Preparing for After the War
“It may be a long and hard struggle, but we will do it [win the war]. When it has been done, our next job will be to ensure that the threat of aggression is removed from the world we live in. In order to do so we must be strong – strong enough to discourage any would-be aggressor from embarking on an adventure of conquest… This matter should not be left over til the war has come to an end. I believe it to be a matter regarding which Congress should put before the Administration a definite program.”
Editor's Note: Much of Carl Vinson’s work helping the U.S. mobilize for World War II occurred before and in the early years of the conflict. During the last years of the war, Vinson’s focus shifted toward how the U.S. would continue to grow its burgeoning sea and air power when the conflict was over. He was determined the United States would not reduce or eliminate its Navy after World War II as had been done following World War I. Speaking to Congress as early as 1943, he urged the legislature to create a plan ensuring the U.S. would retain a strong naval fleet.
The excerpt above highlights Vinson’s strong belief that it was inefficient, unwise, and costly for the United States to continually create and dismantle armed forces for every conflict. Instead, Vinson argued for a post-war policy centered on discouraging aggression through the consistent support of and investment in the armed services. His early push for a long-term plan of military preparedness foreshadowed the important role he would play in advocating for the U.S. Navy and Air Force during the Cold War era.