Nuclear disarmament has its good side. Europeans and Americans have been sheltered by the nuclear umbrella so long that they have begun to dream of a world without war. That sort of Utopian rubbish is not only demoralizing for the soft, welfare state inhabitants of the Western democracies, but—even worse—it also compels our leaders to engage in public dishonesty whenever the subject of war comes up. How long has it been since we had a declared war? How long has it been since a U.S. President spoke openly of the inevitable conflict with the USSR? It is all very well for Margaret Thatcher to speak of the peaceful blessings provided by nuclear weapons: Britain is not a world power, and she does not contribute significantly to maintaining the peace. The United States, on the other hand, must bear the major burden of defending the West. Paradoxically, the nuclear umbrella may act as a decisive incentive to nuclear war, since the condition of our affirmative action armed forces does not permit us to risk a conventional conflict with the Soviets.

It is always a bad sign when great nations invest too heavily into defensive fortification. So long as the Spartans were a world power, they refused even to build walls for their city. The Great Wall of China and the Maginot Line are both symptoms of nations going soft. Like the later Byzantines, who relied so heavily on siege defense and Greek fire, Europe and the United States now put their trust in things, rather than in the courage of their men. Once the French and Germans are forced to take charge of their own defense, they may begin to grow up to the realities of international politics in the late 20th century. For too long they have looked to us as a big brother who will fight all their battles for them. Like all kid brothers, they have taken to whining, in recent years. Let us give them what they claim to want: their independence, their equality in a partnership of free nations.