Gore 2000 Fact Sheet on George W. Bush's Foreign Policy
U.S. Newswire
30 Apr 11:45

Gore 2000: George W. Bush's Foreign Policy Fails to Prepare for the New Security Challenges
To: National Desk, Political Reporter
Contact: Douglas Hattaway of Gore 2000, 615-340-3251;
Web site:

NASHVILLE, April 30 /U.S. Newswire/ -- The following was
released today by Gore 2000:

George W. Bush's Foreign Policy Fails to Prepare for the New
Security Challenges


-- In his first defense speech, Bush said, "I will give the
Secretary a broad mandate - to challenge the status quo and envision
a new architecture of American defense for decades to come. We will
modernize some existing weapons and equipment, necessary for current
tasks. But our relative peace allows us to do this selectively. The
real goal is to move beyond marginal improvements - to replace
existing programs with new technologies and strategies. To use this
window of opportunity to skip a generation of technology." (Bush
speech, "A Period of Consequences," 9/23/99)

-- Skipping A Generation Could Hurt Troops. Since military
equipment is wearing out now, skipping a generation of weapons could
threaten the military. According to the National Journal, "And,
echoing Bush's September speech at the Citadel military school in
South Carolina, Rice (Bush foreign policy adviser) emphasized not an
immediate buildup, but an intensive research program that would allow
the Pentagon to 'skip a generation' in weapons technology. Such talk
unsettles the defense industry. ... Bush's pledge of an additional
$20 billion over five years for research on future weapons is
welcome, but not at the expense of weapons being bought today-the
very generation of weapons Bush wants to 'skip over.' One industry
official called Bush's ideas outlined at the Citadel 'a well-intended
but a somewhat over-simplistic (approach).'" (National Journal,


-- When asked in an interview if the "world community" should stop
ethnic cleansing if it could, Bush said, "I disagree with that. I
think the president of the United States must clearly delineate
what's in our national strategic interests. Europe is in our national
strategic interest, the Far East is in our national strategic
interest, our neighborhood is in our national strategic interest, as
is the Middle East. But beyond that, the United States is going to
have to work with organizations like the United Nations to encourage
them to stop genocide. We should not send our troops to stop ethnic
cleansing and genocide in nations outside our strategic interest. I
don't like genocide and I don't like ethnic cleansing, but the
president must set clear parameters as to where troops ought to be
used and when they ought to be used." When the interviewer asked if
Bush would do anything if another Rwanda took place, Bush said, "I
would work with a world organizations and encourage them to move, but
I would not commit our troops." (ABC, "This Week," 1/23/00)

-- "We've just seen him on the question of Kosovo, where it seems
to me he failed the test. ... He didn't step up. (He) put his head in
the sand," said reporter Carl Bernstein. "Bush's big stand on Kosovo?
Six weeks after the air campaign began, he called the Kosovo bombing
and Clinton's policies 'haphazard.' Not exactly the thoughtful
pronouncement of a man who wants to craft this nation's foreign
policy as president." (CNBC, "Hardball" 6/8/99; Investor's Business
Daily, editorial, 5/17/99)

-- Bush's Advisers Couldn't Agree on Kosovo Position. The
Washington Post reported that when Bush was hesitant to state his
position on Kosovo when the conflict was escalating, behind the
scenes his advisers couldn't agree on what position to take. The
Post says, "for example, (Bush) was confronted with a difference of
views over whether the United States should take military action to
protect the ethnic Albanian population of Kosovo. Zakheim was against
it. Wolfowitz was for it. In the end, swayed by arguments that the
crisis threatened European stability, Bush reluctantly backed
Clinton's decision to intervene." (Washington Post, 11/19/99)

-- Bush Commented on Kosovo After Rivals Did, Then Said He
"Supported Winning." Bush did not speak out on Kosovo until the day
after his GOP presidential rivals had and, according to the Austin
American-Statesman, "it took more than one attempt by reporters to
get Bush to respond to questions about the bombing." When Bush
finally did speak on Kosovo, he said, "Uh, I support winning."
(Austin American-Statesman, 3/26/99; CNN, 4/7/99)

-- Bush Admitted He Didn't Know Where Kosovo Was. "I do need
somebody to tell me where Kosovo is. I know how to ask," Bush said.
Bush also conceded that his foreign policy experience was limited to
Mexico and that Kosovo was "not even on the radar screen." (New York
Times, 3/15/99; Manchester Guardian Weekly, 8/25/99)

