Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. 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. 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.
We merely want to live in peace with all the world, to trade with them, to commune with them, to learn from their culture as they may learn from ours, so that the products of our toil may be used for our schools and our roads and our churches and not for guns and planes and tanks and ships of war.
These are powerful quotes and represent a strong shift in direction that Eisenhower took in the latter part of his administration. I appreciate that rather than rest on his laurels and successes in wartime, he turned his experience in this direction – to encouraging a reduction in arms in the last part of his presidency.
There is a documentary on the arms race in this country (I’m forgetting the name) that shows how we built up the military that we now have. I watched part of it on PBS. I’m not sure if it had these particular quotes, but it certainly touched on his position by the time he left office.