Dwight D. Eisenhower photo

Special Message to the Congress on the Mutual Security Program.

March 13, 1959

To the Congress of the United States:

A year ago in concluding my message to the Congress on the Mutual Security Program I described it as of transcendent importance to the security of the United States. I said that our expenditures for mutual security are fully as important to our national defense as expenditures for our own forces. I stated my conviction that for the safety of our families, the future of our children, and our continued existence as a nation, we cannot afford to slacken our support of the Mutual Security Program.

The events of the intervening year have vividly demonstrated the truth of these statements. In this one year there have been crises of serious proportions in the Middle East, in the Far East, and in Europe. In each of these the strength built by our Mutual Security Program has been of immeasurable value.

At the time of the difficulty in Lebanon the uneasy balance of the Middle East would have been far more seriously endangered if it had not been for the stability of other Middle Eastern countries which our Mutual Security Program had helped build. Without our Mutual Security aid, Jordan, under severe pressures, would have faced collapse, with the danger of flaring conflict over her territory.

In the Far East, the firm stand of the Republic of China against the Communist attack on Quemoy would not have been possible without the arms and training furnished by our Mutual Security Program and by the high morale promoted by the economic progress we have helped forward on Taiwan. This successful local defense blunted an aggression which otherwise could have precipitated a major conflict.

In Europe today the Soviet Union has made demands regarding the future of Berlin which, if unmodified, could have perilous consequences. The resoluteness with which we and our allies will meet this issue has come about in large measure because our past programs of economic and military assistance to our NATO allies have aided them in strengthening the economies and the military power needed to stand firm in the face of threats.

While our Mutual Security Program has demonstrated a high value in these tense moments, its military and economic assistance to other areas has undoubtedly had an equal value in maintaining order and progress so that crises have not arisen.


I believe that these events of the past year and the stern, indeed harsh, realities of the world of today and the years ahead demonstrate the importance of the Mutual Security Program to the security of the United States. I think four such realities stand out.

First, the United States and the entire free world are confronted by the military might of the Soviet Union, Communist China, and their satellites. These nations of the Communist Bloc now maintain well-equipped standing armies totaling more than 6,500,000 men formed in some 400 divisions. They are deployed along the borders of our allies and friends from the northern shores of Europe to the Mediterranean Sea, around through the Middle East and Far East to Korea. These forces are backed by an air fleet of 25,000 planes in operational units, and many more not in such units. They, in turn, are supported by nuclear weapons and missiles. On the seas around this land mass is a large navy with several hundred submarines.

Second, the world is in a great epoch of seething change. Within little more than a decade a world-wide political revolution has swept whole nations--21 of them--with three-quarters of a billion people, a fourth of the world's population, from colonial status to independence-and others are pressing just behind. The industrial revolution, with its sharp rise in living standards, was accompanied by much turmoil in the Western world. A similar movement is now beginning to sweep Africa, Asia, and South America. A newer and even more striking revolution in medicine, nutrition, and sanitation is increasing the energies and lengthening the lives of people in the most remote areas. As a result of lowered infant mortality, longer lives, and the accelerating conquest of famine, there is underway a population explosion so incredibly great that in little more than another generation the population of the world is expected to double. Asia alone is expected to have one billion more people than the entire world has today. Throughout vast areas there is a surging social upheaval in which, overnight, the responsibilities of self-government are being undertaken by hundreds of millions, women are assuming new places in public life, old family patterns are being destroyed and new ones uneasily established. In the early years of independence, the people of the new nations are fired with a zealous nationalism which, unless channelled toward productive purposes, could lead to harmful developments. Transcending all this there is the accompanying universal determination to achieve a better life.

Third, there is loose in the world a fanatic conspiracy, International Communism, whose leaders have in two score years seized control of all or parts of 17 countries, with nearly one billion people, over a third of the total population of the earth. The center of this conspiracy, Soviet Russia, has by the grimmest determination and harshest of means raised itself to be the second military and economic power in the world today. Its leaders never lose the opportunity to declare their determination to become the first with all possible speed.

