The National Security Restoration Act
The National Security Restoration Act reforms DOD to ensure that U.S. troops are only deployed to support missions in the U.S.'s national security interests, to reinvigorate a national missile defense and to accelerate the expansion of NATO. Other provisions in the bill are designed to address concerns that readiness has suffered because defense spending has been cut too far and too quickly in order to pay for expensive social programs.
U.S. defense spending (as a percentage of GDP) is at its lowest level since World War II and many assert that any more military reductions could leave the U.S. unprepared to respond to unforeseen global threats. Despite severe personnel reductions and shortfalls in funding over the last 10 years, U.S. troops have been deployed more often and have taken part in more operations per year than ever before. Presently, over 48,000 U.S. personnel serve in unstable regions such as Haiti, Iraq, Bosnia, Macedonia, the Adriatic Sea, Rwanda and the Caribbean.
The National Security Restoration Act addresses this problem by:
- restricting DOD from taking part in military operations that would place U.S. troops under foreign command;
- requiring an accurate and comprehensive review of U.S. defense needs by authorizing a blue-ribbon panel of independent defense experts to assess military readiness, maintenance practices and general operational needs;
- restoring defense spending "firewalls" that prohibit the transfer of DOD funds to other departments and agencies in order to fund social spending programs unrelated to military readiness. Future defense spending cuts are to be used only for deficit reduction;
- renewing the U.S.'s commitment to an effective national missile defense by requiring DOD to deploy anti-ballistic missile systems capable of defending the U.S. against ballistic missile attacks; and
- renewing the U.S.'s commitment to a strong North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) by urging the Clinton Administration to proceed with full NATO partnership discussions with nations that are striving to embrace democracy, enact free market economic reforms and place their armies under civilian control.
Restricting Multi-National and U.N. Command of U.S. Troops
Prohibition of Foreign Command of U.S. Armed Forces. DOD is prohibited from taking part in military operations which place U.S. troops under foreign command. The president may waive this provision if he certifies to Congress that operational control of our troops under foreign command is vital to U.S. national security interests. No later than 10 days after this certification, the president must report to Congress with (1) a description of the vital national security interest that requires the placement of U.S. troops under foreign command; (2) the size, composition, mission and objectives of the U.S. troops involved and the estimated time the troops will serve under foreign command; (3) the U.S.'s cost for the mission; (4) the precise command and control relationship between the U.S. and the foreign command structure; and (5) the extent to which the U.S. troops will rely on non-U.S. military forces for security and self defense and an assessment of those forces' ability to carry out these duties.
Placing U.S. Troops Under Foreign Command for U.N. Peacekeeping Activities. The bill stipulates that any special peacekeeping agreement negotiated between the president and the U.N. Security Council which places U.S. troops under foreign command must be approved by Congress. The president may not place U.S. troops under foreign command unless he (1) reports to Congress with the size, composition, mission and command structure of U.S. troops involved; (2) certifies that placing U.S. troops under foreign command is vital to national security; (3) retains the option to remove U.S. troops from peacekeeping activities at any time; and (4) guarantees that all U.S. troops placed under foreign leadership will remain under U.S. administrative command for discipline and evaluation. The above stipulations must be met no less than 15 days before U.S. troops are placed under foreign command.
Notice to Congress of Proposed U.N. Peacekeeping Activities. The president must report to Congress at least 15 days prior to any U.N. Security Council vote authorizing U.N. peacekeeping activities which involve the use of U.S. troops and funds. The report is to include a description of U.S. force involvement, the mission of the U.S. troops, the cost and source of funding for the U.S.'s share of the mission, and an estimated termination date for troop involvement.
Transmittal to Congress of U.N. Resolutions and Reports. Within 24 hours after the U.N. Security Council adopts a resolution authorizing peacekeeping activities involving U.S. troops, the president must submit the text and supporting documentation of the resolution to Congress.
Reports to Congress on U.S. Contributions For U.N. Peacekeeping Activities. The president must (1) notify Congress within 15 days after the U.N. submits a billing statement to the U.S. for its share of peacekeeping activities and (2) notify Congress at least 15 days prior to disbursing funds for peacekeeping.
Budgeting for Annual U.S. Contributions For U.N. Peacekeeping Activities. The president is directed to submit to Congress, along with his annual budget, a report with estimates of the U.S.'s fiscal year funding requirements for U.N. peacekeeping. Beginning with the FY 1996 budget, the president is to submit to Congress an estimate of all U.S. costs associated with U.N. peacekeeping for each of FY 1996, 1997 and 1998.
