the working level. At some ,. This was 18 Did you participate in that? No. point. who went over and talked with Ambassador Brown, who succeeded Ambassador Berger as head of that task group, was Dick Steadman. He participated as much as we participated through you to the Secretary. That’s right. With whom do you deal primarily on the President’s staff? I would say more with Walt Rostow than with anybody else except on things like balance of payments problem in which I deal with Ed FrLed. Occasionally with Bromley Smith, but usually more directly with Walt. In your very few occasions–this is kind of a general question–of your associations with the President, do you have any impressions of him– This is not meant to be a loaded question. The finest President I have ever worked for. Over the almost year-and-a-half now, two years-and-a-half–that you’ve worked in Defense, have you been on call; or what is your status in a crisis situation? I’ve got a gray phone in my house, so I guess I’m on call. He’s on call twenty-four hours a day. And when they develop, you come to the Pentagon? Yes. Stay here? We’re usually here anyway. Do they develop during the day primarily? partially answered this–appointed you to any other committees or panels I think that one of my deputies, Dick Steadman, participated at that Charlie Grosjean was in on it too, but I think that the one ,. Has the President–Well, you’ve P: W: B: W: P: W: P: W: P: W: B: P: W: P: W: P: W: P: W: P: W: P: W: P: W: P: W: 19 or task forces outside of this one on the Pueblo crisis? Yes. I was on a task force for the President when I was General Counsel that had to do with how you deal with labor disputes that affect the national security. Participating from Defense angle? Participating for the Department of Defense, yes. Was this a very extensive panel, and was it for any Presidential messages? It was called for a specific purpose in trying to determine whether there was a mor6 efficient, more comprehensive way, of dealing with such things as steel strikes, railroad strikes, other types of strikes, that might: have an immediate adverse impact on the security interests of the United States. and came to the conclusion that there is no good solution to dealing with human problems . Have YOU ever traveled with Mr. Johnson? Never. Ever been asked to travel for him? No. We went through the usual changes on compulsory arbitration etc., As I say, I’ve always worked for the Secretary of Defense, so that if I was traveling €or the President, then it would be through the Secretary of Defense. Do you travel much in your position? Not a great deal. I found it very difficult to leave town unless the Secretary leaves town, so that that has been primarily on NATO meetings and on a trip to Viet Nam with Bob McNamara back in July 1967, and one with Clark Clifford in July 1968. The other occasions have been NATO meetings You did mention a Far East trip. 20 with the Secretary–in one instance with Paul Nitze. This was after Bob McNamara had accepted the appointment to the World Bank and before he had left. attend a Security Committee meeting with the Japanese. Then on one occasion I went, without the Secretary, to That was interrupted about half way through with McNamara telling me to come on home. I haven’t tried to get away alone,since. This is sort of a duplication here, but have you been given any special assignments or responsibilities beyond what would be encompassed in International Security Affairs? We’ve always interpreted International Security Affairs, Miss Pierce, sufficienLly broadly so that nothing would be outside of the scope. take a very expansive view of the charter. Then can you briefly give me an idea of what this broadly encompassed position is? P: W: We I P: W: Well, I think that the charter, as far as the establishment of ISA is concerned, reads something along the lines that the function of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs is to identify emerging and existing problems throughout the world that may be of interest to the security of the United States. narrow-minded, you can expand that to take in just about anything. And how do you interpret it? Very broadly. really impossible €or any aspect of our foreign policy, for any international development, not to affect, one way or another, the national security. Now, under those circumstances, of course you’ve got to take a very broad view as to what is intended by the words that I’ve just , And unless you’re very P: W: What I mean by that, to be serious about it, is that it’s P: W: P: W: P: W: P: W: 21 recited. Now, as a consequence, also the Secretary of Defense very fre – quently finds himself in a position where he is examining the exact same problem that the Secretary of State is examining so that unless you’re quite careful, you’re going to get your signals crossed. it’s important that there be such a position as the Assistant Secretary of Defense in International Security Affairs, because he must act as a liaison with the Department of State and see to it that we are pursuing consistent policies on the various situations that arise. That’s what Does this type of interpretation and this coordination with the State Department make any difficulty in making effective and quick decisions on critical situations? No, I’d say it certainly makes no difficulty. that otherwise would develop. You have a great many bases to touch here, though, don’t you? No, because there’s no official clearance procedure that has to be followed. But what you have to do is just make sure that the positions which you are taking on behalf of the Secretary of Defense don’t run in conflict with the positions that are being taken on the part of the Secretary of State. Has this occurred? No, because I’ve done the job so efficiently. Between the State and the Defense Department, in reaching an agreement on your policy decisions regarding foreign affairs,’are you always Ln agreement? Well, of course, we’re not always in agreement. There’d be no reason for the President having a multiplicity of advisers if they’re always It eliminates difficulties 22 going to be in agreement at all times. And no two human beings find themselves consistently in agreement, even on simple matters. These are matters of immense complexity, and there are often differences of opinion. But what you want to do is to expose those differences rather than to submerge them, and, if necessary, bring them to the President for resolution. And that frequently occurs. Does it come to a point of a determination of whether this is a military or a diplomatic strategy that should be considered? I would say that on any problem that’s of sufficient significance to be brought to the President of the United States, it’s going to be both–if it’s either. p: W: ,. Take for example such a question as, as anything arising out of the Middle East crisis. options are in connection with the Middle East without looking at it from the standpoint of what’s going to affect the foreign policy interests of the United States and also what’s militarily feasible. let’s say that we were to conclude–which we won’t–that the thing to do at this stage would be to threaten the United Arab Republic. don’t sign a peace treaty with Israel, then we’ll invade you.t’ Now, obviously you can’t look at what the American In other words, “If you Now, you have two questions on that. One of them would be, politically, is that a desirable thing to do? Would that tend to protect American interests in the area? Now that question as to whether it would be politically desirable would have to be one that would be primarily determined by the Department of State. I’m quite confident that they would determine that the answer is 18N01′ , that it would not be in our interests. But let’s say that they were to lose their mind and say thae 23 the answer is “Yes.” Well, then you’d have to make a military determination as to whether or not this could be done. In other words, do you have the capability of invading and occupying the United Arab Republic and, also, in the event the Soviet Union were to take exception to your contact, are you in a position where you can repel any connected counteraction on the part of the Soviet Union! . So on any question of that sort, you’ve got political matters which are primarily the determination of the Department of State, but on which the Department of Defense certainly would express a position. have ‘to express a position because we would have the fundamental responsibility for military implementation of that policy in the final analysis. Is the order in which you’ve given these the way you would address the situation, politically and then militarily? It would, I would suppose, be that more often than the other way around. it would not be the inevitable order. We would P: W: But In other words, there would be come instances in which it would be so clear that your military capability was inadequate so that you would never resolve -the political question as to whether or not it would be in your interests to take that kind of overt military action. Oh, I might cite for example something like Czechoslovakia. I would say that nobody ever really addressed the political question as to whether it would be in the American interest to try and repel the Russian invaders because of the fact that it was so apparent from the military standpoint that you couldn’t do it! P: I believe that our Military Assistance Program comes within your area of 24 of responsibility. W: That is correct. P: I’d really like to just let you talk a little about your views on it in tenns of its having done what it is meant to do, and in the light of the fact that it has been sort of a continuing controversy. Well, let’s start out by trying to state what it is that military assistance is intended to do. Part of the trouble, of course, is that it’s intended to do a variety of things, not all of which are consistent. W: The general genesis of military assistance was in the post-World War I1 period, where it was important to us to restore the military capability of Western Europe. World War I1 their economies and their military machines were virtually decimated. provide for their own defense. was clearly, at that time, in an expansionist mood. .. You had a situation where in the aftermath of Not only that, but they didn’t have the economic capacity to And you had the challenge of Russia which Now, under those circumstances, what you were doing was to shore up the defense of Western Europe. in the twentieth century that the security of Western Europe was vital to our security. of that objective; and that that program at that time received very widespread support, even from quarters that were opposed to the economic programs that they regarded as being “give-away” programs. In other words, the relationship of our own national security is sufficiently clear so that even opponents of foreign aidwouldsupport a military assistance program. And we had already discovered twice I don’t think anybody had any doubts about the validity Now you’ve got elements of that classic motivation in military assistance 25 still. We still have Greece and Turkey who are members of the NATO Alliance, and who don’t have the economic self-sufficiency to provide for their own defense. Now on other elements that are involved in the Military Assistance Program–the second one, let’s say, are base rights. In some instances our military assistance enables us to enjoy access to bases throughout the world. We are not, in the case of Ethiopia, for example, primarily concerned about Ethiopia’s ability to defend itself. is not crucial to the security of the United States. they are Rot subjected to the kind of threat that Western Europe was subjected to subsequent to World War 11. But we have certain facilities in Ethiopia which are of value to the United States of America. So in those instances military assistance constitutes a quid pro quo for base rights– again not very controversial. Ethiopia’s security Not only that, but And then a third type of military assistance involved training programs, which are designed to preserve American influence over the military machines of foreign countries. into a more controversial area, You’re beginning at that stage to get You get people who maintain, for example, that our military training programs and our small materiel aid programs in Latin America have the effect of shoring up military dictations. I think they’re totally irrelevant to the existence of the military dictatorships. countries in the absence of any military aid whatsoever. recent examples of that. program in Peru, but nonetheless you had a military coup. In the case of Argentina, certainly the Ongania coup was, in no respect, subsidized by They would exist because of the internal problems of those And we’ve had We don’t have any substantial military aid 26 military aid. But those who quite rightly look with dismay at the existing internal situations in Latin America tend in some instances to attribute the shortcomings–that are totally indigenous shortcomings–somehow to our very small aid programs. ‘valuable, and they’re good value for the amount of money that is involved I happen to think that the aid programs are in them. controversial. But they are controversial, and we have to recognize that they’re And then finally you’ve got military assistance, which I think everybody,.accepts, to such countries as Korea , or–maybe everybody doesn’t accept it–to Taiwan, the countries that border on the Conrmunist world; and where we feel that their ability to defend themselves is important to our security–not as directly to our security in those instances as it is with respect to Western Europe. But nonetheless experience has indicated that if the Cornrmnist nations in Asia try any sort of expansion we tend to be drawn in, and from that standpoint it’s certainly in our interest to see to it that they’ve got their own self defense capability rather than our being faced with the very tough decision as to whether to intervene on their behalf as we’ve done in the past. So that you’ve got a whole collection of different kinds of things under the overall head of military assistance. itself, the military Grant Aid program, has gone down very substantially in the past several years. a comparable basis, something like one-and-a-half billion dollars. Now the Grant Aid program I think at one point, Bob, it was what?–On B: 1.532. 