Report from Iron Mountain

inalienable rights of man to one more akin to that expressed by
Leonard Lewin in his truer than life novel "Report from Iron Mountain"

The organizing principle of any society is for war.  The
basic authority of a modern state over its people resides
in its war powers.


Letter of Transmittal

To the convener of this group:

Attached is the Report of the Special Study Group established by
you in August, 1963, 1) to consider the problems involved in the
contingency of a transition to a general condition of peace, and
2) to recommend procedures for dealing with this contingency. For
the convenience of nontechnical readers we have elected to submit
our statistical supporting data, totaling 604 exhibits, separately,
as well as a preliminary manual of the "peace games" method devised
during the course of our study.

We have completed our assignment to the best of our ability, subject
to the limitations of time and resources available to us. Our
conclusions of fact and our recommendations are unanimous; those
of us who differ in certain secondary respects from the findings
set forth herein do not consider these differences sufficient to
warrant the filing of a minority report. It is our earnest hope
that the fruits of our deliberations will be of value to our
government in its efforts to provide leadership to the nation in
solving the complex and far-reaching problems we have examined,
and that our recommendations for subsequent Presidential action in
this area will be adopted.

Because of the unusual circumstances surrounding the establishment
of this Group, and in view of the nature of its finding, we do not
recommend that this Report be released for publication. It is our
affirmative judgement that such actions would not be in the public
interest. The uncertain advantages of public discussion of our
conclusions and recommendations are, in our opinion, greatly
outweighed by the clear and predictable danger of a crisis in public
confidence which untimely publication of this Report might be
expected to provoke. The likelihood that a lay reader, unexposed
to the exigencies of higher political or military responsibility,
will misconstrue the purpose of this project, and the intent of
its participants, seems obvious. We urge that circulation of this
Report be closely restricted to those whose responsibilities require
that they be apprised of its contents.

We deeply regret that the necessity of anonymity, a prerequisite
to our Group's unhindered pursuit of its objectives, precludes
proper acknowledgement of our gratitude to the many persons in and
out of government who contributed so greatly to our work.

{For the Special Study Group

[signature withheld]

30 September, 1966}


The report which follows summarizes the results of a two-
and-a-half-year study of the broad problems to be anticipated in
the event of a general transformation of American society to a
condition lacking its most critical current characteristics: its
capability and readiness to make war when doing so is judged
necessary or desirable by its political leadership.

Our work has been predicated on the belief that some kind of general
peace may soon be negotiable. The {de facto} admission of Communist
China into the United Nations now appears to be only a few years
away at most. It has become increasingly manifest that conflicts
of American national interest with those of China and the Soviet
Union are susceptible of political solution, despite the superficial
contraindications of the current Vietnam war, of the threats of an
attack on China, and of the necessarily hostile tenor of day-to-day
foreign policy statements. It is also obvious that differences
involving other nations can be readily resolved by the three great
powers whenever they arrive at a stable peace among themselves. It
is not necessary, for the purposes of our study, to assume that a
general detente of this sort {will} come about - and we make no
such argument - but only that it {may}.

It is surely no exaggeration to say that a condition of general
world peace would lead to changes in the social structures of the
nations of the world of unparalleled and revolutionary magnitude.
The economic impact of general disarmament, to name only the most
obvious consequence of peace, would revise the production and
distribution patterns of the globe to a degree that would make the
changes of the past fifty years seem insignificant. Political,
sociological, cultural, and ecological changes would be equally
far-reaching. What has motivated our study of these contingencies
has been the growing sense of thoughtful men in and out of government
that the world is totally unprepared to meet the demands of such
a situation.

We had originally planned, when our study was initiated, to address
ourselves to these two broad questions and their components: {What
can be expected if peace comes? What should we be prepared to do
about it?} But as our investigation proceeded it became apparent
that certain other questions had to be faced. What, for instance,
are the real functions of war in modern societies, beyond the
ostensible ones of defending and advancing the "national interests"
of nations? In the absence of war, what other institutions exist
or might be devised to fulfill these functions? Granting that a
"peaceful" settlement of disputes is within the range of current
international relationships, is the abolition of war, in the broad
sense, really possible? If so, is it necessarily desirable, in
terms of social stability? If not, what can be done to improve the
operation of our social system in respect to its war-readiness?

The word {peace}, as we have used it in the following pages,
describes a permanent, or quasi-permanent, condition entirely free
>from the national exercise, or contemplation, of any form of the
organized social violence, or threat of violence, generally known
as war. It implies total and general disarmament. It is not used
to describe the more familiar condition of "cold war," "armed peace,
" or other mere respite, long or short, from armed conflict. Nor
is it used simply as a synonym for the political settlement of
international differences. The magnitude of modern means of mass
destruction and the speed of modern communications require the
unqualified working definition given above; only a generation ago
such an absolute description would have seemed utopian rather than
pragmatic. Today, any modification of this definition would render
it almost worthless for our purpose. By the same standard, we have
used the word {war} to apply interchangeably to conventional ("hot")
war, to the general condition of war preparation or war readiness,
and to the general "war system." The sense intended is made clear
in context.

The first section of our Report deals with its scope and with the
assumptions on which our study was based. The second considers the
effects of disarmament on the economy, the subject of most peace
research to date. The third takes up so-called "disarmament scenarios"
which have been proposed. The fourth, fifth, and sixth examine the
nonmilitary functions of war and the problems they raise for a
viable transition to peace; here will be found some indications of
the true dimensions of the problem, not previously coordinated in
any other study. In the seventh section we summarize our findings,
and in the eighth we set forth our recommendations for what we
believe to be a practical and necessary course of action.

SECTION 1: Scope of the Study

When the Special Study Group was established in August, 1963, its
members were instructed to govern their deliberations in accordance
with three principal criteria. Briefly stated, they were these:
1) military-style objectivity; 2) avoidance of preconceived value
assumptions; 3) inclusion of all relevant areas of theory and data.

These guideposts are by no means as obvious as they may appear at
first glance, and we believe it necessary to indicate clearly how
they were to inform our work. For they express succinctly the
limitations of previous "peace studies," and imply the nature of
both government and unofficial dissatisfaction with these earlier
efforts. It is not our intention here to minimize the significance
of the work of our predecessors, or to belittle the quality of
their contributions. What we have tried to do, and believe we have
done, is extend their scope. We hope that our conclusions may serve
in turn as a starting point for still broader and more detailed
examinations of every aspect of the problems of transition to peace
and of the questions which must be answered before such a transition
can be allowed to get under way.

It is a truism that objectivity is more often an intention expressed
than an attitude achieved, but the intention - conscious, unambiguous,
and constantly self-critical - is a precondition to its achievement.
We believe it no accident that we were charged to use a "military
contingency" model for our study, and we owe a considerable debt
to the civilian war planning agencies for their pioneering work in
the objective examination of the contingencies of nuclear war.
There is no such precedent in peace studies. Much of the usefulness
of even the most elaborate and carefully reasoned programs for
economic conversion to peace, for example, has been vitiated by a
wishful eagerness to demonstrate that peace is not only possible,
but even cheap or easy. One official report is replete with references
to the critical role of "dynamic optimism" on economic developments,
and goes on to submit, as evidence, that it "would be hard to
imagine that the American people would not respond very positively
to an agreed and safeguarded program to substitute an international
rule of law and order," etc. [1] Another line of argument frequently
taken is that disarmament would entail comparatively little disruption
of the economy, since it need only be partial; we will deal with
this approach later. Yet genuine objectivity in war studies is
often criticized as inhuman. As Herman Kahn, the writer on strategic
studies best known to the general public, put it: "Critics frequently
object to the icy rationality of the Hudson Institute, the Rand
Corporation, and other such organizations. I'm always tempted to
ask in reply, 'Would you prefer a warm, human error? Do you feel
better with a nice emotional mistake?'" [2] And, as Secretary of
Defense Robert S. McNamara has pointed out, in reference to facing
up to the possibility of nuclear war, "Some people are afraid even
to look over the edge. But in a thermonuclear war we cannot afford
any political acrophobia." [3] Surely it should be self-evident
that this applies equally to the opposite prospect, but so far no
one has taken more than a timid glance over the brink of peace.

An intention to avoid preconceived value judgments is if anything
even more productive of self-delusion. We claim no immunity, as
individuals, from this type of bias, but we have made a continuously
self-conscious effort to deal with the problems of peace without,
for example, considering that a condition of peace is {per se}
"good" or "bad." This has not been easy, but it has been obligatory;
to our knowledge, it has not been done before. Previous studies
have taken the desirability of peace, the importance of human life,
the superiority of democratic institutions, the greatest "good"
for the greatest number, the "dignity" of the individual, the
desirability of maximum health and longevity, and other such wishful
premises as axiomatic values necessary for the justification of a
study of peace issues. We have not found them so. We have attempted
to apply the standards of physical science to our thinking, the
principal characteristic of which is not quantification, as is
popularly believed, but that, in Whitehead's words, "... it ignores
all judgments of value; for instance, all esthetic and moral
judgments." [4] Yet it is obvious that any serious investigation
of a problem, however "pure," must be informed by some normative
standard. In this case it has been simply the survival of human
society in general, of American society in particular, and, as a
corollary to survival, the stability of this society.

It is interesting, we believe, to note that the most dispassionate
planners of nuclear strategy also recognize that the stability of
society is the one bedrock value that {cannot} be avoided. Secretary
McNamara has defended the need for American nuclear superiority on
the grounds that it "makes possible a strategy designed to preserve
the fabric of our societies if war should occur." [5] A former
member of the Department of State policy planning staff goes further.
"A more precise word for peace, in terms of the practical world,
is stability. ... Today the great nuclear panoplies are essential
elements in such stability as exists. Our present purpose must be
to continue the process of learning how to live with them." [6]
We, of course, do not equate stability with peace, but we accept
it as the one common assumed objective of both peace and war.

The third criterion - breadth - has taken us still farther afield
>from peace studies made to date. It is obvious to any layman that
the economic patterns of a warless world will be drastically
different from those we live with today, and it is equally obvious
that the political relationships of nations will not be those we
have learned to take for granted, sometimes described as a global
version of the adversary system of our common law. But the social
implications of peace extend far beyond its putative effects on
national economies and international relations. As we shall show,
the relevance of peace and war to the internal political organization
of societies, to the sociological relationships of their members,
to psychological motivations, to ecological processes, and to
cultural values is equally profound. More important, it is equally
critical in assaying the consequences of a transition to peace,
and in determining the feasibility of any transition at all.

It is not surprising that these less obvious factors have been
generally ignored in peace research. They have not lent themselves
to systematic analysis. They have been difficult, perhaps impossible,
to measure with any degree of assurance that estimates of their
effects could be depended on. They are "intangibles," but only in
the sense that abstract concepts in mathematics are intangible
compared to those which can be measured, at least superficially;
and international relationships can be verbalized, like law, into
logical sequences.

We do not claim that we have discovered an infallible way of
measuring these other factors, or of assigning them precise weights
in the equation of transition. But we believe we have taken their
relative importance into account to this extent: we have removed
them from the category of the "intangible," hence scientifically
suspect and therefore somehow of secondary importance, and brought
them out into the realm of the objective. The result, we believe,
provides a context of realism for the discussion of the issues
relating to the possible transition to peace which up to now has
been missing.

This is not to say that we presume to have found the answers we
were seeking. But we believe that our emphasis on breadth of scope
has made it at least possible to begin to understand the questions.

SECTION 2: Disarmament and the Economy

In this section we shall briefly examine some of the common features
of the studies that have been published dealing with one or another
aspect of the expected impact of disarmament on the American economy.
Whether disarmament is considered as a by-product of peace or as
its precondition, its effect on the national economy will in either
case be the most immediately felt of its consequences. The quasi-
mensurable quality of economic manifestations has given rise to
more detailed speculation in this area than in any other.

General agreement prevails with respect to the more important
economic problems that general disarmament would raise. A short
survey of these problems, rather than a detailed critique of their
comparative significance, is sufficient for our purposes in this

The first factor is that of size. The "world war industry," as one
writer [7] has aptly called it, accounts for approximately a tenth
of the output of the world's total economy. Although this figure
is subject to fluctuation, the causes of which are themselves
subject to regional variation, it tends to hold fairly steady. The
United States, as the world's richest nation, not only accounts
for the largest single share of this expense, currently upward of
$60 billion a year, but also "... has devoted a higher {proportion}
[emphasis added] of its gross national product to its military
establishment than any other major free world nation. This was true
even before our increased expenditures in Southeast Asia." [8]
Plans for economic conversion that minimize the economic magnitude
of the problem do so only by rationalizing, however persuasively,
the maintenance of a substantial residual military budget under
some euphemized classification.

Conversion of military expenditures to other purposes entails a
number of difficulties. The most serious stems from the degree of
high specialization that characterizes modern war production, best
exemplified in nuclear and missile technology. This constituted no
fundamental problem after World War II, nor did the question of
free-market consumer demand for "conventional" items of consumption
- those goods and service consumers had already been conditioned
to require. Today's situation is qualitatively different in both

This inflexibility is geographical and occupational, as well as
industrial, a fact which has led most analysts of the economic
impact of disarmament to focus their attention on phased plans for
the relocation of war industry personnel and capital installations
as much as on proposals for developing new patterns of consumption.
One serious flaw common to such plans is the kind called in the
natural sciences the "macroscopic error." An implicit presumption
is made that a total national plan for conversion differs from a
community program to cope with the shutting down of a "defense
facility" only in degree. We find no reason to believe that this
is the case, nor that a general enlargement of such local programs,
however well thought out in terms of housing, occupational retraining,
and the like, can be applied on a national scale. A national economy
can absorb almost any number of subsidiary reorganizations within
its total limits, providing there is no basic change in its own
structure. General disarmament, which would require such basic
changes, lends itself to no valid smaller-scale analogy.

