Præsident Eisenhower advarer om militær-industrielt kompleks

Præsident Eisenhower advarer om militær-industrielt kompleks

Den 17. januar 1961 afslutter Dwight D. Eisenhower sin præsidentperiode med at advare nationen om den militær-industrielle komplekss stigende magt.

Hans bemærkninger, der blev udsendt under en fjernsynsafskedstale til det amerikanske folk, var særlig betydningsfulde, da Ike berømt havde tjent nationen som militær chef for de allierede styrker under anden verdenskrig. Eisenhower opfordrede sine efterfølgere til at finde en balance mellem et stærkt nationalt forsvar og diplomati i håndteringen af ​​Sovjetunionen. Han foreslog ikke våbenreduktion og erkendte faktisk, at bomben var en effektiv afskrækkelse for atomkrig. Men da han vidste, at USA's forsvarspolitik i fredstid havde ændret sig drastisk siden hans militære karriere, udtrykte Eisenhower bekymring over den voksende indflydelse af det, han betegnede som det militær-industrielle kompleks.

Før og under Anden Verdenskrig havde amerikanske industrier med succes konverteret til forsvarsproduktion som krisen krævede, men ud af krigen opstod det, Eisenhower kaldte en permanent bevæbningsindustri i store proportioner. Denne sammenhæng mellem et enormt militært etablissement og en stor våbenindustri er ny i den amerikanske erfaring, Eisenhower advarede om, "[mens] vi erkender det tvingende behov for denne udvikling ... Vi må ikke undlade at forstå dens alvorlige konsekvenser, vi skal beskytte mod erhvervelse af uberettiget indflydelse ... Potentialet for den katastrofale stigning af malplaceret magt eksisterer og vil fortsætte. " Eisenhower advarede om, at forbundsregeringens samarbejde med en alliance af militære og industrielle ledere, selvom det var nødvendigt, var sårbart over for magtmisbrug. Ike rådede derefter amerikanske borgere til at være på vagt i overvågningen af ​​det militær-industrielle kompleks.

Ike anbefalede også tilbageholdenhed i forbrugervaner, især med hensyn til miljøet. "Når vi kigger ind i samfundets fremtid, må vi - du og jeg og vores regering - undgå impulsen til kun at leve for i dag og plyndre for vores egen lethed og bekvemmelighed morgendagens dyrebare ressourcer," sagde han. "Vi kan ikke pantsætte vores børnebørns materielle aktiver uden også at bede om tabet af deres politiske og åndelige arv."


POLITICO

Allerede i 1959 begyndte Dwight D. Eisenhower, den eneste general, der blev valgt til præsident i det 20. århundrede, at arbejde sammen med sin yngre bror Milton, præsident for Johns Hopkins University, og Malcolm Moos, hans chef -taleforfatter, for at skabe sin sidste erklæring da han forlod det offentlige liv. | AFP/Getty Images


Præsident Dwight D. Eisenhower advarer om militær-industrielt kompleks i afskedstale

Kendt som "den sidste store konservative republikaner", giver Eisenhower råd til kommende generationer.


(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - Præsident Dwight D. Eisenhower, 17. januar 1961

Tre dage fra nu, efter et halvt århundrede i vort lands tjeneste, vil jeg fastsætte embedsansvaret, da jeg ved traditionel og højtidelig ceremoni tillægges formandskabets myndighed min efterfølger.

Denne aften kommer jeg til jer med et budskab om afsked og afsked, og for at dele et par sidste tanker med jer, mine landsmænd.

Som enhver anden borger ønsker jeg den nye præsident og alle, der vil arbejde med ham, Godspeed. Jeg beder om, at de kommende år vil blive velsignet med fred og velstand for alle.

Vores folk forventer, at deres præsident og kongressen finder væsentlig enighed om spørgsmål af stor tid, hvis kloge løsning bedre vil præge Nationens fremtid.

Mine egne forbindelser med kongressen, som begyndte fjernt og fløjende, da et medlem af Senatet for længe siden udnævnte mig til West Point, har siden varieret til det intime under krigen og den umiddelbare efterkrigstid, og endelig , til gensidigt indbyrdes afhængige i løbet af de sidste otte år.

I dette sidste forhold har kongressen og administrationen, om de fleste vitale spørgsmål, samarbejdet godt for at tjene det nationale gode frem for blot partisanship, og derfor har de sikret, at nationens forretning skulle fortsætte.

Så mit officielle forhold til kongressen ender i en følelse fra min side af taknemmelighed over, at vi har været i stand til at gøre så meget sammen.

Vi står nu ti år efter midten af ​​et århundrede, der har været vidne til fire store krige mellem store nationer. Tre af disse involverede vores eget land. På trods af disse holocaust er Amerika i dag den stærkeste, mest indflydelsesrige og mest produktive nation i verden.

Forståeligt stolte over denne fremtrædende plads, indser vi alligevel, at Amerikas lederskab og prestige ikke kun afhænger af vores uovertrufne materielle fremskridt, rigdom og militære styrke, men af ​​hvordan vi bruger vores magt af hensyn til verdensfred og menneskelig forbedring.

Gennem Amerikas eventyr i fri regeringsform har vores grundlæggende formål været at bevare freden for at fremme fremskridt i menneskelige præstationer og at forbedre frihed, værdighed og integritet blandt mennesker og blandt nationer.

At stræbe efter mindre ville være uværdigt for et frit og religiøst folk. Enhver fiasko, der kan spores til arrogance, eller vores mangel på forståelse eller parathed til at ofre ville påføre os alvorlige skader både herhjemme og i udlandet.

Fremskridt mod disse ædle mål er vedvarende truet af konflikten, der nu opsluger verden. Det beordrer hele vores opmærksomhed, absorberer vores væsener. Vi står over for en fjendtlig ideologi - global i omfang, ateistisk i karakter, hensynsløs i hensigten og lumsk i metoden.

Desværre udgør faren løfter om at være på ubestemt tid. For at imødekomme den med succes kræves der ikke så meget de følelsesmæssige og forbigående kriseofre, men derimod dem, der sætter os i stand til stadigt, sikkert og uden klage at bære byrderne af en langvarig og kompleks kamp - med frihed indsats.

Kun på den måde vil vi trods enhver provokation forblive på vores planlagte kurs mod permanent fred og menneskelig forbedring.

Der vil fortsat være kriser. Når man møder dem, uanset om de er udenlandske eller indenlandske, store eller små, er der en tilbagevendende fristelse til at føle, at en spektakulær og dyr handling kan blive den mirakuløse løsning på alle aktuelle vanskeligheder.

En enorm stigning i nyere elementer i vores forsvarsudvikling af urealistiske programmer til at helbrede alle syge i landbruget en dramatisk ekspansion i grundlæggende og anvendt forskning - disse og mange andre muligheder, der hver især er lovende i sig selv, kan foreslås som den eneste vej til vej, vi ønsker at rejse.