27 w: Yes. And itls now down to something like three hundred and seventyfive million dollars. Of that amount some one hundred and sixty million is for Korea; another almost one hundred million is for Turkey; and some thirty -five to forty million is Greece–So that you can see there’s not a great deal left in military assistance. P: In grants. W: In grants. Now, the more controversial part of the program in recent years has been military sales. And that’s what has taken most of the heat. The reasons, I think, are probably more psychological than they are pract5cal. Really, the controversy back in 1967 originated in the hearings on the Export-Import Bank legislation, because at that point the Banking and Currency Committees stumbled over the facts that the Export-Import Bank had a category of loans that they referred to as “Country X loans.” And some of the members of Congress thought that this was an effort on the part of the Export-Import Bank, and more importantly on the part of the Department of Defense, to hide the fact that the Export-Import Bank was making loans to finance sales of military equipment to lesser-developed countries. As a matter of fact, that was not the case. The Country X Loans were thoroughly known by the Armed Services Conunittees, and the purpose of classifying them as Country X Loans had to do more with the bankers’ caution than it had to do with anything else. wanted them classified as Country X so that neighboring countries would not recognize that their neighbors were receiving credit assistance. But nonetheless this is what started the particular controversy back in the The Export-Import Bank 28 summer of 1967. And I think that essentially what it showed was the great sensitivity of Congress, reflecting the great sensitivity of the people of the United States, with respect to American involvement. influenced by the experience in Viet Nam. And some Congressmen have even said to me, in hearings at which I’ve testified, that the way we got drawn into Viet Nam was first of all through military assistance. as far as they were concerned, all military assistance was bad because it had the potential of dragging us into another Viet Nam. We had all become, I think, So Now,fhe fact is that no military sales on either a credit or a cash basis can be made without the approval of the Secretary of State. the Department of Defense is not in the position where it’s an unfettered arms merchant. with as a part of the total foreign policy of the United States. The area that I think comes to mind concerning this most strongly right now, of course, is your Middle East situation. I would take it this would be like what you were referring to in your Latin American countries, except that welve seen a rather dynamic explosion of our arms being used against each other. And it comes down to the question, and I think you may have partially answered this, but that in supplying arms are we not running the risk of generating conflict and not ju’st promoting security? I’d say the answer there is a categorical %o.” That OUT supply of anns cannot be blamed for any of the conflicts that have existed during our time. that are cited most often in criticism of our arms supply policy. first of them is India-Pakistan, and the second om is the Middle East. So It never has been. Our military transfers are all dealt P: W: Let me give you two examples, and they’re the two examples The 29 Now let’s take India and Pakistan. Prior to 1965 the United States supplied major end items both to India and to Pakistan. because of our view that it was important that both of these countries have the capacity to deter any aggression by either Communist China or by the Soviet Union. foreign policy. It’s sometimes referred to as “close-in containment.” It’s sometimes referred to as “shoring up the defense of the free world.” I don’t think anybody really objects to it. We did so That’s a classic consistent ingredient of our Now the problem, of course, is that the traditional hostility between the Moslems and the Hindus makes the Indians and the Paks look at one another as the other’s greatest threat, rather than the Soviet Union or Communist China. Back in 1965, after a series of border incidents, you ended up with a shooting war; and they were both utilizing to a considerable extent American military equipment. One of the reasons that we could help bring it to a halt was that we were the supplier, and we could shut off the tap. That war was brought to a halt. What sort of situation do we have at the present time? You’ve got one in which the major supplier of Pakistan is Communist China. supplier of India is the Soviet Union. to shooting at one another! The major Now, let’s say that they got back Are we any better off because India is firing Soviet bullets, and the Paks are firing Chinese bullets? Or haven’t we just put ourselves in a position in which we have lost the ability to influence the conduct of each country to a considerable extent. NOW, I don’t happen to advocate a restoration of our role as a major supplier of arms to either the Pakistani or the Indians. But I don’t think that that has lessened the degree of tension between the two 30 countries, nor has it diminished the risk that they may shoot at one another. anything by being a major supplier of arms to either country. give us the ultimate control, but our position as an arms supplier or as a non-arms supplier is really irrelevant as to whether or not there’s going to be a further outbreak of hostilities between the Indians and the Paks. enough to supply them, so that our role in that connection–where you’ve got this sort of a traditional rivalry–is a matter of irrelevance. a matter o€.fact you could contend that you had some marginal. greater influence by continuing to supply arms. It’s just that I feel that from our standpoint we don’t gain It doesn’t There are bullets enough in the world, and there are people Or as .. Now the second instance, of course, is the Middle East. But again you have to look at it in terms of what the alternative is. supplying the Jordanians with sme military equipment. We are supplying some to Saudi Arabia. And we’re supplying Israel. We are presently And there’s no question of the fact that the possibility exists–a real possibilty–that military arms will be used by one side against the other side. alternative? or not to supply any of the Arab nations. But what’s your The alternative obviously would be not to supply Israel, Now let’s say that it were politically possible, which it is not, to cut off Israel at the present time. Would that, in fact, diminish the risk of a flareup in the Middle East? it almost certainly–encourage the Arabs to feel that they could now overrun Israel, or try to overrun Israel? Wouldn’t they be the less deterred than they are at the present time. We would then be in a position where France has cut off Israel, where we’ve cut of€ Israel, and where the Or mightn’t i t–in fact, wouldn’t 31 Soviet Union is continuing to supply the radical Arab States. So that I would say that the chances of a really prolonged bloody war in the Middle East would be increased. All right then, your other alternative is to continue to supply Israel, but to say that it’s silly €or us to supply Israel and also supply Jordan which is shooting at Israel which is returning their fire, then what happens? But All that then happens is that the Jordanians also begin to receive arms from the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union now supplies the UAR; it supplies Syria; it supplies Iraq. Do we want really to add Jordan and Saudi Arabia to the list of the Soviet’s clients? the chances of peace? tion in the area so that all of the Arabs are looking toward the Soviet Union, and only Israel is looking to the United States. that in turn increase the risk of confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States? Would that promote Or wouldn’t it instead just increase the polarizaAnd wouldn’t So that obviously none of us likes the idea that the Jordanians may be firing American bullets at the Israelis and possibly at planes that have been supplied by the United States to Israel. native is that the Jordanians are going to fly Russian planes, drop bombs on Israel , and the Israelis are going to be flying American planes and drop bombs on Jordan, and then you end up with Soviet military advisers in Jordan and American military advisers in Israel, and then you’re of€ to the races! So you just have to consider what will happen if you don’t continue to pursue a policy which admittedly has got distinct limitations and distinct objections. But if the alterv 32 p: That answered my other question. although it wouldn’t weigh the balance of the fact that it would take us out of the atmosphere of being the ” big brother” dictating and supplying. But as long as you approach it in the terms that you accept this as a thing we must do in order to keep a balance of– I’m not saying it’s good. other option which is available to us. In your judgment could there be any changes in this arrangement, or do you see that as the way it is, as it has to be? In which arrangement specifically would that be? Middle East specifically? Yes, sure! All you’ve got to do is to get the cooperation of the Soviet Union! lot of problems of the world. If we could get the cooperation of the Soviet Union with respect to Viet Nam, we could bring the conflict to an end quite rapidly. Union with respect to the Middle East, we could certainly do a great deal to dampen down the tensions that exist in that area at the present time. But in our own MAP (Military Assistance Program) program you don’t see any areas that should be changed? Oh, I think that there are probably a lot of areas that should be changed, and I would hope that there will continue to be a.very careful review. All I’m saying is that it is under very careful review at the present time, and if we make mistakes it’s not because we’re not trying not to make mistakes. will continue to. imperfections in our anus supply program doesn’t necessarily mean that . You could make a pretty strong case, w: All I’m saying is that it’s less bad than any P: W: With regard to the .. That’s the answer to an awful If we could get the cooperation of the Soviet P: W: I’m sure that we do make mistakes, and I’m sure that people But the question still is the fact that because there are 33 we would be better off with no arms supply program. to pay the price of making some mistakes to get the benefits that, in my opinion, very clearly outweigh the mistakes, I think you’ve got / ‘ P: Do you see any change in this posture in both military assistance and , f foreign aid in the future? W: I would imagine that the Military Assistance Program as a grant aid program will virtually fade out of existence within the next several years. I think we will continue to supply arms on a sales basis and on a credit sales basis. P: You mentioned, of course, the military bases in this. Due to events that have happened within the last couple of years, I know there has been considerable talk about re-thinking or re-evaluation of the need for bases, especially in Europe. What is your assessment of this? W: First of all, of course, it depends upon what you feel is a sound American foreign policy. There are some people who feel that the United States ought to withdraw essentially from its foreign commitments–that our intervention causes more harm than it brings about good. your view, then obviously we should withdraw from bases to implement that view. Now if that’s But let’s say that instead of that you feel, as I feel, that it’s important that the United States continue to try and exercise some influence on world events; that on the whole our record is good rather than bad; and that, although as we have in the case of military assistance-we’ve obviously made mistakes–our batting average is pretty good. the question is, do we have more bases, or bases in places that are unnecessary to protect the security interests of the United States. ) Then 34 Let’s start off with Europe. The fact of the matter is that our bases in Europe have helped preserve the peace now for some twentythree years. I think that most of our allies in NATO feel that the principal check on Russian ambitions is the presence of a substantial number of Americans overseas; and that if there were to be any marked change in that posture, that that would encourage the Russians into a more aggressive policy than they have been following by-and-large. that might lead them to feel that they could with impunity take over Hungary, Romania, even Yugoslavia, conceivable Austria; and bring additional-pressures to bear on West Germany. Now under those circumstances obviously the security and independence of the rest of Western Europe would be threatened, which would impinge unfavorably on our own security posture. And that ,. Now the real issue, and I think it’s an issue that is real and ought to be debated, is how many Americans does it take in Europe to continue to deter the Russians. answer to that. hundred thousand. I would say that if you could wave a wand and create a situation in which you didn’t have three hundred thousand there and hadn’t had three hundred thousand there, but had instead something like two hundred thousand, that we’d be in just as gooC position as we are now; that that would be regarded by the Russians as a sufficient number of Americans to indicate American concern about the security of Western Europe and American willingness to put American lives on the line. But we don’t have two hundred thousand there. We have three hundred thousand. If you had two hundred thousand instead of three hundred thousand, you And I don’t think that there’s any good At the present time, we’ve got approximately three 35 could cut down on the number of bases. But if we were to take one hundred thousand troops out of Europe and cut down on the number of bases, what sort of an impression would that give to the Soviet Union! cut as indication of American intent eventually to make a sixty -six percent cut, and then a ninety-nine percent cut and wnuldn’t our NATO allies feel–that this was evidence of an American adoption of what I’ve referred to as the first of these theories as to American foreign policy–that America ought to disengage, become noninvolved!, . . So that I don’t think that under existing circumstances you could Wouldn’t they regard a thirty -three percent and wouldn’t they feel– safely make any substantial reduction in the American presence in Europe, and particularly in the aftermath of Czechoslovakia and the evidence of the Soviet willingness to employ military force to achieve what they regard as their political objectives. Then you look at the bases in the rest of the world, and you’ve got quite different atmospherics insofar as our other bases are concerned. You’ve got some bases which are important because of their location and the intelligence gathering potential that they have–bases such as those in Ethiopia, some of those in Turkey, and so forth. So that in evaluating the continued necessity for those, you’ve got to take another look what the technological state of the art is, and whether there’s any acceptable substitute for the intelligence gathering potential of these bases. That, of course, was the issue with respect to Peshawar in Pakistan. Now at one point, Peshawar was very important from the standpoint of the intelligence that we were gathering, particularly about the 36 Communist Chinese missile activities. It has over a period of time, because of technological advances, become less important. So that this is the sort of base that you can evaluate strictly in technological terms and find out whether the existence of the base, the economic cost, sometimes the political liability, is worth