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A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.
Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.
Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.
American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions.
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
1955 Bilderberg Meeting Notes
It was not in the interests of the West that there should be a general atomic war, and if war did come atomic weapons should be restricted to the minimum use in the minimum geographic area wherever possible, while still achieving the objectives for which we would be fighting. Meanwhile, it was absolutely necessary that the West should maintain, and increase, its strength, that NATO should be given all the assistance possible to this end and that the free institutions of the West should be strengthened and made more vital in order to meet changing conditions.
The American economic system was now fully engaged; there were a few evidences of weaknesses in it, largely in the area of deterioration in the quality of credit here and there, in the field of construction and consumer credit. Certain actions had been taken, with productive results, in the first area. In the second, where the government was not now in possession of specific weapons to deal with the problem, public attention not only of bankers, investment companies, and finance companies but of citizens themselves had been focused upon it. There was every prospect in the United States of continuing to achieve reasonably steady growth in real income, widely distributed among the population with a considerable degree of stability in price averages.
As regards the long run, he thought that President Eisenhower's expectation of October 1954, of a $500 billion economy within ten years at stable prices, now seemed to be somewhat on the modest side. The problem for America now seemed to be a shortage rather than a surplus of labour.
The issue of the Dimona reactor was among President Kennedy’s top issues immediately after he took office on 20 January 1961. On 30 January Secretary of State Dean Rusk submitted to Kennedy a two-page report about Israel’s atomic energy activities. The next day Kennedy met departing American Ambassador to Israel, Ogden Reid, primarily to be briefed about the matter of Dimona. Reid told Kennedy that an inspection of the Dimona reactor could be arranged, "if it is done on a secret basis."