Time: Fri Oct 24 10:08:02 1997
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	Fri, 24 Oct 1997 07:41:12 -0700 (MST)
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 10:40:45 -0400
Originator: heritage-l@gate.net
From: Paul Andrew Mitchell [address in tool bar]
To: pmitch@primenet.com
Subject: SLS: Clinton fiddles while the military collapses (fwd)

>OCTOBER 23--Hot off the news wire today is yet another report of an Air 
>Force crash involving a T-38 trainer, which struck an F-16 in midair, 
>while both planes were flying an aerial photo reconnaissance mission for 
>a B1-B Lancer supersonic bomber in California.  The F-16 pilot was 
>fortunate enough to land his damaged aircraft in the desert;  the two 
>pilots in the trainer, however, were both killed. 
>Dozens of accidents involving the nation's air power, which have caused 
>the deaths of scores of fine pilots and weakened the morale in the ranks 
>of the Air Force, have occurred over the past several months.  A few 
>accidents in a short period of time can be attributed to bad luck and 
>coincidence, but a rash of crashes numbering almost 20 in half a year 
>signals that there is a serious problem somewhere within the air branch 
>of the armed services.  
>And all we're hearing about from the nation's commander-in-chief is 
>'globaloney' and 'fast track' authority for NAFTA II.  
>Other than offering photo-op condolences, president Clinton appears as 
>though he could care less about the nation's crumbling military 
>preparedness.  Even as North Korean army defectors reveal detailed plans 
>to Senate committees about how that country intends to wage war against 
>US soldiers in Asia, Mr. Clinton continues to live in denial about the 
>critical mass of the military.  What he needs to understand is that 
>without a powerful, technologically superior military force to protect 
>the interests of the country, all of the trade agreements and global 
>warming treaties won't mean spit if we can't defend them.  Besides, 
>ordinary Americans will be too busy grieving the loss of their sons and 
>daughters who will be slaughtered in the coming conflicts facing this 
>nation to worry much about abstract treaties and political gamesmanship.
>About four years ago stories began surfacing about the deteriorating 
>state of the military.  Back when president Bush empaneled a gaggle of 
>civilian/military experts to form the "Base Closure and Realignment 
>Commission," he tasked them with deciding which bases and installations 
>could feasibly be eliminated or downsized.  They went about their work 
>with vigor, and admittedly, there were a number of duplicate facilities 
>and bases that came under the axe.  When possible, the Pentagon should 
>not be exempt from having its budget cut, especially if what it is 
>providing is no longer needed.  But at that time, critics of the plan 
>were vocal about the dangers of creating a 'hollow force' reminiscent of 
>the Carter years, and now -- some five years later -- it seems as though 
>their worst fears have been realized.
>At present, dozens of units operate undermanned and under equipped.  
>Speaking of Korea, many of the front line combat platoons there are 
>without proper staffing and equipment, having to make due with less key 
>personnel and worn out gear.  This is something that the US military as a 
>whole should never have to endure, let alone units that are within a 
>stone's throw of the world's hottest flash point.
>The Air Force in particular has been hard hit.  Many commanders and 
>logistics personnel have reported a shortage of spare parts and an 
>overall decrease in their maintenance budgets, forcing them to 
>cannibalize grounded aircraft for spare parts to fix the ones that are 
>still flying.  Overextension has played a key role as well;  you cannot 
>fly the wings off your aircraft performing dozens of unnecessary 
>'peacekeeping' missions while you simultaneously slash the budget to fix 
>them as they wear out.  
>Meanwhile, Congress and the Pentagon are considering even more cuts in 
>personnel and budget, but no one is calling for a reduction in the number 
>of deployments or missions the Clinton administration currently has us 
>embroiled in.  This is especially bothersome, considering the amount of 
>money going to foreign aid in an already bloated budget of some $1.8 
>trillion for fiscal 1998.  
>Almost two trillion dollars, and we can't find enough money to fix 
>planes or replace worn out soldier gear.  Pitiful.
>Instead of calling for hearings to find out all of the specific reasons 
>why his aircraft are falling out of the sky, Mr. Clinton has been content 
>to globe trot and push agendas which will ultimately prove worthless, 
>cost US taxpayers more money, and will likely involve even more missions 
>for the nation's military.  It's not that the hearings into the Clinton 
>administration illegalities or the IRS are not important, but what is 
>remarkable is that no one from Clinton on down to the most junior House 
>representative seems to be too worried about the state of the military.  
>If the GOP would like to regain some lost ground with the electorate, 
>they should jump into this escalating problem with both feet.  More 
>Americans can relate to the importance of their armed forces than they 
>can to Clinton's abstract treaty negotiations or the GOP's rattling on 
>about capital gains taxes.
>In a couple weeks, Mr. Clinton will be hosting Chinese President Jiang 
>Zemin,  the leader of  the biggest rival country we will probably face in 
>the next century or before.  Let's hope he and Zemin don't stand outside 
>in the open if Clinton decides to honor the Chinese leader with an Air 
>Force fly over.  One of the planes is apt to fall out of the sky on top 
>of them.  ***
>(c)1997 USA Features Media Co.  All Rights Reserved.
>USA Journal Online.  http://www.usajournal.com
>"Read the news and listen to the radio--right from our site!"

Paul Andrew Mitchell, Sui Juris      : Counselor at Law, federal witness 01
B.A.: Political Science, UCLA;   M.S.: Public Administration, U.C.Irvine 02
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