-- Bush's Kosovo Stance Was Called "Indecisive." The Manchester
Union Leader attacked Bush's stance on Kosovo. "Bush's reaction
could be described as cautious. While generally supporting NATO's
bombing of Serbia, Gov. Bush's statements thus far have been vague
and indecisive," the New Hampshire paper wrote. According to the Wall
Street Journal, Bush's statement on air strikes in Kosovo was "vague
and tepid." (Wall Street Journal, 3/30/99; Manchester Union Leader,


-- Bush said, "I believe the big issues are going to be China and
Russia. There will be moments when (overseas) incidents flare up, but
it's important for the President to think globally. In the long run,
security in the world is going to be how we deal with China and
Russia." (National Journal, 8/7/99)

-- Bush Rhetoric Demonstrates Outdated Views. According to the
London Guardian, "But what should we make of this, from the Iowa
caucus campaign? 'When I was coming up,' he said, 'with what was a
dangerous world, we knew exactly who the they were. It was us versus
them, and it was clear who the them were. Today, we are not so sure
who the they are, but we know they're there.'... But the (foreign
policy) advisers all come with toughened-up cold war credentials from
the Reagan and Bush years, and take a harsher view of China and
Russia than presently prevails in Washington, not to mention an
unreservedly bullish attitude to national missile defense. ... His
leading adviser said she thought that in Kosovo 'it may be necessary
for the US to have fewer troops or no troops at all.' But there is
another trajectory, towards sharper-edged security involvements, with
several advisers advocating outright withdrawal from the 1972
anti-ballistic missile treaty." (Guardian (London), 3/9/00)

-- Bush Has Antagonist View of China. Bush has criticized the
administration's labeling of its relationship with China as a
"strategic partnership." "China is a competitor, not a strategic
partner," Bush said in his first foreign policy address. In
September 1999, Bush said China is the biggest long-term threat to
the U.S. Bush also said he would probably sign the Taiwan Security
Enhancement Act which calls for closer military ties with Taipei.
(Houston Chronicle, 9/9/99; Bush speech: "A Distinctly American
Internationalism," 11/19/99; National Journal, 4/1/00)

-- Bush Has Ignored Africa. Bush has said, "While Africa may be
important, it doesn't fit into the national strategic interests, as
far as I can see them." When Bush was asked for his vision of the
U.S. national interests, he named every continent except Africa.
According to Time magazine, "(Bush) focused exclusively on big ticket
issues ... Huge chunks of the globe -- Africa and Latin America, for
example -- were not addressed at all." (Time, 12/6/99; PBS "News
Hour," 2/16/00; Toronto Star, 2/16/00)

-- In a recent meeting between Bush and Russian foreign minister
Ivanov, Bush said that if he is elected, he will build a national
missile defense "to protect ourselves and our allies against a rogue
missile launch, against any missile launch." This defense system is
the same plan Reagan had in the 1980's which was called "Star Wars,"
and is so expensive, it would "eat up the entire defense budget, plus
the tax cut Bush has promised." Limited theatre missile defense would
cost $60 billion, and "A full-fledged strategic defense system would
be a hell of a lot more than that. We'd be talking about spending
the entire defense budget on missile defense," said Dan Smith at the
Center for Defense Information. (Lars-Erik Nelson column, New York
Daily News, 4/28/00)

-- Bush's Plan Could Invite An Arms Race. According to columnist
Nelson, " The logical Russian response (to Bush's proposed national
missile defense system) would be to halt any planned missile
reductions and, over the long term, deploy more and more nuclear
warheads to overwhelm the proposed U.S. defense. 'They could have a
larger and more dangerous nuclear missile force without spending all
that much,' says Spurgeon Keeny of the nonprofit Arms Control
Association. "In the Cold War, the arms race at least had a larger
national purpose: to defend us from a Soviet threat. The idiotic
thing about this proposal is that it would be an arms race about
itself, with no larger purpose," said John Pike of the Federation of
American Scientists. (Lars-Erik Nelson column, New York Daily News,

-- Bush offered no solutions for proliferation when he said he
opposed the CTBT. According to the New York Times, "But Bush, who
declined requests to discuss the nuclear testing issue with reporters
today, offered no alternative antinuclear prescription of his own and
left it to his aides to fill in what his objections were to the
document rejected by the Senate." (New York Times, 10/15/99)

