Mad Bomber in Chief.
Contrary to what you heard in Campaign 2000, the U.S. military is not experiencing a readiness crisis. It's experiencing a deployment crisis, says Ivan Eland, director of defense studies at the Cato Institute and author of a recent study, "A Hollow Debate on Military Readiness."
Eland argues that the "bone-crushing dominance" of the U.S. military won't soon be rivaled. In 1999 we spent $270 billion on our armed forces--more than the next seven biggest-spending countries combined. The real problem faced by our soldiers, says Eland, comes from serving under a government that deploys the military for everything from nation-building in Somalia to bombing a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan. By Eland's count, President Clinton set a record for major troop deployments, with 25 in his eight-year tenure. (The notoriously hawkish Ronald Reagan sent U.S. troops out into the world only half as often.) Says Eland, "These deployments take money and time away from training for major wars, and they wear out the force, causing morale to go down."