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much to do with changing things as anything else. You’ve just got to constantly check your theories and your strategies against changing technology. And as well, from a more radical viewpoint, what about the basic morality of these kind of weapons? I think that’s, I mean those are questions that ought to be debated and discussed. I think in a sense they are immoral, but on the other hand, very few people in our society including very moral people, morally motivated people, are unilateral disarmers. Because it’s so impractical. . . . \(At this point we had arrived at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport and the end of the tape. In a brief continuing discussion, Sen. Hart said to be against deterrence theory must lead one either to a position favoring unilateral disarmament, which few people support, or to negotiate better agreements with the Soviet Union, which would be his approach. He believes a nuclear testing ban would have a chance at passing a Democratically controlled Senate, and if the President put forth a testing ban, even a limited test ban treaty, “it’d sail right through. ” If there were a Democratic President and a Republicancontrolled Senate, he said the key would be “the credibility of the President and what kind of support the military BOOKS AND THE CULTURE THIS IS A VERY political book, not in the sense that political questions are raised quite the contrary but because it is conceived and designed with very political purposes in mind. Gary Hart’s defeat in the 1984 presidential derby was both a failure of organization and an inability to communicate to the voters precisely what he meant by the phrase “new ideas.” Hart is retiring from the Senate this year to address the former problem; the latter concern is no doubt one of the principal motivations behind the publication of this book. After all, Hart’s last literary outing was a novel co-written by Republican Senator William Cohen of Maine, an event unlikely to mollify those who do not consider him sufficiently serious. National defense is a judicious choice of topic. Polls are beginning to register public suspicion that the Reagan military build-up has not delivered all that was promised. Marines died needlessly in Beirut, and American troops in Grenada had unanticipated difficulty with a handful of untrained Cubans. Yet the sum of medals awarded for the Grenada campaign was greater than the number of soldiers who participated. In spectacular contrast are the $700 hammers, the airplane toilets and coffee pots that cost many thousands. All of this has combined to create a pressure on the Pentagon so great that earlier this Nick Dauster is a freelance writer living in Austin. year Sen. Barry Goldwater, Reagan’s John the Baptist, was moved to join the forces of military reform on a bill to rein in the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Yet. defense is far from a safe issue, especially for Hart. Democrats have traditionally been blamed for favoring a weak defense, the Republicans associ AMERICA CAN WIN By Gary Hart and William S. Lind Adler & Adler, Bethesda, Md. , 1986 283 pages, $17.95 ated with a strong one. The irony, of course, is that it was Nixon who began the decrease in the defense budget, albeit under pressure from Congressional Democrats. And, as Samuel P. Huntington wrote, “Far more than the Carter administration ever did, the Reagan administration attempted to make the Carter administration’s defense strategy a reality.” Nevertheless, it is intriguing to see a Democrat try to steal Republican thunder. It is not that Hart is not genuinely interested in national defense; in fact, he is hardworking, knowledgeable about the issues, and has very welldefined ideas about the subject. But hard work on issues in Congress rarely translates into forceful electoral politics. The book itself comes complete with a flag draped across the cover in a rather artless bow to the new patriotism. And the title sounds either confident or imploring, depending on the emphasis. DESPITE THE offensive packaging, which seems to be more concerned with helping Hart’s presidential bid than selling books, America Can Win is a substantial addition to the extensive body of work on military reform. It attempts to set forth the goals of the military reform caucus, which Hart and Lind describe as including both Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, moredefense advocates, and budgetcutters, all in search of a consensus in addressing a system which has begun to break down. The problem with this approach is that it lends itself to fine-tuning a system which needs a major overhaul. And, perhaps as a result, the reform caucus has few legislative trophies. Previous to the bill to reform the Joint Chiefs, its only success had been with a 1983 initiative to establish an independent office to oversee operational testing. When the Reagan administration finally appointed someone to fill the executive post two years later, he was a former employee of a defenge contractor. So, while in theory these military reformers ought to be able to exploit the position they hold between liberals and conservatives in order to bring about some changes, that has clearly not happened yet. There is great potential there, however, particularly in Hart and Lind’s notion that too much attention is paid to the sheer size of the military budget. It seems a strange argument at first, but it begins to make sense when one recalls the paradox of Nixon defense cuts and Carter defense increases. The defense budget has its own cycle that is, to some degree, independent of who occupies the White House. Because Americans are not particularly keen on higher levels of defense spending, when it can be convinced by a Sputnik or an Military Industriousness Complex By Nick Dauster THE TEXAS OBSERVER 19