Even more questionable are the models proposed for the retraining
of labor for nonarmaments occupation. Putting aside for the moment
the unsolved questions dealing with the nature of new distribution
patterns - retraining for what? - the increasingly specialized job
skills associated with war industry production are further depreciated
by the accelerating inroads of the industrial techniques loosely
described as "automation." It is not too much to say that general
disarmament would require the scrapping of a critical proportion
of the most highly developed occupational specialties in the economy.
The political difficulties inherent in such an "adjustment" would
make the outcries resulting from the closing of a few obsolete
military and naval installations in 1964 sound like a whisper.

In general, discussion of the problems of conversion have been
characterized by an unwillingness to recognize its special quality.
This is best exemplified by the 1965 report of the Ackley Committee.
[9] One critic has tellingly pointed out that it blindly assumes
that "... nothing in the arms economy - neither its size, nor its
geographical concentration, nor its highly specialized nature, nor
the peculiarities of its market, nor the special nature of much of
its labor force - endows it with any uniqueness when the necessary
time of adjustment comes." [10]

Let us assume, however, despite the lack of evidence that a viable
program for conversion can be developed in the framework of the
existing economy, that the problems noted above can be solved. What
proposals have been offered for utilizing the productive capabilities
that disarmament would presumably release?

The most commonly held theory is simply that general economic
reinvestment would absorb the greater part of these capabilities.
Even though it is now largely taken for granted (and even by today's
equivalent of traditional laissez-faire economists) that unprecedented
government assistance (and concomitant government control) will be
needed to solve the "structural" problems of transition, a general
attitude of confidence prevails that new consumption patterns will
take up the slack. What is less clear is the nature of these

One school of economists has it that these patterns will develop
on their own. It envisages the equivalent of the arms budget being
returned, under careful control, to the consumer, in the form of
tax cuts. Another, recognizing the undeniable need for increased
"consumption" in what is generally considered the public sector of
the economy, stresses vastly increased government spending in such
areas of national concern as health, education, mass transportation,
low-cost housing, water supply, control of the physical environment,
and, stated generally, "poverty."

The mechanisms proposed for controlling the transition to an
arms-free economy are also traditional - changes in both sides of
the federal budget, manipulation of interest rates, etc. We
acknowledge the undeniable value of fiscal tools in a normal cyclical
economy, where they provide leverage to accelerate or brake an
existing trend. Their more committed proponents, however, tend to
lose sight of the fact that there is a limit to the power of these
devices to influence fundamental economic forces. They can provide
new incentives in the economy, but they cannot in themselves
transform the production of a billion dollars' worth of missiles
a year to the equivalent in food, clothing, prefabricated houses,
or television sets. At bottom, they reflect the economy; they do
not motivate it.

More sophisticated, and less sanguine, analysts contemplate the
diversion of the arms budget to a nonmilitary system equally remote
>from the market economy. What the "pyramid-builders" frequently
suggest is the expansion of space-research programs to the dollar
level of current armaments expenditures. This approach has the
superficial merit of reducing the size of the problem of transferability
of resources, but introduces other difficulties, which we will take
up in section 6.

Without singling out any one of the several major studies of the
expected impact of disarmament on the economy for special criticism,
we can summarize our objections to them in general terms as follows:

1. No proposed program for economic conversion to disarmament
sufficiently takes into account the unique magnitude of the required
adjustments it would entail.

2. Proposals to transform arms production into a beneficent scheme
of public works are more the products of wishful thinking than of
realistic understanding of the limits of our existing economic

3. Fiscal and monetary measures are inadequate as controls for the
process of transition to an arms-free economy.

4. Insufficient attention has been paid to the political acceptability
of the objectives of the proposed conversion models, as well as of
the political means to be employed in effectuating a transition.

5. No serious consideration has been given, in any proposed conversion
plan, to the fundamental nonmilitary function of war and armaments
in modern society, nor has any explicit attempt been made to devise
a viable substitute for it. This criticism will be developed in
sections 5 and 6.

SECTION 3: Disarmament Scenarios

Scenarios, as they have come to be called, are hypothetical
constructions of future events. Inevitably, they are composed of
varying proportions of established fact, reasonable inference, and
more or less inspired guess-work. Those which have been suggested
as model procedures for effectuating international arms control
and eventual disarmament are necessarily imaginative, although
closely reasoned; in this respect they resemble the "war games"
analyses of the Rand Corporation, with which they share a common
conceptual origin.

All such scenarios that have been seriously put forth imply dependence
on bilateral or multilateral agreement between the great powers.
In general, they call for a progressive phasing out of gross
armaments, military forces, weapons, and weapons technology,
coordinated with elaborate matching procedures of verification,
inspection, and machinery for the settlement of international
disputes. It should be noted that even proponents of unilateral
disarmament qualify their proposals with an implied requirement of
reciprocity, very much in the manner of a scenario of graduated
response in nuclear war. The advantage of unilateral initiative
lies in its political value as an expression of good faith, as well
as in its diplomatic function as a catalyst for formal disarmament

The READ model for disarmament (developed by the Research Program
on Economic Adjustments to Disarmament) is typical of these scenarios.
It is a twelve-year-program, divided into three-year stages. Each
stage includes a separate phase of: reduction of armed forces;
cutbacks of weapons production, inventories, and foreign military
bases; development of international inspection procedures and
control conventions; and the building up of a sovereign international
disarmament organization. It anticipates a net matching decline in
U.S. defense expenditures of only somewhat more than half the 1965
level, but a necessary redeployment of some five-sixths of the
defense-dependent labor force.

The economic implications assigned by their authors to various
disarmament scenarios diverge widely. The more conservative models,
like that cited above, emphasize economic as well as military
prudence in postulating elaborate fail-safe disarmament agencies,
which themselves require expenditures substantially substituting
for those of the displaced war industries. Such programs stress
the advantages of the smaller economic adjustment entailed. [11]
Others emphasize, on the contrary, the magnitude (and the opposite
advantages) of the savings to be achieved from disarmament. One
widely read analysis [12] estimates the annual cost of the inspection
function of general disarmament throughout the world as only between
two and three percent of current military expenditures. Both types
of plan tend to deal with the anticipated problem of economic
reinvestment only in the aggregate. We have seen no proposed
disarmament sequence that correlates the phasing out of specific
kinds of military spending with specific new forms of substitute

Without examining disarmament scenarios in greater detail, we may
characterize them with these general comments:

1. Given genuine agreement of intent among the great powers, the
scheduling of arms control and elimination presents no inherently
insurmountable procedural problems. Any of several proposed sequences
might serve as the basis for multilateral agreement or for the
first step in unilateral arms reduction.

2. No major power can proceed with such a program, however, until
it has developed an economic conversion plan fully integrated with
each phase of disarmament. No such plan has yet been developed in
the United States.

3. Furthermore, disarmament scenarios, like proposals for economic
conversion, make no allowance for the nonmilitary functions of war
in modern societies, and offer no surrogate for these necessary
functions. One partial exception is a proposal for the "unarmed
forces of the United States," which we will consider in section 6.

SECTION 4: War and Peace as Social Systems

We have dealt only sketchily with proposed disarmament scenarios
and economic analyses, but the reason for our seemingly casual
dismissal of so much serious and sophisticated work lies in no
disrespect for its competence. It is rather a question of relevance.
To put it plainly, all these program, however detailed and well
developed, are abstractions. The most carefully reasoned disarmament
sequence inevitably reads more like the rules of a game or a
classroom exercise in logic than like a prognosis of real events
in the real world. This is as true of today's complex proposals as
it was of the Abbe de St. Pierre's "Plan for Perpetual Peace in
Europe" 250 years ago.

Some essential element has clearly been lacking in all these schemes.
One of our first tasks was to try to bring this missing quality
into definable focus, and we believe we have succeeded in doing
so. We find that at the heart of every peace study we have examined
- from the modest technological proposal (e.g., to convert a poison
gas plant to the production of "socially useful" equivalents) to
the most elaborate scenario for universal peace in our time - lies
one common fundamental misconception. It is the source of the miasma
of unreality surrounding such plans. {It is the incorrect assumption
that war, as an institution, is subordinate to the social systems
it is believed to serve.}

This misconception, although profound and far-reaching, is entirely
comprehensible. Few social cliches are so unquestioningly accepted
as the notion that war is an extension of diplomacy (or of politics,
or of the pursuit of economic objectives). If this were true, it
would be wholly appropriate for economists and political theorists
to look on the problems of transition to peace as essentially
mechanical or procedural - as indeed they do, treating them as
logistic corollaries of the settlement of national conflicts of
interest. If this were true, there would be no real substance to
the difficulties of transition. For it is evident that even in
today's world there exists no conceivable conflict of interest,
real or imaginary, between nations or between social forces within
nation, that cannot be resolved without recourse to war - {if} such
resolution were assigned a priority of social value. And if this
were true, the economic analyses and disarmament proposals we have
referred to, plausible and well conceived as they may be, would
not inspire, as they do, an inescapable sense of indirection.

The point is that the cliche is not true, and the problems of
transition are indeed substantive rather than merely procedural.
Although war is "used" as an instrument of national and social
policy, the fact that a society is organized for any degree of
readiness for war supersedes its political and economic structure.
War itself is the basic social system, within which other secondary
modes of social organization conflict or conspire. It is the system
which has governed most human societies of record, as it is today.

Once this is correctly understood, the true magnitude of the problems
entailed in a transition to peace - itself a social system, but
without precedent except in a few simple preindustrial societies
- becomes apparent. At the same time, some of the puzzling superficial
contradictions of modern societies can then be readily rationalized.
The "unnecessary" size and power of the world war industry; the
preeminence of the military establishment in every society, whether
open or concealed; the exemption of military or paramilitary
institutions from the accepted social and legal standards for
behavior required elsewhere in the society; the successful operation
of the armed forces and the armaments producers entirely outside
the framework of each nation's economic ground rules: these and
other ambiguities closely associated with the relationship of war
to society are easily clarified, once the priority of war-making
potential as the principal structuring force in society is accepted.
Economic systems, political philosophies, and corpora jures serve
and extend the war system, not vice versa.

It must be emphasized that the precedence of a society's war-making
potential over its other characteristics is not the result of the
"threat" presumed to exist at any one time from other societies.
This is the reverse of the basic situation; "threats" against the
"national interest" are usually created or accelerated to meet the
changing needs of the war system. Only in comparatively recent
times has it been considered politically expedient to euphemize
war budgets as "defense" requirements. The necessity for governments
to distinguish between "aggression" (bad) and "defense" (good) has
been a by-product of rising literacy and rapid communication. The
distinction is tactical only, a concession to the growing inadequacy
of ancient war-organizing political rationales.

Wars are not "caused" by international conflicts of interest. Proper
logical sequence would make it more often accurate to say that
war-making societies require - and thus bring about - such conflicts.
The capacity of a nation to make war expresses the greatest social
power it can exercise; war-making, active or contemplated, is a
matter of life and death on the greatest scale subject to social
control. It should therefore hardly be surprising that the military
institutions in each society claim its highest priorities.

We find further that most of the confusion surrounding the myth
that war-making is a tool of state policy stems from a general
misapprehension of the functions of war. In general, these are
conceived as: to defend a nation from military attack by another,
or to deter such an attack; to defend or advance a "national
interest" - economic, political, ideological; to maintain or increase
a nation's military power for its own sake. These are the visible,
or ostensible, functions of war. If there were no others, the
importance of the war establishment in each society might in fact
decline to the subordinate level it is believed to occupy. And the
elimination of war would indeed be the procedural matter that the
disarmament scenarios suggest.

But there are other, broader, more profoundly felt functions of
war in modern societies. It is these invisible, or implied, functions
that maintain war-readiness as the dominant force in our societies.
And it is the unwillingness or inability of the writers of disarmament
scenarios and reconversion plans to take them into account that
has so reduced the usefulness of their work, and that has made it
seem unrelated to the world we know.

SECTION 5: The Functions of War

As we have indicated, the preeminence of the concept of war as the
principal organizing force in most societies has been insufficiently
appreciated. This is also true of its extensive effects throughout
the many nonmilitary activities of society. These effects are less
apparent in complex industrial societies like our own than in
primitive cultures, the activities of which can be more more easily
and fully comprehended.

We propose in this section to examine these nonmilitary, implied,
and usually invisible functions of war, to the extent they they
bear on the problems of transition to peace for our society. The
military, or ostensible, function of the war system requires no
elaboration; it serves simply to defend or advance the "national
interest" by means of organized violence. It is often necessary
for a national military establishment to create a need for its
unique powers - to maintain the franchise, so to speak. And a
healthy military apparatus requires regular "exercise," by whatever
rationale seems expedient, to prevent its atrophy.

The nonmilitary functions of the war system are more basic. They
exist not merely to justify themselves but to serve broader social
purposes. If and when war is eliminated, the military functions it
has served will end with it. But its nonmilitary functions will
not. It is essential, therefore, that we understand their significance
before we can reasonably expect to evaluate whatever institutions
may be proposed to replace them.


