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2000 Presidential Election--Al Gore's Views on Defense.

On U.S. Global Leadership

"Forward engagement in the context of national defense means that our investments in America's military must be consistent with a future-oriented vision of what it will take to win on the information-age battlefield."

"We must use the surplus wisely, to invest now in people, technology and the reconfiguration of America's armed forces that will best prepare us for the national security threats in a global era."

Al Gore sees four key challenges in U.S. national security:

* Recruiting, training and retaining a professional all-volunteer force of the highest caliber.

* Taking full advantage of the U.S. technological edge by arming the nations troops with the most advanced weaponry and deploying the most sophisticated intelligence and information systems.

* Developing and implementing new military strategy, updating operational concepts, modernizing organizations and innovating systems--in short, transforming the armed forces to meet future challenges.

* Continuing to streamline and innovate in the Defense Department, producing more efficient management and releasing resources for critical defense needs.

On U.S. Military Intervention

"At the dawn of the 21st century, we need a foreign policy that addresses the classic security threats--and understands the new ones, as well. We need to pursue a policy of 'Forward Engagement'--addressing problems early in their development before they become crises, addressing them as close to the source of the problem as possible, and having the forces and resources to deal with those threats as soon after their emergence as possible."

Gore's criteria for U.S. military intervention:

* Is the mission in our national interest?

* Is military force the only option that can solve the problem?

* Have we exhausted all other options?

* Will military force solve the problem?

* Do we have allies who are ready to share the burden?

* Is the mission's cost proportionate to the objective we seek?

On Defense Spending

Al Gore promises to:

* Reward men and women in uniform with competitive pay, including a 3.7 percent across-the-board pay increase.

* Reform the military housing system.

* Improve family services.

* Invest in health care.

* Get soldiers off food stamps.

* $1.2 billion in new education money for veterans.

* Increase the investment in advanced hardware.

* Invest in the technology generation after next.

* Support a healthy industrial and technology base.

On Arms Control

"We believe that it is essential to [build a missile defense] in a way that does not destroy the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty. The ABM Treaty is the cornerstone of strategic stability in our relationship with Russia. It prevents the Russians or ourselves from deploying defenses powerful enough--assuming anyone can solve the engineering problems--to neutralize the deterrent of either side.

"Reductions [of nuclear weapons] alone do not guarantee stability. If you're not careful, you could have a reduction of missiles and a mote dangerous world."

On 'Rogue' States

"I favor an effort to develop a limited missile defense system, and not a massive 'star wars' system, because our country will probably face a new threat later this decade from a small arsenal of relatively unsophisticated ICBMs in the hands of a rogue state.

"The administration has been working on the technology for a national missile defense system designed to protect all 50 states from a limited attack at the hands of rogue states. We believe, however, that it is essential to do this in a way that does not destroy the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The national missile defense system that the president reviewed this summer is intended to meet threats from proliferant states like North Korea, while preserving strategic stability."

On Lessons From Vietnam

"[Vietnam] certainly matured me in a hurry. It gave me a tolerance for complexity. I didn't change my conclusions about the war being a terrible mistake, but it struck me that opponents to the war, including myself, really did not take into account the fact that there were an awful lot of South Vietnamese who desperately wanted to hang onto what they called freedom. Coming face to face with those sentiments [in the local people] was something I was naively unprepared for."

On Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

"There's no more important challenge than stopping the spread of nuclear weapons."

If elected, Gore wants a mandate from the voters to send the treaty to the Senate to be ratified.

On 21st Century Military Strategy

Gore promises to use the Quadrennial Defense Review to set a course for future military strategy. The United States, he says, must:

* Define a military strategy for the future.

* Maintain its nuclear strength.

* Be ready to counter and repel cross-border invasions by conventional forces.

* Defend U.S. cyberspace, and protect the nation against other asymmetrical threats such as chemical and biological attacks.

* Develop new operational concepts and organizations for a 21st century military strategy.

* Modernize and transform, the armed forces into a versatile "information age" force that fully exploits America's strategic advantages in people and technology.

* Transform the armed forces for a forward engagement strategy.

* Set defense priorities that provide clear strategic and policy guidance.

Sources: and
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Article Details
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Publication:National Defense
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2000
Previous Article:2000 Presidential Election--George W. Bush's Views on Defense.
Next Article:Elections Alter Membership of Key Committees.

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