Eisenhower

  • “They Bought Us Time to Do Better”

    One week before D-Day, on May 29, 1944, Britain’s air chief marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory approached General Dwight Eisenhower with a warning.  As commander of the airborne assault on D-Day, Leigh-Mallory’s paratrooper and glider units would be among the first to assault Hitler’s Atlantic Wall, and the British general was worried.  The Germans had been reinforcing parts of the region targeted by U.S. airborne forces.  By his calculations, glider forces would … Read More

  • The Opportunity Costs of Today’s Politics

    I like Ike.  On April 16, 1953, five weeks after the death of Soviet premier Joseph Stalin, Eisenhower delivered the “Chance for Peace” speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors.  It is a classic of cold war political warfare with the Soviet Union—but it’s also a beautiful exposition of the concept of “opportunity cost.” Eisenhower described in the most human terms how the arms race between the Soviet Union … Read More

  • 70 Years of NATO Makes us Stronger

    I’m in Washington, DC, for the 70th anniversary of the Washington Treaty—the treaty that founded the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949.  I was a guest of Senator Whitehouse at the address by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to a joint session of Congress.  The day resonated with me on multiple levels: as a historian—who is mindful that alliances take willpower to make work; and as a defense-geek who appreciates … Read More