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Dwight Eisenhower on Military Spending
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ruveyn
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 7:15 pm    Post subject: Dwight Eisenhower on Military Spending Reply with quote

Here is what Einsenhower had to say:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. […] Is there no other way the world may live?

–Dwight David Eisenhower, “The Chance for Peace,” speech given to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Apr. 16, 1953.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's nice, but he was president at this time, and nothing should be taken as granted when politics are involved.

This quote had a special reason at a special time. It was the cold war and the new escalation in expenses could jeopardize peace and economy ( and also the New Deal and the image of the "good guy")

http://www.truthandpolitics.org/military-relative-size.php
http://www.militarybudget.info/

Was this quote ever taken seriously as it is by anyone in power? I don't think so, I don't see a reason for it to be taken seriously. Why would you leave a place that you control? Army is like nature, it don't like emptiness.
If tomorrow the military expenses fell, it would only be because of the lack of money. It might sound a bit nihilistic but the History of humanity seems to tend to that.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I still think it's quite relevant to today's situation. I also recall it was him that warned us against the militaro-industrial complex. <.<
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

phil777 wrote:
I still think it's quite relevant to today's situation. I also recall it was him that warned us against the militaro-industrial complex. <.<


Yes it was. And half our budget goes to military or military related operations. On top of which our government (regardless of party, mind you) has opted for the policy of Perpetual War. We need a low boiling point war at all times to keep the minds of the public distracted from just how vile and base our government is.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity."
Dwight D. Eisenhower

When President Eisenhower warned us about the military-industrial complex, at the time that statement was a very big deal. A hell of a position to make so clear in so many quotes, for a president who got into office based on his achievements as a general! I'm sure some things he said were influenced by politics but when he coined the phrase "military-industrial complex" it was clearly not politically motivated. He saw that the massive war machine the US created to win WW2 was alive and would try to stay alive and grow and thrive and that would obviously make war more likely.

Obviously the above quote in my post is "real" as well. Many soldiers I know, especially as they get older, hate everything about war.

I say this having worked for the US military-industrial complex for a decade (no longer!) as a contractor, not to mention having a brother in frikkin Iraq risking his life and missing his children/family when we shouldn't have ever gone and f****d that country up in the first place.

Eisenhower is a hero of mine...
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 07, 2010 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eisenhower was a pinko liberal. What he says is true--military spending does impoverish people. But, he's a pinko liberal for saying so.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pandabear wrote:
Eisenhower was a pinko liberal. What he says is true--military spending does impoverish people. But, he's a pinko liberal for saying so.


No. He was a person who understood our military establishment and why it has to be controlled and limited. Eisenhower was a great deal wiser than people give him credit for.

I think he glimpsed what is now a reality. The government(s) of the U.S. are committed to a policy of perpetual war. Wars that we will never win since victory is not our goal. Small wars that will impoverish the people of this country and give the government clout that it should not have. Wars without end. What sort of future is that for our grandchildren and great grandchildren.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pandabear wrote:
Eisenhower was a pinko liberal. What he says is true--military spending does impoverish people. But, he's a pinko liberal for saying so.


yes, so let us just keep sweeping it under the rug, shall we? Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 10:20 am    Post subject: Re: Dwight Eisenhower on Military Spending Reply with quote

ruveyn wrote:
Here is what Einsenhower had to say:

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. […] Is there no other way the world may live?

–Dwight David Eisenhower, “The Chance for Peace,” speech given to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, Apr. 16, 1953.


----

Eisenhower was quite a president.

...archives.gov/presidential-libraries/visit/eisenhower.html/ (state of Kansas)
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

CharlieInTheBox wrote:
"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity."
Dwight D. Eisenhower


People often despise things they aren't very good at. Eisenhower was at best a mediocre General. However (before all the yanks start crying), he WAS a very good mediator. Its unlikely anybody else could have managed the monolithic egos of the officers in the field, even if his management style did prolong the war and cost millions of lives. The man was a politician who had been a soldier, not a soldier who became a politician.

His management style appears to have been "agree with the person to whom last you spoke". Might stop arguments, but I'm not so sure it makes for great decision or decisive action.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 1:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Macbeth wrote:
CharlieInTheBox wrote:
"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity."
Dwight D. Eisenhower


People often despise things they aren't very good at. Eisenhower was at best a mediocre General. However (before all the yanks start crying), he WAS a very good mediator. Its unlikely anybody else could have managed the monolithic egos of the officers in the field, even if his management style did prolong the war and cost millions of lives. The man was a politician who had been a soldier, not a soldier who became a politician.

His management style appears to have been "agree with the person to whom last you spoke". Might stop arguments, but I'm not so sure it makes for great decision or decisive action.


