DIPLOMACY BACKED BY THREAT
IRETURNED TO WASHINGTON in September, but I didn't find a great deal of concern in the Pentagon about the situation in Europe. The big item on the Chiefs' minds was the September 15 meeting with President Clinton scheduled for the National Defense University. All regional Commanders in Chief were to attend, and each of us was to tell the President about "readiness." These conferences were always useful. We heard the Washington view, and the Chiefs could hear from the CINCs. But this one, in particular, clearly exposed the weak positions of the regional CINCs and illustrated the pressing concerns and orientation of the Pentagon, which centered on long‐ term funding.
This conference was an effort to get everyone on the same side, a collective effort to lay out for the President the views of his commanders and to gain his support for increased defense resources. In the moments before he arrived, we each gave a shortened version of what we would say. The comments were harmonious, reinforcing, and balanced. Anyone would understand that we needed more money.
After the rehearsal I approached the Army Chief, General Dennis Reimer, to raise one suggestion: "Chief, in addition to talking about