2000 Presidential Election-George W. Bush's Views on Defense

National Defense, October 2000 | Go to article overview

2000 Presidential Election-George W. Bush's Views on Defense


On U.S. Global Leadership

"The world needs America's strength and leadership, and America's armed forces need equipment better training and better pay. We will give our military die means to keep the peace, and we will give it one thing more: a commander-in-chief who respects our men and women in uniform, and a commander-in-chief who earns their respect."

On U.S. Military Intervention

"A generation shaped by Vietnam must remember the lessons of Vietnam. When America uses force in the world, the cause must he just, the goal must be clear, and the victory must be overwhelming."

Bush promises to:

* Maintain longstanding U.S. commitments, but order an immediate review of overseas deployments in dozens, of countries, with the aim of replacing uncertain missions with well-defined objectives.

* Promote cooperation with our allies, who should share the burden of defense.

* Order a comprehensive military review to develop a new architecture for American defense designed to meet the challenges of the next century.

On Defense Spending

"U.S. defense spending has declined nearly 40 percent [under the current administration] and is now at its lowest levels as a percentage of the Gross Nation al Product than at any time since 1940. This has led to what the [current] undersecretary of defense termed a 'budgetary death spiral,' --pouring more and more money into older and older equipment, draining funds away from modernization and helping to cause lower morale and problems with retention an recruiting.

"We have asked our servicemen and women to do too much with too little....

"Even the highest morale is eventually undermined by back-to-back deployments, poor pay, shortages of spare parts and equipment, and rapidly declining readiness. I make this pledge to our men and women in arms:

As president, I will preserve American power for American interests. And I will treat American soldiers with the dignity and respect they have earned."

Bush promises to:

* Improve troop morale [via] better pay, better treatment and better training.

* Add a billion dollars in salary increases, and renovate military housing.

* Increase investment in research and development by at least $20 billion over the next five years, 20 percent [of which] must be spent for purchasing next generation weapons.

On Arms Control

"I will work to reduce nuclear weapons and nuclear tension in the world--to turn these years of influence into decades of peace. And my administration will deploy missile defenses to guard against attack and blackmail. Now is the time, not to defend outdated treaties, but to defend the American people.

"The premises of Cold War nuclear targeting should no longer dictate the size of our arsenal."

Bush proposes building a national missile defense system that would cover all 50 states and could be extended to protect allies in Europe, the Mideast and Asia. …

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