FE Files, Lot 52–534

Memorandum by the Adviser on Political Relations (Hornbeck)

The chief and a possibly fatal weakness in a theory of strategy which calls for defeating Hitler first and then defeating Japan may be illustrated in a figure as follows:

Jones is being attacked by a bull and a husky bull calf. Jones says to himself that he will first deal with the bull and when he has finished off the bull it will be easy to deal with and finish off the bull calf. Jones so proceeds, concentrating on the bull. It takes two or three years to finish off the bull. Meanwhile, the bull calf has been feeding on plenty of nutritious diet well fortified with special vitamins. When, finally, Jones, with great effort and with not a little loss of blood, has finished off the bull and turns to deal with the calf, Jones finds that he is confronted not by a calf but by a huskier bull than the one with which he has just dealt. The calf has grown up—plenty.—At that point, Jones, wearied and weakened, either lacks the will to take on a new, first class encounter or, if he then tries to whip this second bull, finds the task even more difficult than that which he has just finished of whipping the first bull.

The second fault in this theory of strategy is that it involves a risk of losing China as an active participant in the United Nations’ resistance and of permitting the creation in the Far East, before the hostilities in Europe can be brought to a close, of a solid Japanese hegemony with China and India incorporated in the body thereof: a phenomenon which, if it developed, would be infinitely difficult to unscramble or to deal with on any basis of reason.