Men hvert forslag skal vejes i lyset af en bredere overvejelse: behovet for at opretholde balance i og blandt nationale programmer - balance mellem den private og den offentlige økonomi, balance mellem omkostninger og håbet på fordel - balance mellem det klart nødvendige og den behageligt ønskelige balance mellem vores væsentlige krav som nation og de pligter, nationen pålægger den individuelle balance mellem aktionerne i øjeblikket og fremtidens nationale velfærd.

God dømmekraft søger balance og fremskridt mangel på det finder til sidst ubalance og frustration.

Rekorden over mange årtier er et bevis på, at vores folk og deres regering hovedsageligt har forstået disse sandheder og har reageret godt på dem i lyset af stress og trusler. Men der opstår konstant trusler, nye i natur eller grad. Jeg nævner kun to.

Et vigtigt element for at bevare freden er vores militære etablering. Vores arme skal være mægtige, klar til øjeblikkelig handling, så ingen potentiel aggressor kan blive fristet til at risikere sin egen ødelæggelse.

Vores militære organisation har i dag lidt relation til den, som nogen af ​​mine forgængere kendte i fredstid, eller faktisk af de kæmpende mænd fra Anden Verdenskrig eller Korea.

Indtil de seneste af vores verdenskonflikter havde USA ingen rustningsindustri. Amerikanske producenter af plove kan også med tiden og efter behov lave sværd. Men nu kan vi ikke længere risikere nødimprovisation af nationalt forsvar, vi har været tvunget til at oprette en permanent bevæbningsindustri af store proportioner.

Hertil kommer, at tre og en halv million mænd og kvinder er direkte engageret i forsvarsinstitutionen. Vi bruger årligt mere på militær sikkerhed end nettoindkomsten for alle amerikanske selskaber.

Denne kombination af et enormt militært etablissement og en stor våbenindustri er ny i den amerikanske erfaring. Den samlede indflydelse - økonomisk, politisk, endda åndelig - mærkes i hver by, hvert statshus, hvert kontor i den føderale regering.

Vi erkender det tvingende behov for denne udvikling. Alligevel må vi ikke undlade at forstå dens alvorlige konsekvenser. Vores arbejde, ressourcer og levebrød er alle involveret, så er selve strukturen i vores samfund.

I regeringsrådene skal vi gardere os mod erhvervelse af uberettiget indflydelse, uanset om det søges eller ikke søges, af det militære industrikompleks. Potentialet for den katastrofale stigning af malplaceret magt eksisterer og vil fortsætte.

Vi må aldrig lade vægten af ​​denne kombination bringe vores friheder eller demokratiske processer i fare. Vi skal ikke tage noget for givet.

Kun en opmærksom og kyndig borger kan tvinge den korrekte sammenføjning af det enorme industrielle og militære forsvarsmaskiner med vores fredelige metoder og mål, så sikkerhed og frihed kan trives sammen.

Akin til, og stort set ansvarlig for de gennemgribende ændringer i vores industrielt-militære holdning, har været den teknologiske revolution i de seneste årtier.

I denne revolution er forskningen blevet central, den bliver også mere formaliseret, kompleks og dyr. En støt stigende andel foretages for, af eller på ledelse af forbundsregeringen.

I dag er den ensomme opfinder, der piller i sin butik, blevet overskygget af forskergrupper i laboratorier og testfelter. På samme måde har det frie universitet, historisk set kilden til frie ideer og videnskabelig opdagelse, oplevet en revolution i forskningsudførelsen.

Dels på grund af de enorme omkostninger, der er forbundet med det, bliver en regeringskontrakt praktisk talt en erstatning for intellektuel nysgerrighed. For hver gammel tavle er der nu hundredvis af nye elektroniske computere.

Udsigten til at dominere nationens forskere ved føderal beskæftigelse, projekttildelinger og pengemagt er altid til stede og er alvorligt at betragte.

Men ved at holde videnskabelig forskning og opdagelse i respekt, som vi burde, skal vi også være opmærksomme på den lige store og modsatte fare for, at den offentlige politik i sig selv kan blive fanget af en videnskabelig teknologisk elite.

Det er statsmandsopgaven at forme, at balancere og at integrere disse og andre kræfter, nye og gamle, inden for principperne i vores demokratiske system - altid med det formål at nå de øverste mål i vores frie samfund.

En anden faktor for at opretholde balancen involverer tidens element. Når vi kigger ind i samfundets fremtid, må vi - du og jeg og vores regering - undgå impulsen til kun at leve for i dag, plyndre, for vores egen lethed og bekvemmelighed, morgendagens dyrebare ressourcer.

Vi kan ikke pantsætte vores børnebørns materielle aktiver uden også at risikere tabet af deres politiske og åndelige arv. Vi ønsker, at demokratiet skal overleve i alle kommende generationer, ikke for at blive morgendagens insolvente fantom.

Langs den lange bane i historien, der endnu ikke er skrevet, ved Amerika, at vores verden, der stadig bliver mindre, må undgå at blive et fællesskab af frygtelig frygt og had og i stedet være en stolt sammenslutning af gensidig tillid og respekt.

En sådan sammenslutning skal være en af ​​ligemænd. De svageste skal komme til konferencebordet med samme tillid som vi, beskyttet som vi er af vores moralske, økonomiske og militære styrke. Dette bord, selvom det er arret af mange tidligere frustrationer, kan ikke opgives på grund af slagmarkens visse kvaler.

Nedrustning med gensidig ære og tillid er en fortsat nødvendighed. Sammen skal vi lære at sammensætte forskelle, ikke med arme, men med intellekt og anstændigt formål. Fordi dette behov er så skarpt og tydeligt, indrømmer jeg, at jeg fastlægger mit officielle ansvar på dette område med en bestemt følelse af skuffelse.

Som en, der har været vidne til krigens rædsel og den langvarige sorg - som en, der ved, at en anden krig fuldstændig kunne ødelægge denne civilisation, der er blevet bygget så langsomt og smertefuldt i tusinder af år - ville jeg ønske, jeg i aften kunne sige, at en varig fred er i sigte.

Heldigvis kan jeg sige, at krig er undgået. Der er gjort stadige fremskridt mod vores endelige mål. Men der er stadig meget at gøre. Som privat borger vil jeg aldrig ophøre med at gøre det lille, jeg kan, for at hjælpe verden frem på den vej.

Så i denne sidste gode nat til dig som din præsident - takker jeg dig for de mange muligheder, du har givet mig til public service i krig og fred. Jeg stoler på, at du i den service finder nogle ting værdige som for resten af ​​det, jeg ved, at du vil finde måder at forbedre ydelsen i fremtiden.