The production of weapons of mass destruction has always been
associated with economic "waste." The term is pejorative, since it
implies a failure of function. But no human activity can properly
be considered wasteful if it achieves its contextual objective.
The phrase "wasteful but necessary," applied not only to war
expenditures, but to most of the "unproductive" commercial activities
of our society, is a contradiction in terms. "... The attacks that
have since the time of Samuel's criticism of King Saul been leveled
against military expenditures as waste may well have concealed or
misunderstood the point that some kinds of waste may have a larger
social utility." [13]

In the case of military "waste," there is indeed a larger social
utility. It derives from the fact that the "wastefulness" of war
production is exercised entirely outside the framework of the
economy of supply and demand. As such, it provides the only
critically large segment of the total economy that is subject to
complete and arbitrary central control. If modern industrial
societies can be defined as those which have developed the capacity
to produce more than is required for their economic survival
(regardless of the equities of distribution of goods within them),
military spending can be said to furnish the only balance wheel
with sufficient inertia to stabilize the advance of their economies.
The fact that war is "wasteful" is what enables it to serve this
function. And the faster the economy advances, the heavier this
balance wheel must be.

This function is often viewed, oversimply, as a device for the
control of surpluses. One writer on the subject puts it this way:
"Why is war so wonderful? Because it creates artificial demand ...
the only kind of artificial demand, moreover, that does not raise
any political issues: {war, and only war, solves the problem of
inventory.}" [14] The reference here is to shooting war, but it
applies equally to the general war economy as well. "It is generally
agreed," concludes, more cautiously, the report of a panel set up
by the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, "that the greatly
expanded public sector since World War II, resulting from heavy
defense expenditures, has provided additional protection against
depressions, since this sector is not responsive to contraction in
the private sector and has provided a sort of buffer or balance
wheel in the economy." [15]

The {principal} economic function of war, in our view, is that it
provides just such a flywheel. It is not to be confused in function
with the the various forms of fiscal control, none of which directly
engages vast numbers of men and units of production. It is not to
be confused with massive government expenditures in social welfare
programs; once initiated, such programs normally become integral
parts of the general economy and are no longer subject to arbitrary

But even in the context of the general civilian economy war cannot
be considered wholly "wasteful." Without a long-established war
economy, and without its frequent eruption into large-scale shooting
war, most of the major industrial advances known to history,
beginning with the development of iron, could never have taken
place. Weapons technology structures the economy. According to the
writer cited above, "Nothing is more ironic or revealing about our
society than the fact that hugely destructive war is a very
progressive force in it. ... War production is progressive because
it is production that would not otherwise have taken place. (It is
not so widely appreciated, for example, that the civilian standard
of living {rose} during World War II.)" [16] This is not "ironic
or revealing," but essentially a simple statement of fact.

It should also be noted that war production has a dependable
stimulation effect outside itself. Far from constituting a "wasteful"
drain on the economy, war spending, considered pragmatically, has
been a consistently positive factor in the rise of gross national
product and of individual productivity. A former Secretary of the
Army has carefully phrased it for public consumption thus: "If
there is, as I suspect there is, a direct relation between the
stimulus of large defense spending and a substantially increased
rate of growth of gross national product, it quite simply follows
that defense spending {per se} might be countenanced {on economic
grounds alone} [emphasis added] as a stimulator of the national
metabolism." [17] Actually, the fundamental nonmilitary utility of
war in the economy is far more widely acknowledged than the scarcity
of such affirmations as that quoted above would suggest.

But {negatively} phrased public recognitions of the importance of
war to the general economy abound. The most familiar example is
the effect of the "peace threats" on the stock market, e.g., "Wall
Street was shaken yesterday by news of an apparent peace feeler
>from North Vietnam, but swiftly recovered its composure after about
an hour of sometimes indiscriminate selling." [18] Savings banks
solicit deposits with similar cautionary slogans, e.g., "If peace
breaks out, will you be ready for it?" A more subtle case in point
was the recent refusal of the Department of Defense to permit the
West German government to substitute nonmilitary goods for unwanted
armaments in its purchase commitments from the United States; the
decisive consideration was that the German purchases should not
affect the general (nonmilitary) economy. Other incidental examples
are to be found in the pressures brought to bear on the Department
when it announces plans to close down an obsolete facility (as a
"wasteful" form of "waste"), and in the usual coordination of
stepped-up military activities (as in Vietnam in 1965) with
dangerously rising unemployment rates.

Although we do not imply that a substitute for war in the economy
cannot be devised, no combination of techniques for controlling
employment, production, and consumption has yet been tested that
can remotely compare to it in effectiveness. It is, and has been,
the essential economic stabilizer of modern societies.


The political functions of war have been up to now even more critical
to social stability. It is not surprising, nevertheless, that
discussions of economic conversion for peace tend to fall silent
on the matter of political implementation, and that disarmament
scenarios, often sophisticated in their weighing of international
political factors, tend to disregard the political functions of
the war system within individual societies.

These functions are essentially organizational. First of all, the
existence of a society as a political "nation" requires as part of
its definition an attitude of relationship toward other "nations."
This is what we usually call a foreign policy. But a nation's
foreign policy can have no substance if it lacks the means of
enforcing its attitude toward other nations. It can do this in a
credible manner only if it implies the threat of maximum political
organization for this purpose - which is to say that it is organized
to some degree for war. War, then, as we have defined it to include
all national activities that recognize the possibility of armed
conflict, is itself the defining element of any nation's existence
vis-a-vis any other nation. Since it is historically axiomatic that
the existence of any form of weaponry insures its use, we have used
the word "peace" as virtually synonymous with disarmament. By the
same token, "war" is virtually synonymous with nationhood. The
elimination of war implies the inevitable elimination of national
sovereignty and the traditional nation-state.

The war system not only has been essential to the existence of
nations as independent political entities, but has been equally
indispensable to their stable internal political structure. Without
it, no government has ever been able to obtain acquiescence in its
"legitimacy," or right to rule its society. The possibility of war
provides the sense of external necessity without which no government
can long remain in power. The historical record reveals one instance
after another where the failure of a regime to maintain the
credibility of a war threat led to its dissolution, by the forces
of private interest, of reactions to social injustice, or of other
disintegrative elements. The organization of a society for the
possibility of war is its principal political stabilizer. It is
ironic that this primary function of war has been generally recognized
by historians only where it has been expressly acknowledged - in
the pirate societies of the great conquerors.

The basic authority of a modern state over its people resides in
its war powers. (There is, in fact, good reason to believe that
codified law had its origins in the rules of conduct established
by military victors for dealing with the defeated enemy, which were
later adapted to apply to all subject populations. [19]) On a
day-to-day basis, it is represented by the institution of police,
armed organizations charged expressly with dealing with "internal
enemies" in a military manner. Like the conventional "external"
military, the police are also substantially exempt from many civilian
legal restraints on their social behavior. In some countries, the
artificial distinction between police and other military forces
does not exist. On the long-term basis, a government's emergency
war powers - inherent in the structure of even the most libertarian
of nations - define the most significant aspect of the relation
between state and citizen.

In advanced modern democratic societies, the war system has provided
political leaders with another political-economic function of
increasing importance: it has served as the last great safeguard
against the elimination of necessary social classes. As economic
productivity increases to a level further and further above that
of minimum subsistence, it becomes more and more difficult for a
society to maintain distribution patterns insuring the existence
of "hewers of wood and drawers of water." The further progress of
automation can be expected to differentiate still more sharply
between "superior" workers and what Ricardo called "menials," while
simultaneously aggravating the problem of maintaining an unskilled
labor supply.

The arbitrary nature of war expenditures and of other military
activities make them ideally suited to control these essential
class relationships. Obviously, if the war system were to be
discarded, new political machinery would be needed at once to serve
this vital subfunction. Until it is developed, the continuance of
the war system must be assured, if for no other reason, among
others, than to preserve whatever quality and degree of poverty a
society requires as an incentive, as well as to maintain the
stability of its internal organization of power.


Under this heading, we will examine a nexus of functions served by
the war system that affect human behavior in society. In general,
they are broader in application and less susceptible to direct
observation than the economic and political factors previously

The most obvious of these functions is the time-honored use of
military institutions to provide antisocial elements with an
acceptable role in the social structure. The disintegrative, unstable
social movements loosely described as "fascist" have traditionally
taken root in societies that have lacked adequate military or
paramilitary outlets to meet the needs of these elements. This
function has been critical in periods of rapid change. The danger
signals are easy to recognize, even though the stigmata bear
different names at different times. The current euphemistic cliches
- "juvenile delinquency" and "alienation" - have had their counterparts
in every age. In earlier days these conditions were dealt with
directly by the military without the complications of due process,
usually through press gangs or outright enslavement. But it is not
hard to visualize, for example, the degree of social disruption
that might have taken place in the United States during the last
two decades if the problem of the socially disaffected of the
post-World War II period had not been foreseen and effectively met.
The younger, and more dangerous, of these hostile social groupings
have been kept under control by the Selective Service System.

This system and its analogues elsewhere furnish remarkably clear
examples of disguised military utility. Informed persons in this
country have never accepted the official rationale for a peacetime
draft - military necessity, preparedness, etc. - as worthy of
serious consideration. But what has gained credence among thoughtful
men is the rarely voiced, less easily refuted, proposition that
the institution of military service has a "patriotic" priority in
our society that must be maintained for its own sake. Ironically,
the simplistic official justification for selective service comes
closer to the mark, once the nonmilitary functions of military
institutions are understood. As a control device over the hostile,
nihilistic, and potentially unsettling elements of a society in
transition, the draft can again be defended, and quite convincingly,
as a "military" necessity.

Nor can it be considered a coincidence that overt military activity,
and thus the level of draft calls, tend to follow the major
fluctuations in the unemployment rate in the lower age groups. This
rate, in turn, is a time-tested herald of social discontent. It
must be noted also that the armed forces in every civilization have
provided the principal state-supported haven for what are now called
the "unemployable." The typical European standing army (of fifty
years ago) consisted of "... troops unfit for employment in commerce,
industry, or agriculture, led by officers unfit to practice any
legitimate profession or to conduct a business enterprise." [20]
This is still largely true, if less apparent. In a sense, this
function of the military as the custodian of the economically or
culturally deprived was the forerunner of most contemporary civilian
social-welfare programs, from the W.P.A. to various forms of
"socialized" medicine and social security. It is interesting that
liberal sociologists currently proposing to use the Selective
Service System as a medium of cultural upgrading of the poor consider
this a {novel} application of military practice.

Although it cannot be said absolutely that such critical measures
of social control as the draft require a military rationale, no
modern society has yet been willing to risk experimentation with
any other kind. Even during such periods of comparatively simple
social crisis as the so-called Great Depression of the 1930s, it
was deemed prudent by the government to invest minor make-work
projects, like "Civilian" Conservation Corps, with a military
character, and to place the more ambitious National Recovery
Administration under the direction of a professional army officer
at its inception. Today, at least one small Northern European
country, plagued with uncontrollable unrest among its "alienated
youth," is considering the expansion of its armed forces, despite
the problem of making credible the expansion of a non-existent
external threat.

Sporadic efforts have been made to promote general recognition of
broad national values free of military connotation, but they have
been ineffective. For example, to enlist public support of even
such modest programs of social adjustment as "fighting inflation"
or "maintaining physical fitness" it has been necessary for the
government to utilize a patriotic (i.e., military) incentive. It
sells "defense" bonds and it equates health with military preparedness.
This is not surprising; since the concept of "nationhood" implies
readiness for war, a "national" program must do likewise.

In general, the war system provides the basic motivation for primary
social organization. In so doing, it reflects on the societal level
the incentives of individual human behavior. The most important
of these, for social purposes, is the individual psychological
rationale for allegiance to a society and its values. Allegiance
requires a cause; a cause requires an enemy. This much is obvious;
the critical point is that the enemy that defines the cause must
seem genuinely formidable. Roughly speaking, the presumed power of
the "enemy" sufficient to warrant an individual sense of allegiance
to a society must be proportionate to the size and complexity of
the society. Today, of course, that power must be one of unprecedented
magnitude and frightfulness.

It follows, from the patterns of human behavior, that the credibility
of a social "enemy" demands similarly a readiness of response in
proportion to its menace. In a broad social context, "an eye for
an eye" still characterizes the only acceptable attitude toward a
presumed threat of aggression, despite contrary religious and moral
precepts governing personal conduct. The remoteness of personal
decision from social consequence in a modern society makes it easy
for its members to maintain this attitude without being aware of
it. A recent example is the war in Vietnam; a less recent one was
the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. [21] In each case, the extent
and gratuitousness of the slaughter were abstracted into political
formulae by most Americans, once the proposition that the victims
were "enemies" was established. The war system makes such an
abstracted response possible in nonmilitary contexts as well. A
conventional example of this mechanism is the inability of most
people to connect, let us say, the starvation of millions in India
with their own past conscious political decision-making. Yet the
sequential logic linking a decision to restrict grain production
in America with an eventual famine in Asia is obvious, unambiguous,
and unconcealed.

What gives the war system its preeminent role in social organization,
as elsewhere, is its unmatched authority over life and death. It
must be emphasized again that the war system is not a mere social
extension of the presumed need for individual human violence, but
itself in turn serves to rationalize most nonmilitary killing. It
also provides the precedent for collective willingness of members
of a society to pay a blood price for institutions far less central
to social organization than war. To take a handy example, "...
rather than accept speed limits of twenty miles an hour we prefer
to let automobiles kill forty thousand people a year." [22] A Rand
analyst puts it in more general terms and less rhetorically: "I am
sure that there is, in effect, a desirable level of automobile
accidents - desirable, that is, from a broad point of view; in the
sense that it is a necessary concomitant of things of greater value
to society." [23] The point may seem too obvious for iteration,
but is essential to an understanding of the important motivational
function of war as a model for collective sacrifice.

A brief look at some defunct premodern societies is instructive.
One of the most noteworthy features common to the larger, more
complex, and more successful of ancient civilizations was their
widespread use of the blood sacrifice. If one were to limit
consideration to those cultures whose regional hegemony was so
complete that the prospect of "war" had become virtually inconceivable
- as was the case with several of the great pre-Columbian societies
of the Western Hemisphere - it would be found that some form of
ritual killing occupied a position of paramount social importance
in each. Invariably, the ritual was invested with mythic or religious
significance; as with all religious and totemic practice, however,
the ritual masked a broader and more important social function.