incurring because of the value of the intelligence that you cannot gather through any satisfactory subs ti tute . Then, finally, you’ve got the bases primarily in the Pacific. And you’d have to split those into two categories. There are obviously some bases whiPh are of crucial importance as long as the Viet Nam conflict continues. So we can put those to one side for the time being. Obviously we’re not going to pull back from them. Then you have other bases such as most of those in Japan, which are important for many of the same reasons that our bases in Europe are important. willingness to become involved in any sort of a security situation that develops in that area. Now your determination as to whether those bases should be retained or whether they should be reduced or whether they should be eliminated, turns on your view of the importance of Asia to the security of the United States. Now again, I suppose from where I sit I could not be expected to have They are evidence of American interest in the area, of American , any other kind of a position–I regard them as important! that it’s desirable that the United States continue to indicate its interest in the area. our posture with respect to Pacific bases would be misread, primarily by our allies. do if we were to eliminate our bases in the Pacific. I think And I think that any sort of a sudden change in I wouldn’t even attempt to guess what the Chinese would They might very 37 well do nothing. They’ve not exhibited, since Korea any particular inclination to try and expand beyond their own borders. it would terrify the other independent nations of the area. ready yet for us to go home. I think some Japanese would immediately begin to press for some sort of an accommodation with Cnina; and that this might impact adversely on the security of the area. But I think that They’re not So the net of what I think I’m saying is that obviously bases are expensive. bring about a whole lot of unfortunate political situations. arouses the-leftist students in Japan. because there’s more Americans in evidence. price to pay–net–in tenns of our overall security. They cost us heavily in tenns of balance of payments. They It sort of There’s more anti-Americanism ,. But to me it’s a pretty cheap Entirely apart from your views of Viet Nam it’s clear that the Malaysians, the Indonesians, the Thais, the Japanese, the Australians, the New Zealanders, all take great comfort from American presence in the Pacific. fortable they’re going to expand. They’re going to be in a position where eventually they can take over regional security with our playing a very subordinate role. we were to pull out now this would discourage growth, progress, expansion, on And I like to have them comfortable, because if they’re comThey’re going to get stronger themselves. I think if the part of these stronger independent countries iq Asia. So I have come out very.strongly for a retention of a substantial American presence and substantial American bases in the Pacific, as well as in Europe. whether there are ways in which you can diminish our expense and our exposure. I think we should; I think we are; I think we will continue to. Now that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t study to determine 38 But as far as the overall is concerned, I think it’s got to continue to be important for the foreseeable future that we maintain a very evident American presence. I’m sorry. Mr. Clifford is calling for me. INTERVIEWEE: PAUL, C. WARNKE (TAPE #2) INTERVIEWER : DOROTHY PIERCE January 15, 1969 P: Mr. Warnke, this is our second interview; and today is January 15, Wednesday, 1969. We are in your offices, and it’s just a little before three p.m. in the afternoon. We had concluded our first discussion talking about Military Assistance Program. more or less a concluding question of your assessment on this program as to what you think the future is for military assistance and foreign aid. I’d like to pick up with that point and ask you W: I think if you take military assistance as meaning just some degree of subsidization of military equipment for foreign countries that the future is quite dim. I think that you’ve got two basic problems. foreign aid has become a highly unpopular subject with the American public. One is that Another one is that when you’re dealing with foreign aid at the present time, you necessarily are dealing with the lesser developed countries; so that the normal supporters of foreign aid are the normal opponents of military aid to countries whose econ&ies are lesser developed. So that much of the support’that you would anticipate receiving is, in fact, opposition. Now from that standpoint I would anticipate that within the next several years we will find that military assistance in the traditional sense, that is the actually furnishing of hardware either on subsidized credit terms or a grant basis, will be restricted to the instances in which there is a current military situation involving the 2 security of the United States. You see, the way we stand now, military assistance is basically concentrated in four countries. you’ve got Greece; you’ve got Taiwan. have a direct American interest in the defensive capabilities of the You’ve got Korea; you’ve got Turkey; In each of those situations we country. Now the parts of our program that receive major criticism at the present time involve military aid to such countries as Ethiopia and to countries in Latin America. military assistance in Ethiopia is basically the payment of rental for an intelligence installation. I think I’ve explained earlier that our .. Latin America is basically not directed toward an American security interest in the sense of our fearing that the security of these nations is endangered by external attack, or that this would in any sense jeopardize our security. Instead, the purpose of our military assistance is, quite frankly, to maintain American influence in those countries. Military assistance has been important in that regard because the countries unfortunately are dominated by military regimes. more important that, since there is going to be some military influence on them from the outside, that it be our military influence rather than somebody else’s. Therefore it becomes But when you use that as a rationalization for a military assistance program, you imediately invite the criticism that what your military assistance program does is to preserve military dictatorships. Now that doesn’t happen to be the fact, because the military dictatorships obviously would be able to exist whether they received any 3 military assistance from us or not. But nonetheless it does involve us with regimes which are unpopular with the American public. consequence, every time you have something like a coup in Panama or a coup in Peru or a coup in Argentina or a reversion by the Brazilian government to a military dictatorship and a turn away from parliamentary democracy, you add fuel to the fire, and you give ammunition to those who oppose military assistance. So I would anticipate that within the next several years you will As a have phased out on our military grant aid programs and the soft credit terms on saies of military equipment to most of the lesser developed countries. I would think that, in view of the continued importance of NATO to the national security of the United States, that you will have some grant aid programs for Greece and Turkey. Certainly unless the North Koreans decide that they want to wear white hats instead of black hats, you’re going to have military assistance programs to South Korea. I think certainly that as long as the Generalisimo survives that we’re going to have some sort of a military assistance program in Taiwan. I think over a period of time whether or not that continues depends upon the activities and, perhaps even more, the pronouncements of Conmrunist China. .. Then, of course, we have certain programs which are not at present time legislative encompassed within military assistance. They’re the ones where we’re involved in shooting wars, and that’s South Viet Nam, Thailand, and Laos. In those instances, military assistance has been transferred from the Foreign Assistance Act to the Department of Defense budget. I think that’s appropriate because I don’t think the military 4 assistance should be used to finance wars. That’s not its purpose. Now those programs, of course–and their duration and magnitude–will depend upon what happens in Southeast Asia. satisfactory political settlement in Paris, then you would be able to phase those down, and I would imagine that there would be a good chance that they would be transferred to regular military assistance programs of much smaller magnitude, and would belong more in the category of If hopefully we end up with a Korea. P: Mr. Warnke, one of your responsibilities is as advisor to the Secretary of Defense on Viet Nam. What are your views on the course and the strategy of the war and the There are so many things to ask really on this. ,. cost to the U.S. with our own resources and our relations abroad? Well, I would suppose that I should respond to that question on the assumption that this is going to be tightly held–is that correct? w: P: Yes, it is. W: And that it only gets revealed to those people to whom I authorize its revelation? P: Yes. W: Let’s also take into account the fact that I am five days before leaving office. So as a consequence I can speak, I think, without in any way reflecting adversely on the views of any of my colleagues; and without intending at least in any way to be critical. I have regarded our Vier Nam policy as constituting a massive mistake by the United States–an understandable mistake, but nonetheless a miscalculation. easy to say it before the fact, and I’m quite confident that I would have Now, it’s easy to say that in hindsight. It was not 5 participated in making the same mistake that was made. we should learn from our mistakes, and that we ought also to face up to a mistake when one has been made. The mistake, I think, came in two parts. One was conceptual and one was tactical. But I think that I’d say that the conceptual mistake was that we reasoned–as we always tend to–from analogy; and analogy is very treacherous in foreign policy. emulate Captain Queeg. could do was to hark back to his experience with the cheese–where earlier there had been a theft of cheese. He had found out then that somebody had copied a key, aid therefore anytime anything else disappeared from the wardroom, as did the frozen strawberries, he immediately assumed that somebody had duplicated the key. I’ve said before that to some extent in foreign policy we You’ll remember in the Caine Nutiny that all he Now in the case of Viet Nam, I’ve always had the feeling that we reasoned from the analogy of our experience in post-World War I1 Europe. Ne looked at Conrmunist China as though it were Russia; we looked at SEAT0 as though it were NATO; and we looked at South Viet Nam as though it were West Germany. And the analogy just turned out not to be apposite. In the first place, I think experience has shown that Connnunist China does not have the same apprehensions as Russia had about being surrounded, and about wanting to create friendly buffer states. The Communist Chinese have not really dominated North Korea even to the extent that Russia continues to dominate Eastern Europe. North Vietnamese they have not in fact been submerged by China. the well-founded apprehensions of the Nationalist Chinese on Taiwan, there really has never been any sort of a determined effort even to take Despite the apprehensions of the And despite 6 over the offshore islands. I think what it reflects is that China is so big and so amorphous and so impossible to conquer that they don’t entertain quite the really disproportionate fears that Russia entertained, and to some extent still entertains. The other mistake in the analogy, looking at it from the conceptual point of view, was that we had in South Viet Nam a sufficient social and political structure so that reasonable amounts of American assistance would enable us to create a viable permanent functioning government. Now that again turned out to be incorrect. There had never been a country of South Viet Nam. and the less developed part of just a portion of the French Indochinese empire, so that we were working with less than we thought we were working What it had been was the more agricultural .. against a threat which was less than we thought the threat was. And as a consequence, in my opinion, in terms of American security interests we invested more money than the objective was worth. Now having made that miscalculation of course, it’s awfully difficult to change course. “Enough is enough; the auction has now reached the point at which I am not going to raise my bid anymore.” It’s awfully difficult at some point to say: So in this particular instance I think that we have in fact devoted more of our resources than the prize was worth, because you have to recognize that our objective was a very limited objective. Now, to me, the vice of the criticism of our effort in Viet Nam has been that it has been directed towards our intentions, rather than towards our, I would suppose, evaluation of its actual importance. Our intentions have been laudable. IJe haven’t wanted anything in the 7 way of bases, further territory. some college students, including some Congressmen, say, “Just what is our strategic interest in South Viet Nam.” interest is limited to the present war. to us except as bases from which we can fight the war in South Viet Nam. We would have no intent to ever use them in any kind of an aggressive campaign, and we don’t apprehend any sort of a threat: emanating from that particular region for which those bases would be of any strategic importance of us.” I’ve had a number of people, including I’d say, ‘The strategic Those bases aren’t worth anything Similarly I’ve had college students and some Congressmen ask me, .. What’s our interest in the natural resources of Viet Narn?” And there is one school of thought, which I think is represented by some of the left wing press, that says that really what we’re doing in Viet Nam is protecting American business interests–that we’ve got some kind of an interest unspecified in the rubber or in the minerals or in something else. obviously you could never recoup the amount of money that we have spent with respect to Viet Nam. Now if that were our objective, we’re darned fools, because So our objective, it seems to me, was totally unexceptionable. We I believed in what we announced that we were trying to do; and that was to preserve the independence of a small country against external aggression. But, in my opinion, it was a miscalculation, because there was not something there that you could identify as a small independent nation in that sense. did not have the apparatus which could be extended into the countryside to exercise control and provide services to the people in the country. All that they’ve ever really had have been city governments that 8 But then, tactically, it seems to me that the trouble with our