Eisenhower on Military InterventionAt a library book sale, I had picked up a copy of the book Confessions of a White House Ghostwriter: Five Presidents and Other Political Adventures by James C. Humes. The author is apparentl7y quite a bright fellow with amazing intellectual retention and a personal history that has intersected the high and mighty.
On page 144, Mr. Humes mentions talking to richard Nixon shortly after the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Although the Eisenhower quote is third hand, it's still worth repeating:
He told us that Kennedy seemed shaken by the incident. Nixon then reported former President Eisenhower's reaction. "Dick, for U.S. military intervention, you need four conditions: First, congressional support. Second, the occupation must be limited in time, or you will loose the support of public opinion. Third, there must be a viable leader with a broad popular backing to succeed the ousted dictator. And finally, whatever troops you need, take ten times more."I suspect he didn't think it necessary to add, "And under no conditions should you destroy the entire infrastructure of the country and not put it back into place rapidly."