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V. American Leadership In the World -
"More than anything else, our armed forces guarantee our security
and our global influence. They are the backbone of our diplomacy. They
ensure our credibility....Time and again, the American military has
demonstrated its extraordinary skills. As I pledged from the beginning
of our administration, the United States will have the best-equipped,
best-trained, best-prepared military in the world. We are keeping that
promise every day. Our forces are ready to fight."
-- President Clinton Veterans of Foreign Wars, March 6, 1995
The President is committed to maintaining the best-equipped,
best-trained and best-prepared military in
the world. Military readiness is central to supporting our strategy
of fighting and winning two nearly simultaneous major regional conflicts
(MRC). Our military will continue to possess the capability of deterring
and defeating aggression in two MRCs, providing a credible overseas
presence, countering weapons of mass destruction, contributing to
multi-lateral peace operations, and supporting counterterrorism efforts
and other national security objectives.
Prior Readiness-Related Initiatives
The two-MRC strategy also means doing what we must to fully realize the
capabilities of our forces. We demonstrated that commitment
in 1994 when the administration won key votes in Congress on the C-17
program, an airframe that demonstrated its great value and versatility
when it flew 66,000 pounds of cargo to the Persian Gulf during our reinforcement of Kuwait in October 1994.
During his first two years of office, President Clinton took the following readiness-rela
In 1994, he increased the Budget Authority for the 1995 defense
budget by $2.4 billion and added $11.4 billion back to the defense
spending plan across the Future Years Defense Program (FYDP)
In the FY 1995 defense budget, President Clinton increased
Operations and Maintenance funding by 5.7%, even though the size of the
force decreased by 7%. In other words, the dollars available for
readiness purposes in FY 1995 on a per-soldier basis were substantially
increased. This resulted in a higher level of military
Committed to the Future
administration is committed to the following readiness-related
Adding $25 billion in defense spending over the next six years. This
future funding is designed specifically to accomplish four goals:
Assure continued military readiness;
Adequately fund the Bottom Up Review (BUR) and Nuclear Posture
Review (NPR) conventional and nuclear force structures;
Improve the quality-of-life of the men and women in our Armed Forces
(including the full pay raise authorized under current law): and
Fund needed modernization programs.
Working closely with
Congress to develop an effective funding mechanism to pay for unexpected
contingency operations. Secretary Perry is committed to finding a way
for DoD to borrow from future operations and maintenance funds to pay
for contingency operations.