arms race

With the U.S. and Russia feuding over the range of ICBM’s, you can look forward to another arms race. This means that taxes will soon go up, those bunkers that people used to sell to the paranoid rich, will be in vogue again and that Eisenhower’s criticism of the MIC, military industrial complex, a real thing, was well deserved.

MICEisenhower, or Ike, was one of my favorite Presidents. The 34th President of the U.S. and an extreme moderate, if there is such a thing. A Republican by party, a general during WWII, and enacted the Civil Rights Act of ’57. One of his biggest concerns was an arms race. . Eisenhower¬†was an American¬†army general¬†and statesman who served as the 34th¬†President of the United States¬†from 1953 to 1961. During¬†World War II, he was a¬†five-star general¬†in the¬†United States Army¬†and served as¬†Supreme Commander¬†of the¬†Allied Expeditionary Forces¬†in Europe. He was responsible for planning and supervising the invasion of¬†North Africa¬†in¬†Operation Torch¬†in 1942‚Äď43 and the successful¬†invasion of France¬†and¬†Germany¬†in 1944‚Äď45 from the¬†Western Front.

Born¬†David Dwight Eisenhower¬†in¬†Denison, Texas, he was raised in¬†Kansas, (it seems that Kansas or people associated with Kansas, have a tendency to turn out good Presidents),¬†in a large family of mostly¬†Pennsylvania Dutch¬†ancestry. His family had a strong religious background. His mother was born a¬†Lutheran, married as a¬†River Brethren, and later became a¬†Jehovah’s Witness. Even so, Eisenhower did not belong to any organized church until 1952. He cited constant relocation during his military career as one reason.¬†He graduated from¬†West Point¬†in 1915 and later married¬†Mamie Doud, with whom he had two sons. During¬†World War I, he was denied a request to serve in Europe and instead commanded a unit that trained tank crews. Following the war, he served under various generals and was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in 1941. After the U.S. entered World War II, Eisenhower oversaw the successful invasions of North Africa and¬†Sicily¬†before supervising the invasions of France and Germany. After the war, Eisenhower served as¬†Army Chief of Staff¬†and then took on the uncomfortable role as president of¬†Columbia University. In 1951‚Äď52, he served as the first¬†Supreme Commander of NATO.

In 1952, Eisenhower entered the¬†presidential race¬†as a¬†Republican¬†to block the foreign policies of Senator¬†Robert A. Taft. He won that election and the 1956 election in landslides, both times defeating¬†Adlai Stevenson II. He became the first Republican-elected President since¬†Herbert Hoover¬†in 1928. Eisenhower’s main goals in office were to contain the expansion of the¬†Soviet Union¬†and reduce federal deficits. In 1953, he threatened the use of nuclear weapons until China agreed to terms regarding POWs in the¬†Korean War. An¬†armistice¬†ended the stalemated conflict. His¬†New Look¬†policy of¬†nuclear deterrence¬†prioritized inexpensive¬†nuclear weapons¬†while reducing funding for expensive Army divisions. He continued¬†Harry S. Truman’s policy of recognizing the¬†Republic of China¬†as the legitimate government of China, and he won congressional approval of the¬†Formosa Resolution. His administration provided major aid to help the French fight off Vietnamese Communists in the¬†First Indochina War. After the French left he gave strong financial support to the new state of¬†South Vietnam. He supported local military coups against governments in¬†Iran¬†and¬†Guatemala. During the¬†Suez Crisis¬†of 1956, Eisenhower condemned the Israeli, British and French invasion of Egypt, and he forced them to withdraw. He also condemned the Soviet invasion during the¬†Hungarian Revolution of 1956¬†but took no action. During the¬†Syrian Crisis of 1957¬†he approved a CIA-MI6 plan to stage fake border incidents as an excuse for an invasion by Syria’s pro-Western neighbors.¬†After the Soviet Union launched¬†Sputnik¬†in 1957, Eisenhower¬†authorized¬†the establishment of¬†NASA, which led to the¬†Space Race. He deployed 15,000 soldiers during the¬†1958 Lebanon crisis. Near the end of his term, his efforts to set up a summit meeting with the Soviets collapsed when a¬†U.S. spy plane was shot down over Russia. He approved the¬†Bay of Pigs invasion, which was left to his successor to carry out.

On the domestic front, Eisenhower was a moderate¬†conservative¬†who continued¬†New Deal¬†agencies and expanded¬†Social Security. He covertly opposed¬†Joseph McCarthy¬†and contributed to the end of¬†McCarthyism¬†by openly invoking¬†executive privilege. Eisenhower signed the¬†Civil Rights Act of 1957¬†and sent Army troops to enforce federal court orders that integrated schools in¬†Little Rock, Arkansas. His largest program was the¬†Interstate Highway System. He promoted the establishment of strong science education via the¬†National Defense Education Act. Eisenhower’s two terms saw widespread economic prosperity except for a¬†minor recession in 1958. In his¬†farewell address to the nation, Eisenhower expressed his concerns about the dangers of massive military spending, particularly¬†deficit spending¬†and government contracts to private military manufacturers. He was voted Gallup’s most admired man twelve times and also achieved widespread popular esteem both in and out of office.¬†Historical evaluations of his presidency place him among¬†the upper tier¬†of U.S. presidents.