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"Why We Fight" Essay

909 words - 4 pages

Fifty years ago, on January 17, 1961 President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his farewell address to the nation. He talked about the dangers of deficit spending and of future planning. But, the main point that Eisenhower made that caused his farewell address to become famous was his valid concern and warning of the military-industry complex and it’s ability to destroy our security and liberty. Based on research and past events Eisenhower was correct in doing so because of America’s need for success and their ability to pay any cost to do so.

In his speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower forewarned the American people about the development of a 'military-industrial complex,' and the threats it might pose. He said, "The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." (Eisenhower, 1961) His fears were warranted by the extreme development of the US Armed Forces after two world wars, and by the development of a "permanent arms industry of vast proportions". Today, both the military and the industry that succumbs to the military’s needs are vaster than ever. From present uneasy perspective, the 1950s are thought of as a time when everything had some order, ease and assurance. And, even though when President Eisenhower first gave his farewell address, he was thought to have been senile for his apparent animosity towards his country, now he though to be an intelligent and revered statesman who would never consider leading the U.S. into the situations we are currently in. Eisenhower was correct when he warned and forecast that the military-industry complex was “economic, political, even spiritual” and it was “felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government.” (Ledbetter, 2011)

A large standing military was one of the problems that he mentioned in his farewell address. Eisenhower thought this was prominent because he feared the likelihood of a “garrison state” and was right to be concerned. He was not requesting for troops to pull back from overseas battles or a complete ceasefire in the Cold War. (Hari, 2011) He also was not requesting for the demolition of the “military-industrial complex,” but instead ‘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.” Americans needed to be cautious regarding these new forces in the United States’ social order.” (Eisenhower, 1961) This advice appears reasonable, but hardly what some one opposing the war would be spouting off about but, it is not hard to believe that this weaponry industry, manipulates public knowledge to achieve its own needs. (Ledbetter, 2011) However, Eisenhower was concerned with much more than just the military abundance; he was also concerned about its direct correlation to America’s economy and society. He stated that the economy risked becoming a subsidiary of the military if we continue to let it grow. He exclaimed to...

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