War & Peace

The Military Budget Under Bush: Early Warning Signs

The U.S. emerged from the cold war as the only military and economic superpower and maintained that position throughout the 1990s while substantially reducing military spending and force levels. The peace dividend produced by the spending reductions contributed significantly to America’s sustained economic expansion by easing pressures on the federal budget, making possible lower interest rates, and fueling greater investment. Although it is arguable whether the best use was made of the resources that were freed, it is unquestionable that military cuts were a major cause of the record long recovery.

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Military Contractors Spent Freely To Influence 2000 Election, Future Policy

U.S. defense contractors were full participants in the last election cycle. Their contributions, totaling $13.5 million, were liberally distributed among both presidential campaigns, major party coffers, and House and Senate races, heavily emphasizing the members of both houses’ Armed Services Committees. This corporate campaign financing will help ensure that weapons industry interests will be well served in the coming year’s budget process.

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Winning One for the Gipper: Donald Rumsfeld and the Return of the Star Wars Lobby

The first six weeks of the George W. Bush era, starting with the flurry of appointments he made during December, through the confirmation hearings of his key cabinet members earlier this month, and on into his first full week in office, has had a very “retro” feel about it. We have a vice president who was Gerald Ford’s chief of staff, and we have a secretary of defense who got his start in the Nixon administration in 1969 before he went on to become Ford’s chief of staff and then Ford’s secretary of defense.

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Bush’s Nuclear Doctrine: From MAD to NUTS?

Foreign policy issues were mostly an afterthought during the 2000 presidential campaign, and they continue to take a back seat in President-elect George W. Bush’s discussions of the priorities of his incoming administration. But one critical foreign policy issue—U.S. nuclear weapons policy—demands immediate attention and debate. The Bush foreign policy team is quietly contemplating radical changes in U.S. strategy that could set off a global nuclear arms race that will make the U.S.-Soviet competition of the cold war period look tame by comparison.

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The Bush Administration: What Can We Expect for the Pentagon?

Although we don’t yet know what a Bush cabinet will look like, the Pentagon will undoubtedly get a warm reception at the White House. In addition to whomever is selected as defense secretary, President Bush will be receiving advice from former Defense Secretary Dick Cheney, and it is clear that former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Colin Powell will have an important role in the administration, probably as secretary of state.

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We Do Guns–Not Plagues

We now face, with the global spread of AIDS, a human catastrophe that is beyond history. We have never witnessed anything so devastating. In sub-Saharan Africa, there is a pandemic that threatens to exceed the toll that the Bubonic Plague took on Europe in ushering in the Dark Ages. 23 million people are infected in Sub-Saharan Africa, with new infections coming at the rate of roughly five thousand a day.

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