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Defense

In response to:

The Defense Confidence Game from the June 13, 1974 issue

To the Editors:

Mary Kaldor and Alexander Cockburn, in “The Defense Confidence Game,”1 devote part of their very first footnote to a Professor William Kaufman of MIT.2 Since I, too, am on the faculty at MIT and work on the defense budget, there is some danger that your readers may confuse me with the Kaldor-Cockburn Kaufman.

In order to avoid any such confusion, permit me to observe that:

  1. I am William W. Kaufmann, not William Kaufman.

  2. The budget was not drafted by me (and one assumes that it was not drafted by Professor Kaufman either).

  3. Whatever the case with Professor Kaufman, I was not brought into the government by McNamara; in fact, I have never served as more than a consultant to the Department of Defense.

  4. In any event, Robert S. McNamara assumed office in 1961, not 1960.

One assumes that Mary Kaldor is the author of this confusing footnote. 3 If so, I forgive her for creating an identity crisis. After all, one must recall: “If to her share some‌errors fall,/ Look on her face and you’ll forget ‘em all.”4

William W. Kaufmann5

Professor of Political Science

MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Mary Kaldor and Alexander Cockburn replies:

Our apologies to Professor Kaufmann for a misleading footnote. It is evidently quite beyond the competence of any one person to have drafted the entire budget. However, our understanding was, and is, that Professor Kaufmann had an important part to play in the development of the strategic arguments as well as in the general policy statements in the defense budget. Professor Kaufmann’s becoming modesty in referring merely to his “work on the defense budget” can be qualified by the fact of his presence, in a prominent position just behind Secretary Schlesinger, on the first day of the hearings on the defense budget before the Defense Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, on February 26 of this year. There is no reason, incidentally, to conjoin confusion to the female countenance. The article, footnotes and all, was jointly written.

  1. 1

    The New York Review of Books, Vol. XXI, No. 10, June 13, 1974, pp. 24-32.

  2. 2

    Cf. fn. 1, p. 24.

  3. 3

    That is, fn. 1, p. 24.

  4. 4

    Alexander Pope, The Rape of the Lock, II, p. 17.

  5. 5

    Not William Kaufman, please.

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