Annual Reports to Congress on Peacekeeping. No later than 90 days after enactment, and each year thereafter at the time of the president's annual budget submission, the president is to report to Congress on U.S. contributions to U.N. peacekeeping. The report is to include (1) the number and nature of ongoing peacekeeping activities, (2) the priority and anticipated duration of each ongoing activity, (3) an assessment of each ongoing peacekeeping operation and its effect on U.S. national security, (4) the total costs of each U.N. peacekeeping mission and the U.S. contribution to each of these missions, and (5) an assessment of U.N. management of peacekeeping activities. The initial report is to include the costs for all U.N. peacekeeping activities since October 1945. Subsequent reports are to include the same information for the preceding and current fiscal year
U.S. Reimbursement For In-Kind Contributions to U.N. Peacekeeping Operations. Beginning in FY 1995, appropriated peacekeeping funds may not be used to pay the U.S. share of U.N. operations unless DOD certifies to Congress that the U.N. has reimbursed DOD for all goods and services that have been provided to the U.N. on a reimbursable basis.
Limitation on the Use of DOD Funds For U.N. Peacekeeping. Beginning October 1, 1995, DOD Operations and Maintenance funds for U.S. contributions to U.N. peacekeeping missions are subject to congressional authorization.
Assessed Contributions For U.N. Peacekeeping Activities. The bill expresses the sense of Congress that (1) the U.S. should not fund more than 25 percent of the total cost of any U.N. peacekeeping mission and (2) the U.N. should review each nation's assessed contributions for U.N. peacekeeping activities.
Buy America Requirement. No U.S. funds may be contributed to the U.N. for peacekeeping activities unless the Secretary of State determines that U.S. manufacturers and suppliers are being given the opportunity to provide equipment, services and material for peacekeeping mission activities equivalent to those being given to foreign manufacturers and suppliers.
U.S. Personnel Taken Prisoner While Serving in Multilateral Peacekeeping Missions. The bill expresses the sense of Congress that the president should take all necessary steps to (1) ensure that any U.S. military personnel captured during U.N. peacekeeping activities are to be treated as prisoners of war and (2) bring to justice all individuals responsible for the mistreatment, torture and death of American prisoners.
Provision of Intelligence to the U.N. The U.S. is authorized to provide intelligence assets to the U.N. only if the president and the secretary general of the U.N. agree to the types of intelligence to be provided, the circumstances under which the intelligence assistance is to be provided, and the procedures to be observed by the U.N. to ensure the secrecy of the intelligence. The president must report to Congress at least 30 days prior to entering into such an agreement.
U.N. Peacekeeping Budgetary and Management Reform. The bill contains numerous budgetary reforms to ensure efficiency when the U.S. contributes funds to the U.N. At the beginning of each fiscal year (beginning in FY 1995), 50 percent of all U.S. funds made available for U.N. peacekeeping must be withheld until the president certifies to Congress that (1) the U.N. has established an independent and objective Office of Inspector General to audit, inspect and investigate peacekeeping activities; and (2) the secretary general of the U.N. has appointed an inspector general who is proficient in accounting, financial analysis, law and public administration.
Comprehensive Review of U.S. Defense Needs
Independent Blue-Ribbon Panel. The bill establishes a blue- ribbon panel to conduct an accurate and comprehensive review of the U.S.'s national security needs, force readiness requirements and modernization plans. This provision comes in response to critics of President Clinton's "bottom-up-review" who assert that it contained unrealistic financing for the established goals.
Restoring Budget Firewalls For Defense Spending
The bill stipulates that DOD funds may not be transferred to any other department or agency unless the secretary of Defense reports to Congress, at least 30 days before these funds are to be made available, with proof that it is vital to U.S. national security interests. DOD may waive this provision during periods of national emergency declared by the president or Congress, however the waiver may not take effect until Congress has been notified.
Renewed Commitment to a National Missile Defense
DOD is directed to (1) develop for deployment at the earliest possible date a cost-effective, operational anti-ballistic missile defense system to protect the U.S. against ballistic missile threats (e.g., accidental or unauthorized launches or Third World attacks); (2) implement as quickly as possible advanced theater missile defense systems; and (3) report to Congress within 60 days of enactment with a plan for both missile defense systems.
Renewed Commitment to a Strong North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
On January 10, 1994 leaders of the NATO member nations meeting in Brussels, Belgium issued an invitation to European countries that do not belong to NATO to participate in the Partnership for Peace program. In that invitation, NATO reaffirmed its commitment to expand the organization to increase the security of the North Atlantic area. NATO pointed out that many European countries that in the past had been adversaries, had rejected ideological hostility to the West and, in varying degrees, had begun to implement policies aimed at achieving democracy, protecting human rights and building free market economies.
The bill expresses the sense of Congress that (1) the U.S. should continue its commitment to an active leadership in NATO; (2) the U.S. should join with its NATO allies to redefine the alliance's role in the post-Cold War world (taking into account the changes in central and eastern Europe and the emerging security threats posed by nuclear, chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction); (3) the U.S. should reaffirm that NATO military planning includes joint military operations outside of NATO jurisdiction; (4) that Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia should be in a position to further the principles of the North Atlantic Treaty and contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area no later than January 10, 1999 (the bill also states that these countries should continue working toward democracy, free market economics and civilian control of their militaries); (5) the U.S. should assist these nations as they work towards inclusion in NATO; and (6) other European nations should be invited to join NATO in the future if they agree to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic.
