"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; and, frankly, I wouldn't even listen to anyone seriously that came in and talked about such a thing."
11 August 1954 news conference in response to a question from Ray L. Scherer, NBC: 'Mr. President, there seem 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. I wonder, sir, if you would care to address yourself to that proposition.'
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