-- Opposition to CTBT Was Led By Right-Wingers Intent on
Embarrassing the President. Right-wing Republicans Sen. Jesse Helms
and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott led the fight against
ratification of the CTBT. The 51-48 vote to defeat the treaty fell
along party lines. Even fellow Republicans criticized their GOP
colleagues in the Senate for their partisan vote. Former Secretary
of State Lawrence Eagleberger said, "...I am afraid that some of the
Republican leadership in the Congress is so anxious to embarrass the
President because they dislike him so, that their tendency toward
revenge, if you will, overwhelms their sense of what's in the
national interest." When asked who he blamed, Eagleberger said,
"Well, there's no question that the Senate Majority Leader, amongst
others, I think was clearly amongst those who was not prepared to let
the President find a way out of this.... let me put it this way: with
regard to an awful lot of the Republicans in the Senate -- it was not
a time where they were prepared to demonstrate much political
courage." (Canadian Broadcasting Corp., "As It Happens," 10/14/99;
Hartford Courant, 10/5/97; Star Tribune, 6/4/99; Washington Post,

-- U.S. Failure to Ratify Threatens International
Non-Proliferation. The U.S.'s failure to ratify threatens to unravel
the CTBT, and the entire non-proliferation regime. "The initial
impact (of the U.S. failure to ratify) will be catastrophic in terms
of the U.S. ability to be taken seriously in international efforts to
control the spread of nuclear weapons. The signal the rest of world
gets is that the United States prefers to engage in playground
partisan politics rather than working with its allies on collective
efforts at international security," said Rebecca Johnson, editor of
Disarmament Diplomacy and head of a London-based think tank that
monitors arms talks. In 1999, 26 countries had ratified the CTBT and
154 countries had signed it. (San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/5/99; New
York Times, 10/14/99; Washington Post, 10/14/99; Washington Times,

-- NATO Passed Resolution Criticizing U.S. Action. NATO members
passed a resolution condemning the Republican Senate's rejection of
the CTBT. The resolution passed by the NATO Parliamentary Assembly
says it was "deeply regretting that the United States Senate rejected
ratification of CTBT..." The Assembly also urged "the United States
Senate to reconsider its position... as soon as possible" (Reuters,
11/15/99; Resolution on the CTBT, NATO Parliamentary Assembly,

-- Republican Senate's Rejection of CTBT "Shocked American Allies.
" "The Senate vote shocked American allies, who had thought the
United States shared their view that the treaty was the central
element of global nonproliferation policy." (Washington Post, April
16, 2000)

-- Germany, France, England, South Korea All Urged U.S.
Ratification. Key U.S. allies urged ratification of the CTBT in the
week before the Senate vote. Leaders of Germany, France, and England
wrote an op-ed in the New York Times calling for U.S. support of the
treaty. "As a ratifying country, South Korea hopes that the CTBT
will take effect as early as possible," said Ham Myung-Chul, deputy
minister for policy planning at South Korea's foreign ministry.
(Newsweek, 10/18/99; Agence France Press, 10/14/99)

-- Impact of Rejecting CTBT "Catastrophic." "The most immediate
impact, experts said, might be to undermine the ability of the United
States to persuade India and Pakistan to sign the test ban treaty, a
campaign the Clinton administration has been waging since the two
Asian foes conducted tit-for-tat nuclear weapons tests early last
year. The longer-term effect could be to undermine the ability of
the world's leading nuclear power -- the United States -- to limit
membership in the nuclear weapons club, stop nuclear development by
Iran and North Korea, and persuade Russia and China to keep lids on
their arsenals. 'The initial impact will be catastrophic in terms of
the U.S. ability to be taken seriously in international efforts to
control the spread of nuclear weapons,' said Rebecca Johnson, editor
of Disarmament Diplomacy and head of a London-based think tank that
monitors arms talks. 'The signal the rest of world gets is that the
United States prefers to engage in playground partisan politics
rather than working with its allies on collective efforts at
international security.'" (Straits Times (Singapore), Branson op-ed,


-- "(The Clinton Administration) has had to grapple with a
Republican Congress that is increasingly partisan, openly skeptical
of many international institutions, wary of new commitments, and
wedded to strategic chimeras such as national missile defense (NMD).
Any president would have found it difficult to conduct foreign policy
under these conditions." (Harvard University Professor Stephen Walt,
Foreign Affairs, March/April 2000)

-- U.S. Aloofness Attributed To Congress And Increasing
Partisanship Within It, Says L.A. Times. In analyzing why "the
United States (has) become so aloof," the Los Angeles Times notes
several reasons, including:

"A Congress that cares little about foreign affairs in the wake of
the Cold War and seems to understand even less ..."