In these societies, the blood sacrifice served the purpose of
maintaining a vestigial "earnest" of the society's capability and
willingness to make war - i.e., kill and be killed - in the event
that some mystical - i.e., unforeseen - circumstance were to give
rise to the possibility. That the "earnest" was not an adequate
substitute for genuine military organization when the unthinkable
enemy, such as the Spanish conquistadores, actually appeared on
the scene in no way negates the function of the ritual. It was
primarily, if not exclusively, a symbolic reminder that war had
once been the central organizing force of the society, and that
this condition might recur.

It does not follow that a transition to total peace in modern
societies would require the use of this model, even in less "barbaric"
guise. But the historical analogy serves as a reminder that a viable
substitute for war as a social system cannot be a mere symbolic
charade. It must involve real risk of real personal destruction,
and on a scale consistent with the size and complexity of modern
social systems. Credibility is the key. Whether the substitute is
ritual in nature or functionally substantive, unless it provides
a believable life-and-death threat it will not serve the socially
organizing function of war.

The existence of an accepted external menace, then, is essential
to social cohesiveness as well as to the acceptance of political
authority. The menace must be believable, it must be of a magnitude
consistent with the complexity of the society threatened, and it
must appear, at least, to affect the entire society.


Man, like all other animals, is subject to the continuing process
of adapting to the limitations of his environment. But the principal
mechanism he has utilized for this purpose is unique among living
creatures. To forestall the inevitable historical cycles of inadequate
food supply, post-Neolithic man destroys surplus members of his
own species by organized warfare.

Ethologists [24] have often observed that the organized slaughter
of members of their own species is virtually unknown among other
animals. Man's special propensity to kill his own kind (shared to
a limited degree with rats) may be attributed to his inability to
adapt anachronistic patterns of survival (like primitive hunting)
to his development of "civilizations" in which these patterns cannot
be effectively sublimated. It may be attributed to other causes
that have been suggested, such as a maladapted "territorial instinct,"
etc. Nevertheless, it exists and its social expression in war
constitutes a biological control of his relationship to his natural
environment that is peculiar to man alone.

War has served to help assure the {survival} of the human species.
But as an evolutionary device to {improve} it, war is almost
unbelievably inefficient. With few exceptions, the selective
processes of other living creatures promote both specific survival
{and} genetic improvement. When a conventionally adaptive animal
faces one of its periodic crises of insufficiency, it is the
"inferior" members of the species that normally disappear. An
animal's social response to such a crisis may take the form of a
mass migration, during which the weak fall by the wayside. Or it
may follow the dramatic and more efficient pattern of lemming
societies, in which the weaker members voluntarily disperse, leaving
available food supplies for the stronger. In either case, the strong
survive and the weak fall. In human societies, those who fight and
die in wars for survival are in general its biologically stronger
members. This is natural selection in reverse.

The regressive genetic effect of war has been often noted [25] and
equally often deplored, even when it confuses biological and cultural
factors. [26] The disproportionate loss of the {biologically}
stronger remains inherent in traditional warfare. It serves to
underscore the fact that survival of the species, rather than its
improvement, is the fundamental purpose of natural selection, if
it can be said to have a purpose, just as it is the basic premise
of this study.

But as the polemologist Gaston Bouthoul [27] has pointed out, other
institutions that were developed to serve this ecological function
have proved even less satisfactory. (They include such established
forms as these: infanticide, practiced chiefly in ancient and
primitive societies; sexual mutilation; monasticism; forced
emigration; extensive capital punishment, as in old China and
eighteenth-century England; and other similar, usually localized,

Man's ability to increase his productivity of the essentials of
physical life suggests that the need for protection against cyclical
famine may be nearly obsolete. [28] It has thus tended to reduce
the apparent importance of the basic ecological function of war,
which is generally disregarded by peace theorists. Two aspects of
it remain especially relevant, however. The first is obvious:
current rates of population growth, compounded by environmental
threat of chemical and other contaminants, may well bring about a
new crisis of insufficiency. If so, it is likely to be one of
unprecedented global magnitude, not merely regional or temporary.
Conventional methods of warfare would almost surely prove inadequate,
in this event, to reduce the consuming population to a level
consistent with survival of the species.

The second relevant factor is the efficiency of modern methods of
mass destruction. Even if their use is not required to meet a world
population crisis, they offer, perhaps paradoxically, the first
opportunity in the history of man to halt the regressive genetic
effects of natural selection by war. Nuclear weapons are indiscriminate.
Their application would bring to an end the disproportionate
destruction of the physically stronger members of the species (the
"warriors") in periods of war. Whether this prospect of genetic
gain would offset the unfavorable mutations anticipated from
postnuclear radioactivity we have not yet determined. What gives
the question a bearing on our study is the possibility that the
determination may yet have to be made.

Another secondary ecological trend bearing on projected population
growth is the regressive effect of certain medical advances.
Pestilence, for example, is no longer an important factor in
population control. The problem of increased life expectancy has
been aggravated. These advances also pose a potentially more sinister
problem, in that undesirable genetic traits that were formally
self-liquidating are now medically maintained. Many diseases that
were once fatal at preprocreational ages are now cured; the effect
of this development is to perpetuate undesirable susceptibilities
and mutations. It seems clear that a new quasi-eugenic function of
war is now in process of formation that will have to be taken into
account in any transition plan. For the time being, the Department
of Defense appears to have recognized such factors, as has been
demonstrated by the planning under way by the Rand Corporation to
cope with the breakdown in the ecological balance anticipated after
a thermonuclear war. The Department has also begun to stockpile
birds, for example, against the expected proliferation of
radiation-resistant insects, etc.

Cultural and Scientific

The declared order of values in modern societies gives a high place
to the so-call "creative" activities, and an even higher one to
those associated with the advance of scientific knowledge. Widely
held social values can be translated into political equivalents,
which in turn may bear on the nature of a transition to peace. The
attitudes of those who hold these values must be taken into account
in the planning of the transition. The dependence, therefore, of
cultural and scientific achievement on the war system would be an
important consideration in a transition plan even if such achievement
had no inherently necessary social function.

Of all the countless dichotomies invented by scholars to account
for the major differences in art styles and cycles, only one has
been consistently unambiguous in its application to a variety of
forms and cultures. However it may be verbalized, the basic
distinction is this: Is the work war-oriented or is it not? Among
primitive peoples, the war dance is the most important art form.
Elsewhere, literature, music, painting, sculpture, and architecture
that has won lasting acceptance has invariably dealt with a theme
of war, expressly or implicitly, and has expressed the centricity
of war to society. The war in question may be national conflict,
as in Shakespeare's plays, Beethoven's music, or Goya's paintings,
or it may be reflected in the form of religious, social, or moral
struggle, as in the work of Dante, Rembrandt, and Bach. Art that
cannot be classified as war-oriented is usually described as
"sterile," "decadent," and so on. Application of the "war standard"
to works of art may often leave room for debate in individual cases,
but there is no question of its role as the fundamental determinant
of cultural values. Aesthetic and moral standards have a common
anthropological origin, in the exaltation of bravery, the willingness
to kill and risk death in tribal warfare.

It is also instructive to note that the character of a society's
culture has borne a close relationship to its war-making potential,
in the context of its times. It is no accident that the current
"cultural explosion" in the United States is taking place during
an era marked by an unusually rapid advance in weaponry. This
relationship is more generally recognized than the literature on
the subject would suggest. For example, many artists and writers
are now beginning to express concern over the limited creative
options they envisage in the warless world they think, or hope,
may be soon upon us. They are currently preparing for this possibility
by unprecedented experimentation with meaningless forms; their
interest in recent years has been increasingly engaged by the
abstract pattern, the gratuitous emotion, the random happening,
and the unrelated sequence.

The relationship of war to scientific research and discovery is
more explicit. War is the principal motivational force for the
development of science at every level, from the abstractly conceptual
to the narrowly technological. Modern society places a high value
on "pure" science, but it is historically inescapable that all the
significant discoveries that have been made about the natural world
have been inspired by the real or imaginary military necessities
of their epochs. The consequences of the discoveries have indeed
gone far afield, but war has always provided the basic incentive.

Beginning with the development of iron and steel, and proceeding
through the discoveries of the laws of motion and thermodynamics
to the age of the atomic particle, the synthetic polymer, and the
space capsule, no important scientific advance has not been at
least indirectly initiated by an implicit requirement of weaponry.
More prosaic examples include the transistor radio (an outgrowth
of military communications requirements), the assembly line (from
Civil War firearms needs), the steel-frame building (from the steel
battleship), the canal lock, and so on. A typical adaptation can
be seen in a device as modest as the common lawnmower; it developed
>from the revolving scythe devised by Leonardo da Vinci to precede
a horse-powered vehicle into enemy ranks.

The most direct relationship can be found in medical technology.
For example, a giant "walking machine," an amplifier of body motions
invented for military use in difficult terrain, is now making it
possible for many previously confined to wheelchairs to walk. The
Vietnam war alone has led to spectacular improvements in amputation
procedures, blood-handling techniques, and surgical logistics. It
has stimulated new large-scale research on malaria and other tropical
parasitic diseases; it is hard to estimate how long this work would
otherwise have been delayed, despite its enormous nonmilitary
importance to nearly half the world's population.


We have elected to omit from our discussion of the nonmilitary
functions of war those we do not consider critical to a transition
program. This is not to say they are unimportant, however, but only
that they appear to present no special problems for the organization
of a peace-oriented social system. They include the following:

{War as a general social release.} This is a psychosocial function,
serving the same purpose for a society as do the holiday, the
celebration, and the orgy for the individual - the release and
redistribution of undifferentiated tensions. War provides for the
periodic necessary readjustment of standards of social behavior
(the "moral climate") and for the dissipation of general boredom,
one of the most consistently undervalued and unrecognized of social

{War as a generational stabilizer.} This psychological function,
served by other behavior patterns in other animals, enables the
physically deteriorating older generation to maintain its control
of the younger, destroying it if necessary.

{War as an ideological clarifier.} The dualism that characterizes
the traditional dialectic of all branches of philosophy and of
stable political relationships stems from war as the prototype of
conflict. Except for secondary considerations, there cannot be, to
put it as simply as possible, more than two sides to a question
because there cannot be more than two sides to a war.

{War as the basis for international understanding.} Before the
development of modern communications, the strategic requirements
of war provided the only substantial incentive for the enrichment
of one national culture with the achievements of another. Although
this is still the case in many international relationships, the
function is obsolescent.

We have also foregone extended characterization of those functions
we assume to be widely and explicitly recognized. An obvious
example is the role of war as controller of the quality and degree
of unemployment. This is more than an economic and political
subfunction; its sociological, cultural, and ecological aspects
are also important, although often teleonomic. But none affect the
general problem of substitution. The same is true of certain other
functions; those we have included are sufficient to define the
scope of the problem.

SECTION 6: Substitutes for the Functions of War

By now it should be clear that the most detailed and comprehensive
master plan for a transition to world peace will remain academic
if it fails to deal forthrightly with the problem of the critical
nonmilitary functions of war. The social needs they serve are
essential; if the war system no longer exists to meet them, substitute
institutions will have to be established for the purpose. These
surrogates must be "realistic," which is to say of a scope and
nature that can be conceived and implemented in the context of
present-day social capabilities. This is not the truism it may
appear to be; the requirements of radical social change often reveal
the distinction between a most conservative projection and a wildly
utopian scheme to be fine indeed.

In this section we will consider some possible substitutes for
these functions. Only in rare instances have they been put forth
for the purposes which concern us here, but we see no reason to
limit ourselves to proposals that address themselves explicitly to
the problem as we have outlined it. We will disregard the ostensible,
or military, functions of war; it is a premise of this study that
the transition to peace implies absolutely that they will no longer
exist in any relevant sense. We will also disregard the noncritical
functions exemplified at the end of the preceding section.


Economic surrogates for war must meet two principal criteria. They
must be "wasteful," in the common sense of the word, and they must
operate outside the normal supply-demand system. A corollary that
should be obvious is that the magnitude of the waste must be
sufficient to meet the needs of a particular society. An economy
as advanced and complex as our own requires the planned average
annual destruction of not less than 10 percent of gross national
product [29] if it is effectively to fulfill its stabilizing
function. When the mass of a balance wheel is inadequate to the
power it is intended to control, its effect can be self-defeating,
as with a runaway locomotive. The analogy, though crude, [30] is
especially apt for the American economy, as our record of cyclical
depressions shows. All have taken place during periods of grossly
inadequate military spending.

Those few economic conversion programs which by implication
acknowledge the nonmilitary economic function of war (at least to
some extent) tend to assume that so-called social-welfare expenditures
will fill the vacuum created by the disappearance of military
spending. When one considers the backlog of unfinished business -
proposed but still unexecuted - in this field, the assumption seems
plausible. Let us examine briefly the following list, which is
more or less typical of general social welfare programs. [31]

{Health.} Drastic expansion of medical research, education, and
training facilities; hospital and clinic construction; the general
objective of {complete} government-guaranteed health care for all,
at a level consistent with current developments in medical technology.

{Education.} The equivalent of the foregoing in teacher training;
schools and libraries; the drastic upgrading of standards, with
the general objective of making available for all an attainable
educational goal equivalent to what is now considered a professional

{Housing.} Clean, comfortable, safe, and spacious living space for
all, at the level now enjoyed by about 15 percent of the population
in this country (less in most others).

{Transportation.} The establishment of a system of mass public
transportation making it possible for all to travel to and from
areas of work and recreation quickly, comfortably, and conveniently,
and to travel privately for pleasure rather than necessity.

