Your editorial (March 2), "Panic at the Pentagon," performs a high public service by reminding its readers how vulnerable we are to the dangers of becoming, in the words of Dwight Eisenhower, a "garrison state."
This prophetic, heroic statesman did his best to warn us against "the acquisition of unwarranted influence . . . by the military-industrial complex" and he proved particularly prescient when he wrote the following less familiar words:
"Some day there is going to be a man sitting in my present chair who has not been raised in the military services and who will have little understanding of where slashes in their estimates can be made with little or no damage. If that should happen while we still have the state of tension that now exists in the world, I shudder to think of what could happen in this country."
Such a man seems to be sitting in that chair now, a man who has said, "You have to remember, we don't have the military-industrial complex we once had"--a man who apparently equates national security with bloated budgets pushed upon one particular federal bureaucracy, which, unlike the others, is looked upon as a sacred cow.