I think you are indulging in a bit of hyperbole with respect to Eisenhower. He certainly did limit some excessive proposals for weapons development during the Cold War , however, under his leadership we still developed a vast military superiority with respect to the Soviet Union. He was simply wise enough to know when our real goals had been met. He was also cautious in the use of U.S. military forces overseas. He refused a request by the the beleagured French for the use of nuclear weapons during the seige of Dien Bien Phu in their war with the Viet Minh, but he later started our involvement with South Vietnam, making the first of our deployment of military forces there. He also (very early in his first term) unwisely (in my view) succomed to earnest British protests that we help them execute a coup in Iran to overthrow the elected PM Moussadegh and restore the Shah to absolute power (this so the British labor government could continue enforcing a very one sided petroleum deal with Iran (needed they said so the Labor party could finance the NHS). (I have long suspected he later regretted that decision and that likely contributed to his stern rebuke when two years later Britain, France and Israel invaded Egypt and Suez.),
In any event today's news reports indicate that the FD-35 has successfully completed it's aircraft carrier suitability trials on USS Eisenhower - a ship I served on as XO. That's a big deal. The issue of whether a new aircraft has sufficient range, payload and combat maneuverability (these are generally conflicting and hard-to-achieve-together attributes) is very common in new aircraft development and there are examples to reinforce the views of folks on both sides of the matter. The F4 Phantom succeeded earlier eforts to build fast interceptors with, limited maneuverability, but long range air to air missiles to "make limited maneuverability unnecessary". It turned out the missilles were neither reliable nor effective enough to make that proposition work. However the F4 was a good deal more maneuverable than its predecessors (though not as maneuverable as other contemporary fighters like the F8U Crusader - which has it's own serious limitations); had good range and high payload capabilities; serving very effectively in many roles for the Airr Force, Navy and Marine Corps for over two decades. The F-18 ,when it was introduced, was heavily criticized as having too little range, payload and advanced electronic systems capability. (I participated in some of the early flight testing of F-18s in the 1970s.) There was truth in those criticisms, but the aircraft also offered some huge advances in design, construction, maneuverability and ease of maintenance and operations. Later modifications to the aircraft solved the range/payload issues while ongoing advances in the precision and relaibility of air to air and air to ground weapons reduced the need for high payloads. F-18s have been operating very successfully now for over 30 years. However it is time for an upgrade.
Initial judgments on aircraft are often proved wrong in operation. The P-51 Mustang was initially deemed a failure, despite it's then revolutionary new laminar flow wing design, until someone had the brillliant idea of upgrading it with a huge Rolls Royce in line engine... the rest is history.
Maneuverability in a fighter is important, but not all important. In WWII we never deployed an aircraft as maneuverable or better gunned than the Japanese Zero. However we did develop and deploy aircraft (F4U Corsairs, F7F Hellcats, P-38 Lightnings) that combined greater speed, acceleration, endurance and armor to render the Zero's advantages useless in combat.