Clinton's Military Background
Clinton organized anti-America rallies in London during the Vietnam war. Clinton's hostess in Prague was the wife of the chief of the communist party. Comrade Clinton spent four weeks in Moscow without any visible means of support, but prying into the business of other Americans. The Intourist Hotel, where he stayed, charged up-front at least $60 a night - money Clinton didn't have.
'Wagging the Dog'
If you have any doubts, let's just review the facts:
On Aug. 17, 1998, Clinton went on national television to offer an explanation-cum-apology for his deposition that day in the Monica Lewinsky investigation. On Aug. 20, 1998, Clinton launched a cruise missile assault against Sudan and Afghanistan. The Afghan real estate was supposed to be the base of terrorist Osama bin Laden. But he was not present, though 24 others were reportedly killed. The Sudan site was an alleged chemical-weapons plant that turned out to be a perfectly legitimate pharmaceutical company. The night watchman was killed.
On Dec. 16, 1998, Operation Desert Fox began with air and cruise missile attacks on Iraq just hours before the House of Representatives was to commence its impeachment debate. The proceedings were delayed by a day because of the military action. The operation ended three days later, by some accounts, out of respect for the Islamic holiday of Ramadan. Nevertheless, some 2,000 Iraqis were killed in the series of bombing raids.
In February 1999, Clinton was faced with two scandals breaking at once -- the emerging evidence that he had raped Juanita Broaddrick and the details of security lapses that resulted in American nuclear secrets falling into the hands of the Chinese. Though many analysts were surprised at the precipitous manner in which negotiations were halted, Clinton chose this moment to launch what turned into an 11-week bombing campaign in Serbia, killing some 6,000 Yugoslavian troops, 2,000 civilians and sparking the revenge killings of some 11,000 ethnic Albanian Muslims.
U.S. Military Resources Have Been Depleted
by Years of Clinton/Gore Neglect
- The Clinton/Gore Administration had stretched our military forces thin in the past eight years. Between 1960 and 1991, the United States Army conducted 10 "operational events." In the past eight years, the Army has conducted 26 operational events --- 2 1/2 times that number in 1/3 the time span.
- Today, there are 265,000 American troops in 135 countries.
- Since the end of the Gulf War, our military has shrunk by 40 percent. Army divisions have dropped from 18 to 10. The Army has reduced its ranks by more than 630,000 soldiers and civilians and closed over 700 installations at home and overseas.
- Since 1990, the Air Force has shrunk from 36 fighter wings (active and reserve) to 20. The Air Force has downsized by nearly 40 percent while simultaneously experiencing a fourfold increase in operational commitments.
Since 1987, active duty military personnel have been reduced by more than 800,000. To illustrate that problem:
- At the height of the Reagan Administration build-up, the Navy had 586 ships. Now it only has 324. The Clinton Administrations blueprint called for that number to further drop to 305. If the rate of ship construction and retirement by this administration is continued, that number could fall to only 200 ships by 2020.
- Last June, the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier battle group deployed with 770 fewer personnel than it did on its previous deployment three years before.
- At about the same time, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, another carrier, began a 6-month deployment 464 people short of its 2,963 authorized billets.
- Late last year, the USS Enterprise deployed for the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf short 400 personnel.
The Navy has total of 22,000 empty slots in a 324-ship fleet.
- The armed services already suffer a severe ammunition shortfall going into the Kosovo engagement. According to the Service Chiefs, the FY99 ammunition shortfall for the Marine Corps is $193 million. For the Army in FY00, it is a shocking $3.5 billion.
- The equipment we have is aging.
- The average age of the B-52H bombersnow in use in the Balkansis 37 years old.
- The average age of the Amphibious Assault Vehicles (AAV) is 26 years old.
- The design of the CH-46 helicoptera Marine mainstayis approximately 40 years old.
- A-10 pilots flying over Kosovo have been forced to spend their own money to buy inferior, off-the-shelf GPS receivers at local stores and attach them with Velcro to their planes to use in conjunction with their outdated survival radios should their planes crash.
- At a congressional hearing held in February at the Navys Strike and Air Warfare Center in Fallen, NV the world-renowned "Top Gun" fighter pilot school Members were told that mechanical problems had grounded 14 of the centers 23 aircraft.
- More than half of the B1-Bs at Ellsworth AFB are not mission capable because they lack critical parts.
National Security Crisis Created by Clinton-Gore Neglect
- The Clinton/Gore Administration had created a national security emergency by neglecting the defense budget for the past eight years while stretching our troops around the world with a record number of deployments.
- Clinton's decision to call up 25,000 reservists less than a month into a "small" operation underscores our nations national defense crisis.
- This Republican Congress is committed to protecting the lives of our men and women in the military by acting swiftly and decisively to restore our armed services to levels of readiness necessary for the defense of our nation.
- National defense is the only major category of federal spending to decline between FY 1990 and FY 2000. Republicans have added some $29.5 billion to Clinton's defense requests since 1995, but even with these significant increases, Clinton's reductions have been so great that defense spending still has not kept pace with inflation.