Eisenhower excelled at keeping the Allies united and focused on the objective, to wit, beating the Nazis bloody. He had to keep prima donnas such a George Patten and Bernard Montgomery from losing the war because of their monumental egos. In that role Eisenhower was absolutely perfect.

Out on the battle field where the bullets and shells are flying I want a Patten in command. At the higher level of managing the war I want an Eisenhower in command.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ruveyn wrote:
Macbeth wrote:
CharlieInTheBox wrote:
"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity."
Dwight D. Eisenhower


People often despise things they aren't very good at. Eisenhower was at best a mediocre General. However (before all the yanks start crying), he WAS a very good mediator. Its unlikely anybody else could have managed the monolithic egos of the officers in the field, even if his management style did prolong the war and cost millions of lives. The man was a politician who had been a soldier, not a soldier who became a politician.

His management style appears to have been "agree with the person to whom last you spoke". Might stop arguments, but I'm not so sure it makes for great decision or decisive action.


Eisenhower excelled at keeping the Allies united and focused on the objective, to wit, beating the Nazis bloody. He had to keep prima donnas such a George Patten and Bernard Montgomery from losing the war because of their monumental egos. In that role Eisenhower was absolutely perfect.

Out on the battle field where the bullets and shells are flying I want a Patten in command. At the higher level of managing the war I want an Eisenhower in command.

ruveyn


Problem is he managed to prevent his Prima Donnas winning the war more than once as well. If Eisenhower's military flair was a colour, he would have been... beige.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Macbeth wrote:


Problem is he managed to prevent his Prima Donnas winning the war more than once as well. If Eisenhower's military flair was a colour, he would have been... beige.


That cuts both ways. Recall the Operation Market Garden which Eisenhower approved and conceived by Montgomery was a major cock-up. Some of the worst defeats and surrenders of the war resulted from that abomination.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 08, 2010 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ruveyn wrote:
Macbeth wrote:


Problem is he managed to prevent his Prima Donnas winning the war more than once as well. If Eisenhower's military flair was a colour, he would have been... beige.


That cuts both ways. Recall the Operation Market Garden which Eisenhower approved and conceived by Montgomery was a major cock-up. Some of the worst defeats and surrenders of the war resulted from that abomination.

ruveyn


That would be the operation that Eisenhower agreed to support when talking to Monty, and then didn't actually bother to provide most of said "support" because he was too busy waffling on about his expensive and unnecessary "broad front"? The same operation that came within a couple of miles of actually working rather well? That "abomination" was 90% a success, even WITH all the things that went wrong. For the sake of a few more Dakotas, it might well have turned out to be a raging success. (If the reduced strength of 1st Airborne division managed to hold out for 9 days after actually gaining control of the target bridge with less than half a brigade, against a Panzer division no less, it seems reasonable to believe that the WHOLE division deployed on day one would have had rather greater success. Add in the Polish brigade being delivered earlier, and the whole operation swings in favour of the allies. Even WITH some of the ludicrous and ill-informed planning decisions the operation could still have been a success. (Perhaps one of the worst decisions was the placement of Major Gen. Urquhart as leader of 1st Airborne. He was an infantry officer brought in to replace a much more experienced airborne officer who mysteriously ended up transferred to the Far East, in what would appear to be internal politicking by Boy Browning, by many accounts a bit of a self-interested tosser more concerned with bulking out his pension than serious warfighting. A more experienced airborne man would have argued about dropping his troops so far away from the target that they might as well have BEEN infantry to start with. Thus Urquhart ended up trying to fight an infantry battle with troops that are simply not equipped for that manner of warfare. Remarkable that they managed as well as they did.

Of course if Eisenhower hadn't been so caught up with his "broad front" there is every reason to believe that Allied troops could have been sat in Berlin way ahead of the Russians, and Market Garden would never have been needed. But then that's what happens when you are beige.

(Incidentally that's the same thing Eisenhower did every time he dealt with Monty. "Sure, I'm fully behind you 100% until I get out of this trailer and then you get titty because Patton has been moaning at me again. When I get to Patton, I'll tell him the same damn thing." If there was one thing that Patton and Monty ever agreed on (and there really was just the one thing) then it was that a single thrust by a single ground commander would knacker the Germans for good. What they didn't agree on was WHO should be that commander. Monty was so convinced it was the way to go, he even offered to let someone else be that commander, just so long as it happened.

To be fair though, the beige malaise goes right back to the states, where American voter opinion drove the decision making for a conflict across nations many Americans would struggle to locate on a map, blundering blithely through political and geographical boundaries often created centuries before a cross-Atlantic voyage was even considered feasible, serving American requirements for future world politics. Eisenhower would never be allowed to let a "damn limey" run the show. Sad really, because plenty of brave American lads got slaughtered for the sake of political manoeuvring when they didn't really have to die.
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