16 OCTOBER 1953, Page 3

Soviet Security

In one crucial respect Mr. Dulles comes to London with views far closer to those of the British Government than those which he held when Lord Salisbury went to Washington. Almost word for word with Sir Winston Churchill, the Ameri- can Foreign Secretary has diagnosed the weakness in Western foreign policy. To secure her own frontiers, Russia rolled the Red Army into the heart of Europe and threatened the security of the countries that lie beyond. Those countries then re- armed to restore the balance, to prevent a war resulting from. the strength of one side, the weakness of the other. What. happens ? They have merely recreated the original 'situation at a point further west on the map, with a highly explosive area kttween that point and the frontiers of 'Russia. Now this does not mean that it was wrong to restore the balance. It daps mean that in doing so, the West must not also restore the threat. This is what Mr. Dulles, Sir Winston Churchill, Dr. Adenauer and Mr. Stevenson. have all been talking about during the past few weeks. They will talk in vain if they cannot interest Moscow, and Moscow has been conspicuously uninterested. There are at least three good explanations which do not in the slightest in.ialidate the theory that the Russians are primarily interested in their own security, and they are explanations which the more impetuous peace makers would do well to consider in patience. In the first place, the Russians may be quite simply 'suspicious. Their doctrine requires that they should suspect the capitalist countries. They are being asked to believe that the devices, NATO and the EDC, that were designed by the capitalists to contain the expansion of Communism, can now be used to secure its frontiers. This is a complicated idea which even the West is finding hard to digest, and it will become even more complicated if French delay forces America and Britain to bring Germany straight into NATO. Secondly, for so long as Western Germany is not actually rearmed, Russia has everything to gain from refusing to clarify her position to Europe. Its chief fear at the moment must be America, not Germany. Its strongest weapon against America is doubt— doubt in the minds of Frenchmen about the necessity of arming Germans; doubt in the minds of Germani about the possi- bilities of unifying their country; doubt in the minds of Americans about the reliability of their allies. Until Germany is rearmed, Russia has nothing to gain by removing these doubts. Thirdly, as things stand at present, Russia has her own guarantee in the presence of her soldiers in Berlin and Vienna. So long as it is not immediately difficult or dangerous for her to keep those soldiers there. what Western guarantee could have superior attractions to the status quo ? It is when those positions of strength become positions of weakness, when Russia feels she has been over-extended for too long, or when the East Germans organise a successful rebellion, that a promise by the West not to exploit such weak- ness will be of value to Soviet Russia. But these things will all take time and the West cannot accelerate them.