{Physical environment.} The development and protection of water
supplies, forests, parks, and other natural resources; the elimination
of chemical and bacterial contaminants from air, water, and soil.

{Poverty.} The genuine elimination of poverty, defined by a standard
consistent with current economic productivity, by means of guaranteed
annual income or whatever system of distribution will best assure
its achievement.

This is only a sampler of the more obvious domestic social welfare
items, and we have listed it in a deliberately broad, perhaps
extravagant, manner. In the past, such a vague and ambitious-sounding
"program" wold have been dismissed out of hand, without serious
consideration; it would clearly have been, {prima facie}, far too
costly, quite apart from its political implications. [32] Our
objection to it, on the other hand, could hardly be more contradictory.
As an economic substitute for war, it is inadequate because it
would be far too cheap.

If this seems paradoxical, it must be remembered that up to now
all proposed social-welfare expenditures have had to be measured
{within} the war economy, not as a replacement for it. The old
slogan about a battleship or an ICBM costing as much as {x} hospitals
or {y} schools or {z} homes takes on a very different meaning if
there are to be no more battleships or ICBM's.

Since the list is general, we have elected to forestall the tangential
controversy that surrounds arbitrary cost projections by offering
no individual cost estimates. But the maximum program that could
be physically effected along the lines indicated could approach
the established level of military spending only for a limited time
- in our opinion, subject to a detailed cost-and-feasibility
analysis, less than ten years. In this short period, at this rate,
the major goals of the program would have been achieved. Its
capital-investment phase would have been completed, and it would
have established a permanent comparatively modest level of annual
operating cost - {within the framework of the general economy}.

Here is the basic weakness of the social-welfare surrogate. On
the short-term basis, a maximum program of this sort could replace
a normal military spending program, provided it was designed, like
the military model, to be subject to arbitrary control. Public
housing starts, for example, or the development of modern medical
centers might be accelerated or halted from time to time, as the
requirements of a stable economy might dictate. But on the long-term
basis, social-welfare spending, no matter how often redefined,
would necessarily become an integral, accepted part of the economy,
of no more value as a stabilizer than the automobile industry or
old age and survivors' insurance. Apart from whatever merit
social-welfare programs are deemed to have for their own sake,
their function as a substitute for war in the economy would thus
be self-liquidating. They might serve, however, as expedients
pending the development of more durable substitute measures.

Another economic surrogate that has been proposed is a series of
giant "space research" programs. These have already demonstrated
their utility in more modest scale within the military economy.
What has been implied, although not yet expressly put forth, is
the development of a long-range sequence of space-research projects
with largely unattainable goals. This kind of program offers several
advantages lacking in the social welfare model. First, it is unlikely
to phase itself out, regardless of the predictable "surprises"
science has in store for us: the universe is too big. In the event
some individual project unexpectedly succeeds there would be no
dearth of substitute problems. For example, if colonization of
the moon proceeds on schedule, it could then become "necessary" to
establish a beachhead on Mars or Jupiter, and so on. Second, it
need be no more dependent on the general supply-demand economy than
its military prototype. Third, it lends itself extraordinarily well
to arbitrary control.

Space research can be viewed as the nearest modern equivalent yet
devised to the pyramid-building, and similar ritualistic enterprises,
of ancient societies. It is true that the scientific value of the
space program, even of what has already been accomplished, is
substantial on its own terms. But current programs are absurdly
and obviously disproportionate, in the relationship of the knowledge
sought to the expenditures committed. All but a small fraction of
the space budget, measured by the standards of comparable scientific
objectives, must be charged {de facto} to the military economy.
Future space research, projected as a war surrogate, would further
reduce the the "scientific" rationale of its budget to a minuscule
percentage indeed. As a purely economic substitute for war, therefore,
extension of the space program warrants serious consideration.

In Section 3 we pointed out that certain disarmament models, which
we called conservative, postulated extremely expensive and elaborate
inspection systems. Would it be possible to extend and institutionalize
such systems to the point where they might serve as economic
surrogates for war spending? The organization of failsafe inspection
machinery could well be ritualized in a manner similar to that of
established military processes. "Inspection teams" might be very
like armies, and their technical equipment might be very like
weapons. Inflating the inspection budget to military scale presents
no difficulty. The appeal of this kind of scheme lies in the
comparative ease of transition between two parallel systems.

The "elaborate inspection" surrogate is fundamentally fallacious,
however. Although it might be economically useful, as well as
politically necessary, during the disarmament transition, it would
fail as a substitute for the economic function of war for one simple
reason. Peacekeeping inspection is part of a war system, not of
a peace system. It implies the possibility of weapons maintenance
or manufacture, which could not exist in a world at peace as here
defined. Massive inspection also implies sanctions, and thus

The same fallacy is more obvious in plans to create a patently
useless "defense conversion" apparatus. The long-discredited
proposal to build "total" civil defense facilities is one example;
another is the plan to establish a giant antimissile missile complex
(Nike-X, {et al}.). These programs, of course, are economic rather
than strategic. Nevertheless, they are not substitutes for military
spending but merely different forms of it.

A more sophisticated variant is the proposal to establish the
"Unarmed Forces" of the United States. [33] This would conveniently
maintain the entire institutional military structure, redirecting
it essentially toward social-welfare activities on a global scale.
It would be, in effect, a giant military Peace Corps. There is
nothing inherently unworkable about this plan, and using the existing
military system to effectuate its own demise is both ingenious and
convenient. But even on a greatly magnified world basis, social-welfare
expenditures must sooner or later reenter the atmosphere of the
normal economy. The practical transitional virtues of such a scheme
would thus be eventually negated by its inadequacy as a permanent
economic stabilizer.


The war system makes the stable government of societies possible.
It does this essentially by providing an external necessity for a
society to accept political rule. In so doing, it establishes the
basis for nationhood and the authority of government to control
its constituents. What other institution or combination of programs
might serve these functions in its place?

We have already pointed out that the end of war means the end of
national sovereignty, and thus the end of nationhood as we know it
today. But this does not necessarily mean the end of nations in
the administrative sense, and internal political power will remain
essential to a stable society. The emerging "nations" of the peace
epoch must continue to draw political authority from some source.

A number of proposals have been made governing the relations between
nations after total disarmament; all are basically juridical in
nature. They contemplate institutions more or less like a World
Court, or a United Nations, but vested with real authority. They
may or may not serve their ostensible postmilitary purpose of
settling international disputes, but we need not discuss that here.
None would offer effective external pressure on a peace-world nation
to organize itself politically.

It might be argued that a well-armed international police force,
operating under the authority of such a supranational "court,"
could well serve the function of external enemy. This, however,
would constitute a military operation, like the inspection schemes
mentioned, and, like them, would be inconsistent with the premise
of an end to the war system. It is possible that a variant of the
"Unarmed Forces" idea might be developed in such a way that its
"constructive" (i.e., social welfare) activities could be combined
with an economic "threat" of sufficient size and credibility to
warrant political organization. Would this kind of threat also be
contradictory to our central premise? - that is, would it be
inevitably military? Not necessarily, in our view, but we are
skeptical of its capacity to evoke credibility. Also, the obvious
destabilizing effect of any global social welfare surrogate on
politically necessary class relationships would create an entirely
new set of transition problems at least equal in magnitude.

Credibility, in fact, lies at the heart of the problem of developing
a political substitute for war. This is where the space-race
proposals, in many ways so well suited as economic substitutes for
war, fall short. The most ambitious and unrealistic space project
cannot of itself generate a believable external menace. It has been
hotly argued [34] that such a menace would offer the "last, best
hope of peace," etc., by uniting mankind against the danger of
destruction by "creatures" from other planets or from outer space.
Experiments have been proposed to test the credibility of an
out-of-our-world invasion threat; it is possible that a few of the
more difficult-to-explain "flying saucer" incidents of recent years
were in fact early experiments of this kind. If so, they could
hardly have been judged encouraging. We anticipate no difficulties
in making a "need" for a giant super space program credible for
economic purposes, even were there not ample precedent; extending
it, for political purposes, to include features unfortunately
associated with science fiction would obviously be a more dubious

Nevertheless, an effective political substitute for war would
require "alternate enemies," some of which might seem equally
farfetched in the context of the current war system. It may be,
for instance, that gross pollution of the environment can eventually
replace the possibility of mass destruction by nuclear weapons as
the principal apparent threat to the survival of the species.
Poisoning of the air, and of the principal sources of food and
water supply, is already well advanced, and at first glance would
seem promising in this respect; it constitutes a threat that can
be dealt with only through social organization and political power.
But from present indications it will be a generation to a generation
and a half before environmental pollution, however severe, will be
sufficiently menacing, on a global scale, to offer a possible basis
for a solution.

It is true that the rate of pollution could be increased selectively
for this purpose; in fact, the mere modifying of existing programs
for the deterrence of pollution could speed up the process enough
to make the threat credible much sooner. But the pollution problem
has been so widely publicized in recent years that it seems highly
improbable that a program of deliberate environmental poisoning
could be implemented in a politically acceptable manner.

However unlikely some of the possible alternate enemies we have
mentioned may seem, we must emphasize that one {must} be found, of
credible quality and magnitude, if a transition to peace is ever
to come about without social disintegration. It is more probable,
in our judgment, that such a threat will have to be invented, rather
than developed from unknown conditions. For this reason, we believe
further speculation about its putative nature ill-advised in this
context. Since there is considerable doubt, in our minds, that
{any} viable political surrogate can be devised, we are reluctant
to compromise, by premature discussion, any possible option that
may eventually lie open to our government.


Of the many functions of war we have found convenient to group
together in this classification, two are critical. In a world of
peace, the continuing stability of society will require: 1) an
effective substitute for military institutions that can neutralize
destabilizing social elements and 2) a credible motivational
surrogate for war that can insure social cohesiveness. The first
is an essential element of social control; the second is the basic
mechanism for adapting individual human drives to the needs of

Most proposals that address themselves, explicitly or otherwise,
to the postwar problem of controlling the socially alienated turn
to some variant of the Peace Corps or the so-called Job Corps for
a solution. The socially disaffected, the economically unprepared,
the psychologically unconformable, the hard-core "delinquents,"
the incorrigible "subversives," and the rest of the unemployable
are seen as somehow transformed by the disciplines of a service
modeled on military precedent into more or less dedicated social
service workers. This presumption also informs the otherwise
hardheaded ratiocination of the "Unarmed Forces" plan.

The problem has been addressed, in the language of popular sociology,
by Secretary McNamara. "Even in our abundant societies, we have
reason enough to worry over the tensions that coil and tighten
among underprivileged young people, and finally flail out in
delinquency and crime. What are we to expect ... where mounting
frustrations are likely to fester into eruptions of violence and
extremism?" In a seemingly unrelated passage, he continues: "It
seems to me that we could move toward remedying that inequity [of
the Selective Service System] by asking every young person in the
United States to give two years of service to his country - whether
in one of the military services, in the Peace Corps, or in some
other volunteer developmental work at home or abroad. We could
encourage other countries to do the same." [35] Here, as elsewhere
throughout this significant speech, Mr. McNamara has focused,
indirectly but unmistakably, on one of the key issues bearing on
a possible transition to peace, and has later indicated, also
indirectly, a rough approach to its resolution, again phrased in
the language of the current war system.

It seems clear that Mr. McNamara and other proponents of the
peace-corps surrogate for this war function lean heavily on the
success of the paramilitary Depression programs mentioned in the
last section. We find the precedent wholly inadequate in degree.
Neither the lack of relevant precedent, however, nor the dubious
social-welfare sentimentality characterizing this approach warrant
its rejection without careful study. It may be viable - provided,
first, that the military origin of the Corps format be effectively
rendered out of its operational activity, and second, that the
transition from paramilitary activities to "developmental work"
can be effected without regard to the attitudes of the Corps
personnel or to the "value" of the work it is expected to perform.

Another possible surrogate for the control of potential enemies of
society is the reintroduction, in some form consistent with modern
technology and political processes, of slavery. Up to now, this
has been suggested only in fiction, notably in the works of Wells,
Huxley, Orwell, and others engaged in the imaginative anticipation
of the sociology of the future. But the fantasies projected in
{Brave New World} and {1984} have seemed less and less implausible
over the years since their publication. The traditional association
of slavery with ancient preindustrial cultures should not blind us
to its adaptability to advanced forms of social organization, nor
should its equally traditional incompatibility with Western moral
and economic values. It is entirely possible that the development
of a sophisticated form of slavery may be an absolute prerequisite
for social control in a world at peace. As a practical matter,
conversion of the code of military discipline to a euphemized form
of enslavement would entail surprisingly little revision; the
logical first step would be the adoption of some form of "universal"
military service.

When it comes to postulating a credible substitute for war capable
of directing human behavior patterns in behalf of social organization,
few options suggest themselves. Like its political function, the
motivational function of war requires the existence of a genuinely
menacing social enemy. The principal difference is that for purposes
of motivating basic allegiance, as distinct from accepting political
authority, the "alternate enemy" must imply a more immediate,
tangible, and directly felt threat of destruction. It must justify
the need for taking and paying a "blood price" in wide areas of
human concern.

In this respect, the possible substitute enemies noted earlier
would be insufficient. One exception might be the environmental-pollution
model, if the danger to society it posed was genuinely imminent.
The fictive models would have to carry the weight of extraordinary
conviction, underscored with a not inconsiderable actual sacrifice
of life; the construction of an up-to-date mythological or religious
structure for this purpose would present difficulties in our era,
but must certainly be considered.

