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America at War - Essay Example

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President Eisenhower's Farewell Address to the nation in 1961 outlined quite a controversial plan for the future safety of America. Through the militarization of his country, Eisenhower believed that the United States could prosper in peace without ever having to actually use the military force that had been acquired since the Second World War…
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America at War

Eisenhower said that "a vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment". The two factors - peace and military might - are naturally at odds with each other and as such it is strange to find that the terms are so often promoted in conjunction with one another. Indeed, America continues along this line of logic still today, albeit in a different way than the former President had imagined. Eisenhower truly believed that the best way to secure peace for his nation was to become impenetrable; he thought that building one of the strongest military forces in the world would dissuade any potential enemies from acting out in a violent manner and taking American lives. Certainly it can be said that no other nation has waged war on America in the years following the Farewell Address, however the crucial difference between Eisenhower's vision and current American military exploits is the use of force upon other nations like Afghanistan and Iraq. Modern America pursues enemies that it perceives as ideological and terrorist threats; in the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq the United States has sought to retaliate for calculated attacks on American soil. The very presence of terrorism in the modern United States can show both how Eisenhower was justified in his belief of military might for peace, and how despite this proven ideology enemies find ways to strike. America's military strength means that no other nation in the world would seek open combat; therefore opposing views and enemy forces will not be represented by other states but as smaller, dynamic organizations.
The President also stressed his belief that America should not rely on the emergency weaponry that could be created by its own individual citizens at short notice; this was the military history of Eisenhower and he was concerned that in the future America should be able to count on its own federal arms reserve. The President had seen the world thrown into war as Nazi Germany and Japan tried to conquer foreign nations and eradicate entire groups of people they considered expendable. Stopping the German forces became one of the most difficult tasks the Allied forces would ever face, and as a result it is understandable that President Eisenhower worried about the future state of his country's military. Certainly in the face of international advancements in terms of arms, the United States could not afford to sit back and hope it would have no need for its military forces to be well-equipped. At the point of the Farewell Address, American federal funding had been vastly increased to its military and Eisenhower expressed his hope that this would continue to be increased as the country invested in scientific research that could change the face of the military completely. The President does not seem to have taken into consideration the fact that at the cue of the United States, other developed nations would decide to bulk up their own military forces in response. Specifically, take the Cold War into consideration and it is easy to see how this idea of an impenetrable nation is inextricable linked to the perception of a dangerous nation. In advancing further and ... Read More
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