American Cold War Propaganda Efforts during the First Eisenhower Administration
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No US president during the Cold War understood or exploited propaganda as well as Dwight D. Eisenhower. This was no accident, as Eisenhower had a deep appreciation of what propaganda could and could not accomplish from his days as Supreme Allied Commander in the Second World War. As soon as Eisenhower took office in 1953, he began to focus on the political warfare issue by appointing a high-level commission, the Jackson Committee, to study and make recommendations regarding US information and psychological warfare programs.1 Eisenhower’s activity in the political warfare arena continued until his last days in office, when another committee headed by New York industrialist Mansfield D. Sprague, titled the Committee on Information Activities Abroad, reported to Eisenhower on the progress and future direction of American propaganda programs.2 This report provided the incoming Kennedy Administration in 1961 with a blueprint of the goals and requirements for American information programs that shaped American propaganda policy into the 1960s.
KeywordsForeign Policy Information Program Iron Curtain Soviet Bloc National Security Council
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