Games theorists have suggested, in other contexts, the development
of "blood games" for the effective control of individual aggressive
impulses. It is an ironic commentary on the current state of war
and peace studies that it was left not to scientists but to the
makers of a commercial film [36] to develop a model for this notion,
on the implausible level of popular melodrama, as a ritualized
manhunt. More realistically, such a ritual might be socialized, in
the manner of the Spanish Inquisition and the less formal witch
trials of other periods, for purposes of "social purification,"
"state security," or other rationale both acceptable and credible
to postwar societies. The feasibility of such an updated version
of still another ancient institution, though doubtful, is considerably
less fanciful than the wishful notion of many peace planners that
a lasting condition of peace can be brought about without the most
painstaking examination of every possible surrogate for the essential
functions of war. What is involved here, in a sense, is the quest
for William James's "moral equivalent of war."

It is also possible that the two functions considered under this
heading may be jointly served, in the sense of establishing the
antisocial, for whom a control institution is needed, as the
"alternate enemy" needed to hold society together. The relentless
and irreversible advance of unemployability at all levels of society,
and the similar extension of generalized alienation from accepted
values [37] may make some such program necessary even as an adjunct
to the war system. As before, we will not speculate on the specific
forms this kind of program might take, except to note that there
is again ample precedent, in the treatment meted out to disfavored,
allegedly menacing, ethnic groups in certain societies during
historical periods. [38]


Considering the the shortcomings of war as a mechanism of selective
population control, it might appear that devising substitutes for
this function should be comparatively simple. Schematically this
so, but the problem of timing the transition to a new ecological
balancing device makes the feasibility of substitution less certain.

It must be remembered that the limitation of war in this function
is entirely eugenic. War has not been genetically progressive. But
as a system of gross population control to preserve the species it
cannot fairly be faulted. And, as has been pointed out, the nature
of war is itself in transition. Current trends in warfare - the
increased strategic bombing of civilians and the greater military
importance now attached to the destruction of sources of supply
(as opposed to purely "military" bases and personnel) - strongly
suggest that a truly qualitative improvement is in the making.
Assuming the war system is to continue, it is more than probable
that the regressively selective quality of war will have been
reversed, as its victims become more genetically representative of
their societies.

There is no question but that a universal requirement that procreation
be limited to the products of artificial insemination would provide
a fully adequate substitute control for population levels. Such a
reproductive system would, of course, have the added advantage of
being susceptible of direct eugenic management. Its predictable
further development - conception and embryonic growth taking place
wholly under laboratory conditions - would extend these controls
to their logical conclusion. The ecological function of war under
these circumstances would not only be superseded but surpassed in

The indicated intermediate step - total control of conception with
a variant of the ubiquitous "pill," via water supplies or certain
essential foodstuffs, offset by a controlled "antidote" - is already
under development. [39] There would appear to be no foreseeable
need to revert to any of the outmoded practices referred to in the
previous section (infanticide, etc.) as there might have been if
the possibility of transition to peace had arisen two generations

The real question here, therefore, does not concern the viability
of this war substitute, but the political problems involved in
bringing it about. It cannot be established while the war system
is still in effect. The reason for this is simple: excess population
is war material. As long as any society must contemplate even a
remote possibility of war, it must maintain a maximum supportable
population, even when so doing critically aggravates an economic
liability. This is paradoxical, in view of war's role in reducing
excess population, but it is readily understood. War controls the
{general} population level, but the ecological interest of any
single society lies in maintaining its hegemony vis-a-vis other
societies. The obvious analogy can be seen in any free-enterprise
economy. Practices damaging to the society as a whole - both
competitive and monopolistic - are abetted by the conflicting
economic motives of individual capital interests. The obvious
precedent can be found in the seemingly irrational political
difficulties which have blocked universal adoption of simple
birth-control methods. Nations desperately in need of increasing
unfavorable production-consumption ratios are nevertheless unwilling
to gamble their possible military requirements of twenty years
hence for this purpose. Unilateral population control, as practiced
in ancient Japan and in other isolated societies, is out of the
question in today's world.

Since the eugenic solution cannot be achieved until the transition
to the peace system takes place, why not wait? One must qualify
the inclination to agree. As we noted earlier, a real possibility
of an unprecedented global crisis of insufficiency exists today,
which the war system may not be able to forestall. If this should
come to pass before an agreed-upon transition to peace were completed,
the result might be irrevocably disastrous. There is clearly no
solution to this dilemma; it is a risk which must be taken. But
it tends to support the view that if a decision is made to eliminate
the war system, it were better done sooner than later.

Cultural and Scientific

Strictly speaking, the function of war as the determinant of cultural
values and as the prime mover of scientific progress may not be
critical in a world without war. Our criterion for the basic
nonmilitary functions of war has been: Are they necessary to the
survival and stability of society? The absolute need for substitute
cultural value-determinants and for the continued advance of
scientific knowledge is not established. We believe it important,
however, in behalf of those for whom these functions hold subjective
significance, that it be known what they can reasonably expect in
culture and science after a transition to peace.

So far as the creative arts are concerned, there is no reason to
believe they would disappear, but only that they would change in
character and relative social importance. The elimination of war
would in due course deprive them of their principal conative force,
but it would necessarily take some time for the effect of this
withdrawal to be felt. During the transition, and perhaps for a
generation thereafter, themes of sociomoral conflict inspired by
the war system would be increasingly transferred to the idiom of
purely personal sensibility. At the same time, a new aesthetic
would have to develop. Whatever its name, form, or rationale, its
function would be to express, in language appropriate to the new
period, the once discredited philosophy that art exists for its
own sake. This aesthetic would reject unequivocally the classic
requirement of paramilitary conflict as the substantive content of
great art. The eventual effect of the peace-world philosophy of
art would be democratizing in the extreme, in the sense that a
generally acknowledged subjectivity of artistic standards would
equalize their new, content-free "values."

What may be expected to happen is that art would be reassigned the
role it once played in a few primitive peace-oriented systems. This
was the function of pure decoration, entertainment, or play, entirely
free of the burden of expressing the sociomoral values and conflicts
of a war-oriented society. It is interesting that the groundwork
for such a value-free aesthetic is already being laid today, in
growing experimentation in art without content, perhaps in anticipation
of a world without conflict. A cult has developed around a new kind
of cultural determinism, [40] which proposes that the technological
form of a cultural expression determines its values rather than
does its ostensibly meaningful content. Its clear implication is
that there is no "good" or "bad" art, only that which is appropriate
to its (technological) times and that which is not. Its cultural
effect has been to promote circumstantial constructions and unplanned
expressions; it denies to art the relevance of sequential logic.
Its significance in this context is that it provides a working
model of one kind of value-free culture we might reasonably anticipate
in a world at peace.

So far as science is concerned, it might appear at first glance
that a giant space-research program, the most promising among the
proposed economic surrogates for war, might also serve as the basic
stimulator of scientific research. The lack of fundamental organized
social conflict inherent in space work, however, would rule it out
as an adequate motivational substitute for war when applied to
"pure" science. But it could no doubt sustain the broad range of
{technological} activity that a space budget of military dimensions
would require. A similarly scaled social-welfare program could
provide a comparable impetus to low-keyed technological advances,
especially in medicine, rationalized construction methods, educational
psychology, etc. The eugenic substitute for the ecological function
of war would also require continuing research in certain areas of
the life sciences.

Apart from these partial substitutes for war, it must be kept in
mind that the momentum given to scientific progress by the great
wars of the past century, and even more by the anticipation of
World War III, is intellectually and materially enormous. It is
our finding that if the war system were to end tomorrow this momentum
is so great that the pursuit of scientific knowledge could reasonably
be expected to go forward without noticeable diminution for perhaps
two decades. [41] It would then continue, at a progressively
decreasing tempo, for at least another two decades before the "bank
account" of today's unresolved problems would become exhausted. By
the standards of the questions we have learned to ask today, there
would no longer be anything worth knowing still unknown; we cannot
conceive, by definition, of the scientific questions to ask once
those we can not comprehend are answered.

This leads unavoidably to another matter: the intrinsic value of
the unlimited search for knowledge. We of course offer no independent
value judgments here, but it is germane to point out that a
substantial minority of scientific opinion feels that search to be
circumscribed in any case. This opinion is itself a factor in
considering the need for a substitute for the scientific function
of war. For the record, we must also take note of the precedent
that during long periods of human history, often covering thousands
of years, in which no intrinsic social value was assigned to
scientific progress, stable societies did survive and flourish.
Although this could not have been possible in the modern industrial
world, we cannot be certain it may not again be true in a future
world at peace.

SECTION 7: Summary and Conclusions

The Nature of War

War is not, as is widely assumed, primarily an instrument of policy
utilized by nations to extend or defend their expressed political
values or their economic interests. On the contrary, it is itself
the principal basis of organization on which all modern societies
are constructed. The common proximate cause of war is the apparent
interference of one nation with the aspirations of another. But
at the root of all ostensible differences of national interest lie
the dynamic requirements of the war system itself for periodic
armed conflict. Readiness for war characterizes contemporary social
systems more broadly than their economic and political structures,
which it subsumes.

Economic analyses of the anticipated problems of transition to
peace have not recognized the broad preeminence of war in the
definition of social systems. The same is true, with rare and only
partial exceptions, of model disarmament "scenarios." For this
reason, the value of this previous work is limited to the mechanical
aspects of transition. Certain features of these models may perhaps
be applicable to a real situation of conversion to peace; this will
depend on their compatibility with a substantive, rather than a
procedural, peace plan. Such a plan can be developed only from the
premise of full understanding of the nature of the war system it
proposes to abolish, which in turn presupposes detailed comprehension
of the functions the war system performs for society. It will
require the construction of a detailed and feasible system of
substitutes for those functions that are necessary to the stability
and survival of human societies.

The Functions of War

The visible, military function of war requires no elucidation; it
is not only obvious but also irrelevant to a transition to the
condition of peace, in which it will by definition be superfluous.
It is also subsidiary in social significance to the implied,
nonmilitary functions of war; those critical to transition can be
summarized in five principal groupings.

1. {Economic}. War has provided both ancient and modern societies
with a dependable system for stabilizing and controlling national
economies. No alternate method of control has yet been tested in
a complex modern economy that has shown itself remotely comparable
in scope or effectiveness.

2. {Political}. The permanent possibility of war is the foundation
for stable government; it supplies the basis for general acceptance
of political authority. It has enabled societies to maintain
necessary class distinctions, and it has ensured the subordination
of the citizen to the state, by virtue of the residual war powers
inherent in the concept of nationhood. No modern political ruling
group has successfully controlled its constituency after failing
to sustain the continuing credibility of an external threat of war.

3. {Sociological}. War, through the medium of military institutions,
has uniquely served societies, throughout the course of known
history, as an indispensable controller of dangerous social dissidence
and destructive antisocial tendencies. As the most formidable of
threats to life itself, and as the only one susceptible to mitigation
by social organization alone, it has played another equally
fundamental role: the war system has provided the machinery through
which the motivational forces governing human behavior have been
translated into binding social allegiance. It has thus ensured the
degree of social cohesion necessary to the viability of nations.
No other institution, or group of institutions, in modern societies,
has successfully served these functions.

4. {Ecological}. War has been the principal evolutionary device
for maintaining a satisfactory ecological balance between gross
human population and supplies available for its survival. It is
unique to the human species.

5. {Cultural and Scientific}. War-orientation has determined the
basic standards of value in the creative arts, and has provided
the fundamental motivational source of scientific and technological
progress. The concepts that the arts express values independent of
their own forms and that the successful pursuit of knowledge has
intrinsic social value have long been accepted in modern societies;
the development of the arts and sciences during this period has
been corollary to the parallel development of weaponry.

Substitutes for the Functions of War: Criteria

The foregoing functions of war are essential to the survival of
the social systems we know today. With two possible exceptions they
are also essential to any kind of stable social organization that
might survive in a warless world. Discussion of the ways and means
of transition to such a world are meaningless unless a) substitute
institutions can be devised to fill these functions, or b) it can
reasonably be hypothecated that the loss or partial loss of any
one function need not destroy the viability of future societies.

Such substitute institutions and hypotheses must meet varying
criteria. In general, they must be technically feasible, politically
acceptable, and potentially credible to the members of the societies
that adopt them. Specifically, they must be characterized as

1. {Economic}. An acceptable economic surrogate for the war system
will require the expenditure of resources for completely nonproductive
purposes at a level comparable to that of the military expenditures
otherwise demanded by the size and complexity of each society. Such
a substitute system of apparent "waste" must be of a nature that
will permit it to remain independent of the normal supply-demand
economy; it must be subject to arbitrary political control.

2. {Political}. A viable political substitute for war must posit
a generalized external menace to each society of a nature and degree
sufficient to require the organization and acceptance of political

3. {Sociological}. First, in the permanent absence of war, new
institutions must be developed that will effectively control the
socially destructive segments of societies. Second, for purposes
of adapting the physical and psychological dynamics of human behavior
to the needs of social organization, a credible substitute for war
must generate an omnipresent and readily understood fear of personal
destruction. This fear must be of a nature and degree sufficient
to ensure adherence to societal values to the full extent that they
are acknowledged to transcend the value of an individual human

4. {Ecological}. A substitute for war in its function as the uniquely
human system of population control must ensure the survival, if
not necessarily the improvement, of the species, in terms of its
relation to environmental supply.

5. {Cultural and Scientific}. A surrogate for the function of war
as the determinant of cultural values must establish a basis of
sociomoral conflict of equally compelling force and scope. A
substitute motivational basis for the quest for scientific knowledge
must be similarly informed by a comparable sense of internal

Substitutes for the Functions of War: Models

The following substitute institutions, among others, have been
proposed for consideration as replacements for the nonmilitary
functions of war. That they may not have been originally set forth
for that purpose does not preclude or invalidate their possible
application here.

