From Dean Rusk, U.S. Department of State: The facts of the world situation require that NATO remains strong and alert. They require that free nations not repeat the tragic errors of the past — that they not make one-sided reductions in defense that tempt adversaries to resort once again to force or threats ….. that they not impair the security which the members of NATO have achieved for themselves and other free nations by their collective exertions . . .
The surest way to lose the peace is to destroy or weaken the instruments that are preserving the peace. And there is no prospect for resolving ultimately the problems that divide Europe if Western Europe is once again to break up into a large number of free wheeling independent states with each nation clawing for advantage at the expense of its neighbors.
Excerpts from address by Secretary of State Dean Rusk, June 14, 1966.
From Max Frankel, the New York Times: Secretary of State Dean Rusk cautioned the Western Alliance Tuesday against a repetition of the "tragic errors of the past" — one-sided defense cuts inspired by a reduced fear of war.
The diminishing sense of danger he found in Western Europe, Rusk said, was due largely to the strength and solidarity of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A strong NATO remains essential, he added, not only for defense but for a further improvement in East-West relations. (photo: Yoichi Okamoto/LJB Library)