The other great Communist power, Red China, is now in the early stages of its social and economic revolution. Its leaders are showing the same ruthless drive for power and to this end are striving for ever increasing economic output. They seem not to care that the results-which thus far have been considerable in materialistic terms--are built upon the crushed spirits and the broken bodies of their people.

The fact that the Soviet Union has just come through a great revolutionary process to a position of enormous power and that the world's most populous nation, China, is in the course of tremendous change at the very time when so large a part of the free world is in the flux of revolutionary movements, provides Communism with what it sees as its golden opportunity. By the same token freedom is faced with difficulties of unprecedented scope and severity--and opportunity as well.

Communism exploits the opportunity to intensify world unrest by every possible means. At the same time Communism masquerades as the pattern of progress, as the path to economic equality, as the way to freedom from what it calls "Western imperialism", as the wave of the future.

For the free world there is the challenge to convince a billion people in the less developed areas that there is a way of life by which they can have bread and the ballot, a better livelihood and the right to choose the means of their livelihood, social change and social justice--in short, progress and liberty. The dignity of man is at stake.

Communism is determined to win this contest--freedom must be just as dedicated or the struggle could finally go against us. Though no shot would have been fired, freedom and democracy would have lost.

This battle is now joined. The next decade will forecast its outcome.

The fourth reality is that the military position and economic prosperity of the United States are interdependent with those of the rest of the free world.

As I shall outline more fully brow, our military strategy is part of a common defense effort involving many nations. The defense of the free world is strengthened and progress toward a more stable peace is advanced by the fact that powerful free world forces are established on territory adjoining the areas of Communist power. The deterrent power of our air and naval forces and our intermediate range missile is materially increased by the availability of bases in friendly countries abroad.

Moreover, the military strength of our country and the needs of our industry cannot be supplied from our own resources. Such basic necessities as iron ore, bauxite for aluminum, manganese, natural rubber, tin, and many other materials acutely important to our military and industrial strength are either not produced in our own country or are not produced in sufficient quantities to meet our needs. This is an additional reason why we must help to remain free the nations which supply these resources.

The challenge that confronts us is broad and deep--and will remain so for some time. Yet our gravest danger is not in these external facts but within ourselves--the possibility that in complacent satisfaction with our present wealth and preoccupation with increasing our own military power we may fail to recognize the realities around us and to deal with them with the vigor and tenacity their gravity requires.

We have the national capacity and the national program to surmount these dangers and many more. We have the strength of our free institutions, the productivity of our free economy, the power of our military forces, a foreign policy dedicated to freedom and respect for the rights of others, and the collective strength of our world-wide system of alliances.

The effectiveness of all these in meeting the challenge confronting us is multiplied by our Mutual Security Program--a powerful and indispensable tool in dealing with the realities of the second haft of the twentieth century.

I should like to outline how the principal elements of this program will serve the vital interests of our country in Fiscal Year 1960.


The Mutual Security Program which I propose for Fiscal Year 1960 is in the same pattern and has the same component parts as the program which the Congress enacted at the last session. To carry forward this program I ask $3,929,995,000.

I ask these funds to attain the two basic objectives of the Mutual Security Program: military security and economic and political stability and progress.


In view of the maintenance by the Communists of armed force far beyond necessary levels and the repeated evidences of willingness to use a portion of that force where the Communist leaders believe it would be a successful means to a Communist end, it is rudimentary good sense for the peoples of the free nations to create and maintain deterrent military strength. We do this not through choice but necessity. It is not in our nature to wish to spend our substance on weapons. We would like to see these outlays shifted to the economic benefit of our own nation and our friends abroad striving for economic progress.

Because the need for military strength continues, we seek to build this strength where it can most effectively be developed, deploy it where it can most effectively be used and share the burden of its cost on as fair a basis as possible. To this end, we and over forty other nations have joined together in a series of security pacts. Some of our allies and close friends have joined in other supporting agreements. We have also made certain individual undertakings such as the Middle East Resolution.

Each of the free nations joined in this world-wide system of collective security contributes to the common defense in two ways: through the creation and maintenance of its individual forces; through the support of the collective effort.

