Since the relationship between U.S.S.R. and Egypt posed a threat to American strategic interests, Britain and France partnered Israel in invading Egypt in the October of 1956, which resulted in the Suez Crisis. Although Israel occupied the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza strip, President Eisenhower pressurized that it retract its troops from these lands. Eventually, Israel acquiesced to the demands. This was a singular event when Israel succumbed to diplomatic pressure from America.
In his farewell address to the citizens of his nation, American President Dwight Eisenhower chose to dwell on one particular aspect of the American economic system. Those were the years following the Second World War and the United States was waging a cold war with the Soviet Union. As a result, a strong military had become imperative. Many ammunition manufacturing corporations sprung up in the United States to meet this demand. The only way such a large industrial base could survive is by creating more demands for ammunition, combat vehicles, etc. The military industry in America is so big that they can sway and influence the decisions taken in the executive branch of government.
In effect, since the conclusion of the Second World War, the United States had seen a virtual “war economy”. Such an economic system can only thrive in an atmosphere of international tension and hostility, which is a bad result for humanity at large. Eisenhower was a shrewd statesman and an admirable leader (in the capacities of a General and a President). He understood this nexus between the weapons manufacturers and its employers in the American military. Eisenhower understood the vicious nature of this symbiotic relationship between a government agency and a commercial enterprise and warned his citizens to be wary of its consequences. In other words, he cautioned his fellow countrymen to mobilize themselves in curbing this negative development in post war America. Looking back at the recent history of American military intervention across the globe, one cannot stop wondering if those were the manifestations of Eisenhower’s nightmares. Furthermore, the general dissent and disapproval that the United States attracts in the third world countries is another indication of the military-industrial complex’s existence. What’s ironic about this message from Eisenhower is the fact that he himself was part and parcel of this military-industrial nexus.
During the early months of 1962, hordes of demonstrators took to the streets in protest against the social and economic policies of the Guatemalan government headed by General Miguel Ydigoras Fuentes. The protesters were also disappointed with the level of corruption and election malpractices under the leadership of General Fuentes. Students and people from the working classes joined this protest, which was gaining momentum. Police and military forces eventually broke this democratic and peaceful form of public expression, but not before a series of hostile confrontations and a general strike had taken place. The American government, caught up in the cold-war frenzy, found a case for interfering with the internal governance of Guatemala. The American government, under the leadership of Dwight Eisenhower, saw this as a communist threat. Guatemala, being so close to the North American continent was touted as a “serious threat” for the “democratic and capitalistic ideals” of the United States.
So, what followed was an influx of American support for the deposed General Fuentes and against the egalitarian revolutionary forces. And President Eisenhower was instrumental in the United States’ involvement in Guatemala. But unfortunately, things did not go in favour of the American mission. What followed was a relentless hostile engagement between the revolutionary and the counter-revolutionary forces (the latter supported by the Eisenhower government). By the end of 1976, as many as 20,000 innocent Guatemalans lost their lives in the process. And the whole episode ended as a public relations disaster for the United States. The ramifications of that dark episode have made Latin American countries suspicious and sceptical of the American government policies, even to this day.