US and NATO
Norway's visiting professor Dr. Knudsen is correct substantially in his assessment ``NATO: getting Europe and US together,'' Feb. 4. However, some matters must be added. The US should terminate its voluntary military. A reinstitution of the draft would approximate the alliance members' mechanism. A draft is more democratic. High salaries which are paid presently to volunteers could be eliminated. A European bone of contention would dissipate. US citizens must be made aware that even if our NATO allies did not seek our defensive capabilities, the balance of power mandates that the US be prepared to defend Western Europe from invasion.
The US has every fair expectation that the NATO allies contribute greater amounts to their defense. We have global concerns which NATO allies are not positioned to fault.
By the same token, the US should share decision making powers with our allies and avoid the appearance of managerial monopoly.
While one should not minimize the amount of influence that the US maintains over policy, as Dr. Knudsen asserts, I submit, on the other hand, because there are political groups which are opposed to a US presence (recognized by Knudsen), one shouldn't fall prey to the fallacy of maximizing such leverage. Elliott A. Cohen Pomona, N.Y. -Editor's note: Due to an editing error a word was inadvertantly omitted from Dr. Knudsen's article. The relevant sentences should have read: ``The presence of US troops, however, need not be the only way for the US to back up its commitment to Europe. Also, it is hard to dispute the claim that the current US military presence may further weaken the resolve of Europeans to put up the troops, and so forth, in defense of their own interests. In that sense, maybe it would therefore be better to pull US troops out altogether and thus force Western Europe to provide its own defense posture.''-
Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published and none individually acknowledged. All are subject to condensation. Please address letters to ``readers write.''