By Michael J. Hogan
A move of Iron presents the fullest account but of the nationwide safeguard kingdom that emerged within the first decade of the chilly struggle. Michael J. Hogan lines the method of state-making via struggles to unify the militia, harness technology to army reasons, mobilize army manpower, keep watch over the security funds, and distribute the price of safety around the financial system. President Harry S. Truman and his successor have been in the course of a primary contest over the nation's political id and postwar objective, and their efforts decided the scale and form of the nationwide safeguard country that eventually emerged.
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Extra resources for A Cross of Iron: Harry S. Truman and the Origins of the National Security State, 1945–1954
4 As Patterson's remark pointed out, national security needs had started to dissolve the usual distinction between war and peace in the minds of American policy makers. 5 "Wars are no longer fought solely by the armed forces," explained Fleet Admiral Ernest J. King. "6 This kind of thinking was characteristic of the national security ideology, as was the conviction that total war required a total system of military preparedness, what Secretary of the Navy James V. Forrestal called a "comprehensive and dynamic program" to which all citizens would contribute, whatever the sacrifices involved.
The traditional commitment to a balanced budget and to such older values as antistatism, antimilitarism, and isolationism also had important implications in the realm of grand strategy. They influenced the thinking of conservatives in the Great Debate that began in 1950 and in the Truman-MacArthur controversy of 1951, particularly their support for a hemispheric system of defense that would limit the size and cost of the military establishment. Nor do these two episodes tell the whole story. The same values and traditions also help to explain congressional support for a vigorous expansion of the Air Force at the expense of the Army and the Navy.
The conservatives, as this suggests, claimed to speak for local governments and regional traditions that were losing out not only to Wall Street but also to Washington, and for small, independent producers who had once been viewed as the bedrock of American democracy. As they saw it, small and medium-size firms were being ground under the heels of powerful labor unions and the modern welfare state, not to mention elite commercial enterprises. They could not afford the higher wages demanded by labor, the higher taxes needed to support liberal social programs, and the lower tariffs required to forge a multilateral system of world trade.