Well, I didn't have time to finish the play. Its fragments are somewhere in my stored papers.
But through its improbable (but possible - in one form or another) - with my reading of the profound difference between the political system of the Soviet Union and that of the United States - plot about the aftermath of the starts of a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States, I began to think through 'what if' such a war happened. And utterly apart from the actual destruction of the Washington seat of government, death, lingering effects of radiation, just HOW would Americans carry on.
My conclusion - that even with the distribution of political power spelled out in the Constitution and perpetuated by state and local laws - Americans would cope, get along, from the grass - prarie- roots of the country. Bottom up. While few other nations and especially the central authority nations like Russia and China would survive without chaos and civil wars.
Ironically, while I chose to think about the implications of the Cuban Missile Crises that averted Nuclear War, when I got to my next assignment - the Pentagon - that thinking and my understanding of the very nature of the American political system and values - emerged in a secret study I became part of - after I occupied, as an Army Lieutenant Colonel the Army staff action officer on the Soviet-American Test Ban Treaty.
For my next job put me where military officers have to think 'beyond' just military - but the very nature of the nation we are sworn to protect and defend. For it became increasingly apparent that my 'military' advice to my Army Chief of Staff, who as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, must advise the President has to take into account my best understanding of both the potential willingness and ability and the cultural-political limitations to carry out my 'purely military' recommendations.
General Harold K Johnson
One senior military person who made a deep impression on me while I was a student at the C&GS college, was the commander of the Post of Fort Leavenworth, and the College - Major General Harold K Johnson.
And the reason was, that apart from what he said and did at Leavenworth, I worked for him in the Pentagon, both when he was the Lt General Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, AND later Chief of Staff of the Army, as such, being a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff - who was an advisor to the President in his capacity of Commander in Chief.
We students all knew that Gen Johnson had been in WWII, had been a Prisoner of War of the Japanese for 4 years suffering the Bataan Death March. But until I heard him philosophize about war and peace, I realized he was a deep thinker about such matters. And taught me a lot, especially when I had to do think-piece staff papers at the seat of governnent - whose recommendations might just become national policy. Scary thought/
So then class graduated. I got a big splendid Diploma. And turned my attention on where to live once I was assigned to the Army Staff in - interestingley enough 'Politico Military Plans and Policies' section of Operations (as distinct from Logistics, Intelligence, Personnel)
The office that Major Eisenhower worked in, as well as West Point's Political Science Professor Colonel Lincoln worked in - where he, alone, drew the 38th Parallel, that the State Department accepted, that became the demarcation line between North and South Korea, in 1949.
An office that had no effective counterpart in either the Air Force or Navy Pentagon Staff.
To continue with my Military Years click… NEXT, Pentagon Years (1)