Leadership: September 20, 2000


Military readiness (a traditional Republican attack on Democratic administrations) isn't playing as a campaign issue. While readiness is in deep trouble, the public simply doesn't regard it as a serious problem. The public perceives that good economic times provide the US with all the security it needs, and most seem to believe that the almost bloodless Kosovo War proved that the military can handle any problem that turns up without serious casualties. The Bush campaign, unable to score on readiness, is pushing modernization, saying that eight years of Democratic neglect have left the US with a fractured military based on old industrial-age technology and welded to cold war doctrine. Bush promises that 20% of the annual expenditures for new weapons will be for systems that "skip generations ahead" of current systems.--Stephen V Cole


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