| January 18, 1960: “Now It’s Just A Question Of Whose Kind Of Peace”
After the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite, in 1957, Eisenhower was criticized about the adequacy of America’s defense, especially its long-range missile program. Four days before this cartoon appeared, Ike held a news conference about the issue. One reporter implied that U.S. missile inferiority would put the president at a disadvantage in the upcoming summit with Russian Communist Party secretary Nikita Khrushchev. Another asked about the cancellation of production for a new Air Force bomber. When another reporter questioned the president’s intentions and capabilities, Ike responded angrily that he knew “more about it [defense] than almost anybody.”
What the reporters and Herblock did not know—and what Ike wouldn’t tell them—was that he had been personally directing U-2 spy flights over the Soviet Union and knew firsthand of the country’s limited numbers of long-range missiles and bombers.