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President Eisenhower is very well-known for having warned about the “military-industrial complex” in his Farewell Address. There, he was expressing the worry that the United States’ economy would come to depend too completely on military spending. He worried that the combined power of the military and the businesses that produced military materiel would come to endanger American democracy.
However, this was not the first thing that Eisenhower had done or said that showed that he was worried about military spending. Worries about military spending also had an impact on his foreign policy. Eisenhower was worried that the US was spending too much on the military and that the country would be bankrupted by the strain of having to spend so much on the military. For this reason, he wanted to promote the use of nuclear weapons as a deterrent. He felt nuclear weapons would provide “more bang for the buck.” He thought that nuclear weapons were cheaper than maintaining a large military with conventional weapons. Therefore, he at least talked about the idea of using the threat of nuclear weapons to deter enemies from engaging in any aggression against the US or its interests.
Eisenhower, then, was very worried about the possibility that military spending would become too expensive to sustain.
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