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July 11, 1972 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1972-07-11

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iset 1jan anus
Edited and managed by students at the
University of Michigan
Editorials printed in The Michigan Daily express the individual
opinions of the author. This rust be noted in all reprints.
TUESDAY, JULY 11, 1972 News Phone: 764-0552

ROTC: How it survived
the stadent ower years

Ththe guns
and oter things ..1.
THE U.S. ARMY's arsenal of weapons in Southeast Asia
includes the most sophisticated set of strategic
weaoons designed for conventional warfare that the
world has ever seen. Tnfra-red, seismic and acoustic sen-
sors chart enemy movements by sound, vibrations and
smell, day or niht. "Smart bombs" guided by lasers are
accurate within 150 feet when dropped from an alti-
tude of ovar 10.000 feet.
U.S. technology allows the army to defoliate acres of
junele to uncover enemy guerrillas, to burn down entire
villages from the air with napalm, and to fill a Vietna-
mese peasant with tiny steel balls from a fragmentation
And last week, as a chilling aftermath to the reve-
lations of American technological powers of destruction,
Seymour Hirsch of The New York Times unveiled an
ongoing Cantral Intellieence Agency-Air Force opera-
tion desind to turn weather into a predictable reliable,
weapon of war.
THE OPERATION. known to Pentagon leaders as "Oper-
ation Poneve ." involved rainmaking missions on
North Vietnamese s'nnly rottes in North and South
Vietnam, Laos a nd Cambodia. The result was that with
some degree of success. the U.S. Command could slow the
movement of Communist troons and supplies into the
South, and provie U1 S. hombers cloud cover against
North Vietnam's SAM missle sites.
The cloud seeding proect began in 1963 over the
objections of various State Denartment officials and
even Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. It con-
tinued secretly, however, and is probably still being used.
No one really knows what long-range effects the
rainmaking might produce. But ecologists point out that
the potential for environmental damage - especially
flooding - from an unusual amount of rainfall is multi-
plied when the land is barren and has no foliage to nat-
urally hold the water. Certainly, this is a very real danger
in a land that has largely been defoliated and levelled
by bombing.
What "Operation Popeye" demonstrates is the clear
American commitment to waging a war from the air
without ground troops. Large-scale infantry involvement
by U.S. troops has been a political thorn in Nixon's side.
His solution has been to remove the ground troops while
focusing on developing new ways to destroy and harass
the Vietnamese peopi from guiltless bombers.
WHILE IT IS always discouraging to find out just how
little all of us know about the methods of warfare
being employed in Southeast Asia, we do know the fol-
-Despite Nixon's formal renunciation of the use of
chemical and biological warfare, the present Pentagon
budget formula provides for doubling the purchase of
these weapons;
-Seismic, visual, magnetic, odor, visual and micro-
phone sensors are being dropped from aircraft daily,
disguised as twigs, animal droppings and rocks, They
are either protected by new sophisticated mines, or are
geared to explode when moved;
-The amount of American airpower available for
sorties in Southeast Asia is currently at the greatest level
of the war; and
-Despite a general concensus among Americans
that engagement in the Southeast Asian conflict was a
mistake that should be ended immediately, research and
development of new weaponry and weapon support sys-
tems continues in laboratories across the country-in-
cluding at the University's Willow Run Laboratories.
Thus, when Secretary of Defense Laird tells Congress
that the new SALT agreements cannot be approved with-
out a corresponding increase in research and develop-
ment funds, the implication is that the administration
is determined to develop conventional warfare capabili-
ties until its destructive power is roughly equal to (al-
though slightly less efficient than) that of tactical nu-
clear weapons.
ONE CAN ONLY hope that the American public will not
be duped into believing the ludicrous philosophy that
technologically advanced conventional warfare is some-
how more humane than nuclear warfare.
Today's Staff .
News: Lorin Labardee, Diane Levick, Carla Rapoport.
Editorial Page: Alan Lenhoff