policy in Viet Nam has been that we guessed wrong with respect to what the North Vietnamese reaction would be. respond like reasonable people. We anticipated that they would respond, if you will, the way the Russians respond–that when it becomes apparent to the Soviet Union that we will exact a price which is disproportionate to the goal that they’re seeking to achieve, then they change their goal. They don’t worry about saving face. They did an about-face in the Cuban missile crisis because it was apparent to them that it was going to cost them too much, and that having missiles in Cuba was not worth facing the risk of a nuclear exchange with the United States of America. The Russians in the various Berlin crises have responded the same way. We anticipated that they would There was thus reason to believe, again reasoning from experience and from analogy, that the North Vietnamese would react in that fashion too. They were smaller. They were infinitely less strong than Russia; therefore when faced with the fact that the United States really meant it and was going to exert its power, they should have responded differently than they did. So, as a consequence, following the Tonkin Gulf episodes when we began first of all a reprisal bombing of North Viet Nam, that should have been enough. It should have persuaded them to cease and desist from their effort to take over South Viet Nam. But what we could not understand was the importance that they set on that goal, and the amount of hardship and loss that they were willing to endure in order to achieve that goal. So, as a consequence, we had constantly to raise the ante, and eventually–as I say in my opinion 9 and it’s certainly an opinion with which my colleagues would differ–we raised the ante too high. more than we should have. We were betting on this particular episode Then let‘s look at it in terms of where we go from here. My ex post facto conclusion that it was a miscalculation doesn’t mean that at this point we just abandon the game, and accept the fact that we have lost over thirty thousand American lives [and] a very substantial number of billion dollars, in a game that was not worth it, because I think something cam be salvaged out of it and something should be salvaged out of it. Having done what we’ve done, Viet Nam has now assumed an importance – that it”did not have ab initio. achieve something in the way of the original American objective than it was when we first started, because a total American failure and a It’s more important now for us to palpable American failure in Indochina at the present time could impact adversely on our ability to do those things that in my opinion we ought to continue to do. In the first place, the American public is not used to failure. If this were to be regarded as a failure, then there would be a tendency again to reason from analogy and to find in every other world situation another potential Viet Nam. Because I think that what we have to recognize is that a power of the size of the United States,’ and with an influence as pervasive as that of the United States–we’re bound to make mistakes and it’s better to make Now I think that would be calamatous. mistakes than it is not to engage in world affairs. After all, if you again reason from analogy and experience–which 10 I’ve just said you should not do–then you have to look at the example of the other powers that have dominated the world really in the world’s interest. For example, the experience of the United Kingdom. Great Britain over a period of years, I would say, exerted on the whole a benign influence. It prevented more misery than it caused–which is really about all you can expect a world power to do. obviously made some very serious mistakes. But at least she did not let herself become discouraged until she had, for reasons beyond her control, to give up her empire, and then found that she could no longer support on an,econ&ic basis her continued involvement in world affairs. Nonetheless, she .. But what would concern me would be that a palpable acknowledged failure in South Viet Nam would prevent us from doing those things in the Middle East, for example, or would prevent us from continuing to do those things in Europe that are important to our national security and to world peace and progress. factory can be worked out at a political level in Paris. So that what I would hope is that something satisI say at a political level because it, to me at least, seems apparent that from the military standpoint you aren’t ever going to be able to achieve any kind of a meaningful objective. the fact that we never lose any military engagements, we don’t have any military way of bringing the conflict to a conclusion. By that I mean that despite Now that’s because, certainly, of self-imposed limitations. It’s because of the fact that the enemy forces, if they get the hell beat out of them in South Viet Nam, can always retreat across the borders into either Cambodia, where they get a total sanctuary; North Viet Nam, where they now have a total sanctuary; or Laos, where they’ve got a partial sanctuary. 11 And it’s also attributable to the fact that you can’t restore security because in many of the areas security in that sense never existed. you any kind of effective security unless you’ve got continued occupation. So driving the North Vietnamese intruders out does not give So that really from a military standpoint, you’d only have two possible courses of action. which I don’t think would be supported by the Anerican public and which would pose a severe risk of extending the war by bringing Communist China in. Or, alternatively, maintaining a large scale American occupation of-.South Viet Nam for a protracted period of time while you painfully nurse along the political processes so that the indigenous forces could themselves maintain security. American public will support that sort of a long range effort. One would be the geographic expansion of the war, .. Again I don’t think the A further problem which you’ve got is that, as far as Southeast Asia is concerned, a total resolution on favorable terms of the situation in South Viet Nam would not in fact achieve our objectives. objectives are to promote stability in the area and permit the independent countries in Southeast Asia to remain independent. Our basic Now supposing that the North Vietnamese were to say, ‘lOkay, you’ve licked us; we quit; we’re going home; you can put in UN troops lining the border all at arms length.” And you will end up with an independent autonomous anti-Communist South Viet Nam. of that the North Vietnamese really lived up to their word, pulled every troop out of South Viet Nam and brought them all to bear in Laos. they could obviously overrun Laos within–It might not be a period of hours, but it wouldn’t be much more than a period of days, particularly And supposing that as a result Now, 12 if they took their battle trained forces from South Viet Nam and applied them against the Royal Laotian government forces. And then you’d have a situation in which Thailand and Cambodia would be in even greater jeopardy and in greater fear than they would be if North Viet Nam were to take over South Viet Nam, but were to leave Laos as at least sort of a pale neutral state. political settlement that will permit a resolution of the situation in So that what you need is a Laos, and will eliminate any kind of external threat to Thailand and hopefully to Cambodia. Now that can only be done politically, because I don’t think that ,. the will of the American people would be exerted to permit the introduction of ground forces in either Laos or Thailand. So that I have to look at the Paris talks as representing not only the best, but really basically, the sole hope of achieving American objectives in Southeast Asia. P: In achieving these objectives the way you are speaking, that includes the complete removal of our presence in South Viet Nam? No, I don’t think it does necessarily at all. we need to do that except as part of a total political solution in which there is some other form of assurance of continued stability in the area. support a continued American military presence until then, and that it would. W: And I don’t think that I would think that the American public should But I’m saying that it won’t support either an increased effort or the indefinite prolongation of the present effort, particularly under circumstances in which between one hundred and two hundred American boys 13 are being killed each week. is that the American public would pay, but I would think that if you could scale down gradually the cost of our effort in Viet Nam, and could scale down dramatically and permanently our casualties, then the American public would support it for quite a long period of time, and it would be in our interests to do so. I couldn’t set for you just what the price . In other words, what I’m saying is that, on the question of Viet Nam, I am neither one who says that what we have tried there was totally ridiculous, nor one of those who says that it’s vital that we achieve our initi?l’objectives. you look at anything else, and that’s in terms of the overall security interests of the United States. an independent South Viet Nam. concerned, is not over principle at all. The argument is over price. And what value you set on achieving a single one out of the entire shopping list of American objectives. I think that there are other interests of the United States that are of greater value than having our way in Southeast Asia; and that we have to take those other interests into consideration in determining what our course of action should be in Viet Nam. To go back to what you said about wrong analogies that we’ve perhaps applied in this area, the domino theory comes in this light, too? That again is a purely subjective kind of an issue. yes, the domino theory would be an instance of using inapposite analogy. First of all, what’s going to be the moving force that’s applied To me you have to look at Southeast Asia the way It’s worth something to us to preserve And really the argument, as far as I’m P: W: In my opinion, against the so-called dominoes? our experience with Communist China indicates that Communist China would I’ve already suggested that: nothing in 14 be that force. What about Indonesia? Indonesia, as the applier of the force? It’s hard for me to see how Indonesia would be able to mount that kind of an aggressive campaign against any of its neighbors. I’m sorry–1 meant the Chinese threat that occurred in Indonesia a couple of years back. There again, I think I would have to disagree that that was a Chinese threat. I’d say that the threat to Indonesia arose because of the erratic nature of its own ruler; and that certainly Indonesia is no stronger in P: w : P: W: P: W: P: W: terms of materiel resources now than it was under Sukarno. had is a change of leadership, and a collection of leaders who A, are strongly anti-Communist; and 2, are not subject to some of the personal eccentricities that Bung Sukarno was. I thought that this was a Chinese Communist attempt to take over the government that was failing. No, I would not say so. within Indonesia which was backed very substantially by Indonesians of Chinese origin who happened to be Conarmnists. indicate that you had either any substantial number of Conrmunist Chinese who had infiltrated into Indonesia or that the motivating force came from China rather than from within Indonesia. Now obviously it was encouraged by the Communist Chinese; it was applauded by the Cormrmnist Chineses; it was supported to some extent by the Communist Chinese. And it would have set up an alignment with Communist China. That’s correct. But that still would have been done by Indonesians. So What you’ve I would say that what you had was a movement But there’s nothing to 15 a different group of Indonesians got in control, and they were oriented in directions other than towards Communist China. you have to make a distinction between native Communists and Communist In other words, I think aliens. Now you could say certainly that with respect to Cuba, that this is something that was encouraged and applauded by the Soviet Union, as well as by Comunist China. that the Castro take-over and the overthrow of Batista was either inspired or executed by either the Soviet Union or Communist China. did it for themselves. But you could not say with any degree of veracity They There’s a difference between suicide and homicide. Maybe you’ve got a responsibility to prevent homicide; certainly to try and prevent homicide. he’ll pull it off. This is what I was thinking about in terms of the domino theory. didn’t mean to interrupt you. But if somebody’s determined to commit suicide, eventually P: I w: Well, I say it depends really on what you mean by the domino theory. what we mean by it is that, were the United States to withdraw its military presence from Asia and the United Kingdom were to withdraw its military presence from Asia, a number of changes would take place; those changes would have an escalating effect; they would feed on one another. you would have, I would suppose, quite radical changes in both the composition and the disposition of the governments. If And Under those circumstances you would have to anticipate that Thailand and Cambodia and Laos would be more oriented towards Counnunist China. Communist China would then be the strong physical presence in the area. 16 I don’t think they’d be occupied by Communist China. become provinces of China. But I think that they would look toward China as being the one great power left in the area. And in that sense they would be “dominoes” because they would fall more and more under Communist China’s influence. I don’t think they’d But I think that the usual meaning of the domino theory is one of aggression–and of external aggression. post-World War I1 experience that East Europe fell like dominoes under Soviet Russia’s pressure. in Indochina. And again we reason from our Now I don’t see a similar development occurring _. You also would have opinions that would vary as to what would cause the dominoes to fall. Now I’ve already suggested that I have not seen any evidence that China,–as China and as an external force–would try and take over the Indo-Chinese peninsula. I think there’s more question as to whether the North Vietnamese might. the Thais would have would be that if North Viet Nam were to succeed in uniting Viet Nam under Hanoi’s control, that then the Vietnamese have And certainly one of the apprehensions that the Cambodians and traditionally been more aggressive than anybody else in Indochina. But then also you’d have to consider what would that mean in American interests. Would you really feel that San Francisco was jeopardized because of a North Vietnamese-dominated Indochinese peninsula! Let me ask you that question. or strategic value in Southeast Asia? P: What do you think our national interests W: I’d say it resides in two separate things. First of all, it certainly would not be in our interests to have Communist China control the 17 entire peninsula. That would give