April 1, 1995
“No” to Star Wars

I am opposed to premature deployment of a national missile defense system before the continental United States faces a real threat. Such premature deployment would divert money from more pressing needs: readiness, theater missile defense, and force modernization. . . . I believe our current research and development program, which will allow us to begin deployment before the turn of the century, is adequate. We are seeking congressional support for our program and schedule. I will resist congressional attempts to accelerate our prudent schedule. I will also resist deployment of space-based interceptors, which would be a costly diversion of funds from the threats we face today.

William J. Perry, Secretary of Defense, in a February 15, 1995, official statement regarding an attempt by congressional Republicans to compel near-term deployment of a national missile defense system.

Clanks in the Ranks

Rep. Curt Weldon, Pennsylvania Republican, was spotted sporting the flags of three nations on his lapel-Bangladesh, Guatemala, and Nepal.

Where was the Stars and Stripes? The Clinton Administration, explained Mr. Weldon, using Defense Department dollars, is currently paying full salaries, housing costs, and benefits for troops from Bangladesh, Guatemala, and Nepal while they are stationed in Haiti.

“At the same time,” he pointed out, “600 troops from the 2d Armored Division of Fort Hood, Tex., had to conduct ten training exercises in the range, walking together pretending they were in tanks because we do not have enough money for fuel and maintenance.

“The new slogan of that battalion of 600 troops,” he disclosed, “is to march together and say, ‘Clank, clank, I’m a tank.’ “

The Washington [D. C.] Times, February 22, 1995, in the “Inside the Beltway” department.

Smaller Than McDonald’s

That America’s defense industrial base is becoming increasingly tenuous is becoming increasingly evident. The major firms making up that industry sell at a thirty percent discount to the S&P 500 index, and the discount was closer to eighty percent until a few mergers raised hopes that part of the industry might yet survive and prove viable. The combined market value of the top four aerospace firms is less than that of McDonald’s, meaning that Big Macs and Egg McMuffins are judged by the market to have greater immediate reward than stealth aircraft and “smart” weapons.

Norman R. Augustine, chairman and CEO of Martin Marietta, in January 19, 1995, remarks to the House National Security Committee.

Doctor Luttwak Is In

“Jointness” is the virus that gives you the acquired strategic deficiency syndrome.

Defense analyst Edward N. Luttwak, in January 17, 1995, remarks to an AFA symposium in Washington, D. C.

A Theoretical Alternative

There was an alternative-a theoretical alternative-of going in and taking out the [North Korean] nuclear reactor. We considered that option. We looked very carefully at what would be required to do that.

Secretary of Defense Perry in January 24, 1995, testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, revealing that the US last spring seriously examined and then rejected taking military action against North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.

$65 Billion, Maybe More

CBO has concluded that the Administration’s planned force structure, level of operations, and modernization programs are likely to cost about $65 billion more than the funding provided in the FYDP [Future Years Defense Program], which translates into a shortfall of about five percent for the 1995­1999 period. That calculation takes into account only those factors that have already changed or those risks that are likely to occur. . . . If CBO includes factors that are less certain, DoD’s shortfall could be more than $100 billion . . . through 1999, or about nine percent of planned funding.

The Congressional Budget Office, in a January 1995 report, “An Analysis of the Administration’s Future Years Defense Program for 1995 Through 1999.”

What the CIA Sees Ahead

Crisis warning will continue to prove critical in operations other than a classic war scenario, such as the 1991 Gulf War. We estimate that threats to peace stemming from ethnic, religious, or national conflicts can flare up in more than thirty countries over the next two years.

R. James Woolsey, then CIA director, in January 10, 1995, testimony presenting the CIA’s worldwide threat assessment to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

The Peace Powers Act

A major provision is section five of the bill, which . . . [would] prohibit the President from placing any element of the US armed forces under the command or operational control of any foreign national in any UN peacekeeping operation. This is a matter that commands strong support [from] the American public, who do not want to see our service personnel placed willy-nilly under the control of non-Americans, exposed to dangers in operations that may have little if any relation to American interests. . . . As President Clinton has shown himself more and more willing to delegate his Constitutional power to international bureaucrats at the United Nations, the wisdom of this prohibition has become more and more apparent.

Sen. Don Nickles (R-Okla.), cosponsor of the Peace Powers Act of 1995, in a January 5, 1995, floor speech about the bill’s major provisions.