This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

The New Europe]

[26 July 1917


- LY . - . -

Vor. IV, No. 40 19 July 1917

The Climax of the War

WE are fast approaching the most critical stage of the war. Both in the military operations and in the moral and political ends which they serve the climax is at hand. THE NEw EuroPE has never discussed questions of strategy in them- selves, but has insisted that they shall be made to serve what are now called ‘“ war aims ’’; in the sense that the soldiers whose business it is to solve them are, or should be, the trusted servants of the civil governments of the Allied peoples. The matter of supreme moment is a true definition of the Allied war aims : that is to say, the expression in concrete terms of the faith that is in us, the statement of the objects for which we fight in a manner so clear, so convincing, so cogent, as to command the assent of all the belligerent Allied democracies. No business is more urgent. Its neglect would involve, nay, has already involved, grave peril to the Allied cause.

Some three or at most four months of active campaigning in the field lie before us this year. Should these months bring a defeat of the enemy so decisive as to compel him to sue for peace, the Allied Governments would find themselves sorely embarrassed by the lack of a concrete programme of war aims. They would be obliged hastily to ‘‘ exchange views,” to summon conferences and to decide precipitately matters of principle and fact that demand the most earnest and conscientious study. The desire to make peace quickly would overpower their judgment and would inevitably lead to the sacrifice of certain indispensable safeguards of European welfare. But a dispassionate survey of the military posi- tion yields little positive ground for believing that hostilities can end this year. The advent of another winter with the Allied armies still in the field will undoubtedly expose the Allied peoples to a heavier strain than any they have yet borne. Notwithstanding the bracing effects of the Russian offensive, extremely arduous domestic problems will confront the leaders of the Revolution when the winter sets in, and enemy intrigues will complicate them beyond measure. Moreover, the Russian