(Commemorative Plaque of Dwight Eisenhower opening NBC Studios at 4000 Nebraska Avenue, NW on May 22, 1958; photo credit: Steve Clemons)
With the benefit of time, it’s increasingly clear that Dwight Eisenhower was one of America’s greatest Presidents.
Eisenhower maneuvered the US away from the collision course with the Soviet Union that his lead national security advisers and the top tier of the Republican Party wanted at that time and instead adopted a version of ‘modified containment’ of Soviet global ambitions.
He warned of an uncontrollable military industrial complex — which we see today in spades in the military/intelligence industrial complex that the Washington Post‘s Dana Priest and William Arkin have profiled.
Today, I think Eisenhower would focus a substantial amount of his time on Israel-Arab peace, and on the Iran challenge. He would not approach the challenge weakly — and would work hard to incentivize Iran away from its nuclear course.
He would see Afghanistan as a power-deflator, as he would the gridlock in Israel-Palestine negotiations, and he would cut his vulnerabilities in these areas as a way to shore up his capacity and tools to influence Iran.
Barack Obama should be doing the same.
— Steve Clemons