NEW YORK (Oct. 21)
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency obtained the transcript of Gen. George S. Brown’s interview with Raanan Lurie. As released by King Features Syndicate, Brown’s remarks are as follows:
LURIE: Speaking about the Middle East, from a pure military point of view, would you say that from the American strategic-global strategic-interests, militarily is Israel and its forces more a burden or more a blessing from a pure military point of view to the United States?
BROWN: Well, I think it’s just got to be considered a burden. I had this same conversation with (Senator Jacob) Javits right after I got in trouble down at Duke. We had breakfast and we were talking, and he said to me, “Can’t you see the great strategic value of Israel to the United States?” And I said. “Frankly, no,” which wasn’t what I was talking about at Duke at all. But my concern there is that they’re a burden. Now if the trends were reversed, then I could see in the long term where it might be a tremendous asset, where they would gain power and could bring about stability in the area.
LURIE: If Israel would win, for instance.
BROWN: But you see, the problem today is today there’s stability because Israel is strong. She could whip Syria and Egypt handily, and there’s nobody else that could check them in that area, unless the Russians took a direct hand. By that I mean send forces in addition to equipment and advisors. And that’s not likely. It’s just not worth the game at this point. But with all the money, the wealth…that the Arabs have through Saudi Arabia…with the Trucial States primarily, and Libya secondly, to buy weapons, to train people–and they’re breeding at a hell of a high rate–the birth rate is…the population growth is far greater than in Israel. And the long term outlook is that the Arab states are going to overcome the deficiency that they’ve had, which is leadership and technology and educated people. And I just don’t see any…it’s going to take a complete change in outlook on Israel’s part. Up to this point at least she’s maintained her position, and I must say, if I were in her shoes, I don’t know, I’d be in a terrible dilemma because she’s surrounded by people who’d just as soon see her pushed into the sea.
LURIE: You don’t think they really want to have a legitimate, down-to-earth peace…the Arabs, I mean?
BROWN: Oh, I don’t…I think they do in the short term. But I don’t in 15-20 years. Because they have no other option. I would think that if, for instance, if Saudi Arabia, which is the key to the thing because she has the wealth, could just go on a nation-building program…that would keep it totally occupied for a long time, and then to help Egypt to get on her feet economically and what not, they couldn’t worry about Israel. But they’ve got a thing that they are very, very sincere about these Holy Lands. And some accommodation has got to he found where Jerusalem can be shared by the religions that, you know, to whom the area is meaningful. But I can’t see Israel as an asset to the United States today.
(Other segments of this interview will be carried in the next issue of the Bulletin.)