July 01, 2018

Eisenhower's Farewell Warning

John T. Correll

President Dwight D. Eisenhower had a strong grasp of the importance of national security and the issues surrounding it. He was a five-star general and arguably the most distinguished military commander of the 20th century.

At the same time, he deplored the arms race and described it in terms of resources that might have been allocated instead to building schools, hospitals, and housing. He was also known to be angered by the clamor of the “munitions lobby” for increased military spending. None of this, however, set up an expectation for the central theme of Eisenhower’s farewell address, delivered from the White House on national television Jan. 17, 1961, three days before he left office.