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The
V.F.W.

PRIORKY

NATIONAL
SECURITY

AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS

PROGRAM

FOR 1973

PREAMBLE

NATIONAL SECURITY AND

FOREIGN AFFAIRS PROGRAM

"God and the Soldier we alike adore
Ev'n at the brink of danger,
Not before:
After deliverance, both alike
Requited,
God is forgotten, and the soldier slighted"

-- Lines on a Sentry Box, Gibraltar

The above quotation from an obscure seventeenth century British writer must serve to remind today's Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States that if our positions on national security and foreign affairs are not to be "slighted," our views must be intelligently developed and vigorously advanced in the councils of government.

We have an inescapable responsibility so to act.

This responsibility arises from the kind of people we are.

We have all been "there" and, having experienced war at first hand, the V.F.W. has a clear duty both to ourselves and to our beloved country to develop, support and advance policies of clear-headed realism in the conduct of foreign affairs. We do not seek the acclaim of the unwitting or the transitory applause of those who, by studiously ignoring our country's tumultous and successful past, would mortgage our difficult and complex future.

As a politically-independent society of patriots, we shall continue to "call them as we see them" without fear or favor. We must never do less; we will always try to do more.

The forthcoming year in the history of America's foreign relations will be both complex and centrally important.

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Practical results (for good or ill) will inevitably flow from President Nixon's visit to Peking and Moscow and the centrally important Strategic Arms Limitation Agreement signed with the Soviets.

Free Vietnam will either continue independent entity or it will not.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization will either grow in strength and cohesiveness or, lulled by those who "dine out on detente," it will start to unravel.

America's armed forces, beset by years of irrational anti-militarism, will either start on the road back to again being respected, disciplined and important members of our national community or they will continue as the nation's scapegoats for political miscalculation.

Blanket "amnesty” will gain in support or it will still be rejected, and, finally, we will either regain our prisoners of war or they will continue to languish for one more year without end.

Your VFW on these, and countless more foreign policy and national security issues, will continue to “call them as we see them” as we strive to “Put It All Together in 1973."

The question every American should ask himself is "Do I believe there is a real and dangerous threat to our National Security by a Communist conspiracy?”

The Veterans of Foreign Wars, having answered that question by an unequivocal and resounding “Yes," herein sets forth our recommendations and goals to meet, repel and remove that threat.

NATIONAL SECURITY

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States continue to advocate peace with honor through military strength. In the event, however, the United States should find it necessary to defend the nation or the nation's interests by recourse to arms, no obstacle should be permitted to arise or be imposed which would deny complete victory to our Armed Forces in the shortest possible time.

To this end, and for the preservation of the nation we all love, the VFW unanimously will

support and advance the following priority goals:

1. The Army be modernized and maintained at a quantity and quality to meet fully the many commitments it faces worldwide.

2. Maintain a strong air striking force and air defense capable of meeting any threat to the security of this nation. We support modernization and procurement of manned bombers, fighters and manned interceptors as major elements of our nation's air power.

3. Continue a full combat-ready Marine Corps with the appropriation of sufficient funds to maintain a strength of at least three divisions and three air-wings, and that we fully support the administrative and operational application of the Marine Corps Division-Wing concept.

4. The United States Navy must be modernized and maintained as the world's most powerful and most versatile naval power, by supporting a naval building program to provide adequate ships of all types, including, but not limited to, amphibious ships, submarines, destroyers, cruisers, and aircraft carriers, with emphasis on nuclear propulsion for new combat ships.

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5. Congress must continue to appropriate sufficient funds to maintain, and the Executive Branch to approve, the National Guard and the Reserve Forces in sufficient strength to assist in providing for the national security of the United States.

6. Support a U.S.-built, enlarged, and modern Merchant Marine as a vital element of defense, with such subsidies as may be required.

7. Support strong and meaningful separate military departments under their respective Secretaries.

8. Advocate continued development of nuclear weapons and the necessary testing of such weapons to sustain and preserve world leadership. The successful development and deployment of an anti-missile requires continued testing, of missiles until such a defensive weapon is a reality.

9. Support a policy of central control and coordination of research and development by the Secretary of Defense that eliminates unnecessary duplication, but assures the benefits of constructive competition and experimentation with weapons appropriate to the missions of the military services. Continue to support the Congressionallyestablished basic roles and missions of the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.

10. Continue adequate U.S. forces under NATO.

11. Support every feasible public and private measure to restore and enhance discipline, morale, esprit de corps, and professionalism in the Armed Forces.

12. Fully fund and deploy the TRIDENT submarine, the B-1 bomber, and the two (2) agreed SAFEGUARD ABM sites.

13. Finally, continue opposition to any effort from any source to dilute the sover

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