December 17, 1957: Circular Airgram From the United States Information Agency to All Principal United States Information Service Posts:
INFOGUIDE: The Post-Sputnik Posture of the United States and the Free World
1. Recent Soviet success in the field of outer space rocketry has increased Soviet prestige and credibility overseas while reducing public confidence in US leadership. The Soviets have sought to exploit their gains in world opinion by increased efforts at political and economic penetration and continued efforts, in disarmament and other fields, to promote a bilateral US-USSR approach to negotiation in hopes of splitting the US from its allies.
2. Against this background, it is especially important now and in the period immediately ahead that the US maintain a public posture that effectively conveys the idea that America and the free world are united and strong-militarily, politically, economically and morally-but that at the same time we are proceeding solidly to increase and consolidate that strength in ways that will improve free world security and decrease the danger of war. Such a framework should allow us to put specific US and free world actions in the military, scientific and diplomatic fields in a perspective that effectively contributes to the total picture of free world strength vis-a-vis the Soviet Union.
3. Three elements in the American and free world public posture stand out presently as of special relevance to a balanced portrayal of US and free world strength and purposes: (a) the present effectiveness of US and free world military capability; (b) strengthening of US and free world scientific coordination and measures for training of future scientists and engineers; (c) the continuing free world quest for peace and reduction of tensions through disarmament and settlement of outstanding political issues:
A. The vflilitary Posture of the Free World
The fundamental premise of our national posture on military preparedness is that US and free world deterrent and retaliatory military strength is now at a high degree of effectiveness but that in close coordination with our allies we are taking important steps to increase that effectiveness by a variety of specific measures. In addition to individual announcements and releases detailing these measures, the Agency will seek to bring this information together periodically into a unified story.
The President's November 7 speech 2 sketches a broad outline of US and free world military strength and contains much useful material about our present military posture and the measures we are taking to increase its effectiveness. The NATO heads of State meeting 3 provides additional important evidence of free world unity in facing up to the realities of the Soviet challenge.
B. Increasing US and Free World Scientific Strength
In his November 7 address, the President said that the recent Soviet scientific accomplishments "have provided us all with renewed evidence of Soviet competence in science and techniques important to modern warfare." He also pointed out the critical problem posed for us in the future by the heavy emphasis the Soviets have been placing on training of scientists and engineers.
To meet the situation posed by these facts, the US is taking specific steps to strengthen scientific education and basic research, and is formulating ways of improving the coordination and exchange of scientific information with friendly countries. Such measures can be expected to contribute substantially to increased free world security.
The recent Soviet scientific achievements have tended temporarily to obscure the clear overall advantage the free world holds in most fields of science and technology, including the broad range of peaceful scientific and technological accomplishments that-in contrast with the Soviet system-have resulted in direct material benefits to millions of people in every country. To help exploit this advantage more fully, posts will be provided with an increased flow of materials illustrating the high level and the humane and diversified 'character of free world science as it has flourished under free political and economic institutions.
C The Continuing Search for Peace
Present emphasis on the effectiveness of the free world military posture and the measures being taken to improve it should not be allowed to obscure the overriding objective of US policy: the achievement of a secure and lasting peace. As public opinion overseas begins to reflect on the rapid and dramatic developments of recent months, there is likely to be a strong resurgence of concern as to what lies beyond the apparently unending upward spiral of armaments. Already in many areas the preoccupying question is not "Who's ahead in the arms race?" but rather "What are the prospects now for war or peace?"
An indispensable element of our national posture, therefore, must be sustained evidence of our active pursuit of peace and reduction of tensions. We can point to an impressive recent history of US efforts for peace since the end of World War II: our role in originating the United Nations, in proposing control of atomic energy, in negotiating for disarmament, in initiating the atoms-for-peace program and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and in seeking settlement of outstanding political issues. But it is even more important to emphasize that in spite of current Soviet intransigeance,
the US and its partners remain committed to the first-step disarmament measures proposed in London last August for nuclear control, prevention of surprise attack, suspension of tests, and reduction of armed forces and armaments. The maintenance of the necessary deterrent military strength does not in any way conflict with our efforts for peace; it supports these efforts by reducing the possibility of aggression and providing the opportunity for continued search for the peaceful settlement of differences and for a way out of the nuclear dilemma.
The main thing is that the US and the free world should appear to be strong and growing in strength in all departments, scientific, military, economic, and this strength is dedicated to peace. The element of belligerence, therefore, should never be allowed to enter
into the statement of our case.
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