Du og jeg - mine medborgere - skal være stærke i vores tro på, at alle nationer under Gud vil nå målet om fred med retfærdighed. Må vi altid være urokkelige i hengivenhed til princippet, selvsikre men ydmyge med magt, flittige i jagten på Nationens store mål.

Til alle verdens mennesker giver jeg endnu en gang udtryk for Amerikas bedende og vedvarende stræben: Vi beder om, at folk fra alle trosretninger, alle racer, alle nationer kan få deres store menneskelige behov opfyldt, så de nu nægtede mulighed kommer til at nyde det fuldt ud, at alle, der længes efter frihed, kan opleve dets få åndelige velsignelser.

De, der har frihed, vil også forstå dets tunge ansvar, at alle, der er ufølsomme over for andres behov, vil lære næstekærlighed, og at kilderne - fattigdoms-, sygdoms- og uvidenhedssvage vil blive gjort [til] at forsvinde fra jorden og at i tidens godhed vil alle mennesker komme til at leve sammen i en fred garanteret af den bindende kraft af gensidig respekt og kærlighed.

Nu, fredag ​​middag, skal jeg blive privat borger. Det er jeg stolt over. Jeg ser frem til det.

Kilde: Præsidenternes offentlige papirer, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960, s. 1035- 1040


Eisenhower og oprindelsen af ​​det "militær-industrielle kompleks"

Mindre end en uge før han forlod embedet, holdt præsident Eisenhower sin sidste tale til den amerikanske offentlighed, en tale, der ville blive kendt som hans afskedstale. I den mest berømte del af adressen advarer Eisenhower mod faren ved det "militær-industrielle kompleks." Udtrykket fangede så pænt et voksende fænomen, at historikere og populære kommentatorer årtier senere bruger det uden at pege på dets oprindelse. Alligevel er det værd at studere den oprindelige kontekst for at forstå præcis, hvad Eisenhower mente

Indtil de seneste af vores verdenskonflikter havde USA ingen rustningsindustri. Amerikanske producenter af plove kan også med tiden og efter behov lave sværd. Men nu kan vi ikke længere risikere nødimprovisation af nationalt forsvar, vi har været tvunget til at oprette en permanent bevæbningsindustri af store proportioner. Hertil kommer, at tre og en halv million mænd og kvinder er direkte engageret i forsvarsinstitutionen. Vi bruger årligt mere på militær sikkerhed end nettoindkomsten for alle amerikanske selskaber.

Denne kombination af et enormt militært etablissement og en stor våbenindustri er ny i den amerikanske erfaring. Den samlede indflydelse-økonomisk, politisk, endda åndelig-mærkes i hver by, hvert statshus, hvert kontor i den føderale regering. Vi erkender det tvingende behov for denne udvikling. Alligevel må vi ikke undlade at forstå dens alvorlige konsekvenser. Vores arbejde, ressourcer og levebrød er alle involveret, så er selve strukturen i vores samfund.

I regeringsrådene skal vi gardere os mod erhvervelse af uberettiget indflydelse, uanset om det søges eller ikke søges, af det militær-industrielle kompleks. Potentialet for den katastrofale stigning af malplaceret magt eksisterer og vil fortsætte.

For Eisenhower var faren ved denne nye virkelighed ikke kun lobbyvirkning og økonomisk magt, som våbenvirksomheder ville udvise fremover. Det var en "total. . . endda åndelig ”trussel mod det amerikanske samfunds karakter. Eisenhowers private dagbog samt hans breve til sine venner i løbet af hans politiske karriere viser hans vedholdende bekymring for den uendelige militarisering af amerikansk udenrigspolitik. Han betragtede militære udgifter som "sterile" og bekymrede sig over, at det ville føre til et samfund, der fejlagtigt vurderede sikkerhed og våben på bekostning af skoler, infrastruktur og sociale sikkerhedsnet.

Relevans for nutidens politiske miljø

Den kolde krig ville ikke ende før mere end to årtier efter Eisenhower forlod kontoret. Siden har det amerikanske militær ikke demobiliseret på nogen væsentlig måde. For nylig er der opstået en samtale om politiets budgetter, udstyr og orientering til deres lokalsamfund efter drabene på George Floyd, Breonna Taylor og Rayshard Brooks. I Minneapolis har for eksempel ni af tolv byrådsmedlemmer lovet at erstatte deres bys politiafdeling med "en nytænkt model for offentlig sikkerhed." Ud over Minneapolis sker samtaler om at reducere politiets budgetter i næsten alle større byer i Amerika.

I dag tilbyder Eisenhower amerikanerne en måde at tænke kritisk på konsekvenserne af enorme politibudgetter og militariseret politiudstyr på det amerikanske samfund.

New York City opretholder en massiv politistyrke, landets største. I 2019 brugte byen næsten seks milliarder dollars på sin politistyrke, et tal, der dværgede andre byers offentlige sikkerhedsagenturer. Byens tildeling er også vokset med omkring 30% alene i de sidste ti år.

Disse finansieringsforhøjelser korrelerer med øget brug af militariseret politiudstyr. En undersøgelse af emnet viste, at over 8.000 retshåndhævende myndigheder i USA har brugt føderalt finansierede programmer til at købe en kombination af traditionelt militært udstyr, herunder "maskingeværer, pansrede køretøjer, bajonetter, granatkastere og militærfly." Den samme undersøgelse viser, at lokalt politis brug af militær taktik er steget 1.400% i de sidste fyrre år.

Ser til fremtiden

Hvis amerikanske beslutningstagere tog Eisenhowers advarsel om det militærindustrielle kompleks til sig, ville de måske rette udgifterne til politiet til mere godartede måder at træne og udstyre dem på. Dette ville ikke nødvendigvis resultere i reducerede udgifter til retshåndhævelse (selvom Eisenhower sandsynligvis ville favorisere det). Alligevel kan det føre til en ny vision for det – og måske for alle offentlige instanser, hvad enten de er lokale, statslige eller føderale. Ideelt set bør disse agenturer se deres mission som samarbejde med amerikanske borgere, der forsøger at leve fredeligt deres liv og forfølge deres drømme. Eisenhowers strålende indsigt var, at et samarbejdsforhold mellem regering og borgere ikke kan blomstre, hvis udgifterne til militært udstyr og indflydelsen fra virksomheder, der laver og sælger det, går ukontrolleret.

Eisenhower var ingen pacifist. Han førte tilsyn med et enormt og voksende militær under sit formandskab, og han forestillede sig personligt og ledte invasionen af ​​Normandiet. Han havde ingen illusioner om, at vanskelige politiske spørgsmål kunne løses med lette svar. Og alligevel, da han trak sig tilbage fra public service, efter otte år som præsident og næsten 30 års uden tvivl den mest fornemme militærkarriere i amerikansk historie, rådede han amerikanerne til at beskytte sig mod militarisering af deres samfund, så de ikke står over for "total &# 8230også åndelig ”negativ indvirkning på at tillade enhver væbnet gruppe magt over hjemmelivet.


