After I finished reading “Three Days in January”, by Brett Baier, I realized that it was a book of contrasts. The Three Days refers to the period between President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s televised Farewell Address to the Nation, on January 17, 1961, and President John F. Kennedy’s Inauguration, three days later. “Ike”, had been the oldest President, at the time of his Inauguration, while JFK was the youngest.
The book is a juxtaposition of an autobiography of “General” Eisenhower, which he prefers to be called, and his efforts to convey some wisdom, to his successor. The General had both planned for the Allied Forces Invasion of Normandy (France) in 1945, as well as commanded them. So Ike was both a strategist as well as an experienced President, by then. But, the young President-Elect felt strongly about his own ways. But, three months into his Term, once the “Bay of Pigs Invasion”, in Cuba, turned into a disaster, JFK sought the older man’s counsel on a number of occasions.
President Eisenhower often reflected on the writings and speeches of another old general, our First President, George Washington. Both presidents felt strongly that military might should be used primarily as a tool with which to Wage Peace! Following the Revolutionary War, the Continental Army had been disbanded, and a small national army was not subsequently established until 1787. And both men warned about the consequences of building too large of a military, lest it begin to control the nation’s policies.
In fact, General Eisenhower warned about the burgeoning Military Industrial Complex, during his Farewell Address. Defense corporations generate profits by selling weapons systems to he Pentagon. The corporations hire retired generals and admirals to introduce their sales staffs to former colleagues at Defense, and the companies seal the deal by making campaign contributions to members of Congress, while promising jobs in heir districts. Oftentimes, the sales process trumps any rational need for more and more weaponry!
The difference between President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Donald J. Trump would be light years apart. Ike, the simple Kansan, led the multinational Allied Expeditionary Force against Nazi Germany, during World War II. And then, he led the New World Order against the Soviet Union, during the newly developing Cold War. Trump has spent his whole life in privilege, he inherited his father’s family owned business, has he has been a lifelong huckster, The general knows the horror of war, and the huckster thinks of it only in a frivolous manner. and as someone else’s war to fight.
Authoritarian governments: control their national media, through state ownership or tight-fisted censorship; nationalize corporations—especially the military hardware—or bribe them into following government agendas; and they shift significant vital resources to enhance the already over-bloated Military (Industrial) Complex. Does this seem to be Donald Trump’s game plan?
If we already have significantly more fighters, missiles, etc, than China or Russia, why should we deplete vital domestic resources to fund what is no longer necessary? And, how might that larger-than-necessary Military be used, in the wrong hands—Donald Trump’s hands? No one tells the People that the excess is merely superfluous!
NOTE: The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), a British think tank, headquartered in London, founded in 1958, and is focused on International Affairs. It reported that the 2015 Defense Budgets, for the U. S., China and Russia were as follows: $597.5 billion; $145.8B and $65,6B, respectively. Also, 10 of the 12 remaining nations in the Top 15 are all U. S. Allies, leaving only Brazil ($24.3B) and India ($48.0B) out.
HISTORICAL NOTE: When Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower left newly Inaugurated President John F. Kennedy, on that chilly January day in 1961, they left some papers with him. The General had left paperwork for the new President to request Congress to re-call President Dwight D. Eisenhower back to active duty, as a General-of-the-Army (five stars). That Bill was passed unanimously. At the farm in Gettysburg, the red flag of a General immediately went up, and General Eisenhower was buried in his World War II uniform. This is why I generally referred to Ike as General, more so than President.