- In the limited time that the line-item veto was available to this President, he focused it almost exclusively on defense programs. Over 90 percent of the spending that Clinton sought to cut using his line-item veto authority was for military programs.
- If there were another military flare-up somewhere else in the world, the United States would not have the military resources to respond. It is already necessary to divert planes from their patrol over the Iraqi No Fly Zone in order to fly Kosovo missions.
- Clinton's request of $6 billion to cover the current costs of the NATO operation in Kosovo is woefully inadequate. It is not enough to simply replace bomb for bomb or bullet for bullet, leaving our military as vulnerable as before.
The Facts About Military Readiness
Al Gore said that the military is the "strongest and the best" in the world.
Readiness measures the ability of a military unit.to accomplish its assigned missions. Logistics, available spare parts, training, equipment, and morale all contribute to readiness.
Evidence of a widespread lack of readiness within the U.S. armed forces exists. Recently leaked Army documents report that 12 of the 20 schools that are training soldiers in skills such as field artillery, infantry, and aviation have received the lowest readiness rating. And the Pentagon in November rated two of the Army's 10 active divisions at the lowest readiness level.
The Facts About Readiness. In the early 1990s, the Bush Administration began to reduce the size of the U.S. military so that it would be consistent with post-Cold War threats. Under the Clinton Administration, however, these reductions in forces escalated rapidly, with too little defense spending, while U.S. forces were deployed more often.
Because the security of the United States is at stake, it is imperative to present the facts about military readiness:
FACT #1. The size of the U.S. military has been cut drastically in the past decade.
Between 1992 and 2000, the Clinton Administration cut national defense by more than half a million personnel and $50 billion in inflation-adjusted dollars. The Army alone has lost four active divisions and two Reserve divisions. The number of total active personnel in the Air Force has decreased by nearly 30 percent. In the Navy, the total number of ships has decreased from around 393 ships in the fleet in 1992 to 316 today. Even the Marines have dropped 22,000 personnel.
In spite of these drastic force reductions, military missions and operations tempo increased. Because every mission affects far greater numbers of servicemen than those directly involved, most operations other than warfare, such as peacekeeping, have a significant negative impact on readiness.
FACT #2. Military deployments have increased dramatically throughout the 1990s.
The pace of deployments has increased 16-fold since the end of the Cold War. Between 1960 and 1991, the Army conducted 10 operations outside of normal training and alliance commitments, but between 1992 and 1998, the Army conducted 26 such operations. Similarly, the Marines conducted 15 contingency operations between 1982 and 1989, and 62 since 1989. During the 1990s, U.S. forces of 20,000 or more troops were engaged in non-warfighting missions in Somalia (1993), Haiti (1994), Bosnia (1996), and Iraq and Kuwait (1998).
This dramatic increase in the use of America's armed forces has had a detrimental effect on overall combat readiness. Both people and equipment wear out faster with frequent use. Frequent deployments also take funding away from ongoing expenses such as training, fuel, and supplies. Moreover, the stress of frequent and often unexpected deployments can be detrimental to troop morale and jeopardize the armed forces' ability to retain high-quality people.
FACT #3. America's military is aging rapidly.
Most of the equipment that the U.S. military uses today, such as Abrams tanks, Apache helicopters, Bradley fighting vehicles, surface ships, submarines, bombers, and tactical aircraft, are aging much faster than they are being replaced. Due to a shortsighted modernization strategy, some systems are not even being replaced. Lack of funding coupled with increased tempo and reduced forces strains the U.S. military's ability to defend vital national interests.
As weapons age, they become less reliable and more expensive to maintain. The services have attempted to provide for their higher maintenance costs by reallocating funds, but they often take the funds from procurement accounts, effectively removing the money from modernization programs. Shortages of parts and aging equipment are already affecting readiness, and the effects are expected to worsen. Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon recently reported that spare parts are so scarce that the Air Force is made to "cannibalize" perfectly good aircraft for spare parts.
FACT #4. Morale is on the decline in the U.S. armed forces.
According to an August 1999 U.S. General Accounting Office review, more than half of the officers and enlisted personnel surveyed "were dissatisfied and intended to leave the military after their current obligation or term of enlistment was up." Because U.S. servicemen are the military's greatest asset, a ready U.S. military requires bright, well-trained, and highly motivated active and reserve personnel. Unfortunately, due largely to low morale, the services are finding it difficult to recruit and retain servicemen.
Conclusion. Under the Clinton Administration, the U.S military has suffered under a dangerous combination of reduced budgets, diminished forces, and increased missions. The result has been a steep decline in readiness and an overall decline in U.S. military strength. Nearly a decade of misdirected policy coupled with a myopic modernization strategy has rendered America's armed forces years away from top form.
To deny that the United States military has readiness problems is to deny the men and women in uniform the respect they deserve. America's military prowess can be restored, but policymakers must first admit there is a problem. Only then can the President and Congress work together to reestablish America's top readiness capabilities.