Eisenhower og det militærindustrielle kompleks

En anmeldelse af James Ledbetter, Unwarranted Influence: Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Military-Industrial Complex. New Haven og London: Yale University Press, 2011. 268 s. $ 26,00.

Den 17. januar 1961 holdt præsident Dwight D. Eisenhower sin sidste præsidenttale, der viste sig at være hans mest mindeværdige i kraft af denne advarsel: ”I regeringsrådene skal vi beskytte os mod erhvervelse af uberettiget indflydelse, uanset om det søges eller usøgt, af det militærindustrielle kompleks. Potentialet for den katastrofale stigning af malplaceret magt eksisterer og vil fortsætte. ” James Ledbetter gør denne tale til punktum for sin korte, men omhyggeligt undersøgt og problemfrit skrevet bog om det militær-industrielle kompleks (MIC). Han kigger ind i Eisenhowers fortid for at opdage, hvordan en femstjernet general nåede frem til denne tilsyneladende uhensigtsmæssige advarsel og sporer, hvordan ideen om MIC udviklede sig efter 1961, da det blev grist for en række møller.

Ledbetter genkender MICs fuzzy betydning, men med henblik på sin analyse formoder han, at "vi omtrent kan definere MIC som et netværk af offentlige og private kræfter, der kombinerer et overskudsmotiv med planlægning og implementering af strategisk politik" (s. 6). For stort set alle forskere omfatter den de væbnede styrker og den civile militære ledelse, de relevante udvalg og ledelse af kongressen og de private entreprenører, der leverer varer og tjenester til militæret. Mange analytikere inkluderer også mindre aktører, såsom de førende universiteter, visse forskere og tænketanke, veterangrupper, visse fagforeninger og lokale politikere, hvis jurisdiktion omfatter militærbaser eller entreprenørfaciliteter.

Selvom MIC naturligvis har stærke og udbredte tilhængere, har det altid tiltrukket kritikere, der anklage det på flere punkter, herunder spildende militære udgifter, afledning af offentlige udgifter fra sociale programmer, økonomiske forvridninger, udvidelse af militær indflydelse i det amerikanske samfund, fremme af en kultur for statshemmelighed og undertrykkelse af individuelle frihedsrettigheder. I stedet for omfattende at evaluere denne kritik fokuserer Ledbetter på den ændrede idé om MIC og vurderer nutidige argumenter om det i lyset af kriterier foreslået i Eisenhowers tale.

Han finder antecedenter i flere forestillinger, der er blevet fremskredet tidligere, herunder afhandler-of-death-afhandlingen, afhandlingen om krigsøkonomi, afhandling om garnison-stat og afhandling om teknokratisk elite. Disse afhandlinger bevarer en vis relevans inden for MIC -afhandlingen.

Ledbetter sporer Eisenhowers bekymring for militær-økonomiske forbindelser tilbage mindst til 1930-31, da Ike deltog i hærens planlægning af industriel mobilisering. Efter at have undersøgt industriaftaler, mulige overtagelser og priskontrol var han urolig for sådan militær involvering i økonomien. Ledbetter konkluderer, at "vigtigheden af ​​at holde en adskillelse i fredstid mellem erhvervslivet og militæret ville blive hos ham resten af ​​hans liv" (s. 51). Som præsident fortsatte Eisenhower med at understrege "behovet for tilbageholdende militære udgifter for at bevare amerikansk økonomisk frihed" (s. 61).

Kort efter at han blev præsident, holdt Eisenhower sin næstmest mindeværdige tale, “Chance for Peace” -talen, den 16. april 1953. Stalin var netop død, og præsidenten forsøgte at flytte USA mod et mindre truende forhold til USSR ved at foreslå foranstaltninger til fremme af større samarbejde og tillid mellem den kolde krigs modstandere. Han fremhævede de store muligheder for omkostninger ved igangværende storstilet militær beredskab. "Hver pistol, der bliver fremstillet, hvert krigsskib, der blev affyret, hver raket der blev affyret, betyder i sidste forstand et tyveri fra dem, der sulter og ikke får mad, dem, der er kolde og ikke er klædt på" (s. 68). Selvom "Chance for Peace" -initiativet ikke bar nogen frugt, og den kolde krig antog endnu mere truende dimensioner efter 1953, var Eisenhowers bekymring over dens kostbare forvrængning af den amerikanske økonomi klart præget af de bekymringer, han udtrykte i sin afskedstale næsten otte år senere.

Ledbetters forsøg på at binde præcis, hvem der opfandt udtrykket "militær-industrielt kompleks", viste sig ikke at lykkes. Eisenhowers hovedtaleforfatter, Malcomb Moos, er ofte blevet krediteret, men selvom han syntes at have været glad for at lade folk tro, at han var kommet med udtrykket, påstod han aldrig blankt, at han havde gjort det. Ledbetters undersøgelse af på hinanden følgende udkast til talen afslørede ingen entydige beviser for, hvem der indførte den.

Under alle omstændigheder gav udtrykket genklang hos forskellige politiske grupper i 1960'erne, herunder nye venstreorienterede inspireret af C. Wright Mills analyse af magteliten, kritikere af spildende militærudgifter, såsom senator William Proxmire og forskellige antikrigsgrupper. Til sidst smeltede ideen om MIC sammen med referencer til "krigsførelsesstaten" og "den nationale sikkerhedsstat".

I årenes løb er der blevet foretaget mange kongresundersøgelser og andre undersøgelser af Pentagon-kontrakter og andre aspekter af militær-økonomiske forbindelser i USA. Alvorlige problemer ―omkostningsoverskridelser, sene leverancer, officiel og virksomhedskorruption, krone-kapitalistiske redninger, de facto industripolitisk beslutningstagning og mange andre ― er blevet dokumenteret igen og igen. På trods af gentagne forsøg tilsyneladende på at udrydde disse fejl og fejl, ændres der aldrig noget grundlæggende i MIC's drift. Selv nu, mere end tyve år efter at Sovjetunionen imploderede og den kolde krig sluttede, bruger USA mere end nogensinde på militæret og gør det lige så spildt og nonchalant som det gjorde før, uden alvorlige konsekvenser. På trods af et mangeårigt lovbestemt krav om, at forsvarsministeriet revideres årligt, har det aldrig været og kan ikke være det på grund af den beklagelige tilstand i dets finansielle poster.

Ledbetter konkluderer skarpt, at ”det er svært at se, hvordan USA ville være tilstrækkeligt motiveret til at eliminere MIC, endsige erstatte det med noget overlegen. . . . [I] t er næsten uigennemtrængelig for demokratiske reformer ”(s. 202-03). Som han bemærker, er rodproblemet ikke så meget entreprenørernes elendige præstationer og implicerede parters egeninteresserede handlinger i kongressen og militæret, som det er det utroligt brede omfang af amerikanske geopolitiske ambitioner. Så længe den amerikanske regering fortsat opfatter en "vital" interesse for næsten alle steder og næsten enhver tvist i den store verden, er ethvert håb om at realisere Eisenhowers drøm om at skære MIC i størrelse og bevæge sig mod ægte nedrustning og fred dømt til skuffelse.

