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CAMPAIGN 2000

Mission Statements

September 10, 2000

Both Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore acknowledge that the American military faces new challenges in the 21st century. Their proposals, however, lack the details they have given in other policy areas. Each candidate says he would:

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NATIONAL SECURITY PHILOSOPHY

GEORGE W. BUSH

Order a comprehensive review to develop a "new architecture" for American defense. "A strong, capable and modern military is the foundation of the peace we enjoy today and hope to extend for future generations."

AL GORE

Pursue policy of "forward engagement," which advocates heading off problems abroad so they do not develop into larger threats. Combating disease worldwide is among the priorities.

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MILITARY PAY & BENEFITS

GEORGE W. BUSH

Increase the recently enacted pay raise by $1 billion more a year to close the gap with civilian salaries and help service branches meet their enlistment goals. Increase bonuses for reenlistment and for specialists such as pilots and computer programmers. Renovate substandard military housing and increase basic housing allowances. Spend $310 million to upgrade public schools on or near military bases.

AL GORE

Devote unspecified part of budget surplus to increase pay and benefits. Invest in programs to increase and improve housing for military personnel and their families. Upgrade child-care facilities, invest in continuing education and employment services for military spouses. Improve military health care system.

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TECHNOLOGY

GEORGE W. BUSH

"Skip a generation" of weaponry by spending $20 billion more over five years on research and development: lighter, more lethal, land forces; long-distance air power, manned or unmanned; smaller naval platforms with greater force.

AL GORE

Increase spending by an unspecified amount. Offer incentives for defense and commercial industries to share technologies and capabilities.

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NUCLEAR DEFENSE

GEORGE W. BUSH

Build a missile defense system, even if doing so breaks the 1972 ABM Treaty between the United States and the former Soviet Union, which bans national missile defenses. Also propose unspecified cuts in U.S. nuclear arms even if Russia does not act in kind.

AL GORE

Advocate a limited defense system and seek Russia's agreement to amend ABM Treaty. Oppose unilateral nuclear arms cuts.

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TERRORISM

GEORGE W. BUSH

Review and possibly restructure military to combat new threats from biological and cyber terrorism. Strengthen intelligence gathering to detect threats.

AL GORE

Confront the "new challenges" of terrorism in unspecified ways.

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FOREIGN INTERVENTION

GEORGE W. BUSH

Maintain long-standing commitments but review other open-ended overseas deployments that he says lower morale. Isolationism, however, is a "shortcut to chaos, an approach that abandons our allies and our ideals."

AL GORE

Show willingness by United States to "use our strength to lead the world toward what is right and just."

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Sources: Candidates' Web sites, Associated Press

Researched by MASSIE RITSCH/Los Angeles Times

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