"When the Berlin Wall collapsed more than a decade ago, so too did
the long-held tradition that partisan politics ends at the water's
edge." (Los Angeles Times, 3/26/00)

-- GOP-led Congress Cut Foreign Affairs Budget While U.S. Ranks
Last Among Industrialized Nations in GDP Share for Foreign Aid.
"Both the Senate and House voted this summer to cut the
Administration's fiscal year 2000 budget for international affairs by
nearly 14 percent, or more than $ 2 billion. Those cuts come even
though funding and personnel levels at the State Department have
declined in real terms over the past decade. Meanwhile, the United
States today ranks last among industrialized nations in the share of
gross domestic product that it devotes to foreign aid." (National
Journal, 10/9/99)

-- Withholding Of UN Dues And Falling Behind In Other Arrears
Contributes To View That America Is Detached From Rest Of World, Says
L.A. Times. "The United States, which in the 1960s threatened action
against nations that were late in their dues payments to the U.N. and
other world organizations, has itself become a major deadbeat. For
nearly two years, the U.S. withheld $1 billion in dues to the U.N.
while the White House and the Republican Congress wrestled over
whether to allow any of that money to be spent on abortion. And the
U.S. has fallen behind in its dues to the International Monetary
Fund, the World Bank, the Organization of American States and an
array of others. Countless little things also contribute to the view
that America considers itself not only special but detached." (Los
Angeles Times, 3/26/00)

-- House Votes Violated Tradition of Speaking With One Voice to
Support Troops; Congressional Scholar Says it was "The Most
Embarrassing Moment . . . in 30 Years of Watching Congress."
"(D)uring Operation Allied Force, ... the House voted to require
congressional approval for the use of ground troops in Kosovo;
deadlocked on a vote authorizing U.S. involvement in an air war, even
though it was already under way; and yet doubled the emergency
supplemental that the Clinton Administration had requested to conduct
the war. Because it violated a long-standing tradition of American
leaders speaking with one voice in support of U.S. troops engaged in
combat, that series of votes was 'the most embarrassing moment on the
House floor I've witnessed in 30 years of watching Congress,' AEI's
(Norm) Ornstein said." (National Journal, 10/9/99)

-- GOP Tried to Tie the President's Hands on Bosnia, Even As Peace
Talks Were Ongoing. According to the Associated Press, "Seeking a
confrontation with President Clinton, House Republicans say they will
move legislation cutting off money for a U.S. troop deployment to
Bosnia unless the White House gains congressional support. As Bosnian
peace talks continued in Ohio, Clinton pleaded with lawmakers to keep
an open mind. ... 'I see this as part of a series of signals to the
president that the Congress intends to play a decisive role in this
issue,' said Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla., chairman of the House
Appropriations national security subcommittee. 'The president should
get approval of Congress.'" (Associated Press, 11/9/95)

-- On April 26, Senator Jesse Helms said he would not approve any
new treaties under the current administration. This was the same day
Bush criticized, "eight years of excessive partisanship and finger
pointing." In a floor speech that according to Congressional
Quarterly, "his staff went to great lengths to promote in advance,"
Helms said, "In a few months the American people will go to the polls
to elect a new president. ...(That president) must have the freedom
and the flexibility to establish his own security policies. ... With
all due respect, I do not intend to allow this president to establish
his 'legacy' by binding the next generation of Americans to a future
without a viable national missile defense. After dragging his feet
on missile defense for nearly eight years, Mr. Clinton now fervently
hopes ... to tie the hands of the next president. Well I, for one,
have a message for the president: Not on my watch, Mr. President.
It's not going to happen." (CQ Monitor News, 4/26/00; New York Times,

-- Bush Did Not Distance Himself From Helms. According to the New
York Times, "And Senator Jesse Helms, Republican of North Carolina,
vowed to block approval of any arms agreement that President Clinton
might negotiate with Russia in his final months in office. Given a
chance at a news conference in North Carolina to distance himself
from Mr. Helms, Mr. Bush did not. 'I haven't talked with the
senator,' he said, 'but I'll tell you this. If the president
negotiates a treaty that really doesn't free up the United States and
or Russia to develop an anti-ballistic missile system, fully explore
the options of an anti-ballistic missile system, I would rather have
no treaty.'" (New York Times, 4/29/00)

/U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/
04/30 11:47

Copyright 2000, U.S. Newswire