[Anerkendelse: Denne anmeldelse vises i Journal of Cold War Studies, udgivet af Davis Center for russiske og eurasiske studier ved Harvard University.]


Præsident Eisenhower advarer om militær -industrielt kompleks - HISTORIE

Tre dage fra nu, efter et halvt århundrede i vort lands tjeneste, fastsætter jeg embedsansvaret, da jeg ved traditionel og højtidelig ceremoni tillægger mig formandskabet myndighed i min efterfølger.

Denne aften kommer jeg til jer med et budskab om afsked og afsked, og for at dele et par sidste tanker med jer, mine landsmænd.

Som enhver anden borger ønsker jeg den nye præsident og alle, der vil arbejde med ham, Godspeed. Jeg beder om, at de kommende år vil blive velsignet med fred og velstand for alle.

Vores folk forventer, at deres præsident og kongressen finder væsentlig enighed om spørgsmål af stor tid, hvis kloge løsning bedre vil præge Nationens fremtid.

Mine egne forbindelser til kongressen, som begyndte fjernt og fløjende, da et medlem af senatet for længe siden udnævnte mig til West Point, har siden varieret til det intime under krigen og den umiddelbare efterkrigstid, og endelig , til gensidigt indbyrdes afhængige i løbet af de sidste otte år.

I dette sidste forhold har kongressen og administrationen i de fleste vitale spørgsmål samarbejdet godt for at tjene det nationale gode frem for blot at være partisans, og har derfor forsikret, at nationens forretning skulle fortsætte. Så mit officielle forhold til kongressen ender i en følelse fra min side af taknemmelighed over, at vi har været i stand til at gøre så meget sammen.

Vi står nu ti år efter midten af ​​et århundrede, der har været vidne til fire store krige mellem store nationer. Tre af disse involverede vores eget land. På trods af disse holocaust er Amerika i dag den stærkeste, mest indflydelsesrige og mest produktive nation i verden. Forståeligt stolte over denne fremtrædende plads, indser vi alligevel, at Amerikas lederskab og prestige ikke kun afhænger af vores uovertrufne materielle fremskridt, rigdom og militære styrke, men af, hvordan vi bruger vores magt til fordel for verdensfred og menneskelig forbedring.

Under hele Amerikas eventyr i fri regeringsform har vores grundlæggende formål været at bevare freden for at fremme fremskridt i menneskelige præstationer og at forbedre frihed, værdighed og integritet blandt mennesker og blandt nationer. At stræbe efter mindre ville være uværdigt for et frit og religiøst folk. Enhver fiasko, der kan spores til arrogance, eller vores mangel på forståelse eller parathed til at ofre ville påføre os alvorlige skader både herhjemme og i udlandet.

Fremskridt mod disse ædle mål er vedvarende truet af konflikten, der nu opsluger verden. Det beordrer hele vores opmærksomhed, absorberer vores væsener. Vi står over for en fjendtlig ideologi - global i omfang, ateistisk i karakter, hensynsløs i hensigten og lumsk i metoden. Desværre udgør faren løfter om at være på ubestemt tid. For at imødekomme den med succes kræves der ikke så meget de følelsesmæssige og forbigående kriseofre, men derimod dem, der sætter os i stand til stadigt, sikkert og uden klage at bære byrderne af en langvarig og kompleks kamp - med frihed indsats. Kun på den måde vil vi trods enhver provokation forblive på vores planlagte kurs mod permanent fred og menneskelig forbedring.

Der vil fortsat være kriser. Når man møder dem, uanset om de er udenlandske eller indenlandske, store eller små, er der en tilbagevendende fristelse til at føle, at en spektakulær og dyr handling kan blive den mirakuløse løsning på alle aktuelle vanskeligheder. En enorm stigning i nyere elementer i vores forsvarsudvikling af urealistiske programmer til at helbrede alle syge i landbruget en dramatisk ekspansion i grundlæggende og anvendt forskning - disse og mange andre muligheder, der hver især er lovende i sig selv, kan foreslås som den eneste vej til vej, vi ønsker at rejse.

Men hvert forslag skal vejes i lyset af en bredere overvejelse: behovet for at opretholde balance i og blandt nationale programmer - balance mellem den private og den offentlige økonomi, balance mellem omkostninger og håbet på fordel - balance mellem det klart nødvendige og den behageligt ønskelige balance mellem vores væsentlige krav som nation og de pligter, nationen pålægger den individuelle balance mellem aktionerne i øjeblikket og fremtidens nationale velfærd. Good judgment seeks balance and progress lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.

The record of many decades stands as proof that our people and their government have, in the main, understood these truths and have responded to them well, in the face of stress and threat. But threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise. I mention two only.

A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.

Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.

Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved so is the very structure of our society.

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.

Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present

and is gravely to be regarded. Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientifictechnological elite.

It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system -- ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.

Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society's future, we -- you and I, and our government -- must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.

Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.

Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.

Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is so sharp and apparent I confess that I lay down my official responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and the lingering sadness of war -- as one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built over thousands of years -- I wish I could say tonight that a lasting peace is in sight.

Happily, I can say that war has been avoided. Steady progress toward our ultimate goal has been made. But, so much remains to be done. As a private citizen, I shall never cease to do what little I can to help the world advance along that road.

So -- in this my last good night to you as your President -- I thank you for the many opportunities you have given me for public service in war and peace. I trust that in that service you find some things worthy as for the rest of it, I know you will find ways to improve performance in the future.

You and I -- my fellow citizens -- need to be strong in our faith that all nations, under God, will reach the goal of peace with justice. May we be ever unswerving in devotion to principle, confident but humble with power, diligent in pursuit of the Nation's great goals.

To all the peoples of the world, I once more give expression to America's prayerful and continuing aspiration:


Slutnoter

  • [1]Dwight D. Eisenhower, �rewell Address to the Nation,” http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/ike.htm, August 6, 2015.
  • [2]Ibid.
  • [3] R. Buckminster Fuller, A Grunch of Giants, Excerpt, http://www.futurehi.net/docs/Bucky_Grunch_of_Giants.html, June 24, 2011.
  • [4] Ibid.
  • [5] Ibid.
  • [6] James Jay Carafano, 𠇏ive Steps to Save America’s Defense Industrial Base,” WebMemo, The Heritage Foundation, No. 3286 (June 9, 2011): http://report.heritage.org/wm3286.
  • [7] Ibid.
  • [8] Andrew J. Bacevich, “The Tyranny of Defense Inc.,” The Atlantic Monthly (January 2011):
  • http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2011/01/the-tyranny-of-defense-inc/8342/.
  • [9] R. Buckminster Fuller, A Grunch of Giants, Excerpt, http://www.futurehi.net/docs/Bucky_Grunch_of_Giants.html, June 24, 2011.
  • [10] James Jay Carafano, 𠇏ive Steps to Save America’s Defense Industrial Base,” WebMemo, The Heritage Foundation, No. 3286 (June 9, 2011): http://report.heritage.org/wm3286.
  • [11] Dwight D. Eisenhower, �rewell Address to the Nation,”http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/ike.htm, August 6, 2015.
  • [12] Ibid.
  • [13] Ibid.