them really almost the entire seaboard, and it would I think represent a real threat to the independence, and the western orientation, of not only Japan but also Indonesia, the Phillippines, and potentially even Australia and New Zealand. But what I’ve suggested is that our fear of aggressors is directed not only at Communist China, but also at North Viet Nam. suppose that North Viet Nam were in fact to dominate the Indochinese peninsula. national security of the United States. have to find out what way the Vietnamese hegemony evolved, and whether it constituted perhaps the best buffer against China; or whether it was going, instead, just to be the prelude to Communist China’s takeover in the area. And what I submit is nobody can be quite sure which of the two is true. What were your opinions and views of our bombing? you play in it, and also do you think we could have stopped the bombing of North Viet Nam sooner? Now let’s I’m nowhere near as sure that that would be adverse to the Under those circumstances you’d P: What activities did W: Now, let’s break it down chronologically. As I’ve said, I think that the real purpose of the bombing, initially, was to show North Viet Nam that it was going to be very expensive for them to continue on their course of action. It didn’t work. And I don’t think it ever would work, because I think that once it became apparent that they were willing to pay a disproportionately high price, that then we had to find some other rationalization for the bombing. Now the other rationalizations turned out to be inadequate. You can look at the purposes of the bombing campaign, it seems to me, in basically three separate ways. One of them is this idea of 18 exacting a toll; showing the other side that it’s going to be very costly for him to continue aggressive conduct. Okay, we tried that. I think it was worth trying. It turned out they were willing to pay that price. A second possible objective is to destroy their war-making potential. We destroyed their war-making potential, but it didn’t put them out of the war because of the fact that the war supplies did not emanate from North Viet Nam. They emanated from cities that we weren’t bombing. we were prepared to bomb the Chinese cities and the Russian cities where the war supplies were in fact manufactured, we couldn’t destroy the warmaking potential of the other side. of occasions, North Viet Nam was not a source of supply, it was a conduit. And unless As I’ve put it, I think, on a number ., Okay, that brings you to the third possible purpose of bombing. Can you so impede and block the conduit as to prevent the flow of men and materials to the battlefield? And I say the answer to that has been proven to be “no.” You cannot. You can make it more difficult. You can make it more costly. But you can’t prevent it. Now when I say “can’t,” I would have to amend that and say that you can’t do it by any means that you are willing to utilize. possible that you’d be able to do it with nuclear weapons. It’s But there we would be paying what everybody would concede would be too high a price to achieve our objective. > Now as to whether the bombing should have been stopped sooner; again, that’s just a kind of a question on which you’re going to get as many different answers as you interview people. I would say that I personally felt for some time that we ought to stop the bombing. I thought we ought to stop the bombing because I thought the greatest value of the 19 bombing was that it was something you could stop. And stopping it, you could demand a price. So that the question you had to ask yourself was at what point would you get the best possible quid pro quo for stopping the bombing. Now, I think it’s pretty clear that, at some point of time in the past, stopping the bombing would not have brought us anything at all. all, we did have a bombing pause of I think it was thirty -five days back in 1966–early ’66. prepared at that time to make the kind of a deal that would have any After That didn’t buy us anything because they weren’t appeal to .us. Now, no one will ever know whether if we had stopped the bombing maybe a year before we stopped it, it would have brought us something. I personally thought it was worth trying, and that it might have bought us something. of public and world opinion in support of our position in Viet Nam. And that it would, in any event, have prevented some erosion As it was, when we did stop the bombing, it seems to me that it worked. twentieth parallel; and that brought the North Vietnamese to Paris, and The bombing first of all was dropped down geographically to the to, at least, preliminary discussions about peace talks. Then when the President on October 31st stopped the rest of the bombing, it certainly brought them to the position where they were willing to get into substantive negotiations, and I’ think those substantive negotiations will take place and that they will eventually succeed. So in that sense the bombing campaign could be said to have been a success. It achieved a fourth objective. As I said, you could have three possible immediate objectives: One, to raise the price; the second, to 20 destroy war-making potential; the third, really to interdict the flow of men and supplies. A fourth one is that it can be used as a bargaining tool. It has proven, in my opinion, to be an effective bargaining tool. P: Along this line, thinking in terms of Viet Nam, do you think that our commitment there has caused us to sacrifice other interests in the world that we should have been pursuing? W: No, I don’t think it has. But I’d say it could. And the consequences of it could be adverse to our interests in other parts of the world. That’s why it’s important that we salvage something out of it that can be looked at as having been a success. ,. If you look at what we’ve done elsewhere in the world while we’ve been conducting the war in Viet Nam, I think you’d have to say that we have protected our position. Take for example, the situation in Europe. We’ve maintained over three hundred thousand American military personnel in Europe during this period of time. That has continued, I think, to serve as a very effective deterrent to any sort of overly ambitious ideas on the part of the Soviet Union. As far as the Middle East is concerned, I doubt like the devil that we would have taken any direct action in advance of the June 1967 wareven if there had been no Viet Nam–because I don’t think that our interests would have led us make any kind of direct intervention by military personnel or that it would have been effective. ” And as far as other areas of the world are concerned, it’s hard for me to see how we have in any respect shirked either any responsibility or failed to take any kind of military acts that might have been called for. say, up to the present time it hasn’t cost us in terms of other interests So as I 21 in other parts of the world. The real risk is that if we don’t end up with a solution that the American public accepts as satisfactory, this might eliminate, or at least impede, the appropriate public support for other courses of action that we should take in the future. What is your opinion of the idea of our involvement in limited wars? I’m not sure I understand the question. ways: ought to be limited, or whether we ought to apply the full force of American power, I would say that the wars should be limited. wars are infinitely better than unlimited wars, and you’re going to have many more of them. the last. P: W: Let me handle it in two different First of all, if what you’re asking is whether I think that wars Limited ,. You’ll have only one unlimited war, and that’ll be Secondly, as far as whether the choice is between limited war and no war at all for the United States, we still have to pick our cases. I don’t think that we can assume that our interests can always be protected if we are unwilling ever to apply military power. I can conceive of just a whole variety of situations in which I think you’d have very widespread American support for the application of our military power. Now maybe opinions would vary on most of them; but let’s suppose, for example, that the Soviet Union were again to tty to establish a power base in the Western hemisphere. some place like Guatemala. Guatemala. would respond? And let’s say that they picked And they actually intervened physically in Is there any real doubt in your mind that the United States We’d respond, I’d say, for a whole host of reasons. First of all, 22 because we could respond quite easily. our ball park, and with a real hometown audience and with all of the umpires really hornetowners. would intervene successfully; and you would intervene in a matter which was crucial to the security of the United States. They’d be playing the game in S O that you would be able to intervene; you Okay, then you can pick a whole lot of closer cases. Let’s take the present situation in Europe, and let’s take a whole series of examples in sort of ascending order of importance. We did not intervene when the Russians moved into Czechoslovakia. I think that that was just an eminently correct decision. have been playing in their ballpark under the most unfortunate of circumstances, and we would not have been successful. We then would All right, supposing that they were encouraged by this, and were to say to themselves, %et’s clean out all the heretics; let’s really make it a clean sweep!” So the next move is against Romania. Again, I would say that the American public would not and should not support American military intervention under those circumstances. Again, you’d be dealing with a Russian occupation of a contiguous country. would be minimal unless you were willing to brandish the nuclear weapon. Then you might provoke nuclear preemptive strike on their part. we don’t owe Romania anything. and its basic display of independence has been of an economic rather than of an ideological nature. So that in no sense would there be any commitment, either implied or explicit. Your chances of success Moreover, It’s essentially still a Stalinist regime, But then you start getting into the harder cases. How about Yugoslavia? And on that, I think you’d begin to find a number of Americans 23 that would say, “Yes, we have to do something.” Tkt would be because of a whole variety of factors again. First of all, the Yugoslavs would fight, so you’d be confronted by the situation of an independent country willing to fight for its existence against a powerful aggressor. lt would have tremendous emotional appeal. A second reason would be that the strategic situation of Yugoslavia is of much greater importance to Western Europe than is the case of Romania or Czechoslovakia. So I would think that there would be some cause for actual American military intervention, All right, then, Austria! Austria is a neutral nation. And we have, .. although no security commitment, nonetheless we were one of the occupying powers and one of the participants in the arrangement that restored Austria’s independence. power closer to Western Europe and to the jeopardy of the security of Western Europe which we’ve always regarded–and which I still regard– as integral to our own security. €or American military intervention. And there once again, you’d be bringing Communist So you’d have pressure there again All right then, take it a step further. Supposing that instead of picking on any of these, they pick on their real Bete Noire and pick on West Germany. I I That would be regarded as an attack on the United States. Now I for one under those circumstances would support inrnediate American mili – tary intervention and the utilization of the American forces that are presently in Germany. And the standing instructions, of course, for the American cmanders there are to fight under those circumstances, and I think we would. And I think that we’d have American support. Then your question would be–is that a limited war, or is that an 24 unlimited war! as I could. I would do my best to keep it a limited war for as long So that I think that the issue is as between unlimited war and limited war, I’m a limited war man. under any circumstances, I’m still a limited war man. Mr. Warnke, when the world stops fighting over what land belongs to As between limited war and no war P: whom–which pretty soon they’ll have to do–do you view the world in terms of spheres of influence, even if the influences haven’t quite been determined .in some cases? .. W: Meaning no insult, that’s a kind of meaningless cliche: always spheres of influence, but the question is what do you mean by spheres of influence. Now normally when people talk about spheres of influence, what they are doing is justifying at least a partial isola – tionism; that what they’re saying is, graphically. The world is “We ought to look at this geoWe’re in the Western hemisphere. We include Latin America as under our sphere of influence–and Canada (although with some unwillingness I would suppose on the part of the Canadians), and give up everything else.” Mr. Warnke, my question was prompted by what you’ve used as ” ball parks.” I’m talking about a ball park in terms of logistics rather than in terms of either cultural or physical assimilation. P: W: ? – What I’m just saying is that it’s an awfully lot easier for the Russians to fight a war in Romania than it is for us to fight a war in Romania. that as a sphere of influence, I don’t. geographical fact of life. Now if you recognize I recognize that as being a But this sphere of influence theory, as I say, is really an excuse for P: W: P: W: P: W: P: 25 doing nothing in instances in which you probably ought to do something. Because if you were going to draw any sort of a circle showing the logical sphere of influence of the Soviet Union, it would encompass, I submit all of Western Europe. And I don’t think that would be acceptable to It’s not an excuse then to sort of cut up the world and say, We don go there, and we can go here.” us. L L No. I think that geography is one of the factors that you have to take into consideration in determining the permissible limits of the extension of American military power. up the world into spheres of influence, and recognize some kind of an inherent right on the part of the great powers to exercise dominion in But that is not the same as saying you cut ,. the contiguous countries. And the other great power is to exercise a hands-off. I think that great powers ought to keep their hands off whenever they can, yes. Mr. Warnke, have you expressed these views to the two Secretaries of Defense that you’ve served under regarding Viet Nam? I would say never in that sort of detail, no. I think that I have expressed to both Secretaries of Defense, at repeated instances, what I would regard as the practical consequences of those views. words I have advocated courses that were consistent with those views. But nobody has ever seen fit to draw me out at quite the length that you have, Miss Pierce. I don’t think that that exposition of my views would come as any surprise to either Mr. McNamara or Mr. Clifford. I’d like to ask you about a couple, in