Viewing page 7 of 28

forces. The central problem, therefore, is how the services of man shall best be mobilized for war.

It has been stated earlier that modern technology has made war total in character. In a future war, enemy capabilities indicate the likelihood of atomic, biological, and chemical attacks on continental United States. Enemy strategy probably will place neutralization of production centers in this country in high priority. Since production centers are usually also centers of populations, the clear line of demarcation between civilians and members of the armed forces will disappear. For this reason alone, if necessary, the civilian population will be intimately involved in a future war to a degree only lightly regarded at present by the general public. But more important than this feature is the face that a future war, more completely than ever before, will be a struggle of our total national potential with that of Russia.

National potential is, as the word implies, only potential. The United States may possess means of production, means of transport, means of communication, and means of violence superior in most respects to the Soviet Union, but unless production, transport, and communication are efficiently organized in the early stages of the next war and maintained until sufficient violence is delivered in the manner which will attain our objectives in that war, our national potential will avail us nothing. National protential, therefore, has meaning in war only when it is converted into force in being, which is properly applied in the furtherance of war aims. At any particular time in intervals between wars, the United States is organized for war to a degree dictated by the amount of


Transcription Notes:
Unsure of word in second to last sentence of page. ans: meaning

Please note that the language and terminology used in this collection reflects the context and culture of the time of its creation, and may include culturally sensitive information. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution, but is available in its original form to facilitate research. For questions or comments regarding sensitive content, access, and use related to this collection, please contact