Students for Peace and Security, a nationwide student movement, was formed to counter the pacifist elements of the contemporary peace movement. SPS strives to raise the level of debate from the emotional to the intellectual level. The pacifist elements ignore the geopolitical realities of today's situaton.
Debating whether most or all of the world would be obliterated in a nuclear war is not the issue, although this line of reasoning has the potential to scare people into siding with it. The real threat to the Western world is not the eventuality of nuclear war but what Eugene Rostow, head of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, refers to as the threat of nuclear blackmail. A nuclear war only becomes inevitable when one side possesses nuclear capacities that are left unchallenged. The pacifist movement is attempting to sway public opinion to demoralize America's will to meet the Soviet challenge.
Many in the United States today support a nuclear freeze. But for the US to disarm or for a nuclear freeze to be enacted would simply codify Soviet military superiority. Since nuclear weapons are an indication of a country's political power, such moves would only serve the interest of the Soviet Union, dedicated to the worldwide spread of communism. They would not give Moscow an incentive to pursue a less aggressive foreign policy.
After all, was the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan a response to the American threat? On the contrary, the invasion was undertaken because America's expected response to such a move was judged to be minimal.
Chamberlain's appeasement policy toward the Nazis prior to World War II and the Bolsheviks' ''no peace, no war'' strategy during World War I illustrate that attempts at peace-through-weakness only lead to an intensification of conflict.
It is only then, when the Soviets no longer have a military and psychological advantage over us, or the belief that they can drive a wedge between the members of the Western alliance, that meaningful disarmament negotiations may be held. If the current political and strategic status quo is maintained, the Soviets will never have an incentive to pursue arms reductions or even to deemphasize their goal of world revolution.
Students for Peace and Security seeks to reverse three trends. The Soviet global expansion must be stopped. The gap between US and Soviet military outlays should be closed. In order to achieve these two goals, American public opinion must be unified. It is this third trend - the growing isolationist tendencies of American public opinion - that is weakening our resolve to meet the Soviet threat.
SPS recently held conferences on major college campuses to educate students on the Soviet threat. By educating college students through conferences (the next round is scheduled May 1), and by bringing attention to our cause by holding rallies and demonstrations, Students for Peace and Security hopes to focus, within the peace movement, on the political aspects of the Soviet threat - not the emotional dimensions of a nuclear war.
The moral burden for defending the integrity of the Western world lies with the US. If Soviet and American defense capabilities are brought into line, and if American public opinion is unified, the threat of a nuclear war will diminish , and peace--the reduction of global tensions between the two superpowers--will have been achieved.