A Cross of Iron: Harry S. Truman and the Origins of the by Michael J. Hogan

By Michael J. Hogan

A pass of Iron presents the fullest account but of the nationwide safeguard country that emerged within the first decade of the chilly struggle. Michael J. Hogan strains the method of state-making via struggles to unify the militia, harness technological know-how to army reasons, mobilize army manpower, regulate the safeguard funds, and distribute the price of protection around the economic climate. President Harry S. Truman and his successor have been in the midst of a basic contest over the nation's political id and postwar function, and their efforts decided the scale and form of the nationwide protection nation that at last emerged.

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Additional resources for A Cross of Iron: Harry S. Truman and the Origins of the National Security State, 1945–1954

Sample text

38 A Cross of Iron he announced in a much-cited article published in 1944. " 32 Determined to accomplish this goal without diminishing the powers of his office, he urged Congress in December 1945 to unify the armed services in a single military establishment. Truman's speech drew a tight connection between national purpose and organizational imperatives. The war, he told Congress, had demonstrated the need for a national security organization that could use scarce resources efficiently, reconcile competing claims in an integrated budget, and coordinate military and foreign policies.

Forrestal had become president of the firm before entering government service on the eve of World War II, first as an aide to President Franklin Roosevelt and later as undersecretary and secretary of the navy. Eberstadt had left Dillon, Read a multimillionaire, launched his own investment and consulting firm, and then served during the war as chairman of the Army-Navy Munitions Board and vice chairman of the War Production Board. Needless to say, he brought his experiences in government and in the field of corporate reorganization to bear on his assignment for the Navy, not to mention his longtime friendship with Forrestal.

Although conservative critics would not prevail in the Great Debate, the traditional values they defended would lead to a system of collective security based on the principle of specialization and on a capital-intensive strategy of deterrence. Under this system, the United States would contribute foreign aid and high-technology weaponry, especially air atomic power, while allied governments would provide much of the military The National Security Discourse 21 manpower. This strategy would begin to emerge in the early years of the Truman administration, give way temporarily during the Korean War, and then reemerge as the so-called New Look in the 1950s.

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