1. {Economic}. a) A comprehensive social-welfare program, directed
toward maximum improvement of general conditions of human life. b)
A giant open-end space research program, aimed at unreachable
targets. c) A permanent, ritualized, ultra-elaborate disarmament
inspection system, and variants of such a system.

2. {Political}. a) An omnipresent, virtually omnipotent international
police force. b) An established and recognized extraterrestrial
menace. c) Massive global environmental pollution. d) Fictitious
alternate enemies.

3. {Sociological: Control function}. a) Programs generally derived
>from the Peace Corps model. b) A modern, sophisticated form of
slavery. {Motivational function}. a) Intensified environmental
pollution. b) New religious or other mythologies. c) Socially
oriented blood games. d) Combination forms.

4. {Ecological}. A comprehensive program of applied eugenics.

5. {Cultural}. No replacement institution offered. {Scientific}.
The secondary requirements of the space research, social welfare,
and/or eugenics programs.

Substitutes for the Functions of War: Evaluation

The models listed above reflect only the beginning of the quest
for substitute institutions for the functions of war, rather than
a recapitulation of alternatives. It would be both premature and
inappropriate, therefore, to offer final judgments on their
applicability to a transition to peace and after. Furthermore,
since the necessary but complex project of correlating the
compatibility of proposed surrogates for different functions could
be treated only in exemplary fashion at this time, we have elected
to withhold such hypothetical correlation as were tested as
statistically inadequate. [42]

Nevertheless, some tentative and cursory comments on these proposed
functional "solutions" will indicate the scope of the difficulties
involved in this area of peace planning.

{Economic}. The social-welfare model cannot be expected to remain
outside the normal economy after the conclusion of its predominantly
capital-investment phase; its value in this function can therefore
be only temporary. The space-research substitute appears to meet
both major criteria, and should be examined in greater detail,
especially in respect to its probable effects on other war functions.
"Elaborate inspection" schemes, although superficially attractive,
are inconsistent with the basic premise of transition to peace.
The "unarmed forces" variant, logistically similar, is subject to
the same functional criticism as the general social-welfare model.

{Political}. Like the inspection-scheme surrogates, proposals for
plenipotentiary international police are inherently incompatible
with the ending of the war system. The "unarmed forces" variant,
amended to include unlimited powers of economic sanction, might
conceivably be expanded to constitute a credible external menace.
Development of an acceptable threat from "outer space," presumably
in conjunction with a space-research surrogate for economic control,
appears unpromising in terms of credibility. The environmental-pollution
model does not seem sufficiently responsive to immediate social
control, except through arbitrary acceleration of current pollution
trends; this in turn raises questions of political acceptability.
New, less regressive, approaches to the creation of fictitious
global "enemies" invite further investigation.

{Sociological: Control function}. Although the various substitutes
proposed for this function that are modeled roughly on the Peace
Corps appear grossly inadequate in potential scope, they should
not be ruled out without further study. Slavery, in a technologically
modern and conceptually euphemized form, may prove a more efficient
and flexible institution in this area. {Motivational function}.
Although none of the proposed substitutes for war as the guarantor
of social allegiance can be dismissed out of hand, each presents
serious and special difficulties. Intensified environmental threats
may raise ecological dangers; mythmaking dissociated from war may
no longer be politically feasible; purposeful blood games and
rituals can far more readily be devised than implemented. An
institution combining this function with the preceding one, based
on, but not necessarily imitative of, the precedent of organized
ethnic repression, warrants careful consideration.

{Ecological}. The only apparent problem in the application of an
adequate eugenic substitute for war is that of timing; it cannot
be effectuated until the transition to peace has been completed,
which involves a serious temporary risk of ecological failure.

{Cultural}. No plausible substitute for this function of war has
yet been proposed. It may be, however, that a basic cultural
value-determinant is not necessary to the survival of a stable
society. {Scientific}. The same might be said for the function of
war as the prime mover of the search for knowledge. However, adoption
of either a giant space-research program, a comprehensive
social-welfare program, or a master program of eugenic control
would provide motivation for limited technologies.

General Conclusions

It is apparent, from the foregoing, that no program or combination
of programs yet proposed for a transition to peace has remotely
approached meeting the comprehensive functional requirements of a
world without war. Although one projected system for filling the
economic function of war seems promising, similar optimism cannot
be expressed in the equally essential political and sociological
areas. The other major nonmilitary functions of war - ecological,
cultural, scientific - raise very different problems, but it is at
least possible that detailed programming of substitutes in these
areas is not prerequisite to transition. More important, it is not
enough to develop adequate but separate surrogates for the major
war functions; they must be fully compatible and in no degree

Until such a unified program is developed, at least hypothetically,
it is impossible for this or any other group to furnish meaningful
answers to the questions originally presented to us. When asked
how best to prepare for the advent of peace, we must first reply,
as strongly as we can, that the war system cannot responsibly be
allowed to disappear until 1) we know exactly what it is we plan
to put in its place, and 2) we are certain, beyond reasonable doubt,
that these substitute institutions will serve their purposes in
terms of the survival and stability of society. It will then be
time enough to develop methods for effectuating the transition;
procedural programming must follow, not precede, substantive

Such solutions, if indeed they exist, will not be arrived at without
a revolutionary revision of the modes of thought heretofore considered
appropriate to peace research. That we have examined the fundamental
questions involved from a dispassionate, value-free point of view
should not imply that we do not appreciate the intellectual and
emotional difficulties that must be overcome on all decision-making
levels before these questions are generally acknowledged by others
for what they are. They reflect, on an intellectual level, traditional
emotional resistance to new (more lethal and thus more "shocking")
forms of weaponry. The understated comment of then-Senator Hubert
Humphrey on the publication of {On Thermonuclear War} is still very
much to the point: "New thoughts, particularly those which appear
to contradict current assumptions, are always painful for the mind
to contemplate."

Nor, simply because we have not discussed them, do we minimize the
massive reconciliation of conflicting interest which domestic as
well as international agreement on proceeding toward genuine peace
presupposes. This factor was excluded from the purview of our
assignment, but we would be remiss if we failed to take it into
account. Although no insuperable obstacle lies in the path of
reaching such general agreements, formidable short-term private-group
and general-class interest in maintaining the war system is well
established and widely recognized. The resistance to peace stemming
>from such interest is only tangential, in the long run, to the
basic functions of war, but it will not be easily overcome, in this
country or elsewhere. Some observers, in fact, believe that it
cannot be overcome at all in our time, that the price of peace is,
simply, too high. This bears on our overall conclusions to the
extent that timing in the transference to substitute institutions
may often be the critical factor in their political feasibility.

It is uncertain, at this time, whether peace will ever be possible.
It is far more questionable, by the objective standard of continued
social survival rather than that of emotional pacifism, that it
would be desirable even if it were demonstrably attainable. The
war system, for all its subjective repugnance to important sections
of "public opinion," has demonstrated its effectiveness since the
beginning of recorded history; it has provided the basis for the
development of many impressively durable civilizations, including
that which is dominant today. It has consistently provided unambiguous
social priorities. It is, on the whole, a known quantity. A viable
system of peace, assuming that the great and complex questions of
substitute institutions raised in this Report are both soluble and
solved, would still constitute a venture into the unknown, with
the inevitable risks attendant on the unforeseen, however small
and however well hedged.

Government decision-makers tend to choose peace over war whenever
a real option exists, because it usually appear to be the "safer"
choice. Under most immediate circumstances they are likely to be
right. But in terms of long-range social stability, the opposite
is true. At our present state of knowledge and reasonable inference,
it is the war system that must be identified with stability, the
peace system with social speculation, however justifiable the
speculation may appear, in terms of subjective moral or emotional
values. A nuclear physicist once remarked, in respect to a possible
disarmament agreement: "If we could change the world into a world
in which no weapons could be made, that would be stabilizing. But
agreements we can expect with the Soviets would be destabilizing."
[43] The qualification and the bias are equally irrelevant; {any}
condition of genuine total peace, however achieved, would be
destabilizing until proved otherwise.

If it were necessary at this moment to opt irrevocably for the
retention or for the dissolution of the war system, common prudence
would dictate the former course. But it is not yet necessary, late
as the hour appears. And more factors must eventually enter the
war-peace equation than even the most determined search for
alternative institutions for the functions of war can be expected
to reveal. One group of such factors has been given only passing
mention in this Report; it centers around the possible obsolescence
of the war system itself. We have noted, for instance, the limitations
of the war system in filling its ecological function and the
declining importance of this aspect of war. It by no means stretches
the imagination to visualize comparable developments which may
compromise the efficacy of war as, for example, an economic controller
or as an organizer of social allegiance. This kind of possibility,
however remote, serves as a reminder that all calculations of
contingency not only involve the weighing of one group of risks
against another, but require a respectful allowance for error on
both sides of the scale.

A more expedient reason for pursuing the investigation of alternate
ways and means to serve the current functions of war is narrowly
political. It is possible that one or more major sovereign nations
may arrive, through ambiguous leadership, at a position in which
a ruling administrative class may lose control of basic public
opinion or of its ability to rationalize a desired war. It is not
hard to imagine, in such circumstance, a situation in which such
governments may feel forced to initiate serious full-scale disarmament
proceedings (perhaps provoked by "accidental" nuclear explosions),
and that such negotiations may lead to the actual disestablishment
of military institutions. As our Report has made clear, this could
be catastrophic. It seems evident that, in the event an important
part of the world is suddenly plunged without sufficient warning
into an inadvertent peace, even partial and inadequate preparation
for the possibility may be better than none. The difference could
even be critical. The models considered in the preceding chapter,
both those that seem promising and those that do not, have one
positive feature in common - an inherent flexibility of phasing.
And despite our strictures against knowingly proceeding into
peace-transition procedures without thorough substantive preparation,
our government must nevertheless be ready to move in this direction
with whatever limited resources of planning are on hand at the time
- if circumstances so require. An arbitrary all-or-nothing approach
is no more realistic in the development of contingency peace
programming than it is anywhere else.

But the principal cause for concern over the continuing effectiveness
of the war system, and the more important reason for hedging with
peace planning, lies in the backwardness of current war-system
programming. Its controls have not kept pace with the technological
advances it has made possible. Despite its inarguable success to
date, even in this era of unprecedented potential in mass destruction,
it continues to operate largely on a laissez-faire basis. To the
best of our knowledge, no serious quantified studies have ever been
conducted to determine, for example:

- optimum levels of armament production, for purposes of economic
control, at any given series of chronological points and under any
given relationship between civilian production and consumption

- correlation factors between draft recruitment policies and
mensurable social dissidence;

- minimum levels of population destruction necessary to maintain
war-threat credibility under varying political conditions;

- optimum cyclical frequency of "shooting" wars under varying
circumstances of historical relationship.

These and other war-function factors are fully susceptible to
analysis by today's computer-based systems, [44] but they have not
been so treated; modern analytical techniques have up to now been
relegated to such aspects of the ostensible functions of war as
procurement, personnel deployment, weapons analysis, and the like.
We do not disparage these types of application, but only deplore
their lack of utilization to greater capacity in attacking problems
of broader scope. Our concern for efficiency in this context is
not aesthetic, economic, or humanistic. It stems from the axiom
that no system can long survive at either input or output levels
that consistently or substantially deviate from an optimum range.
As their data grow increasingly sophisticated, the war system and
its functions are increasingly endangered by such deviations.

Our final conclusion, therefore, is that it will be necessary for
our government to plan in depth for two general contingencies. The
first, and lesser, is the possibility of a viable general peace;
the second is the successful continuation of the war system. In
our view, careful preparation for the possibility of peace should
be extended, not because we take the position that the end of war
would necessarily be desirable, if it is in fact possible, but
because it may be thrust upon us in some form whether we are ready
for it or not. Planning for rationalizing and quantifying the war
system, on the other hand, to ensure the effectiveness of its major
stabilizing functions, is not only more promising in respect to
anticipated results, but is essential; we can no longer take for
granted that it will continue to serve our purposes well merely
because it always has. The objective of government policy in regard
to war and peace, in this period of uncertainty, must be to preserve
maximum options. The recommendations which follow are directed to
this end.

SECTION 8: Recommendations

(1) We propose the establishment, under executive order of the
President, of a permanent War/Peace Research Agency, empowered and
mandated to execute the programs describe in (2) and (3) below.
This agency (a) will be provided with nonaccountable funds sufficient
to implement its responsibilities and decisions at its own discretion,
and (b) will have authority to preempt and utilize, without
restriction, any and all facilities of the executive branch of the
government in pursuit of its objectives. It will be organized along
the lines of the National Security Council, except that none of
its governing, executive, or operating personnel will hold other
public office or governmental responsibility. Its directorate will
be drawn from the broadest practicable spectrum of scientific
disciplines, humanistic studies, applied creative arts, operating
technologies, and otherwise unclassified professional occupations.
It will be responsible solely to the President, or to other officers
of government temporarily deputized by him. Its operation will be
governed entirely by its own rules of procedure. Its authority will
expressly include the unlimited right to withhold information on
its activities and its decisions, from anyone except the President,
whenever it deems such secrecy to be in the public interest.

(2) The first of the War/Peace Research Agency's two principal
responsibilities will be to determine all that can be known,
including what can reasonably be inferred in terms of relevant
statistical probabilities, that may bear on an eventual transition
to a general condition of peace. The findings in this Report may
be considered to constitute the beginning of this study and to
indicate its orientation; detailed records of the investigations
and findings of the Special Study Group on which this Report is
based, will be furnished the agency, along with whatever clarifying
data the agency deems necessary. This aspect of the agency's work
will hereinafter be referred to as "Peace Research."