For our own military forces, which form a major element in the total security pattern, I have asked the Congress to make available $40.85 billion, to which must be added approximately $2.8 billion for atomic programs, largely for defense purposes. For our contribution of military materiel and training assistance to the collective security effort, I now ask the Congress to make available $ 1.6 billion. This amount is far brow that needed for our share of the cost of improving, or even providing essential maintenance for the forces of our allies. It is a minimum figure necessary to prevent serious deterioration of our collective defense system.

These two requests, one for our own defense forces, the other for our share in supporting the collective system, are but two elements in a single defense effort. Each is essential in the plans of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for our national security. Each is recommended to you by the same Joint Chiefs, the same Secretary of Defense, and the same Commander-in Chief.

Dollar for dollar, our expenditures for the Mutual Security Program, after we have once achieved a reasonable military posture for ourselves, will buy more security than far greater additional expenditures for our own forces.

Two fundamental purposes of our collective defense effort are to prevent general war and to deter Communist local aggression.

We know the enormous and growing Communist potential to launch a war of nuclear destruction and their willingness to use this power as a threat to the free world. We know also that even local aggressions, unless checked, could absorb nation after nation into the Communist orbit--or could flame into world war.

The protection of the free world against the threat or the reality of Soviet nuclear aggression or local attack rests on the common defense effort established under our collective security agreements. The protective power of our Strategic Air Command and our naval air units is assured even greater strength not only by the availability of bases abroad but also by the early warning facilities, the defensive installations, and the logistic support installations maintained on the soil of these and other allies and friends for our common protection.

The strategy of general defense is made stronger and of local defense is made possible by the powerful defensive forces which our allies in Europe, in the Middle East, and the Far East have raised and maintain on the soil of their homelands, on the borders of the Communist world.

These military forces, these essential bases and facilities constitute invaluable contributions of our partners to our common defense. On our part we contribute through our military assistance program certain basic military equipment and advanced weapons they need to make their own military effort fully effective but which they cannot produce or afford to purchase.

As we move into the age of missile weapons, this plan of collective security will grow in importance. Already intermediate range ballistic missiles are being deployed abroad. Our friends on whose territory these weapons are located must have the continued assurance of our help to their own forces and defense in order that they may continue to have the confidence and high morale essential to vigorous participation in the common defense effort.

The funds I now ask for military assistance are to supply to these partners in defense essential conventional weapons and ammunition for their forces and the highly complex electronic equipment, missiles and other advanced weapons needed to make their role in the common defense effective.

As already pointed out these funds are asked on a minimal basis. Continuation of a sufficient flow of materials and of sufficient training for the year can be attained only by some additional cannibalizing of the pipeline, already reduced to a point where flexibility is difficult.

To summarize, through the Mutual Security Program our friends among the free world nations make available to us for the use of our forces some 250 bases in the most strategic locations, many of them of vital importance. They support ground forces totaling more than 5 million men stationed at points where danger of local aggression is most acute, based on their own soil and prepared to defend their own homes. They man air forces of about 30,000 aircraft of which nearly 14,000 are jets, 23 times the jet strength of 1950 when the program started. They also have naval forces totaling 2500 combat vessels with some 1700 in active fleets or their supporting activities.

Over the years of our combined effort, these allies and friends have spent on these forces some $141 billion, more than 6 times the $22 billion we have contributed in military assistance. During calendar year 1958 they contributed $19 billion of their own funds to the support of these forces. On our part we have created and maintain powerful mobile forces which can be concentrated in support of allied forces in the most distant parts of the world. We know it would be impossible for us to raise and maintain forces of equal strength and with the immeasurable value of strategic location. Without the strength of our allies our nation would be turned into an armed camp and our people subjected to a heavy draft and an annual cost of many billions of dollars above our present military budget.

Because the military assistance program is a vital part of our total defense, and to be certain that it serves its intended purpose fully and effectively, I have appointed a bipartisan Committee of prominent Americans of the highest competence to examine this program and its operation thoroughly. I have asked them to make a report of their findings on the program, including its proper balance with economic assistance. Since its formation in late November of last year, the Committee has been vigorously pursuing its study, including personal visits to all major areas where military assistance is being rendered. The Committee has already indicated to me that it will recommend an increase in the level of commitments for vital elements of the military assistance program, primarily for the provision of weapons to the NATO area. I expect to receive its written interim report shortly. I will, of course, give this report my most careful attention and will then make such further recommendations as are appropriate.


