Al Gore on Defense

The best technology makes U.S. military the best

Q: What is the proper role for the military?

GORE: The US has to be strong in order to promote peace and stability. We need to make sure that our personnel are adequately paid and that their pay is comparable to the competition from the private sector. I have supported the largest pay raise in many a year. I support another one now. I also support modernization of our tactical weaponry. I think one of the ways we’ve been able to be so successful in Kosovo and other places is by having the technological edge. Now, readiness. I propose $100 billion for this purpose.

BUSH: We have an opportunity to use the great technology of the United States to make our military lighter, harder to find, more lethal. We have an opportunity to keep the peace. I’m going to ask the secretary of defense to develop a plan so we’re making sure we’re not spending our money on political projects, but on projects to make sure our soldiers are well-paid, well-housed and have the best equipment in the world.

Source: St. Louis debate Oct 17, 2000

Help with landmine removal; ban them in 2006 but not now

On land mines: “Gore has said he supports the current policy” [which is to spend tens of millions per year assisting with landmine removal, but to not sign the treaty banning mines]. “Gore adds that he intends to sign the treaty in 2006,” said a land mine expert. “But disturbingly, Gore has said recently that we may need to re-negotiate some parts of the treaty. Bush has not spoken out on the issue.”
Source: NPR’s “Morning Edition” Sep 7, 2000

Keep America strong for challenges of newly free world

I will keep America’s defenses strong. I will make sure our armed forces continue to be the best-equipped, best-trained, and best-led in the entire world. In the last century, this nation more than any other freed the world from fascism and communism. But a newly free world still has dangers and challenges, both old and new. We must always have the will to defend our enduring interests, and we must strengthen our partnerships with Africa, Latin America, and the rest of the developing world.
Source: Speech to the Democratic National Convention Aug 18, 2000

Build-down military to smaller but more effective

Since World War II, there have been several build-downs that have strained America military readiness. In contrast, the current Administration’s handling of the post-Cold War build-down has yielded a force that while smaller, is more agile, more powerful, and more effective at countering new strategic threats. The build-down can now be matched by a careful investment in further transforming the forces and endowing them with the cutting edge technology they will need to succeed in their missions.
Source: Press Release, “Strengthening” May 27, 2000

Prepare for challenges of the information-age battefield

    To achieve the reconfiguration of America’s armed forces that will best prepare us to win on the information-age battlefield, Al Gore believes we must set our sights on 4 key challenges:
  1. Recruiting, training, and retaining a professional all-volunteer force of the highest caliber;
  2. Taking full advantage of America’s technological edge by arming our troops with the most advanced weaponry and deploying the most sophisticated intelligence and information systems;
  3. Developing and implementing new military strategy, updating operational concepts, modernizing organizations, and innovating systems -- in short, transforming the armed forces to meet future challenges; and
  4. Continuing to streamline and innovate in the Defense Department, producing more efficient management and releasing resources for critical defense needs.
Source: Press Release, “Strengthening” May 27, 2000

Use military as last resort, only when effective & shared