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At a news conference on August 11, 1954, the following exchange occurred between NBC news correspondent Ray Scherer and President Dwight Eisenhower:
Q: Mr. President, there seems to be increasing suggestions that we should embark on a preventive war with the Communist world, some of these suggestions by people in high places.
A: All of us have heard this term "preventive war" since the earliest days of Hitler.... A preventive war, to my mind, is an impossibility today. How could you have one if one of its features would be several cities lying in ruins, several cities where many, many thousands of people would be dead and injured and mangled, the transportation systems destroyed, sanitation implements and systems all gone? That isn't preventive war; that is war. I don't believe there is such a thing [as preventive war]; and frankly, I wouldn't even listen to anyone seriously that came in and talked about such a thing.