Editor's Notes D spite over-
whelming sentiment to abolish
ROTC units here and on
other campuses, ROTC haso
srrvired. The following ar-
/icle is Particularly enlighten-
in in its descririon of ho
college ad/sinistrators across
the country adopted similar
srate'gies inthfirstsfforft to
preser'e ROTC.
Alternative Features Service
N THAT the American military'
has been a principle agent for
protecting the foreign spheres ofr
American corporate interests, for
suppressing popular rebellins
abroad, and repressing disen
at home, the abolition of ROTC on
U.S. campuses has been an im-
portant domestic priority for the
antiwar movement since 1965.
To an outstanding degree, the
anti-ROTC offensive has been over-
whelmingly successful across the
country. Student participation in
ROTC has declined by 67 per cent
since the start of anti-war activi-
ties on college campuses in 195.
in ROTC units across the corntry.
By 1971-72, only 87,000 students
signed up.
The largely successful battle hass
served to deny the military osi an
extremely economical source of
Wherebs West Point costs t h e
Army $47,136 per officer, Officer's
Candidate School costs between
$5,320 and $8,404 per officer while
Army ROTC costs are only $4,320.
These Department of Defense es-
timated costs do not include the
costs of post-ROTC training t h a t
cadets require after graduation.
More significantly, however,
.they obscure the contributions
made by the universities t he m
selves in providing rent-free space
and full use of college facilities
to these military posts.

ihe anti-ROTC offensive chal-
lenged the structure of power in
colleges ansd universities a s d
threatened their military and err-
porate sponsors. Where administra-
tions held fast, exercising aurthor-
irarian control granted by m o s t
governing boards, and almost all
faculties, students and f a c ui s y
shifted from the politics of con-
frontation to physical attacks on
the symbols and property of the
campus military .
ROTC BUILDINGS were atack-
ed, trashed, and sometimes fire-
bombed at a rate of more ttan
one incident a day during the peale
year of resistance, 1969-70. Ttrat
year, the Department of Defene
adnitted to $1.3 million in proper-
ty danmage.
University administrations sought
to cool out the opposition by "cam-
promising" on the nature of ire
program. Although everywhere
universities and colleges fii r s t
shifted from a compulsory to a
volunteer program. When t h at
proved unsuccessful, administra-
tors began to focus on the aca-
demic credentials of the military

of ROTC be changed to "Officer
Education Programs".
One interesting proposal, which
tray help explain the receptive-
ness of small schools to new ROTC
programs, was that the Depart-
ment of Defense should take a
"first step toward the objective of
full reimbursement" by providing
schools $500 for each commistoned
officer graduated (The full text of
this statement is reprinted in the
Chronicle 'of Higher Education,
June 7, 1971).
The Congressional respone to
anti-ROTC activities came from
the chairman of the House Arm-
ed Services Committee. "There
will be no defense funds going to
any university in this country that
doesn't cooperate 1,000 per c e nt
with the military," Congressman
F. Edward Hebert declared in
late February, 1972.
Hebert's public pronouncement
followed therdisclosure that t h e
Navy had barred its officers from
doing graduate work at any of the
15 universities which were phasing
out Naval ROTC programs.

)T(: The pay's not bad .. .

science professors, the pre-pack-
aged content of the military curri-
cula, and the generally higher
grade point averages in, mitsry
science courses.
Although unconcerned with the
academic quality of the programs
before the offensive, some admin-
istrations attempted to clean 'ip
those programs primarily to gain
the support of the liberal profes-
sor who, often to their own sur-
prise, found themselves in agree-
ment with the student activs s.
BY THE END of the 1971 ca-
demic year, six major colleges
and universities (including Mich-
igan) issued a joint statement on
ROTC which was forwarded t ithe
Pentagon and Congress. There
were some 14 proposals in it, most
of them no more important than
the recommendation that the name

in recruiting and keeping stscete,
ROTC subsistence allowances were
doubled, and the number of chol
arships were increased. The Arm'ry
also reduced the active duty time
required of about half the cadet
officers who were graduating in
AS IN MANY conflicts, straingy
evolves over time. The expansion
of ROTC bases in the smaller col-
leges and the Pentagon propa-
ganda campaign may be only hold-
ing actions. Thus it will be no
surprise to find that as ROTC is
driven to refuge on the smaller
Southern campuses and as college
students grow more critical of
the whole program, Pentgon
strategists will put more effort in-
to recruiting high school s t u-

. . and the snazzy clothes are free

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