Partners In Command

I just finished reading Partners in Command – George Marshall and Dwight Eisenhower in War and Peace by Mark Perry. I thoroughly enjoyed it on several levels. As one who fancies himself a student of modern history, the insights into the relationships between the countries and their leaders was very interesting. I did not realize how much interaction Eisenhower and Marshall actually had with FDR and Churchill.

I also could not help but draw parallels to today. These two men were leaders who were very well prepared for their roles. They were not political appointments, although army politics did play a factor in their choice. They were selfless and completely devoted to service of their country. The magnitude of the decisions they made weighted heavily on them, they weighed all the alternatives, but they made the decisions and lived with the results.

It also made me think again of the admonishment “those who ignore history are condemned to repeat it.” The seeds of what is happening in the world today both on the Middle East and in the Orient were sown in the days immediately following world war two.

Here is a line from a letter Marshall wrote to Eisenhower when Eisenhower was elected president: “I pray especially for you in the choice of those near you. That choice, more than anything else, will determine the problems of the year and the record of history. Make them measure up to your standards.” It is too bad George Bush did not have a George Marshall to mentor him. These men were truly the last of a breed.


At 9/3/07, 7:30 AM, Blogger Joe P. said...

How about that famous speech Eisenhower gave at the end of his presidency warning of the "military-industrial complex"? Did he foresee the future or what! And the Marshall plan was brilliant. It sort of put the nail in the coffin for the future of the Soviet Union- without fireing a single shot.


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