While our own and our allies' military efforts provide a shield for freedom, the economic phases of our Mutual Security Program provide the means for strengthening the stability and cohesion of free nations, limiting opportunities for Communist subversion and penetration, supporting economic growth and free political institutions in the newly independent countries, stimulating trade and assuring our own nation and our allies of continuing access to essential resources.

Two of these programs, Defense Support and Special Assistance, are specifically directed towards helping maintain order, stability and, in certain countries, economic progress, where these are of material importance to the welfare of the United States itself.

Defense Support. For most of our allies and friends the cost of the share which they bear of the common defense effort constitutes a heavy burden on their economies. Our NATO allies in Western Europe bear this entire economic burden themselves, receiving from us only advanced weapons and other essential items of military equipment and certain training. But for others, the burden of defense vastly exceeds their limited resources. They therefore are forced to turn to us for economic help in maintaining political and economic stability.

We supply this assistance through our defense support program to twelve nations in which we are helping to ann large military forces. Eleven of these nations--Greece, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Viet-Nam, the Philippines, the Republics of China and Korea--lie along or are narrowly separated from the very boundaries of the Sino-Soviet Bloc, subjected daily to the pressures of its enormous power. Several of them are also the sites of major U.S. military installations. The twelfth, Spain, is the strategically located site of other bases used by the United States. Together these twelve nations are supporting three million armed forces--nearly one-half of the total forces of the free world.

Despite their proximity to Communist forces, most of these nations have pledged themselves to the world-wide collective defense plan. Greece and Turkey are among our NATO allies. Pakistan, Thailand, and the Philippines are among our SEATO allies and Cambodia, Laos, and Viet-Nam are protected through SEATO. Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan are active members of the Baghdad Pact which forms a connecting link of free world defenses between NATO and SEATO. Korea, the Republic of China, and the Philippines are joined with us in special mutual defense agreements.

For defense support, to make possible the needed contributions of these twelve nations to the common defense, I ask $835 million. I ask the Congress to recognize these economic needs of our partners and to provide the full amount I request.

Over two-thirds of this sum will be used for Turkey, Viet-Nam, Taiwan and Korea. These courageous and strategically located nations--three of them the free areas of divided nations--are directly faced by heavy concentrations of Communist military power. Together they contribute nearly two million armed forces in the very front lines of the free world's defenses. These nations depend for survival on our defense support program. The remaining third of the funds will be for the eight other nations which rely on this help to enable them to make their valuable contributions to the common defense without serious harm to their economies.

These nations are contributing heavily to the defense effort in keeping with their abilities. Reducing the defense support we provide them will compel a reduction in the forces we wish them to maintain in our common defense or place a heavy additional burden on the already low standards of living of their people.

Special Assistance. There are a number of other nations and areas of the world whose need is so great and whose freedom and stability are so important to us that special assistance to them is essential. In North Africa, for example, the newly independent Arab nation, Tunisia, is struggling to improve the economic and social conditions of its people while under strong external pressures. Its neighbors, Morocco and Libya, are also striving to build economic progress upon their newly acquired political independence. Another new nation, the Sudan, is an important link between the Arab world and rapidly growing Central Africa and is intently working to maintain its independent course of progress in the face of strong Communist and other outside pressures. These nations are all new outposts of freedom in whose success we are deeply interested.

During the last year, as I have mentioned, Jordan has been subjected to severe pressures. Should Jordan be overwhelmed, the peace and stability of the Middle East would be endangered. But with its very limited internal resources, Jordan desperately needs continued substantial outside help.

West Berlin is a solitary outpost of freedom back of the Iron Curtain. In addition to the firm support which we and our NATO allies have assured West Berlin in the face of current Soviet threats, it is important that we show our support of its people by continuing our economic assistance to the beleaguered city.