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2019 Fernando Guadalupe Jr


Ike's Warning Of Military Expansion, 50 Years Later

In his final speech from the White House, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned that an arms race would take resources from other areas -- such as building schools and hospitals. Bill Allen/AP skjul billedtekst

In his final speech from the White House, President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned that an arms race would take resources from other areas -- such as building schools and hospitals.

On Jan. 17, 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower gave the nation a dire warning about what he described as a threat to democratic government. He called it the military-industrial complex, a formidable union of defense contractors and the armed forces.

Eisenhower, a retired five-star Army general, the man who led the allies on D-Day, made the remarks in his farewell speech from the White House.

As NPR's Tom Bowman tells Morning Edition co-host Renee Montagne, Eisenhower used the speech to warn about "the immense military establishment" that had joined with "a large arms industry."

"In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist."

Since then, the phrase has become a rallying cry for opponents of military expansion.

Eisenhower gave the address after completing two terms in office it was just days before the new president, John F. Kennedy, would be sworn in.

Eisenhower was worried about the costs of an arms race with the Soviet Union, and the resources it would take from other areas -- such as building hospitals and schools.

Bowman says that in the speech, Eisenhower also spoke as someone who had seen the horror and lingering sadness of war, saying that "we must learn how to compose differences not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose."

Another concern, Bowman says, was the possibility that as the military and the arms industry gained power, they would be a threat to democracy, with civilians losing control of the military-industrial complex.

In his remarks, Eisenhower also explained how the situation had developed:

"Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of ploughshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions."

The difference, Bowman says, is that before the late 1950s, companies such as Ford built everything from jeeps to bombers -- then went back to building cars. But that changed after the Korean War.

Bowman says that it's important to note that during the Cold War, the U.S. military didn't draw down its troops like it did after World War II.

"It kept a large standing army after the Korean War," he says.

America's new reliance on sophisticated weapons technology also helped bring about what Bowman calls "a technology race with the Soviets."

And that meant that weapons manufacturing became more specialized.

"So [for] a company like Ford, going from cars to jeeps is one thing cars to missiles is quite another," Bowman says.

In an effort to control the expansion of the military-industrial complex, Eisenhower consistently sought to cut the Pentagon's budget.

The former general wanted a budget the country could afford, Bowman says. He upset all the military services with his budget cuts, especially the Air Force.

Citing another quote from Eisenhower -- this one from another speech on military spending -- Bowman says, "The jet plane that roars overhead costs three quarters of a million dollars. That’s more than a man will make in his lifetime. What world can afford this kind of thing for long?"

In today's government, Eisenhower has a fan in his fellow Kansan Secretary of Defense Robert Gates -- who keeps a portrait of the former general in his office at the Pentagon, Bowman says.

Speaking at the Eisenhower Library last year, Gates talked about America's insatiable appetite for more and more weapons:

"Does the number of warships we have, and are building, really put America at risk, when the U.S. battle fleet is larger than the next 13 navies combined -- 11 of which are our partners and allies?

Is it a dire threat that by 2020, the United States will have only 20 times more advanced stealth fighters than China?

These are the kinds of questions Eisenhower asked as commander-in-chief. They are the kinds of questions I believe he would ask today."

But, Bowman says, it has only become more difficult to control the size of the nation's military industry.

First, "there are only a handful of defense giants," he says, "which means you can't shop around for a better price."

And companies such as Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman are also adept at both lobbying and marketing to promote their interests.

Bowman says, "they also spread the jobs around the country, to lock in political support."

Gates has also discussed the difficulty of cutting military spending:

"What it takes is the political will and willingness, as Eisenhower possessed, to make hard choices -- choices that will displease powerful people both inside the Pentagon, and out."

Bowman says that some industry observers believe that "the one thing that could create that political will is the nation's huge deficit." Only that might force cuts in the overall defense budget.


60 Years Ago Today, Eisenhower Predicted the Rise of the Military-Industrial Complex—He Was Right

On Jan. 17, 1961, President Dwight Eisenhower warned the world about the rise of what can now be referred to as the ‘deep state.’ In his outgoing remarks from his farewell speech, Eisenhower bravely called out the shadow government who operates behind the scenes to promote war and profit from mass murder. He called this entity the military-industrial complex.

Eisenhower, who was a retired five-star general, led the allies into Germany on D-Day. Being one of the few five-star generals in history, Eisenhower knew what he was saying when he warned that “we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”

As declassified files, released at the end of last year show, the very next year after Eisenhower issued this warning, the US government began planning false flag attacks to provoke war.

On March 22, 1962, a meeting, held by the “Special Group (Augmented),” which according to an encyclopedia on the Central Intelligence Agency, included Attorney General Robert Kennedy, CIA Director John McCone, National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Lyman Lemnitzer, discussed the creation of a false flag attack on the United States to be blamed on the Soviets.

According to the documents, the US government wanted to manufacture or obtain Soviet aircraft so they could launch an attack on America or friendly bases and use those attacks as a pretext for war.

According to the previously Top Secret classified documents:

“There is a possibility that such aircraft could be used in a deception operation designed to confuse enemy planes in the air, to launch a surprise attack against enemy installations or in a provocation operation in which Soviet aircraft would appear to attack U.S. or friendly installations in order to provide an excuse for U.S. intervention.”

But that is not all. As TFTP reported last year, the JFK files also revealed plans for another false flag attack to be blamed on Cuba. In the document which was marked TS for Top Secret, the US military revealed its plans to trick Americans into war with Cuba. The plans were to create and carry out false flag terror attacks against American citizens and use them as propaganda to gain support for the war against Fidel Castro.

In the documents, officials noted that the plans for the attacks were “approved” and the Joint Chiefs merely needed to pick one of the nine “pretexts” to use to trick US citizens into war.

The plans involved killing innocent people and injuring others and making sure these instances would be “widely publicized” as propaganda to start an unjust war.

“We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington. The terror campaign could be pointed at Cuban refugees seeking haven in the United States. We could sink a boatload of Cubans enroute to Florida (real or simulated),” the document reads.

Notice how callous these monsters sound when talking about drowning a boatload of Cubans—which would have likely contained innocent children—to start a bogus war for profit and bolster the military-industrial complex.