The Agency's Peace Research activities will necessarily include,
but not be limited to, the following:

(a) The creative development of possible substitute institutions
for the principal nonmilitary functions of war.

(b) The careful matching of such institutions against the criteria
summarized in this Report, as refined, revised, and extended by
the agency.

(c) The testing and evaluation of substitute institutions, for
acceptability, feasibility, and credibility, against hypothecated
transitional and postwar conditions; the testing and evaluation of
the effects of the anticipated atrophy of certain unsubstituted

(d) The development and testing of the correlativity of multiple
substitute institutions, with the eventual objective of establishing
a comprehensive program of compatible war substitutes suitable for
a planned transition to peace, if and when this is found to be
possible and subsequently judged desirable by appropriate political

(e) The preparation of a wide-ranging schedule of partial,
uncorrelated, crash programs of adjustment suitable for reducing
the dangers of an unplanned transition to peace effected by {force

Peace research methods will include but not be limited to, the

(a) The comprehensive interdisciplinary application of historical,
scientific, technological, and cultural data.

(b) The full utilization of modern methods of mathematical modeling,
analogical analysis, and other, more sophisticated, quantitative
techniques in process of development that are compatible with
computer programming.

(c) The heuristic "peace games" procedures developed during the
course of its assignment by the Special Study Group, and further
extensions of this basic approach to the testing of institutional

(3) The War/Peace Research Agency's other principal responsibility
will be "War Research." Its fundamental objective will be to ensure
the continuing viability of the war system to fulfill its essential
nonmilitary functions for as long as the war system is judged
necessary to or desirable for the survival of society. To achieve
this end, the War Research groups within the agency will engage in
the following activities:

(a) {Quantification of existing application of the nonmilitary
functions of war}. Specific determinations will include, but not
be limited to: 1) the gross amount and the net proportion of
nonproductive military expenditures since World War II assignable
to the need for war as an economic stabilizer; 2) the amount and
proportion of military expenditures and destruction of life,
property, and natural resources during this period assignable to
the need for war as an instrument for political control; 3) similar
figures, to the extent that they can be separately arrived at,
assignable to the need for war to maintain social cohesiveness; 4)
levels of recruitment and expenditures on the draft and other forms
of personnel deployment attributable to the need for military
institutions to control social disaffection; 5) the statistical
relationship of war casualties to world food supplies; 6) the
correlation of military actions and expenditures with cultural
activities and scientific advances (including necessarily, the
development of mensurable standards in these areas).

(b) {Establishment of a priori modern criteria for the execution
of the nonmilitary functions of war}. These will include, but not
be limited to: 1) calculation of minimum and optimum ranges of
military expenditure required, under varying hypothetical conditions,
to fulfill these several functions, separately and collectively;
2) determination of minimum and optimum levels of destruction of
life, property, and natural resources prerequisite to the credibility
of external threat essential to the political and motivational
functions; 3) development of a negotiable formula governing the
relationship between military recruitment and training policies
and the exigencies of social control.

(c) {Reconciliation of these criteria with prevailing economic,
political, sociological, and ecological limitations}. The ultimate
object of this phase of War Research is to rationalize the heretofore
informal operations of the war system. It should provide practical
working procedures through which responsible governmental authority
may resolve the following war-function problems, among others,
under any given circumstances: 1) how to determine the optimum
quantity, nature, and timing of military expenditures to ensure a
desired degree of economic control; 2) how to organize the recruitment,
deployment, and ostensible use of military personnel to ensure a
desired degree of acceptance of authorized social values; 3) how
to compute on a short-term basis, the nature and extent of the loss
of life and other resources which should be suffered and/or inflicted
during any single outbreak of hostilities to achieve a desired
degree of internal political authority and social allegiance; 4)
how to project, over extended periods, the nature and quality of
overt warfare which must be planned and budgeted to achieve a
desired degree of contextual stability for the same purpose; factors
to be determined must include frequency of occurrence, length of
phase, intensity of physical destruction, extensiveness of geographical
involvement, and optimum mean loss of life; 5) how to extrapolate
accurately from the foregoing, for ecological purposes, the continuing
effect of the war system, over such extended cycles, on population
pressures, and to adjust the planning of casualty rates accordingly.

War Research procedures will necessarily include, but not be limited
to, the following:

(a) The collation of economic, military, and other relevant data
into uniform terms, permitting the reversible translation of
heretofore discrete categories of information. [45]

(b) The development and application of appropriate forms of
cost-effectiveness analysis suitable for adapting such new constructs
to computer terminology, programming, and projection. [46]

(c) Extension of the "war games" methods of systems testing to
apply, as a quasi-adversary proceeding, to the nonmilitary functions
of war. [47]

(4) Since both programs of the War/Peace Research Agency will share
the same purpose - to maintain governmental freedom of choice in
respect to war and peace until the direction of social survival is
no longer in doubt - it is of the essence of this proposal that
the agency be constituted without limitation of time. Its examination
of existing and proposed institutions will be self-liquidating when
its own function shall have been superseded by the historical
developments it will have, at least in part, initiated.


1. {The Economic and Social Consequences of Disarmament: U.S.
Reply to the Inquiry of the Secretary-General of the United Nations}
(Washington, D.C.: USGPO, June 1964), pp. 8-9.

2. Herman Kahn, {Thinking About the Unthinkable} (New York: Horizon,
1962), p. 35.

3. Robert S. McNamara, in an address before the American Society
of Newspaper Editors, Montreal, P.Q., Canada, 18 May 1966.

4. Alfred North Whitehead, in "The Anatomy of Some Scientific
Ideas," included in {The Aims of Education} (New York: Macmillan,

5. At Ann Arbor, Michigan, 16 June 1962.

6. Louis J. Halle, "Peace in Our Time? Nuclear Weapons as a
Stabilizer," {The New Republic} (28 December 1963).

7. Kenneth E. Boulding, "The World War Industry as an Economic
Problem," in Emile Benoit and Kenneth E. Boulding (eds.), {Disarmament
and the Economy} New York: Harper and Row, 1963).

8. McNamara, in ASNE Montreal address cited.

9. {Report of the Committee on the Economic Impact of Defense and
Disarmament} (Washington: USGPO, July 1965).

10. Sumner M. Rosen, "Disarmament and the Economy," {War/Peace
Report} (March 1966).

11. {Vide} William D. Grampp, "False Fears of Disarmament," {Harvard
Business Review} (Jan.-Feb. 1964) for a concise example of this

12. Seymour Melman, "The Cost of Inspection for Disarmament," in
Benoit and Boulding, {op}. {cit}.

13. Arthur I. Waskow, {Toward the Unarmed Forces of the United
States} (Washington: Institute for Policy Studies, 1966), p. 9.
(This is the unabridged edition of the text of a report and proposal
prepared for a seminar of strategists and Congressmen in 1965; it
was later given limited distribution among other persons engaged
in related projects.)

14. David T. Bazelon, "The Politics of the Paper Economy," {Commentary}
(November 1962), p. 409.

15. {The Economic Impact of Disarmament} (Washington: USGPO, January

16. David T. Bazelon, "The Scarcity Makers," {Commentary} (October
1962), p. 298.

17. Frank Pace, Jr., in an address before the American Bankers'
Association, September 1957.

18. A random example, taken in this case from a story by David
Deitch in the New York {Herald Tribune} (9 February 1966).

19. {Vide} L. Gumplowicz, in {Geschichte der Staatstheorien}
(Innsbruck: Wagner, 1905) and earlier writings.

20. K. Fischer, {Das Militaer} (Zurich: Steinmetz Verlag, 1932),
pp. 42-43.

21. The obverse of this phenomenon is responsible for the principal
combat problem of present-day infantry officers: the unwillingness
of otherwise "trained" troops to fire at an enemy close enough to
be recognizable as an individual rather than simply as a target.

22. Herman Kahn, {On Thermonuclear War} (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton
University Press, 1960), p. 42.

23. John D. Williams, "The Nonsense about Safe Driving," {Fortune}
(September 1958).

24. {Vide} most recently K. Lorenz, in {Das Sogenannte Boese: zur
Naturgeschichte der Aggression} (Vienna: G. Borotha-Schoeler
Verlag, 1964).

25. Beginning with Herbert Spencer and his contemporaries, but
largely ignored for nearly a century.

26. As in recent draft-law controversy, in which the issue of
selective deferment of the culturally privileged is often carelessly
equated with the preservation of the biologically "fittest."

27. G. Bouthoul, in {La Guerre} (Paris: Presses universitaires de
France, 1953) and many other more detailed studies. The useful
concept of "polemology," for the study of war as an independent
discipline, is his, as is the notion of "demographic relaxation,"
the sudden temporary decline in the rate of population increase
after major wars.

28. This seemingly premature statement is supported by one of our
own test studies. But it hypothecates both the stabilizing of world
population growth and the institution of fully adequate environmental
controls. Under these two conditions, the probability of the
permanent elimination of involuntary global famine is 68 percent
by 1976 and 95 percent by 1981.

29. This round figure is the median taken from our computations,
which cover varying contingencies, but it is sufficient for the
purpose of general discussion.

30. But less misleading than the more elegant traditional metaphor,
in which war expenditures are referred to as the "ballast" of the
economy but which suggests incorrect quantitative relationships.

31. Typical in generality, scope, and rhetoric. We have not used
any published program as a model; similarities are unavoidably
coincidental rather than tendentious.

32. {Vide} the reception of a "Freedom Budget for all Americans,"
proposed by A. Philip Randolph {et al}; it is a ten-year plan,
estimated by its sponsors to cost $185 billion.

33. Waskow, {op}. {cit}.

34. By several current theorists, most extensively and effectively
by Robert R. Harris in {The Real Enemy}, an unpublished doctoral
dissertation made available to this study.

35. In ASNE Montreal address cited.

36. {The Tenth Victim}.

37. For an examination of some of its social implications, see
Seymour Rubenfeld, {Family of Outcasts: A New Theory of Delinquency}
(New York: Free Press, 1965).

38. As in Nazi Germany; this type of "ideological" ethnic repression,
directed to specific sociological ends, should not be confused with
traditional economic exploitation, as of Negroes in the U.S., South
Africa, etc.

39. By teams of experimental biologists in Massachusetts, Michigan,
and California, as well as in Mexico and the U.S.S.R. Preliminary
test applications are scheduled in Southeast Asia, in countries
not yet announced.

40. Expressed in the writings of H. Marshall McLuhan, in {Understanding
Media: The Extensions of Man} (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964) and

41. This rather optimistic estimate was derived by plotting a
three-dimensional distribution of three arbitrarily defined variables;
the macro-structural, relating to the extension of knowledge beyond
the capacity of conscious experience; the organic, dealing with
the manifestations of terrestrial life as inherently comprehensible;
and the infra-particular, covering the subconceptual requirements
of natural phenomena. Values were assigned to the known and unknown
in each parameter, tested against data from earlier chronologies,
and modified heuristically until predictable correlations reached
a useful level of accuracy. "Two decades" means, in this case, 20.6
years, with a standard deviation of only 1.8 years. (An incidental
finding, not pursued to the same degree of accuracy, suggests a
greatly accelerated resolution of issues in the biological sciences
after 1972.)

42. Since they represent an examination of too small a percentage
of the eventual options, in terms of "multiple mating," the subsystem
we developed for this application. But an example will indicate
how one of the most frequently recurring correlation problems -
chronological phasing - was brought to light in this way. One of
the first combinations tested showed remarkably high coefficients
of compatibility, on a {post hoc} static basis, but no variations
of timing, using a thirty-year transition module, permitted even
marginal synchronization. The combination was thus disqualified.
This would not rule out the possible adequacy of combinations using
modifications of the same factors, however, since minor variations
in a proposed final condition may have disproportionate effects on

43. Edward Teller, quoted in {War/Peace Report} (December 1964).

44. E.g., the highly publicized "Delphi technique" and other, more
sophisticated procedures. A new system, especially suitable for
institutional analysis, was developed during the course of this
study in order to hypothecate mensurable "peace games"; a manual
of this system is being prepared and will be submitted for general
distribution among appropriate agencies. For older, but still
useful, techniques, see Norman C. Dalkey's {Games and Simulations}
(Santa Monica, Calif.: Rand, 1964).

45. A primer-level example of the obvious and long overdue need
for such translation is furnished by Kahn (in {Thinking About the
Unthinkable}, p. 102). Under the heading "Some Awkward Choices" he
compares four hypothetical policies: a certain loss of $3,000; a
.1 chance of loss of $300,000; a
.01 chance of loss of $30,000,000; and a .001 chance of loss
of $3,000,000,000. A government decision-maker would "very likely"
choose in that order. But what if "lives are at stake rather than
dollars"? Kahn suggests that the order of choice would be reversed,
although current experience does not support this opinion. Rational
war research can and must make it possible to express, without
ambiguity, lives in terms of dollars and vice versa; the choices
need not be, and cannot be, "awkward."

46. Again, an overdue extension of an obvious application of
techniques up to now limited to such circumscribed purposes as
improving kill-ammunition ratios determining local choice between
precision and saturation bombing, and other minor tactical, and
occasionally strategic, ends. The slowness of Rand, I.D.A., and
other responsible analytic organizations to extend cost-effectiveness
and related concepts beyond early-phase applications has already
been widely remarked on and criticized elsewhere.

47. The inclusion of institutional factors in war-game techniques
has been given some rudimentary consideration in the Hudson
Institute's {Study for Hypothetical Narratives for Use in Command
and Control Systems Planning} (by William Pfaff and Edmund Stillman;
Final report published 1963). But here, as with other war and peace
studies to date, what has blocked the logical extension of new
analytic techniques has been a general failure to understand and
properly evaluate the nonmilitary functions of war.