On U.S. Global Leadership
"Forward engagement in the context of national defense means
that our investments in America’s military must be consistent
with a future-oriented vision of what it will take to win on the
"We must use the surplus wisely, to invest now in people,
technology and the reconfiguration of America’s armed forces
that will best prepare us for the national security threats in a
Al Gore sees four key challenges in U.S. national security:
On U.S. Military Intervention
"At the dawn of the 21st century, we need a foreign policy
that addresses the classic security threats—and understands
the new ones, as well. We need to pursue a policy of ‘Forward
Engagement’—addressing problems early in their development
before they become crises, addressing them as close to the source
of the problem as possible, and having the forces and resources
to deal with those threats as soon after their emergence as possible."
Gore’s criteria for U.S. military intervention:
On Defense Spending
Al Gore promises to:
On Arms Control
"We believe that it is essential to [build a missile defense]
in a way that does not destroy the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM)
Treaty. The ABM Treaty is the cornerstone of strategic stability
in our relationship with Russia. It prevents the Russians or ourselves
from deploying defenses powerful enough—assuming anyone can
solve the engineering problems—to neutralize the deterrent
of either side.
"Reductions [of nuclear weapons] alone do not guarantee stability.
If you’re not careful, you could have a reduction of missiles
and a more dangerous world."
On ‘Rogue’ States
"I favor an effort to develop a limited missile defense system,
and not a massive ‘star wars’ system, because our country
will probably face a new threat later this decade from a small arsenal
of relatively unsophisticated ICBMs in the hands of a rogue state.
"The administration has been working on the technology for
a national missile defense system designed to protect all 50 states
from a limited attack at the hands of rogue states. We believe,
however, that it is essential to do this in a way that does not
destroy the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The national missile
defense system that the president reviewed this summer is intended
to meet threats from proliferant states like North Korea, while
preserving strategic stability."
On Lessons From Vietnam
"[Vietnam] certainly matured me in a hurry. It gave me a tolerance
for complexity. I didn’t change my conclusions about the war
being a terrible mistake, but it struck me that opponents to the
war, including myself, really did not take into account the fact
that there were an awful lot of South Vietnamese who desperately
wanted to hang onto what they called freedom. Coming face to face
with those sentiments [in the local people] was something I was
naively unprepared for."
On Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
"There’s no more important challenge than stopping the
spread of nuclear weapons."
If elected, Gore wants a mandate from the voters to send the treaty
to the Senate to be ratified.
On 21st Century Military Strategy
Gore promises to use the Quadrennial Defense Review to set a course
for future military strategy. The United States, he says, must: