Subject: Re: 1957, A pivotal year. Our next stop.
From: Brad Sparks
Date: Fri, 2 Aug 2013 17:47:04 -0400 (EDT)

I am puzzled by the remark, apparently from some unknown author in UFOs and Government, that Eisenhower coped with the Sputnik surprise by asking for a "monster" sized increase in the Defense budget.   There is apparently no source referencing for this provocative statement.  This assertion runs contrary to everything I have read about Ike that he had reigned in the defense budget -- to the consternation of the military and Congress.

In point of fact, Defense spending had virtually no increase in first quarter 1958 over last quarter 1957 (when Sputnik was launched), less than 1/3 of 1%.

Here is a telling quote in a recent article on how Ike "stood up to his own military" (emphasis added):

When the Soviet Union launched the first satellite, “Sputnik,” in October 1957, Eisenhower came under tremendous pressure to quickly ramp up defense spending. He resisted. ...

In fact Eisenhower did not increase defense spending during his time in office, despite the Cold War tensions and enormous breakthroughs in technology.



Date: Fri, 2 Aug 2013 18:31:17 -0700 (PDT)
From: michael swords <>
Subject: Re: Puzzled by remark
To: francis ridge <>

OK... to give some due: MAYBE the language is a little too colorful and "monster" should have been tuned down a little. BUT....

Eisenhower definitely increased the budget for things like nukes, nuke research, advanced flight systems, ballistic missiles etc. MAYBE he cut other elements of the military to keep the total down; I know nothing about that and refuse to study it. The comment was obviously intended to refer to the germane point of the piece, i.e. missile and SAC funding, plus nukes. Massive increase certainly occurred.

John Foster Dulles had announced that our strategy towards the Soviet threat would be "massive retaliation". LeMay had begun turning the entire SAC fleet from Korean war bombers into modern nuke carriers. X-15 rocket planes etc were being developed at the skunk works on hidden budgets. Nuclear research at places like Los Alamos was not reported in the defense budget. Ike wanted to keep the budget down, but a hawkish government increased those elements even higher. NORAD was established at that time, and many bases and significant military/government installations were being nuclear hardened. Sputnik certainly increased the urgency of getting better things done in rocketry. And on and on....

Eisenhower is famous for ATTEMPTING to keep certain budgetary things in check, but when you tease out the nuclear/ballistic missile/ aeroresearch/ physics research elements that the article in the book is trying to refer to, the increases are clear. Hell, even the "Eisenhower Doctrine" promising to support any country which is fighting the Soviets implies a willingness to provide a lot of expensive aid.

.......... do with the quote from the book what you want Fran; I don't mind. If you want to create an ellipsis in the quote removing the offending sentence, OK.

I have now officially wasted another hour of my time on Sparks and have to go somewhere to throw-up. [or at least begin to think a little more charitably].



Date: Sat, 3 Aug 2013 07:56:35 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: Re: [Current Encounters] Puzzled on Comment about Ike Policy in        1957 Post-Sputnik

Hi Mike,

The point made in the book is in a section on the pivotal year of 1957 and that it was that Sputniks I and II and Soviet ICBM's a few months earlier, that had forced Ike to "cope" by asking for a "monster" Defense budget increase.  Not Ike's support for our crash ICBM program in 1954 onwards.  Ike did not ask for a "monster" acceleration or increase in budget the crash ICBM program because of Sputnik and the Soviet ICBM.  It was Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson who forced a budget increase and conducted Senate hearings into why the Ike Admin had failed to prepare for Sputnik.

Your point was to try to assess how UFO policy fit into the situation, which is an important question you handled smoothly even elegantly.  You concluded that "Sputnik and its ICBM" launcher had "dwarfed" the UFO issue, which was rendered merely a "distraction."  But was it really?  NICAP succeeded a number of times in getting serious consideration by Congress into launching hearings into AF UFO policy, including with LBJ's Senate Preparedness Subcommittee.  The AF was greatly upset at the prospect and devoted a lot of effort in fighting NICAP and the looming threat of Congressional hearings on UFO's -- and in the very same Congressional committees dealing with the Sputnik issue and the US ICBM and space programs. Either those committees were not so "dwarfed" or "distracted" or they found UFO's important enough to consider -- until the AF succeeded in steering them off of UFO's.