V. American Leadership In the World -
Military Readiness

"More than anything else, our armed forces guarantee our security and our global influence. They are the backbone of our diplomacy. They ensure our credibility....Time and again, the American military has demonstrated its extraordinary skills. As I pledged from the beginning of our administration, the United States will have the best-equipped, best-trained, best-prepared military in the world. We are keeping that promise every day. Our forces are ready to fight."

-- President Clinton
Veterans of Foreign Wars, March 6, 1995


The President is committed to maintaining the best-equipped, best-trained and best-prepared military in the world. Military readiness is central to supporting our strategy of fighting and winning two nearly simultaneous major regional conflicts (MRC). Our military will continue to possess the capability of deterring and defeating aggression in two MRCs, providing a credible overseas presence, countering weapons of mass destruction, contributing to multi-lateral peace operations, and supporting counterterrorism efforts and other national security objectives.

Prior Readiness-Related Initiatives

The two-MRC strategy also means doing what we must to fully realize the capabilities of our forces. We demonstrated that commitment in 1994 when the administration won key votes in Congress on the C-17 program, an air frame that demonstrated its great value and versatility when it flew 66,000 pounds of cargo to the Persian Gulf during our reinforcement of Kuwait in October 1994.

During his first two years of office, President Clinton took the following readiness-related initiatives:

Committed to the Future

The administration is committed to the following readiness-related initiatives:

Adding $25 billion in defense spending over the next six years. This future funding is designed specifically to accomplish four goals:

Working closely with Congress to develop an effective funding mechanism to pay for unexpected contingency operations. Secretary Perry is committed to finding a way for DoD to borrow from future operations and maintenance funds to pay for contingency operations.

Promoting Democracy Abroad
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