the last few years, just specific events that happened in terms of crisis situations. This is the seizure In other of the Pueblo and the Tet Offensive. is your assessment of themand view of them, and what did you consider . the impact both militarily and psychologically? These were all early in 1968. What W: Let’s’deal first with the Pueblo because I think it’s the simplest. The Pueblo I regard as being sort of a security sport. resemblance to anything that came before and had very little impact on anything that came afterwards. It bore no I can’t of course, know what the motivation was of the North Koreans in seizing the Pueblo. I suspect that it was not planned out in advance. impulsive decision. And I suspect that they were surprised that it turned out to be such a coup. I think that it, on the whole, up to the present point has hurt us more than it has hurt them; and as a consequence, they probably still regard it as quite a coup. do them no good because it was really irratibnal and motivationless. I suspect that it was an on-the-spot .. I think long-range it will At the time, actually, I was in the Far East. We were coming from Japan where I had been at a secutity subcommittee meeting, and we were landing in Okinawa just as the planes were taking off in the totally vain effort to see if there was anything they could do about the seizure. Something as irrational and outrageous as the seizure of the Pueblo presents a country like the United States with a problem for which there is no satisfactory answer. There is really nothing intelligent that you can do about it. happening any more than you can prevent episodes such as the assassination of Bob Kennedy or snipers getting up in the tower of the University of Texas. But if people behave badly enough and with no motivation that you can discern, then you can’t predict their conduct; and it’s almost J In the first place, you can’t prevent that sort of thing , 1 : , 27 impossible to deter their conduct. In the case of the Pueblo, of course the immediate impulse is to do something to them in return. Now the question is, what can you do! Immediately after the seizure, there was really the highest level concentration on the available courses of action. There were lots of things that you could do. Pueblo; you could launch some sort of an attack across the DMZ; you could try and seize a North Korean ship. could have done. You could bomb Wonsan Harbor; you could sink the There were a lot of things that you The question is, what would any of them have achieved! .Now, we had found in our experience in the bombing of North Viet ,* Nam, and our previous experience for that matter in the bombing of North Korea, that a relatively undeveloped Asian country with a surplus of men can stand an awful lot of bombing without saying “uncle!” that the net result probably would have been to increase the plight of the Pueblo crew without really achieving any sort of a realistic American objective. So Another thing that you could do would be try and retaliate against the Soviet Union. In other words, supposing that you were to adopt the thesis that all of these Communist ploys are part of an overall orchestrated effort aimed against the Free World, which some people believe and which in some instances may be the case. What you then might be able to do is to seize a Soviet intelligence ship. Now, if the United States were to seize the Soviet intelligence ship, you would immediately create a confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States; and I would suspect would convene a court of public inquiry in which we would lose because the world as a whole would say, 28 “Here you’ve jeopardized the peace of the world on a thesis which is unproven and unprovable,” namely that the Soviet Union inspired the North Koreans to do it. An alternative I would suppose would be to have the South Koreans seize a Russian ship. in that be worth the chances of any kind of gain or profit from it! I would submit that they would not be. But there again, would the risks that are implicit And So, as a consequence, about the best that you could do–and an unsatisfactory best it was–was to negotiate with the North Koreans over a protracted period of time and eventually secure their release under less than’ I would regard as magnificent circumstances. – But looking back at it, it’s impossible for me to see what could or should have been done. But I think that what we did was correct. All right, then the question is, what can you do about it! Well, you can do a variety of things. In the first place, once outlandish conduct of that sort has occurred, you can no longer regard it as unthinkable. You have to assume that if they had behaved that egregiously at one time, they’re apt to behave that egregiously again, and you have to take steps to protect yourself against the consequences of such conduct. The other thing that you can do is to try to leave them worse off – than they were before. Now that involves, of course trying to strengthen the Republic of Korea. tion–if there is any kind of a rational explanation of the seizure of the Pueblo–was that this would somehow advance their cause against the Republic of Korea. Whether it was their intent in the first place Their real objective, and the only possible motiva- 29 or not, obviously they sought to capitalize on the seizure of the Pueblo by worsening relations between the Republic of Korea and the United States; and to drive a wedge between the two; and really to weaken the respect of the Republic of Korea for the United States; and possibly to bring down the government. Now it didn’t have that consequence. It didn’t have that consequence because I think we behaved intelligently. The President sent a high level Ambassador, Mr. Vance, over to Korea to deal with the government, to try and calm them down, to try and show America’s continued support for the Republic of Korea; and to show that we viewed with just as great distaste the Blue House raid–which was designed to assassinate President Park–as we did the seizure of the Pueblo. ,. The other thing that we did was to get a one hundred million dollar supplemental for military assistance to the Republic of Korea SO that instead of appropriating one hundred and sixty million dollars in fiscal 1969, we appropriated two hundred and sixty million dollars. left, I would say, North Korea at least one hundred million dollars worse off in its confrontation with the Republic of Korea–so that they succeeded, it seems to me, on the whole in winning kind of a propaganda battle up NOW that to this point. But in terms of military actualities, they lost ground. I ‘think also that eventually we can make them lose the propaganda value by showing that their conduct was totally unjustified; by showing that the Pueblo did not intrude on their claimed territorial waters, and by showing their abuse of the American prisoners. Now the Tet Offensive, it seems to me, is an entirely different species of event. The Tet Offensive of course has to be placed in the 30 context of the Viet Narn interlude. And to me what the Tet Offensive was, was really just the corroboration of the military and political facts of life –that you were engaged in a war that could not be brought to a satisfactory military conclusion within any sort of a reasonable period of time. apparent to more people. really just hastened the realization of the ultimate facts of the Viet Nam predicament. Now all Tet did was to confirm that fact, and make it more So long range I would say that the Tet Offensive It showed that although you could make progress in pacification, that – this progress could be reversed by the enemy making that kind of a large scale offensive. It showed, also, that whatever your ability to beat the enemy on any kind of a sustained basis, the enemy would still retain the capability of launching this kind of an attack; and that you could not provide the sort of continued security in South Viet Nam that would enable the gwernment to make steady progress as far as extending its control where the countryside was concerned. was to make us face up to where we were in Viet Nam; and what OUK prospect was of achieving a wholly unilateral military solution. a consequence of course, it had a great deal to do with the President’s decision first to cut back the bombing, and then eventually stop it. During the course of this answer, you spoke about things being sort of related to orchestration of events. crisis situations that have arisen? Is there a relation between something like the Pueblo and Viet Nam? So that the net impact As P: Do you see that in any of the W: I have not been able to find any satisfactory evidence that this is part of the coordinated, worldwide Communist plan. It may be. But if so, 31 certainly the evidence is unpersuasive to me at the present time. I think there are some people who quite rightly speculate as to whether or not there is some relationship between, say the seizure of the Pueblo and the Tet Offensive; and whether this is all being coordinated in Moscow. If that’s the case, they do a better job in security than we do. p: During crisis events such as this, do you work with the White House; do you contact them, or do they contact you, on stand by–? W: Well, I think as I said in our first interview my participation is almost exclusively through the Secretary of Defense and through the Deputy Secretary 0.f Defense. So in most instances somebody like Walt Rostow will be directly in contact with the Secretary or with the Deputy Secretary. of course, I do work directly with my counterparts over in the State Department. You mentioned earlier that you were Chairman of the POW committee? Could you tell me a little bit about what you were doing in that area? W: Well, the Prisoner of War Committee was set up by the Deputy Secretary In some instances I have wbrked directly with the White House, And, But the White House contact is at the Secretarial level. p: of Defense, Mr. Nitze, and I think it was in July 1967. The idea was to coordinate the various activities of the Department of Defense in the prisoner of war field and to provide sort of a regular group that could coordinate these policies and do what we could to promote the welfare of our prisoners. tact with Governor Harriman over in the State Department, who of course was appointed by the President as the overall supervisor of prisoner of war matters. It also gave the Department of Defense a point of conNow what we’ve endeavored to do is to, of course, do what we could 32 to promote the release of American prisoners of war, and see if we couldn’t take advantage of any kind of openings that did exist. We’ve had very limited success in that regard. Another thing that we’ve endeavored to do is to bring to bear such pressure as could be martialed to achieve some betterment in the conditions under which the prisoners of war were being held. know what our success has been in that regard. All we know is that We don’t really prior to the formation of our committee I think that Governor Harriman’s public affairs campaign against the proposed war crimes trials of the prisoners of the North Vietnamese was successful. I think that it did ,. indicate to the North Vietnamese that this would be an unfortunate development for them, and would cost them in terms of world opinion. Therefore they did not proceed with those trials. I would hope that the various efforts that we have made to get them to live up to the Geneva Conventions may have had some impact on their treatment of our prisoners of war. present time that we just have no evidence in that area. YOU spoke about working and coordinating with your counterpart in the But so few have been released at the P: State Department. How does this work? Is there any overlapping, or is there any difficulty in arriving at decisions when you need to touch base in the various areas, and yet formulate your own? I would say no difficulty in reaching decisions, if by that you mean is there some sort of a procedural impasse. with a direct wire to the State Department. of the Assistant Secretaries or the Under Secretaries or anybody else, and they will usually answer the telephone. If by difficulties you mean I ) W: – There is not. I have a telephone It’s very easy to dial any 33 are there differences of opinion, there frequently are, of course, just as there are differences within this building and within the Department of State. I have found that the relations on the whole have been quite harmonious, and that we’ve been able to resolve any of these issues. Can you generalize in saying that the position of the Defense Department and the State Department is such, or has differed on these occasions? No, I couldn’t say that there has been any sort of a consistent pattern of difference. Clifford, having come into office in 1968, was not as personally committed to the course of events in Viet Nan, as say, Secretary Rusk, who had been P: W: There’s no secret of course of the fact that Secretary 1 in office’since 1961. Now that frequently has been reflected in positions taken, but that’s just really a chronologically inescapable situation. But if by your question you mean, do we reflect essentially the military point of view, or a Defense security point of view, whereas State represents a diplomatic point of view, I’d say “no” that we’re both working after all in the interests of national security, and that really there is a degree of similarity between the approaches of almost everybody in the national security field which insures that there are going to be many more coincidences of view than there are disparities of view. P: I believe in your capacity in this position that you worked with the National Security Council. tiveness of this institution? Could you give me your opinion of the effecW: I’m a tremendous iconoclast when it cmes to organizations. it really matters a darn what sort of an organization you have. National Security Council is effective if you utilize it effectively I don’t think And a 34 with effective people. organization is indispensable. But it would not be indispensable, and no formal An awful lot of the national security decisions have been made at the so- called Tuesday lunch. States elected to meet on Tuesday with the Secretaries of State and Defense and with his National Security Advisor and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. President Johnson was concerned, worked. Now if President Ni-xon wants That’s because the President of the United Now that was a ” institution” that, as far as to have regular meetings of the National Security Council at which he brings together those people and some added starters and he in fact uses that as an institution in which differences of opinion can be aired, worked out, and resolved, then he’ll have an effective National Security Council. just as effective an institution. .. But you could have a Friday night tea party and it might be I’d say one of the problems of something like a National Security Council is that it acquires sort of an institutional life of its own, and builds up a momentum that sometimes continues