Évènements Évènement
LibelléDiscours d'Eisenhower, dit Chance for Peace
Date (début)16/04/1953
SynopsisThe pressures Eisenhower faced during his presidency were enormous. Over the years, as the Soviet Union appeared to reach military parity with the United States, political forces in Washington cried out for greater defense spending and a more aggressive approach to Moscow. In response, the administration publicly asserted that there was no such thing as absolute security. The problem in defense is how far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without, Eisenhower said. And he followed through, balancing the budget three times during his tenure, a record unmatched during the Cold War.

This theme was introduced at the start of Eisenhower's first term. On April 16, 1953, the new president spoke to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, just weeks after Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin's death. In this Chance for Peace speech - one as important as the farewell address but often overlooked by historians - he seized the moment to outline the cost of continued tensions with the U.S.S.R. In addition to the military dangers such a rivalry imposed, he said, the confrontation would exact an enormous domestic price on both societies:

This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. . . . We pay for a single fighter with a half-million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. . . . This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.


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