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.
Military Spending: Threats and Priorities
The Bush administration has made many of its major priorities clear through the selection of the president’s foreign policy advisers.
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.
Rumsfeld Reconsidered: An Ideologue in Moderate’s Clothing
As the Senate Armed Services Committee begins hearings on the nomination of Donald Rumsfeld for Secretary of Defense, new information has emerged which casts doubt on his image as a solid, non-ideological manager who can bring the Pentagon into the 21st century.
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.
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.
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.
Star Wars II: Don’t Delay It, Kill It
President Clinton’s September 1st decision to delay deployment of the Pentagon’s proposed National Missile Defense (NMD) system is an example of good policy and good politics.
Campaign 2000: Why is Military Spending Not an Issue?
After more than a decade of gradual reductions in military spending, the Clinton administration and Congress increased Pentagon spending by $17 billion last year, and are planning to add a total of $120 billion over the next five years. While a decade ago there was widespread discussion of how to spend the “peace dividend” created by the end of the cold war, why have current plans to significantly increase military spending generated so little debate in this election year?
A World Awash in Weaponry
While the Clinton administration seeks to restrict handgun sales at home, it has quietly arranged to sell more and more weapons abroad.