beyond the period of utility. Cabinet, as a working group, years ago outlived its usefulness. At one point of time the Cabinet consisted of the President’s closest advisors; and therefore you could get the Attorney General and the Postmaster For example–here I really demonstrate my iconoclasm–the General and the Secretary of Interior and the Secretary of State and the Secretary of War and the Secretary of the Navy–get them all together– and hash out issues of national security. The Cabinet at the present time, as an institution dealing with national security, would be a terrible anachronosm. There’s just no way why the Postmaster General would have 35 anything pertinent to say about what you do in response to the Pueblo seizure, for example. Now the National Security could–I’m not saying it ever has–but it could acquire some Cabinet status. You might find that some of the people who participated in the regular deliberations were just making no contribution, and that, as a consequence, the existence of a national security council and the necessity for undergoing its meetings and living through them turned out to be an irrelevancy, and even a diversion in the orderly administration of the national security. I think it would have to do with the experiment and not be committed to any particular organizational structure, and then, finally, find some sort of formula and some way of working which in fact works. Has President Johnson used the National Security Council much in order to make his decisions? I don’t believe he has, at least not during the period of time that I’ve been with the Federal Government. I think it has been used more as a body which endorses decisions which have previously been reached. I have a nice broad question for you. the importance of NATO in regard to our national security? Certainly as far as the immediate future is concerned, NATO is going to have very direct relevance to our national security. conduct of the Russians during the past sunrmer indicates that they’re not really housebroken yet. but NATO as a defense alliance does serve a direct purpose in preventing the Russians from doing things that they might otherwise be motivated to do. ,. P: W: P: What do you see as the future in W: I think that the As a consequence NATO is not an anachronism, 36 Now as far as its future is concerned, it depends of course on what happens in Russia. And that’s something I just plain could not predict. I don’t know enough about the power structure in Russia to make any kind of a guess as to how decisions are made, by what sort of majority they’re made, and whether this majority is one which is firmly entrenched or whether it’s one that’s apt to be supplanted. We can’t even tell whether these supplanters would be more militant or less militant, so that I couldn’t make a guess at the present time. All I can say is that under this present circumstance of uncertainty, it’s certainly in our interest to contihue.to maintain a strong NATO. I’m afraid I’ve only got about five more minutes. p: In your judgment why are we having such slow progress on the question of disarmament? W: There again, you’d have to ask the Russians. It’s, in my opinion, totally imprudent for the United States to disarm unilaterally, and we have never really been able to engage in any sort of a meaningful dialogue with the Russians on bilateral disarmament. which they have indicated a willingness to talk, as you know, is in the strategic missiles field, and I would hope that some progress could be made at a very early date in those discussions. The one area in I think that they’ve recognized that in terms of any kind of realistic application of military power, strategic missiles don’t buy you anything– that their one value is in their ability to prevent somebody else from using their strategic missiles to achieve their political and military objectives. Now I would suppose that they have become sufficiently sophisticated in the strategic field so that they would recognize that 37 you can achieve this same mutual deterrence at less cost. In other words, it doesn’t matter whether each side has got one thousand ICBM’s, or whether each side has got fifty, as long as they’re in a position to inflict on one another the same degree of damage. circumstances, it’s going to create the balance of terror which exists at the present time. But it would be less costly and really less dangerous; because even then the nuclear exchange, although it would inflict commensurate degrees of damage, would not be so totally devastating to one another’s society. Then. your views on the deployment of something like the ABM missiles are that we should continue negotiations before we escalate our use of them? I’d say my view on the ABM is a somewhat a schizoid one. The ABM really doesn’t buy you anything long range vis-a-vis the Soviet Union. And under those P: ,. W: By that I mean that all that it does is force the Soviet Union to increase its offensive strength so that they can neutralize your deployment of the defensive system. will really be enough to meet the Russian offensive potential. There is no effective system that you can build that All right, then the question is why do you build an ABM! Well, I can think of two good reasons. The first one is that vis-a-vis the short range and even reasonably long range Chinese threat, it is effective. So here for something like five to six billion dollars you can buy an insurance policy. unlikely disease. worth our while to buy that sort of an insurance policy. So vis-a-vis the Chinese threat I agree completely with the decision, to deploy what we refer to as the Sentinel system. NOW it’s, an insurance policy against a relatively But nonetheless, if the premium is not excessive, it’s It costs five billion dollars, and I 38 think it’s five billion dollars well spent. Then what you have to consider is whether buying that insurance policy has got any kind of negative implications insofar as our relations with the Soviet Union, the possibility of strategic talks, a SovietUnited States arms race, etc., are concerned. Ad that really depends upon whether you’re able to engage in any sort of meaningful dialogue with the Soviet Union. Now the Soviets themselves have deployed a limited ABM system. The only one that can be identified as such is around Moscow. won’t”work against an American threat, but nonetheless they have one. Now if you were going to have talks with the Russians, you are probably better off if you’ve got an ABM system that you can trade off against their ABM system in terms of limitations. So, again, as a bargaining tool, it’s useful vis- a-vis Russia. useless against Russia. It really As a defensive system, it could be rendered But 1 don’t think that our decision to deploy an ABM lessens the chances of getting into a meaningful dialogue with the Soviet Union. I’d say that the real risk of a decision to deploy an ABM is that those who have not thought the problem through may be encouraged to the illusory view that you can build a better system that would be effective against the Soviet threat; and thattt may result in pressures to spend forty or fifty billion dollars when that additional thirty -five to forty-five billion dollars will really be wasted. P: Would you like to cut here? W: I’m afraid that’s it. INTERVIEWEE: PAUL C. WARNKE (TAPE #3) INTERVIEWER: DOROTHY PIERCE January 17 , 1969 P: Mr. Warnke, we had left off in our last interview discussing deployment of ABM systems. which is Friday, January 17. We’re in your offices. It is around quarterof-four in the afternoon. our national security and international security affairs relating to the Nonproliferation Treaty. I want to continue and conclude our interview today, I’d like to ask you about your views regarding W: Well, obviously, the Nonproliferation Treaty is very much in our interests. Now, I don’t think that it’s a substitute €or some type of agreement with the Russians over the control of strategic weapons. it provides you with an insurance policy against proliferation. you can say for it is that it’s about the best you can do under the I don’t really think that I What circumstances. Now, obviously, any treaty is just as good as the will of its adherents to live up to it, and I think that you would have to anticipate that pressures could develop in various parts of the world that could lead to repudiation of the treaty by the countries affected. The great advantage of the NPT is, in my opinion, that it takes political pressure off such contries nuclear capacity. They can point to the Nonproliferation Treaty. They can point to the fact that it does contain some guarantees insofar as the nuclear powers are concerned. Therefare, they can avoid doing something which might be regarded by them as undesirable, but might prove to be as the Federal Republic of Germany to acquire a 2 politically necessary in the absence of an NPT.. I think, similarly, countries such as India, which again would be one of the threshold countries, can rely on the NPT as eliminating a political push to do something which the leaders of the country might want to resist. The same perhaps to a lesser degree would be true of Japan because, of course, the political pressures would take longer to build up because of the Japanese aversion to all things nuclear. the NE, it does seem to me, will have the effect of deterring the entry of other countries into the nuclear field. in eliminating the danger that nuclear weapons pose, not only to us but to the rest of the world. So that Now, that’s only one step ,. p: W: Of course, we have China to consider at this point, too. You have to consider China, but fortunately the Chinese are still several years away from having a deliverable nuclear weapon. that, but we have the capacity at the present time to develop and deploy an ABM system which would put them several more years away from any capacity to strike us with nuclear weapons. that time wounds all heels and, as a consequence, the Communist Chinese Not only What you have to hope is may acquire a degree of political maturity which muld make them more willing to enter into such things as an NPT. really. In international security, all you can do is live from year to year. But consider the alternative. Mr. Warnke, what do you see as our future pressure points in the world? That’s all you can do, P: W: Well, a major one, of course, at the present time is the Middle East. I say the Middle East because, although there are a lot of other areas which are of tremendous importance to the people of that area, the 3 Middle East is the potential cockpit for the confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States. are concerned, they’re much more concerned about the Nigerian civil war than they are about the Middle East. But from our standpoint, and from the standpoint of third countries and non-participants in present combat, the Middle East has to rank easily first on the scale. Now certainly as far as the Biafrans As far as Southeast Asia is concerned, that’s really sort of elimi – nated as a source of potential confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States. Union and the United States, probably, in the long run will develop a common interest. in the Soviet Union. Whatever the Soviet Union is doing there now will not provoke us into an extension of that war. threat, and the basic threat, the ultimate threat–that of a confrontation between the Soviets and ourselves–Southeast Asia has now been canceled Instead of that, it’s an area in which the Soviet .. But whatever we are doing there now will not bring So in terms of the overall out. As far as Europe is concerned, that would have to rank number two, because I think we said the other day that although the United States has to recognize the geographic facts of life and cannot intervene effectively in either Czechoslovakia or perhaps in Romania, there are points beyond which the Soviets could not push without bringing about a confrontation. of the great powers than the Middle East is. We know the limits of permissible activity in Europe. We know, for example, that were we now to try and free the captive nations that, obviously, the Soviets could not stand for it. I think, hoyever, that Europe is more within the control You don’t hear anybody anymore talking about Latvia, Estonia, 4 and Lithuania. threatening gestures towards the Federal Republic of Germany, I think there’s no realistic expectation that they would push to a point at which the NATO guarantee would be called into play. ground rules are pretty much in Europe. we know what they will stand. On the other hand, although the Soviets make occasional We know what the They know what we will stand; In the Middle East, however, we don’t have the ground rules established, or sufficient control Over that which the indigenous people do, to avoid this ultimate risk of confrontation. potentially.the most incendiary issue that we’ve got. That’s why that is ,. As far as other pressure points go, it’s pretty hard for me to identify any that I regard as being terribly serious. Again, they’re serious for the people of the area, but they’re not really serious for American security. are not. doesn’t really pose any immediate risk to our security. The chances are that if you had a confrontation between India or Pakistan at the present time both the Russians and we would want to see it end. That’s what happened in 1965 in Tashkent, and I think it would happen nw . They could become so, but under the present circumstances they The traditional enmity of the Moslem and the Hindu, for example, I don’t think that the Communist Chinese pose any inmediate threat to their neighbors on the west. either India or Pakistan. factory relationship with Pakistan. And as far as India is concerned, I would think the last thing in the world the Chinese would want would be the job of trying to administer India. I don’t think that they’re apt to invade After all, they’ve worked out quite a satisIt’s no more likely than 5 than India wanting to try and administer China. enough as it is, and why should they buy more! with fifteen children going into the adoption business and seeing if they couldn’t acquire another fifteen. They’ve both got troubles It would be like somebody So that you don’t really have in that part of the world anything of immediate concern to our national security. a long range threat, and that’s that any area like that–teeming as it is with people–represents at a minimum a very poor market for American products. And the long range ability of the United States to maintain our standard of living requires a peaceful and prosperous world, so that we do retain a distinct interest in the area. is immediate military threats. You do have, of course, What I’m talking about As far as Africa and South America are concerned, I remember George Ball, I guess it was, said, “Their problems are impossible, but not serious.” not serious from the standpoint of national security interests of an immediate nature. America. Certainly the Russians, as I say, recognize that as one ground rule that has been in effect for some time. challenge