Programs for Health. I have on several occasions during the recent past sought to focus public attention on the great opportunity open to the United States in the field of health. The United States will continue to support and promote the accelerating international fight against disease in the coming fiscal year. The great campaign to eradicate the world's foremost scourge, malaria, is moving into its peak period of activity and need for special assistance funds. Of more than a billion people formerly exposed to the disease, half have now been protected and the movement is gaining strength and momentum as a true international effort. The substantial progress of this campaign as well as modern medical potential generally have opened new vistas of the conquest of mass disease through pooling of efforts.

I ask the Congress to make available funds to continue the program for development of medical research programs begun last year by the World Health Organization with the help of a grant from the United States. I also propose that the United States explore whether practical and feasible means can be found whereby progress can be made toward equipping those nations whose needs are greatest to provide in a reasonable time pure drinking water for their people as a method of attack on widespread water-borne diseases.

Added to the health programs now being carried on by our bilateral programs and through our voluntary contributions to the United Nations, these new programs will raise the health activities proposed for Fiscal Year 1960 under the Mutual Security Program to a total value of some $84 million, exclusive of loans by the Development Loan Fund in this field. The total effort of the United States in the field of international health, including among other activities those conducted by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, will approximate 100 million dollars.

For the nations I have mentioned and several others, for West Berlin, for such programs as those for health, for support to certain of our American sponsored schools abroad and for our contribution to the United Nations Emergency Force I ask $272 million in Special Assistance funds. I believe that the close examination which I expect the Congress to give each of these special needs will show that this request is conservative.


The requests for funds for defense support and special assistance which I have outlined thus far are directed primarily at maintaining political and economic stability. But in our dynamic world of multiple revolutions this is far from enough.

In many nations of Asia and Africa per capita incomes average less than $100 a year. Life expectancies are half those of the more advanced nations. Literacy averages twenty-five percent. Affected by the revolutionary drives which are sweeping their regions, the peoples of the areas will tolerate these conditions no longer--and they should not. They are intently determined to progress--and they deserve to do so. If they cannot move forward, there will be retrogression and chaos, the injurious effects of which will reach our own shores. These newly independent peoples look to their present generally moderate governments for leadership to progress. If they do not find it, they will seek other leadership, possibly extremists whose advent to power would not only endanger the liberties of their own people but could adversely affect others, including ourselves.

Above all, these people must have hope that they can achieve their economic goals in freedom, with free institutions and through a working partnership with other citizens of the free world.

The leaders of the Soviet Union and Communist China are intently aware of the great revolutionary surges in these less developed areas, many of which are on the borders of the Communist Bloc. Seeing in these new trends an historic opportunity, they have reversed their attitude of hostility to all nations not under their direct control. Five years ago they entered on a great diplomatic and economic campaign of wooing the new nations of Asia and Africa, even attempting to push their drive into Latin America. I reported on this campaign of trade and aid in my message to the Congress last year. It has increased in intensity in the intervening time. Communist Bloc military and economic credits to 17 selected nations exceeded a billion dollars in 1958 alone, bringing the present total to $2.4 billion. The number of technicians supplied to 17 countries of Asia and Africa rose from 1,600 in 1957 to 2,800 in 1958.

Our own programs of technical cooperation and capital assistance are not mere responses to Communist initiatives. The reverse is true. This year will mark the tenth anniversary of our Point Four program. Capital assistance for development has been flowing to nations needing our help for many years. Even if the Communist Bloc should revert tomorrow to its previous icy treatment of all free peoples, we would continue the warmth of our interest in and help to their determined efforts to progress.

Nevertheless, it is imperative that we understand the real menace of the Communist economic offensive. The great contest in half the globe, the struggle of a third of the world's people, is to prove that man can raise his standard of living and still remain free--master of his individual destiny and free to choose those who lead his government. The Communist economic offensive presents the grave danger that a free nation might develop a dependence on the Communist Bloc from which it could not extricate itself. This must not happen. We and other nations of the free world must provide assurance that no nation will be compelled to choose between bread and freedom.

The United States is determined to do its part in providing this assurance. For this purpose, in addition to channels of private investment and existing financing institutions, we have created two carefully designed instruments of national policy: the technical cooperation program and the Development Loan Fund.

