Thursday, December 17, 2015

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower (1890-1969), a Republican, was the 34th President of the United States, serving two terms from 1953 to 1961. Prior to his presidency, Eisenhower was a lifelong military man, commanding the D-Day invasion while serving as Supreme Allied Commander in Europe during World War II.

General Eisenhower was never in combat on the battlefront. The majority of his military career (23 of 38 years) was at the rank of major or lieutenant colonel, mid-level field ranks. He spent a great deal of his military career in staff positions as a planner or trainer and not as a commander of combat army units. He was an aide to the legendary general Douglas MacArthur who was very difficult to deal with.

General Eisenhower's skill at dealing with difficult personalities persuaded President Roosevelt to promote him to become the commanding general of the largest amphibious military invasion in history on the beaches of Normandy. This was a landing force of nine allied countries that required the overall commander to have great interpersonal skills and planning and coordination abilities.

The Eisenhower Doctrine, as the proposal soon came to be known, established the Middle East as a Cold War (1945-91) battlefield.

Background of the Eisenhower Doctrine

The United States believed that the situation in the Middle East degenerated badly during 1956, and Egyptian leader Gamal Nasser (1918-70) was deemed largely responsible. America used Nasser’s anti-Western nationalism and his increasingly close relations with the Soviet Union as justification for withdrawing U.S. support for the construction of the Aswan Dam on the Nile River in July 1956. Less than a month later, Nasser seized control of the Suez Canal. This action prompted, in late October, a coordinated attack by French, British and Israeli military forces on Egypt. Suddenly, it appeared that the Middle East might be the site of World War III.

The Eisenhower Doctrine received its first call to action in the summer of 1958, when civil strife in Lebanon led that nation’s president to request American assistance. Nearly 15,000 U.S. troops were sent to help quell the disturbances. With the Eisenhower Doctrine and the first action taken in its name, the United States demonstrated its interest in Middle East developments.

Did You Know

In September 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower sent federal troops to Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, to enforce the Supreme Court’s order to desegregate public schools.

Eisenhower Quotes

"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."