No. 80 NAI DFA 417/12

Extract from a letter from Francis T. Cremins to Joseph P. Walshe (Dublin)

Berne, 15 February 1946

[matter omitted]
I am afraid that I share the view that there is serious reason for fears regarding the continuance of peace, but I do not imagine that another world war is possible in the time mentioned by the 'Témoignage'.1 No Great Power (not even Russia) desires further war, but the danger is that Russia may be deliberately embarking upon a policy of expansion which must lead to conflict. No Great Power will, however, in the future provoke a major war without believing that her state of preparation is sufficient to offer a good prospect of winning it. Germany made thorough preparations for war and she waited until she was ready before she struck (the others waited till she was ready too). She believed that she had arranged everything for a speedy victory, but she attached too little importance to the others' naval power and their resources as well as to the interests of the USA.

The question of surprise, of course, can never in the future be left out of account. That will be one of the very disturbing factors in any strained situation, or even in any period leading up to such a situation, now that atomic bombing has come to stay. A small State nursing expansionist ideas, egged on by a Great Power, will also be a danger. All the elements of possible trouble seem to be present in the Balkans and in the near and middle East.

1 Founded in 1941 in Lyon, France by a group of Jesuit priests, 'Témoignage Chrétien' was an anti-fascist Resistance network.

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