Technical Cooperation. To carry on our technical cooperation program some 6,000 skilled American men and women are now working in 49 countries and 9 dependent territories which have asked our help. They are advising high officials on problems of administering new governments. They are helping farmers raise their incomes by teaching them better methods of cultivation, irrigation and fertilization and by introducing more productive seeds, poultry and livestock. They are planning with local scientists for uses of atomic power and isotopes. They are attacking disfiguring and debilitating diseases and helping to increase the health and vigor of untold millions. They are helping to organize the educational systems which will bring literacy and the knowledge which is the power for progress.

In order to transfer our modern technical knowledge even more effectively, we will bring next year over 10,000 of the rising leaders of the less developed areas to study in the United States or in specially developed training programs in other countries.

To provide for the work of our technicians abroad and for these training programs I ask $179.5 million for Fiscal Year 1960. The increase in this sum over the current year is to expand programs recently begun in the newly independent and emerging countries of Africa, to intensify activity in Asian nations and to augment substantially cooperative programs with countries of Latin America.

I also ask $30 million to be available for our contribution to the companion technical cooperation and special projects programs of the United Nations, initiated by our own government. I anticipate that increasing contributions by other members in the year 1960 will call for this increased contribution on our part.

As in recent years, I believe we should continue our annual contribution of $1.5 million to the technical cooperation program of the Organization of American States.

The Development Loan Fund. Administrative and technical skills, though essential to economic growth, cannot of themselves make possible the rate of progress demanded of their governments by the peoples of the newly independent nations. For this progress they must have capital-capital for the roads, telecommunications, harbors, irrigation and electric power which are the substructure of economic progress and for the steel mills, fertilizer plants, and other industries which are fundamental to general economic growth.

Just as in the early decades of our own national development we depended upon the more highly developed nations of that period--England, France, and others--for capital essential to our growth, so do the new nations of this era depend on us and others whose economies are well established.

Two years ago the Congress, the Executive Branch, and several distinguished private organizations re-examined the needs of the newly independent nations for outside development capital and of the then existing sources. The independent but unanimous conclusion of these studies was that existing sources were and for the foreseeable future would be inadequate to meet even the most pressing needs. They recommended that there be established a new institution to provide long-term credits on flexible terms.

In the light of these findings, I recommended to the Congress and it established the Development Loan Fund, an agency of the United States Government especially designed to advance loans on a businesslike basis for sound projects which cannot find financing from private or established governmental sources.

The Development Loan Fund in its little more than a year of active operation has established the sound and useful position that was foreseen for it. In this short time it has taken under consideration $2.8 billion in screened requests for loans. It has later determined that some $600 million were unacceptable or more appropriate for private or other public financing. Of its total capital of $700 million thus far made available by the Congress, it had by mid-February, 1959, committed $684 million for loans to projects in 35 countries. For all practical purposes it is now out of funds for further loan commitments and has before it applications totaling over $1.5 billion with more being received almost daily.

In order that the Fund may continue to meet the most urgent needs of the nations depending on us, I have asked the Congress for a supplemental appropriation of $225 million to be available in the Fiscal Year 1959. This appropriation is under authorizations previously made but not used.

When I made my original recommendation to the Congress in 1957 for the establishment of the Development Loan Fund I urged that it be provided with capital for three years of operation and stated that based on observation of its progress within that period I would ask for long-term capitalization commencing in Fiscal Year 1961. The Congress chose to authorize capital initially for two years of operation. I now ask that the Congress authorize and appropriate $700 million to become available in Fiscal Year 1960, the third year of the Fund. This sum will allow the Fund a level of activity no higher than it established in its first year of operation.

Consideration should continue to be given to capitalization procedures that will allow better long-range planning.

Private Investment. These governmental programs of technical cooperation and capital financing of course only augment the investment in progress which comes from private sources. But they are indispensable and probably will be for a number of years because private investment, though very significant in the Western Hemisphere, does not and cannot in the near future be expected to supply more than a fraction of the capital needed by the new nations of Asia and Africa.

In order to encourage increased private investment in these areas, our Government has already undertaken a system of guaranties against loss from non-convertibility of foreign currency receipts and from expropriation, confiscation, and war. To further stimulate such investment, I now request that legislation be enacted to allow similar guaranties against risks of revolution, insurrection, and related civil strife. I propose also that the Congress double the availability of such guaranties.


