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Eisenhower and the Military

Eisenhower coined the phrase “military industrial complex” and warned us about the undue influence it seeks.  Although this was in his farewell address in January 1961, he made similar statements on taking office in 1953.

What the peace movement too often forgets is Eisenhower’s role in establishing the military industrial complex after World War II.  In 1946 Ike called for our keeping some major military factories running to be perpetually ready for the next war.  This strategy was in sharp contrast with the founding fathers fear of a large standing army that would corrupt the economy and weaken civil rights.

Churchill came to Missouri to give his Iron Curtain speech, start the Cold War, and get the United States to take over world security where the British Empire left off.  The Joint Chiefs of Staff and the War Department both opposed what Truman, the Secretary of State, and Eisenhower wanted and got with the 1947 National Security Act.  The military wanted to return to the successful American tradition of a small military between wars filled with volunteers during wartime.

Truman had the military at 5% of the economy in the late forties, but Eisenhower doubled the military to 10% of the economy in the fifties.  That doubling of the military took us twenty years to get back down to the Truman levels.

So when Peace Fest comes at 5pm on the Saturday before Thanksgiving at the Marquis Room 6220 Nesbitt Road and we explore the Cuban Missile Crisis and other events of the early sixties fifty years ago this year, consider the start of the Eisenhower story before the warning.

Details on and in

Dr. Bob Reuschlein,  Dr. Peace,  608-230-6640


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