Dwight D. Eisenhower: Cost of War

Posted by admin on Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Dwight D. Eisenhower Money Quote saying the amount that is spent for the implements of war could build homes, roads, provide food and all the needs of a wealthy society many times over. Dwight D. Eisenhower said:
 
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 50 miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a a half million bushels of wheat Quote
 

“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 50 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” — Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

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Based on the context and Eisenhower’s presidency, it can be inferred that he delivered this message sometime during the 1950s when he served as President from 1953 to 1961. This was during the peak of the Cold War and arms race between the United States and Soviet Union, so Eisenhower likely aimed these remarks at persuading for reduced military spending and a refocusing of resources on social programs.

In this quote, Dwight D. Eisenhower is lamenting how resources spent on advanced weapons and military technology could instead be used to improve people’s lives if directed towards needs like education, infrastructure and healthcare.

He argues that the cost of a single bomber, fighter plane or destroyer exceeds what it could provide in terms of schools, hospitals, housing and other beneficial projects.

Eisenhower’s interpretation is that continually prioritizing defense over development through massive military budgets is not a sustainable way of life and does not serve humanity well.

His view seems to be that rising tensions and spending on arms have created an oppressive system where resources are misallocated, to the detriment of basic social and economic progress.

The overall message conveys Eisenhower’s belief that alternatives to an arms race focus could lift “humanity from a cross of iron” and enhance people’s welfare.

Birthday: October 14, 1890 – Death: March 28, 1969

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