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it was only natural that occasionally

跟著一起來 於 2017年08月10日發表   人氣:394


Our Governments, Tory and Radical alike, have {239} acted in recent times as if the British Army were what their policy required it to be—something, that is, entirely different from what it really was. Judging by its procedure, the Foreign Office would appear to have made the singularly bold assumption that, in a military comparison with other nations, Britain was still in much the same relative position as in the days of Napoleon. Sustained by this tenacious but fantastic tradition, Ministers have not infrequently engaged in policies which wiser men would have avoided. They have uttered protests, warnings, threats which have gone unheeded. They have presumed to say what would and would not be tolerated in certain spheres; but having nothing better behind their despatches than a mere assumption which did not correspond with the facts, they have been compelled to endure rebuffs and humiliations. As they had not the prudence to cut their coat according to their cloth,  they should have had to appear before the world in a somewhat ridiculous guise service apartment for rent.

British statesmen for nearly half a century had persisted in acting upon two most dangerous assumptions. They had assumed that one branch of the national armaments conformed to their policy, when in fact it did not. And they had assumed also, which is equally fatal, that policy, if only it be virtuous and unaggressive, is in some mysterious way self-supporting, and does not need to depend on armaments at all.

The military preparations of Britain were inadequate to maintain the policy of Security, which British Governments had nevertheless been engaged in pursuing for many years prior to the outbreak of {240} the present war.[7] On the other hand, the abandonment of this policy was incompatible with the continuance of the Empire. We could not hope to hold our scattered Dependencies and to keep our Dominions safe against encroachments unless we were prepared to incur the necessary sacrifices Academic collaboration.

 American writers have urged criticism of this sort against the armaments of the U.S.A., which they allege are inadequate to uphold the policy of the 'Monroe Doctrine.' The German view of the matter has been stated by the Chancellor (April 7, 1913) when introducing the Army Bill:—History knows of no people which came to disaster because it had exhausted itself in the making of its defences; but history knows of many peoples which have perished, because, living in prosperity and luxury, they neglected their defences. A people which thinks that it is not rich enough to maintain its armaments shows merely that it has played its part .

 


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