Tags: Bush's | Election | Critical | for | America's | Safety

Bush's Election Is Critical for America's Safety

Monday, 06 November 2000 12:00 AM

The last eight years under the Clinton-Gore administration have been an unmitigated disaster for this nation.

It would be even more disastrous if we were to continue along the same path down which President Clinton, supported by Vice President Al Gore, has led us.

Under the Clinton-Gore administration, we the American people have witnessed the most serious erosion of our culture. A society's culture is critical to a strong nation and a nation's strong defense. I believe it will take considerable time to recover from the degradation of our culture.

Mr. Gore has given little indication he will change America's cultural decline.

After all, it was Mr. Gore who, on the very day President Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives, assured us that Clinton was one of America's greatest presidents ever, side by side with Washington, Lincoln and others.

Such a dishonest man is not the man who can repair the damage done by the administration of which he was a part.

In my opinion Gov. Bush's position is much sounder on all the domestic issues. On matters of national security and America's military preparedness, Bush's views mirror my own.

I have served under every president from Franklin Roosevelt to Richard Nixon. I met with George W. Bush and endorsed him during the Republican primaries. I am confident this man will not be merely a capable president, but will do a fine job.

I also know Al Gore. In fact, during my time as chairman of the Joint Chiefs, I had frequent dealings with Mr. Gore's father, then the U.S. senator from Tennessee.

The paramount issue in this campaign is to restore to the Oval Office the dignity and respect that has been lost during the current administration. Only Gov. Bush can achieve that goal.

I am deeply concerned about the state of the armed forces. In my opinion, the military forces have been reduced to such a dangerous level that unless they are restored to the proper level of readiness we are going to get into a conflict and suffer serious casualties.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff have warned that the present state of the military is the result of the frequent deployment of our armed forces by the Clinton-Gore administration on so-called peacekeeping missions all across the globe, along with their shocking failure to replace worn-out fighting equipment.

To pay for these ill-advised foreign interventions, the Joint Chiefs said that they were forced to dip into other funds intended to keep the armed services at battle-ready status.

As a result, the United States is not prepared for war, or should I say wars.

It is certainly in no position to win quickly, as it did in the Gulf War under President George Bush.

Gen. Henry Shelton, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee: "We are collectively robbing Peter to pay Paul. We cannot mortgage future readiness. We must find the resources necessary to modernize the force."

While agreeing that the U.S. would in the end prevail in armed conflicts, as a result of the current state of readiness, he said, it would take longer and cost us heavy casualties.

Testifying before Congress, members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff outlined the problems faced today by their services.

• "Operations and maintenance costs have increased by 30 percent in the Army over the last three years because it costs more to maintain aging equipment," according to Gen. Eric Shenseki, the Army’s Chief.

• The average age of the Air Force’s planes is 22 years, according to Gen. Michael Ryan, the Air Force chief. He said that "we are buying about one-third of the aircraft we need to recapitalize our force."

Ryan noted that Air Force units were now deployed abroad by the Clinton-Gore administration at three times the previous rate – with the Air Force only 40 percent of what it was during the Cold War. The Air Force, he said, is 10,000 short of the personnel required to perform the duties assigned to it.

• The Navy, according to Adm. Vern Clark, needs at least 14,000 more sailors to meet the demands imposed on it.

• The Marine Corps needs 4,000 to 5,000 more men, according to Gen. James Jones, the Marine Corps commandant.

Despite this clear evidence of the decline of the military under the Clinton-Gore administration, Vice President Gore continues to claim that all is well with the armed forces.

If the United States is going to avoid disasters such as the attack on the USS Cole in Yemen, we must restore our credibility in the world arena. Incidents will continue to happen as long as it’s clear to those who do that sort of thing that we are probably not going to do anything in response.

Take the situation in Panama, for instance.

Clinton removed all our forces from Panama, and the Chinese came in. This area is close to the U.S., and it would be easy to launch short-range missiles into our country. Yet Clinton takes those forces and moves them over to Kosovo or some area such as Bosnia where we don’t have any national interests.

I am confident that Gov. Bush and his vice president, Dick Cheney, will restore the morale of the armed forces and the military’s state of readiness, which is vital if we are going to be victorious in future conflicts. Our freedom depends on that.

The facts are that the armed forces should not be used overseas except when our nation is threatened, as Bush has repeatedly stated. They should not be used for "peacekeeping missions" or anything of that kind. If we keep doing that, we are going to have incidents such as the ones in Lebanon and in Yemen with the USS Cole.

The way we avoid such attacks on America and Americans is to have a well-prepared military force, one that our enemies fear, and one that can retaliate devastating consequences on those who would do us harm.

What has happened to the military that I knew is very upsetting and worrisome to me.

Take the administration’s plans to put women on submarines, for example. That’s absolute, unadulterated nonsense. I know the Clinton-Gore White House and the secretary of the Navy are pushing it – but I cannot understand why. It makes no sense from the standpoint of military effectiveness.

The point is – it’s very simple – that the military is not a testing ground for social change. Everything the military does must be gauged by one yardstick: If we do this, will it improve combat capability? And if the answer is no, you don’t do it.

I can predict what’s going to happen when you put women in submarines.

This is not criticism of women – or their capabilities or their intelligence or their flying ability. That’s not the point. The point is, the Navy is no place to try to satisfy some notions about political correctness or to bow to political pressure.

People don't realize that these submarines sometimes go out for 60 days without ever entering port, and they may not even surface. I have my own idea of what would happen with significant numbers of women in the cramped quarters aboard these submarines. To me it is crazy.

I am also opposed to women aboard any combat ships. There are bound to be difficulties generated by the attraction between the young men and women.

These things are going to filter up to the captain and the captain is going to spend all his time trying to settle romantic disputes when he really should be spending all his time training his crew.

The captain of a ship is not a social reformer. He is supposed to get his crew ready to fight and get his ship in combat condition, and he does not have the time to appease the hurt feelings or the fights among the crew.

That takes place today and is always going to take place – the whole idea of women in combat is irrational and violates the dictates of common sense. Such policies will only stop when we get into a war and the body bags full of women come streaming back to this country and then the mothers are going to ask who in the world thought of this stupid idea.

I believe that after eight years of Clinton-Gore, America is weaker and more vulnerable to our enemies.

In Asia we are witnessing the transformation of China as a global power. Thanks to Clinton-Gore, China's stockpile of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction has grown dramatically.

At the same time, China has begun to develop an alliance with Russia, a nation that has maintained its very large arsenal of nuclear weapons and ICBMs.

I was there at Pearl Harbor the day the Japanese bombed our naval ships and port facilities. Have we learned anything from that tragedy?

I was at the Battle of Midway. Had America lost that critical naval engagement, there would have been no significant U.S. naval force to stop the Japanese in the Pacific. California could have been easily attacked and even occupied by the Japanese.

The lesson of history is clear: Nations that take their military preparedness for granted may pay in blood for such short-sightedness.

We cannot afford to have another four years of the kind of administration that has so crippled our nation.

We must elect George W. Bush to the presidency. He is our best hope for a safer and stronger America.

Adm. Thomas Moorer, ret., is former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

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The last eight years under the Clinton-Gore administration have been an unmitigated disaster for this nation. It would be even more disastrous if we were to continue along the same path down which President Clinton, supported by Vice President Al Gore, has led us. Under...
Monday, 06 November 2000 12:00 AM
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