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Saturday, September 25, 2004

Bush in 2000: we will not enter into a war without an exit strategy

Here's what George W. Bush had to say during the Oct. 3, 2000 Presidential debate, when asked about when he would use military force:

JIM LEHRER: New question. How would you go about, as president, deciding when it was in the national interest to use US force, generally?

GOV. BUSH: Well, if it's in our vital national interests, and that means whether or not our territory -- our territory is threatened, our people could be harmed, whether or not our alliances are -- defense alliances are threatened. Whether or not our friends in the Middle East are threatened. That would be a time to seriously consider the use of force.

Secondly, whether or not the mission was clear; whether or not it was a clear understanding as to what the mission would be. Thirdly, whether or not we were prepared and trained to -- to -- win. Whether or not our forces were of high morale and high standing and well-equipped. And finally, whether or not there was an exit strategy.

I would take the use of force very seriously. I would be guarded in my approach. I don't think we can be all things to all people in the world. I think we've got to be very careful when we commit our troops. The vice president and I have a disagreement about the use of troops. He believes in nation-building. I would be very careful about using our troops as nation-builders. I believe the role of the military is to fight and win war and, therefore, prevent war from happening in the first place.

And so I take my responsibility seriously. And it starts with making sure we rebuild our military power. Morale in today's military is too low. We're having trouble meeting recruiting goals. We met the goals this year, but in the previous years we have not met recruiting goals.

We're -- some of our troops are -- are not well -- well equipped. I believe we're overextended in too many places. And -- and therefore I want to rebuild the military power. It starts with a billion-dollar pay raise for the men and women who wear the uniform, a billion dollars more than the president recently signed into law. It's to make sure our troops are well housed and well equipped, bonus plans to keep some of our high-skilled folks in the services, and a commander in chief who clearly sets the mission. And the mission is to fight and win war, and therefore prevent war from happening in the first place.

Now who's a flip-flopper?


At 9:30 AM, Blogger Clickter said...

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