15 Wise Quotes from General Dwight D. Eisenhower

President Eisenhower 1959

15 Wise Quotes from General Dwight D. Eisenhower

Few men have the same sort of reverence and respect as Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was the Supreme Commander of American forces during the Second World War and was one of the most important presidents to oversee the Cold War. The man had a way with words as well, which you’ll no doubt see.


Eisenhower was adept at solving problems, it was a cornerstone of his career in the military.

If a problem cannot be solved, enlarge it.

Dwight D. Eisenhower certainly understood what it was to solve a problem, especially when considering the planning that went into D-Day.



he former president took pride in his country and his heritage.

The history of free men is never really written by chance but by choice; their choice!

You could argue against this one, but given Eisenhower’s perspective, I’m inclined to agree with it.


Nothing is more prominent in Eisenhower’s speeches than a desire for peace.

I think that people want peace so much that one of these days government had better get out of their way and let them have it.

One thing you’ll note about Eisenhower is the prevailing message of peace.

Holding Office

Interestingly, the former president thought of himself as too old to hold office.

No one should ever sit in this office over 70 years old, and that I know.

This one is decidedly poignant in today’s political climate.


Every great general should understand the cost that comes with using men in battle.

There is no glory in battle worth the blood it costs.

Eisenhower wasn’t a glory hound, he understood that combat and war have their prices.


Eisenhower wasn’t a fan of the companies that profited off of the bloodshed of war.

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 are not clothed.

War profiteers were still reeling in cash during Korea and Vietnam, which Eisenhower no doubt saw happening.


While politics might not have been his aim, he made a fine president.

Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.

This is a fantastic quote, everyone should be involved in their local politics.

Man’s Innovation

There is a clear respect for human ingenuity in what the former president says.

If men can develop weapons that are so terrifying as to make the thought of global war include almost a sentence for suicide, you would think that man’s intelligence and his comprehension would include also his ability to find a peaceful solution.

If men can build a nuclear bomb, they could figure out a way to peacefully resolve conflicts, simply put.


You cannot have absolute security and freedom, according to Eisenhower.

If you want total security, go to prison. There you’re fed, clothed, given medical care and so on. The only thing lacking is freedom.

Total security means a loss of freedom, something that is sadly relevant in the wake of the surveillance state.

Faith in People

At the end of the day, the former president believed that people would seek peace.

I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it.

Eisenhower had supreme faith in people, no matter where they were from.

The Spectre of Atomic Bombs

There was nothing quite as terrible as the atomic bomb for many in the 50s and 60s.

I feel impelled to speak today in a language that in a sense is a new one which I, who have spent so much of my life in the military profession, would have preferred never to use. That new language is the language of atomic warfare.

It had to be a horrifying sight to watch mass bombardment give way to the most frightening weapons known to mankind.

The Military-Industrial Complex

This is a poignant quote, made all the more relevant by current policy and contracts.

We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.

The war profiteers were bottom of the barrel when considered by Eisenhower, and it isn’t hard to imagine why.

Nuclear Deterrence

There are no victors in a nuclear war.

The United States strongly seeks a lasting agreement for the discontinuance of nuclear weapons tests. We believe that this would be an important step toward the reduction of international tensions and would open the way to further agreement on substantial measures of disarmament.

Nuclear war loomed over politics between the United States and the Soviet Union for the whole of the Cold War. Even limited deployment of weapons would have been catastrophic.

False Flags

Using fear to drum up political support is something the former president saw as callow.

In most communities, it is illegal to cry ‘fire’ in a crowded assembly. Should it not be considered serious international misconduct to manufacture a general war scare in an effort to achieve local political aims?

Warhawks and fearmongers would do well to keep Eisenhower’s words in mind.

The Futility of Combat

Even when considering the monumental undertaking of World War II, Eisenhower didn’t see it as a preventive measure.

When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war.

There is no such thing as a just war, at least to Eisenhower.

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