Pa­pers shed light on Eisen­hower speech

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

ABILENE, Kansas: Newly dis­cov­ered doc­u­ments from a cabin owned by Pres­i­dent Dwight D Eisen­hower’s speech­writer are shed­ding more light on the evo­lu­tion of the for­mer gen­eral’s his­toric farewell ad­dress nearly 50 years ago, and his fears that Amer­ica’s bur­geon­ing mil­i­tary prow­ess was driv­ing its for­eign pol­icy.

The doc­u­ments, por­tions of which ap­peared on the Eisen­hower Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary’s re­search web­site be­fore their pub­lic un­veil­ing yes­ter­day, are ex­pected to shed more light on the ori­gins of the term “mil­i­taryin­dus­trial com­plex” – phras­ing used by Eisen­hower in the speech to warn against un­bri­dled mil­i­tary devel­op­ment. The phrase be­gan as “war­based” in­dus­trial com­plex be­fore be­com­ing “mil­i­tary” in later drafts.

Grant Moos, son of Eisen­hower aide Mal­colm Moos, dis­cov­ered the pa­pers – cov­ered with pinecones, dirt and other de­bris – in a cabin in Min­nesota.

“We are just so for­tu­nate that these pa­pers were dis­cov­ered,” said Karl Weis­senbach, di­rec­tor of the Eisen­hower Pres­i­den­tial Li­brary in Abilene.

“We were fi­nally able to fill in the gaps of the ad­dress. For a num­ber of years it was ap­par­ent that there were gaps.”

The pa­pers show how Eisen­hower and his staff spent two years pre­par­ing for his good­bye to the nation and why he de­cided to in­clude his con­cern about how Amer­ica’s mil­i­tary buildup had come to dic­tate for­eign pol­icy in the speech.

One doc­u­ment fea­tures a type­writ­ten note from Eisen­hower lament­ing that when he joined the mil­i­tary in 1911, there were 84 000 sol­diers – a num­ber that bal­looned roughly ten­fold by 1960. – Sapa-AP

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