matriculation at West Point Military Academy and his participation in 1913 as a cadet corporal in the first inaugural parade of Woodrow Wilson. He shared Wilson's belief that America must be permanently a part of world affairs. The two world wars and the unhappy turn of events between 1919 and 1939 further convinced him of Wilson's wisdom. It was in that context that Eisenhower believed President Wilson would have taken pride, as the general himself had, in the creation of the United Nations, the "lineal descendant" of the League of Nations. It was against the possibility of the United States repeating its mistakes of the 1920s and 1930s that Eisenhower fought to win the White House.
A new menace, as great as Hitler's Germany, now threatened American survival—namely Soviet communism. For the president it was nothing less than a life-and-death matter. Believing that the confrontation with Moscow was "the struggle of the ages," 7 Eisenhower argued that only the unity of free nations led by the United States could provide a "hope for survival." In that conceptualization there was only a limited role for a world organization built on universal collective security and characterized by the regular use of the Soviet veto. Invoking the collective self-defense provisions of the Charter's Article 51, the administration pursued a series of military alliances as the most effective means of preserving the principles embodied in the UN founding.
The first weeks of 1953 proved to be extraordinarily challenging for the new president. An expected armistice proved elusive in Korea, where continued fighting produced ongoing American causalities. Having promised to "go to Korea," and having met the letter of that promise with a visit to the war zone as president-elect, Eisenhower was under pressure domestically and from the allies to conclude the United Nations' effort successfully and quickly. In Europe the solidification of the iron curtain with a huge Soviet army threatening a divided Germany put a premium on American defense of the western democracies. Yet the president had promised to cut the ballooning federal deficit, and hoped to do so by putting the brakes on military spending. Contributing to military costs was the emerging strategic arms race with the Russians. Faced with a Soviet conventional military advantage, the administration____________________