The document continues, “We could foster attempts on the lives of Cuban refugees in the United States even to the extent of wounding in instances to be widely publicized. Exploding a few plastic bombs in carefully chosen spots, the arrest of a Cuban agent and the release of prepared documents substantiating Cuban involvement also would be helpful in projecting the idea of an irresponsible government.”

While these revelations have all been declassified, the reality is that this provoking of war and militarism was only just getting started back then. Since Eisenhower’s speech—which nearly every single politician has chosen to ignore—the military-industrial complex has become mainstream and is now merely a function of the state.

Weapons companies now maintain their grip on politicians by making weapons in most of the country so they can offer “jobs” and boost political stats. Eisenhower described this rising situation 60 years ago.

“Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of ploughshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions.”

Seeing the profitability in war, these merchants of death chose not to stand down like they did after World War II. Instead, the Cold War was used to build the largest military the world had ever seen.

Since then, false flags and fake news have been shoved down the throats of the American citizens to sell them wars in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and hundreds of other nations in which the military-industrial complex spreads like a virus.

Because America chose to ignore Eisenhower’s prophetic words, US citizens, their children, and their children’s children have amassed a debt so large that it can never be paid back. The current cost of the military-industrial complex is now $2 billion—every single day—and these are only the costs the government admits to incurring.

Sadly, the war machine shows no sign of slowing. In spite of Donald Trump running on a platform of America first, just like all the recent presidents before him, he has chosen war first. The gears of the military-industrial complex will continue to turn until the empire collapses.

This collapse, however, is not necessarily a bad thing, if peaceful people use it as an opportunity. As Ron Paul noted last month the collapse of the empire for freedom-minded individuals is an opportunity to usher in a new era of peace and prosperity.

“The big opening for us is the fact that this system is coming apart. We’re on the verge of something like what happened in ‘89 when the Soviet system just collapsed,” Paul said. “I’m just hoping our system comes apart as gracefully as the Soviet system.”

“I think our stature in the world and our empire will end, and that’s when, hopefully, the doors will be open and [people will] say, ‘Hey, maybe these libertarians have some answers to this.’”

When the unsustainable war machine finally sucks the last penny from its citizens, a revolution will indeed take place, and we must be ready.

“If they only hear our message, I know they would choose liberty and sound money and freedom and peace over the mess we have today,” said Paul—one of the only politicians to ever take Eisenhower’s advice to heart.


How do you feel about President Eisehower's warning about the Military-Industrial Complex, which was given in his Farewell Address?

On January 17, 1961 President Eisenhower gave a short farewell address to the American people. Within that speech, he warned about the growth of what he called "The Military-Industrial Complex".

What do you think about that warning?

Links below to a collection of information about the address from the Eisenhower Presidential Library, and to a video from YouTube of the complete about 15 minute address.

PeabodyKid

I voted 8 years too late. Too be fair, though, he was working against it himself too some extent, including starting NASA in part because of the 3 competing missile/military space programs, which was obviously wasteful. But on the other hand, for example, he had the U-2 overflights of the USSR done by CIA, in an attempt to establish "plausible deniability." Establishing adjunct branches of the military is clearly aiding and abetting "the military-industrial complex".

I give him the benefit of the doubt that when warning about the military-industrial complex, he was also warning about the CIA, the NSA, the FBI, etc.

Pikeshot1600

Eisenhower had expressed concern over the direction of modern government in the United States. The "military-industrial complex" had developed in the 1940s - and in some cases previous to that. As with most engines of political economy, it tended to perpetuate itself and establish layers of self interest affecting public policy and the expenditure that facilitates that.

In addition, the development of shadow government, including clandestine agencies and what was frequently "off budget" means of funding them, could be seen as an undermining of legitimate governance and of appropriate oversight by public officials. If there was a communist to be found, or some other perceived threat, the CIA, the FBI and "organized crime" were sometimes partners of convenience.

Unfortunately, Eisenhower's caution about many of such things has been bulldozed by historical developments. In particular, the caution about deficit spending has not raised red flags in decades. Politicians see very little upside to cutting spending, and absolutely no upside to increasing taxes that clearly impact voters (income tax, etc.).

The military-industrial complex won the Second World War, and subsequently entrenched itself as a permanent lobby to continue its influence in the political economy of the US.

Stevev

PeabodyKid

Agreed that the military-industrial complex started in the run-up to WW II, and exploded from there. But the "8 years" in the poll choice is meant to represent the 8 years that Eisenhower was President, when he was uniquely qualified as President - and as a retired 5-star general and former Army Chief of Staff - to do something about it.

But in fairness to Eisenhower, much of it happened on FDR's and Truman's watches - The Manhattan Project, the Korean War non-declaration of war, and the H bomb project, whose first detonation took place on November 1, 1952. For first H-bomb test, see Wikipedia article on "Ivy Mike" below.

Duncanness

Leftyhunter

On January 17, 1961 President Eisenhower gave a short farewell address to the American people. Within that speech, he warned about the growth of what he called "The Military-Industrial Complex".

What do you think about that warning?

Links below to a collection of information about the address from the Eisenhower Presidential Library, and to a video from YouTube of the complete about 15 minute address.

Sparky

BrutusofNY

@PeabodyKid - But the "8 years" in the poll choice is meant to represent the 8 years that Eisenhower was President, when he was uniquely qualified as President - and as a retired 5-star general and former Army Chief of Staff - to do something about it.

Given this stipulation, I voted 8 years too late because of Ike Presidential policies and because of his Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles.

When he took office in 1953, Ike had a choice: to continue to near messianic anti-Communism of the late Truman years that unequivocally implied global empire or to approach the situation along the lines advocated by Robert Taft, whom Ike had defeated for the 1952 Republican Presidential nomination. It was a critical decision because any empire demands a commensurate military power to sustain it. Ike chose global struggle.

Ike’s choice of Dulles revealed much. Dulles, one the lead draftsmen of infamous German war-guilt clause of the Versailles Treaty and law partner of Gerhardt Westrich, German chairman of ITT which itself was the largest shareholder of Focke-Wulf and which, after Dulles death, was awarded $27 million in compensation for damage inflicted on its share of the Focke-Wulf plant by Allied bombing during World War II, suggests much about Ike’s real foreign policy intentions.

During the election year of 1952, Dulles’ impatience with the post-WWII foreign problems and danger was clearly stated in his article "A Policy of Boldness" i Liv magazine on May 19. There he insisted that the Truman policy of containment must be replaced by a policy of "liberation," since the former was based on "treadmill policies which at best might perhaps keep us in the same place until we drop exhausted."

As Secretary of State Dulles believed Eastern European liberation would come when American policy made "it publicly known that it wants and expects liberation to occur." A tragic consequence of this policy appeared in 1956 when Hungary rose against the Russians and were crushed by Soviet tanks without the Eisenhower administration raising a hand to help.