the Monroe Doctrine. There is, of course, the threat of Cuba’s effort to export revoluAnd you say that there’s a good bit of truth in that. They’re There is no real prospect of widespread war in Latin They’re not faced with any threat from outside the hemisphere. I And they’re not about to tion, but that’s a threat really of internal security within each of the Latin American countries. of those countries should, by their own decision, go Communist, it’s a situation that we could tolerate with no real risk to our national And even if the worst should happen and some 6 security. We again would be faced with the possibility that the Russians might try and exploit that situation, to bring Russian power closer to US the way they did in the Cuban missile crisis, and we would have to respond to that. But if you have just a native Communist state in, for example, Bolivia, it would be a matter of concern to us, but not a matter of security danger. In Africa, I think that the best you can say is that over a period of time they’llwork out their own destiny, but I think that they will have to do it without our military intervention. without our being concerned except on humanitarian grounds. Mr. Warnke, do you see our national security geared to the impact and response from the other superpowers, mainly Russia? coming along. Well, I’m not quite clear what your question is. taking an aggressive stance in almost any part of the world, could intimately involve our security interests. If Russia were to try and seek to extend its influence, as I say in Latin America, clearly we’d have to respond and respond imediately and respond strongly. don’t think that we could look with any equanimity on an effort by the Soviet Union to take over any country in Africa. aggression would be something to which we would have to respond. What I’m saying is that there is no indication of that at the present time. There’s no indication even that the Soviet Union intends to try and take over any country in the Middle East. risk that they would try and occupy the UAR or Syria or Iraq, which are the three countries– And they can do it .. P: China is, of course, W: Certainly Russia, by And I That sort of external I don’t think there is any 7 P: Their presence is in the Mediterranean very strongly. W: Yes, but, really, do you have to look with terrible apprehension at the fact that the Russians have got forty -five ships operating in international waters in the Mediterranean. operating in international waters in the Mediterranean for a long the, and that particular lake is a lot further from our shores than it is from iiussian shores. can’t regard it as being either unnatural or necessarily evidence of incipient hostility. We’ve had more ships than that It’s something that we would prefer not to see but you Again;’Cyprus is the kind of area in which we’ve got an interest .. from the standpoint of not wanting to see hostilities break out any place in the world. of the fact that the potential adversaries are both members of NATO, and it would certainly not do much for the eastern flanks of NATO to have Greece and Turkey fight one another, particularly since they would utilize American military equipment in that combat. look at it in terms of immediate impact on our national security, you’d have to rank it behind, I think, the fiddle East because it’s not an area in which the Russians would have really any great chance of either immediate exploitation or immediate involvement. I can’t see Russia coming in in any sort of a Cyprus dispute on the side of either Greece or Turkey. I’d like to shift from this area and ask you what your assessment is of the relations of the Defense Department with Congress, and whether it has hurt, helped, hindered, our progress either in national security or international security affairs. Also, we’ve got a unique interest in Cyprus because But if you P: 8 IJ: You really can’t isolate or identify in any one category the relations of the Department of Defense with Congress because you’re dealing with too many different things. Obviously each of the Services has relations with Congress, and the Office of the Secretary of Defense does. And these are very delicate, very close, and very constant relations. say that by-and-large we get along pretty well with Congress, considering that we’re spending so much of the total federal budget and considering the fact–which we do–that this will affect so closely both the national welfare and also the individual welfare of the particular states. awful- lot 0-f money. on the constituents of every member of Congress. never going to be totally happy with what we do. I think, as Mr. McNamara put it once, is to try and build up a certain store of good will, recognizing that you’re going to draw very heavily on it, and recognizing that at some point you’re going to become overdrawn with any individual member of Congress. I’d I We’re spending an The way in which we spend it has direct impact .. So consequently they’re All you can really do And that does occur. One of the conttnuing problems, of course, is the fact that the members of the Armed Services Comittee acquire a degree of expertise and acquire strong opinions on Defense matters. those opinions running contrary to those of the current incumbents in the civilian slots in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. And they’re never persuaded that they would not make better Secretaries of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Secretary of Defense than those current incumbents. But I think that it works reasonably satisfactorily. Do you feel it has deteriorated at all over the last few years? No, I’d say that during the last ten-and-a-half months, during Mr. Clifford’s They don’t like to see P: W: 9 term, that they have improved greatly. But some people would say that they had no way to go except up at that point. Defense is in office as long as Mr. PlcNamara was in office, his relations with Congress are just bound to worsen. During that period of time he becomes overdrawn in the good will account with just about every Senator that there is, because he is bound during that period of time to have done things that have stepped on their particular toes, and Congressional toes are extraordinarily sensitive. But when a Secretary of ., Now Mr, Clifford, I think, has profited both by the fact that he was new and by the fact that he is extraordinarily good at getting along with- people. issues that were of major importance to the more powerful members of the Armed Services Committee. the overall objectives of the Department of Defense. that Mr. Laird, because first of all he cmes from Congress himself and is familiar with the way they operate–the way in which they think– and also because he too will be new, will be able to get along quite well with Congress for a period of time. years that he will be in about the same parlous state with respect to And he has been able to reach accommodations on certain He has been able to do so without compromising I would anticipate I would say that if he stays for seven his Congressional relations as Mr. McNamara was at the end of that time. It’s a great argument for rapid turnover in Cabinets. P: You spoke of certain issues. in regard to Mr. McNamara’s having problems with Congress? What were they? Oh God, I couldn’t conceivably go through the inventory. there are a variety of chronic things. the attack submarine fleet, or the extent to which you’re going to go for W: But, you know, For example, like the size of 10 nuclear propulsion on surface vessels. And then a whole host of things that fortunately belong under the jurisdiction of Assistant Secretaries other than me. Since you’re speaking of two Secretaries of Defense and you’ve served under them both, I’d like to ask you how you would compare these men in terms of style, pace, decision-making relations with their staff and the Services, P: W: I would say that the similarities far exceeded the differences; that, in the first place, both of them have been prodigious workers. think that it would be easy to find any two men who have worked as hard as both Mr. McNamara and Mr. Clifford worked. The only two that come to mind immediately are Hr. Vance and Mr. Nitze. I don’t As far as their relations with their staff are concerned, in both instances they were men with a talent for human relations. They had an ability to draw, I think, the devotion and the dedication from their subordinates; and had an awareness of people as people. There’s a great difference in style. Mr. Clifford is a much more deliberate man insofar as his manner of speech and his manner of approach is concerned. I think oddly enough, and quite contrary to the public image, that Mr. McNamara had a tendency to shoot from the hip to a greater extent than Mr. Clifford. He was more apt to reach a decision on a spot basis and on the -basis perhaps of less information. But the basic similarity is that they are both great human beings, men of extraordinary intelligency, extraordinary comprehension–and that both have served their country, I think, superbly. 11 P: Have you had any changes in this particular office with the changeover in Secretaries? id: No. I would say that the basic work of the office has continued pretty much without change. There are, of course, certain differences in the demands that any Secretary places on any part of his total empire. In the case of Mr. Clifford, one thing that we’ve had, of course, is the fact that he has had a morning staff meeting every morning at which I was one of the participants. So as a consequence that has changed my daily schedule–And also the fact that there has to be preparation for that’; P: Every morning? W: Yes, every morning. This has made some change in the operation of ISA, wouldn’t you say, John? John : Yes. W: But that’s the principal difference. John : Yes, sir, I think so. And of course the gap was filled by the presence W: P: W: P: of Mr. Earle to pick up a lot of things which you could no longer That’s right. Would you repeat that? Well, what Colonel Conlee [Lt. Col. John Conlee, U.S. Army, Assistant Executive Officer to the Assistant Secretary of Defense (ISA) ] has brought up–and it is a fact–is that because of the fact that every morning for about an hour-and-a-half I sit down with Mr. Clifford, this means that a lot of the functions that I would have performed during that period of time have been performed by my principal deputy, Nr. [Ralph] Earle [II]. Xr. Warnke, how much do you think that our commitment in Viet Nam has That won’t be on the tape. 12 affected this Administration in terms of reputation and popularity both here and abroad? W: That’s an awfully difficult question. I would say that it has affected it very dramatically, and very adversely; that there’s no question in my mind of the fact that it brought about the premature retirement of president Johnson from public life; that were it not for Viet Nam he would have run for re – election and been re- elected. only affected the Administration, it changed the Administration! So in that sense, it not As far as world opinion is concerned, I think that the impact has been far less dramatic. as a consequence changes in American public opinion bring about direct political change. of dramatic change politically in the United States. withstand unpopularity abroad over a period of our total history. After all, we’re quite a responsive democracy, so .. Changes in world opinion do not bring about that kind We’ve been able to What it has done, I think, is to bring about certain changes in the reactions of our allies. I would say, for example, that it did have for a period of time somewhat of an adverse effect on NATO, because the Danes, for example, found our Viet Nam effort to be unpalatable–and because of the fact that there was great criticism within some of the other NATO countries about America’s participation in Viet Nam and accordingly, some resistance to the continued participation of these countries in NATO. Those pressures, however, did not have any lasting effect for two reasons. became more important to its participants. of the President to cut down the bombing drastically in March of last First of all, the Russian’s misbehavior, and the fact that NATO And secondly, the decision P: W: P: W: P: W: P: W: year. Tiiat took an awful lot of the public opprobrium away from our Viet Xam effort. So that I would say that the principal impact has been a domestic one; and what it did is really put a premature end to the career of President Johnson. I don’t think I’ve asked you what your activities were in the assessment of the Middle East crisis as being a particular crisis situation that erupted furing your tenure. Could I have your views on that? My views as to what my participation was. Your activities, and your assessment of it. Well, ISA, of course, acted as the principal adviser to the Secretary of Defense during the June 1967 crisis. were because that was two months before I took office. I was General Counsel at that point. I knew there was a reason for not asking it. I did, however, participate on certain task forces as General Counsel at the request of Mr. McNamara. brief period of time that he was dam here helping the President’s evaluation of the crisis. Wnat was your view of the sinking of the [U.S.S.] “Liberty”? Obviously, it was the kind of inexplicable and indefensible action that occurs in wars: I found it hard to believe that it was, in fact, an honest mistake on the part of the Israeli air force units. I still find it impossible to believe that it was. I suspect that in the heat of battle they figured that the presence of this American ship was inimical to their interests, and that somebody without I can’t say what my own reactions I worked with McGeorge Bundy during the 14 P: W: P: w : P: ;? : P: W: 2 : W: Y: L’ : authorization attacked it. It’s a reason why you should try and avoid wars. ~’m afraid that we’re going to have to terminate this now. Could I ask you a final question? Yes. Have you been interviewed by any other historic group, another Presidential history program, or anything along that line? No; In any sort of public statements that you’ve been quoted, do you have any changes or corrections or additions? I can’t think of any now. read all of my speeches before I delivered them, and as a result they were consistent with my views. You’ve got an exclusive on this, Miss Bierce. I think that I can say safely that I had The only thing I haven’t asked you about is your activity surrounding the transition of government. Do you have a moment to answer that? That’s my final question. Well, of course, neither Mr. Laird nor Mr. Packard has been able to spend a tremendous amount of time over here. I have had the opportunity to talk with both of them to give them my views as to the functioning of the operation; and I have undertaken to spend the next ten days at this job. extent that I can. And I will endeavor during that time to ease the transition to the ) Do you have any further comments? I have no further comments. Thank you very much. Thank you very much, Xiss Pkrce.