The experience of this year has shown, as in the past, that there will arise each year contingencies for which funds will be urgently needed-but which cannot be foreseen at all or with sufficient clarity to program in advance. For the current year I asked $200 million for such eventualities. Heavy demands, arising from the crises in the Middle East and from needs elsewhere, have already been made on the $155 million appropriated-with several months of the fiscal year remaining. I still believe that $200 million is the smallest sum which safety and prudence recommend and I ask that this sum be provided for Fiscal Year 1960.

I recommend that we continue our support of the United Nations Children's Fund, our help in the resettlement of refugees from Communism, our program of atoms-for-peace, and certain other small programs we are now engaged in. The International Cooperation Administration will need an increase in its administrative funds, particularly to help obtain more persons of high qualifications for service abroad and to strengthen our representation at key posts in Africa and Latin America. For all these purposes I ask $112 million.


The total sum I request for the Mutual Security Program for Fiscal Year 1960, $3,929,995,000 is slightly less than I asked last year. Each category and item in it has been weighed in terms of the contribution it will make to the achievement of the important objectives the program is designed to serve. The total amount is well under one percent of the gross national product our country will enjoy in the coming year. It is approximately five percent of our national budget. The greater part will go for military equipment to our allies and for economic support directly related to defense. The remainder, for aid to the economic growth we are most anxious to promote amounts to less than two percent of our national budget, under one-third of one percent of our national production. At the end of the present fiscal year the military assistance pipeline will be at the lowest level in its history and will be further reduced by next year's expenditure which will substantially exceed the new appropriation I am now asking. The economic assistance pipeline will, as in recent years, be barely enough to keep the program flowing without serious interruption.

The true measure of this national security program is what we have gotten and will get for our expenditures and what the cost would be without it. Over the years we have received returns many times the value of our investment.

Our first great work, the Marshall Plan, cost less than projected, ended on time, and revived Western Europe from the destruction of the war to a group of thriving nations, now among our best customers and strongest allies, many of whom are now joining with us in assistance to the newly independent nations.

Our military and economic aid has been indispensable to the survival and gradual progress of nation after nation around the perimeter of Asia from Greece to Korea and others in Africa and our own hemisphere. When I hear this program described as a "give-away" or "aid to foreigners at the expense of domestic programs", I wonder what sort of America we would have today--whether any funds would be available for any domestic programs--whether all of our substance would not today be devoted to building a fortress America--if we had not had such a program: if the key nations of Europe had been allowed to succumb to Communism after the war, if the insurrectionists had been allowed to take over Greece, if Turkey had been left to stand alone before Soviet threats, if Iran had been allowed to collapse, if Viet-Nam, Laos and Cambodia were now in Communist hands, if the Huks had taken control in the Philippines, if the Republic of Korea were now occupied by Communist China.

That none of these tragedies occurred, that all of these nations are still among the free, that we are not a beleaguered people is due in substantial measure to the Mutual Security Program.


The realities of this era indicate all too clearly that the course of our country will be deeply affected by forces at work outside our borders. These forces if left to exploitation by extremists will inevitably lead to changes destructive to us. Yet with wisdom and tenacity it lies within our power to frustrate or to shape these forces so that the peoples directly concerned and our own nation may be benefited.

We cannot safely confine government programs to our own domestic progress and our own military power. We could be the wealthiest and the most mighty nation and still lose the battle of the world if we do not help our world neighbors protect their freedom and advance their social and economic progress. It is not the goal of the American people that the United States should be the richest nation in the graveyard of history.

In the world as it is today--and as it will be for the foreseeable future-our Mutual Security Program is and will be both essential to our survival and important to our prosperity. It not only rests upon our deepest self-interest but springs from the idealism of the American people which is the true foundation of their greatness. If we are wise we will consider it not as a cost but as an investment--an investment in our present safety, in our future strength and growth, and in the growth of freedom throughout the world.


Dwight D. Eisenhower, Special Message to the Congress on the Mutual Security Program. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/235323

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