Avoiding the Necessity
“Avoid the necessity of those overgrown military establishments, which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.” -George Washington, 1st US president, general (1732-1799)
I know its out-of-fashion to lean back, draw an uncluttered vision of the past in our minds and simply reflect. But Washington’s comment reflected a general’s view of combat and matches mirror-like another general and president’s statement by Dwight Eisenhower to “Beware the military-industrial complex.”
It’s no surprise to me that both men served in times of existential wars, the first in a war of birth and the second a war of survival. They, along with Harry Truman, are among our most revered leaders and each of them had seen up close the human and physical destruction of combat.
Truman’s answer was the Marshall Plan, the first time in human history that a conqueror footed the bill to rebuild the conquered so that Europe and…