The Nation: Was the Alert Scare Necessary ?

No sooner had Richard Nixon put 2,000,000 U.S. servicemen round the world on stand-by alert than many Americans were asking whether the war scare was really necessary. Undoubtedly, most previous Presidents would have received wholehearted public backing, at least initially; as Secretary of State Henry Kissinger said, it was a symptom of the times that Nixon did not. Instead, the suspicion arose that the President had overreacted to Soviet tough talk, either because his Watergate woes had impaired his judgment or because he wanted to divert public attention from them with a show...

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