Ike’s problem here was that, quite properly concerned about run-away government and currency destruction, he was trying to run the new American empire on the cheap. He substituted the apparently less expensive nuclear bomb option for the traditional military infrastructure it takes to actually sustain an empire. When the Hungarians rose up, the only choice available was sit quiet or use nuclear weapons.

So Ike boxed himself in when he abjured Taft’s conception of national defense.

Truman had gone through an impressive military build down after World War II that was radically reversed in 1951 and 1952, resulting in a 336% increase over two years. Ike fulfilled a campaign promise to end the Korean Police Action that had driven Truman’s war spending. But, there was no noticeable decrease in the war budget there was no build down. But he effectively disguised the implications of his choice with what later came to be called MAD – Mutually Assured Destruction.

His very late talk about undue influence is cheap talk the rubber hits the road with contract process whereby the necessary military force is created and sustained. For Ike, on the way out the door and with his eye on his own place in history, to pretend that contractors and the military people who create and administer those contracts that are the financial lifeblood of a military industrial complex will not form a self-interested unitary relationship is to believe in the tooth fairy. He had been around the military all of his career. He knew the score long before 1960 in a way that his successor did not.

Ike offered many truly honorable qualities. He was a restrained personality the likes of which the U.S. could use today he was the last President who believed that per the Constitution only Congress could declare war and he clearly sensed things were getting out of hand.

There are other statements in his farewell address that have been unfortunately ignored:

“We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United State corporations…

Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.

In this revolution, research has become central it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government…

The prospect of domination of the nation's scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded…

Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite…

We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.”

Ike’s warning was legitimately profound. It is too bad that it was not taken seriously during his time as President.


How do you feel about President Eisehower's warning about the Military-Industrial Complex, which was given in his Farewell Address?

the space program started as totally military
the thought that the soviets had launchers capable of dropping their atomic pay load on any large US city with complete immunity was a nasty shock
at a stroke it made the totality of the USA air power obsolete

it was the strategic equivalent of the Virginia / Monitor duel In an editorial shortly afterwards, the Times of London stated:
"There is not now a ship in the English Navy apart from HMS Warrior and her sister Iron-sides( Britain’s first ironclad ships) that it would be not madness to trust to an engagement with that little Monitor.
the Royal Navy canceled all contracts for wooden ships just days after reports of the battle reached London.

BrutusofNY

Very good research . In 20/20 hindsight it seems ridiculous that approximately 1,400 men could defeat more the 20k soldiers with at best very limited air support from faraway planes based in Honderous and no heavy artilery. Five light tanks only goes so far. No doubt there was internal opposition to Castro but no coordination with them seems like a bad idea although the article didn't mention if the internal opposition was or was not riddled with pro Castro informants.
Leftyhunter

I agree with you. The CIA plan relied on popular uprisings against Castro and also massive defections in its forces. For Americans informed by an extreme hostility to Communism, be it religious, liberty-based political conceptions, or just an opposition to Marxist economics, it might seem a given that wide-spread internal opposition to Castro would exist and could be counted on.

But through Cuban eyes, I am pretty sure things looked very different.

As far back as 1933, Fulgencio Batista met with mobster Meyer Lansky, who was looking for a new center of operations once Prohibition was going to be repealed and bootleg profits would collapse. Their personal friendship and business relationship lasted three decades. In that same year, Batista led the Sergeants' Revolt, as part of the coup that overthrew the existing government of Cuba.

On January 15, 1934 Batista, encouraged by American Ambassador Jefferson Caffery, who had been in Cuba less than a month, forced the resignation of the existing, short-lived Cuban government, which had nationalized American-owned Electric Bond and Share Company the day before.

Batista, after years of being the strongman behind a succession of puppet presidents, was himself elected President of Cuba in 1940, but his hand-picked candidate was defeated in 1944 by the opposition party that frowned on gambling.

But that frowning did not prevent a large mafia meeting in Havana between December 22nd and the 26th, 1946. Attendees at the Hotel Nacional meeting include: Meyer Lansky, Frank Costello, Tommy Lucchese, Vito Genovese, Joe Bonanno, Santo Trafficante, and Moe Dalitz. Among the many topics discussed was the short future of Bugsy Siegel, who was killed the next June. The Cuban governments elected in 1944 and 1948 both had serious corruption problems.

Two months before the 1952 presidential elections, Batista regained formal control of the government that he had given up in 1944, and put larger gambling operations back on the agenda. He coordinated his plans with Lansky and gave him an annual salary of $25,000 to serve as an unofficial gambling minister.

In 1955, the Batista government passed a law granting a gaming license to anyone who invested $1 million in a hotel or $200,000 in a new nightclub. Unlike the procedure for acquiring gaming licenses in Vegas, this provision exempted “investors” from background checks as well as public matching funds for construction, a 10-year tax exemption, and duty-free importation of equipment and furnishings.

Under the embarrassing spur of the Kefauver Committee Investigations, which undercut J. Edgar Hoover’s claim that organized crime did not exist, the FBI was developing better ways of tracking down dirty money. Gangsters with loads of tainted cash saw Batista’s Havana as a stable offshore depository.

Unsurprisingly, Batista's regime became even more decadent and corrupt. And Cuba became increasingly divided socially. Young Fidel Castro took advantage of the growing gap between rich and poor to advance his agenda. On July 26, 1953, he and a small band of guerrillas attacked military barracks at the eastern end of the island. Batista’s men captured and tried him, but it gave Castro the opportunity to register an impassioned sound bite to the world. "Sentence me. Lige meget. History will absolve me." In a way, it did.

So in 1960, Castro was still a hero to the masses, if not the middle class and above. His wealth destroying economic policies had not yet done their worst – most of that was still in the future. The tidy, idealized conception of what America meant to the designers of Plan Trinidad was unrecognizable to most of the Cuban people.

I think it is distinctly possible that the CIA was dreaming if it really believed in massive local support regarding the Bay of Pigs invasion. The rebellion in Hungary, if that was considered relevant, came only after eleven years of Communist rule and in the wake of a program of de-Stalinization that weakened the chains. Castro had been in power just a little over two years.

And it seems to me that Trinidad’s assumption that a beachhead would be established on Cuban soil and maintained for two weeks to a month in the face of Castro’s sizable forces suggests they did not actually believe it - unless they were confident about and well-connected with the Escambray rebellion. The agency was growing in power and confidence. They may have sought use Trinidad as an initial lever for later military support since it does not seem that the Escambray rebellion could have succeeded otherwise.

But that all became academic when JFK killed Trinidad, replacing it with the Zapata Plan that had been kluged together in three days and did not even assume local support.

Even if the Trinidad plan would have worked, given the CIA’s operational connections with the Mafia via Howard Hughes executive Robert Maheu, is seems likely that Batista or a clone of him would have ruled Cuba instead of Castro.