Focus Point - Military Unreadiness

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. If you want some scary reading, pick up a new Heritage Foundation study or read the recent flood of articles about U.S. military readiness.

Twelve of 20 Army training schools got the lowest readiness rating, along with two of the Army's ten active divisions. The Navy's aviation readiness has been wrecked by budget cuts and rapid deployments that leave crews overworked and undertrained. During last year's Serbia bombing campaign, more than half the Navy's laser bombs missed their targets.

Cutbacks and personnel shortfalls have caused the Army to plan big training cuts next year. Just to maintain the status quo, the military needs an additional $50 billion a year, but the Clinton administration has held the procurement share of the defense budget consistently low. Worse, more than half of all officers and enlisted men plan to leave when their hitch is up.

Al Gore swears the U.S. Military is fine. And it is. As long as it doesn't have to do too much fighting.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, OSHA on the warpath.