The president is given authority to establish a program to assist Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and other European countries that are working toward full membership to NATO. The program is to assist the new nations with joint planning and military exercises with NATO forces and encourage greater interoperability of military equipment to achieve a uniform military doctrine. The president may also provide assistance to other European countries emerging from communist domination if he certifies that they have made significant progress in embracing democracy and establishing free-market economies.
President's Report to Congress
Within one year after enactment, and at least once every year thereafter, the president is to report to Congress on the progress made by Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and other emerging European countries in their efforts to achieve full NATO membership.
The Present Landscape of the DOD Review Process
Bottom Up Review. In 1990-91, the Bush Administration studied how U.S. military forces should be restructured after the end of the Cold War and produced a blueprint for a base force 20-25 percent smaller in budget and forces than the current structure. In spite of this review, the Clinton Administration decided to undertake its own "bottom up review" -- making its own assessment of the U.S.'s post Cold War defense needs and making its own proposals to restructure the military to meet them. In September 1993, the bottom-up review (BUR) was released with its recommendation to cut an additional 10 percent on top of the Bush Administration proposals. BUR's FY 1995-99 defense spending recommendation was $91 billion below the Bush Administration's adjusted baseline of $1,325 billion and $13 billion more than the Clinton Administration's own defense spending target of $1,221 billion. Former Defense Secretary Aspin expressed the administration's intent to trim down spending to meet the target. The FY 1995 defense authorization bill was the first defense authorization measure drafted in accordance with BUR.
BUR's proposals are based on maintaining a force structure sufficient to win two major regional conflicts simultaneously (a strategy called win- win). BUR claims savings of (1) $24 billion from cutting 160,000 more active duty personnel than the Bush administration, (2) $19 billion from infrastructure changes, including base closings, and cutting 115,000 more civilian personnel than the Bush Administration, (3) $21 billion from realigning ballistic missile defense programs, and (4) $32 billion from reduced development and procurement of many systems. Savings were also achieved in weapons modernization programs.
The Clinton Administration argues the BUR force structure reflects a cautious strategy to maintain U.S. freedom of action in a still dangerous world. The U.S. military will have greater strategic mobility, more firepower and be armed with "smart" and "brilliant" weapons. Moreover, additional savings will be possible from changes in strategic nuclear programs and minor procurement programs, acquisition reform, and Vice President Gore's national performance review.
Critics have charged that (1) the win-win strategy is purely military -- that is, the Clinton Administration has yet to develop a national security strategy encompassing all its concerns and priorities; (2) the proposed force is inadequate; it is the same force that previous DOD analyses considered appropriate for less-demanding strategies; (3) the strategy overestimates the savings to be achieved from base closures; (4) the BUR force cannot be maintained within the Clinton Administration's own budget guidelines; (5) the Army, with only 10 active divisions, will be hard pressed to support the win-win strategy while fulfilling peacekeeping missions around the globe; (6) cutting the aircraft carrier fleet from 13 to 11 will create gaps in global coverage; and (7) the Air Force may have too few long range attack aircraft, too few aerial tankers, and an insufficient airlift capacity to support two major regional conflicts.
The Current Outlook for Defense Spending
President Clinton's FY 1995 Defense Budget Request. On February 7, 1994, President Clinton presented his FY 1995 defense budget to Congress. Recommending $263.7 billion in new BA and $270.7 billion in outlays, the plan continues the decline in military spending that began in the late 1980s. Under the president's proposal, by FY 1997, BA for national defense will fall to about 40 percent of the FY 1985 spending peak (in constant, inflation- adjusted dollars), with spending beginning to level off after that.
Late in 1993, discussion of the defense budget focused on a five- year $50 billion gap between the projected cost of planned military programs and the amount available under budget plans formulated last year. The projected gap was mainly due to higher estimates of inflation and a congressionally-mandated military pay raise. Subsequently, revised inflation estimates reduced the projected gap, and the president approved an increase of $11.4 billion over five years in defense funding to cover costs of the pay raise. These changes narrowed the gap to about $20 billion, but the administration decided to postpone dealing with the shortfall until this year.
Following debate on the defense funding shortfall, the president reaffirmed support for his long-term defense spending plan by arguing in his State of the Union address against further cuts. Perhaps partly because of the president's endorsement of the defense plan, debate over defense spending levels was relatively muted once the House and Senate considered the annual congressional budget resolution in March 1994. In the House, a proposal to reduce FY 1995 defense budget authority by $2.4 billion was defeated by a substantial margin. But both chambers also rejected proposals to increase five-year defense spending levels by at least the $20 billion shortfall. The Senate approved a measure to reduce caps on overall discretionary spending by $46 billion in BA and $26 billion in outlays. Although many supporters of the measure argued that the cuts should not come from defense, critics warned that DOD would likely bear a large share of the reductions. The House, which had no comparable provision, narrowly rejected a motion to instruct conferees to include these Senate-passed cuts, and the final conference agreement split the difference between the House and the Senate, cutting $13 billion in outlays over five years. The allocation of the reductions is left to the appropriations committees.
Debate over the FY 1995 defense budget was heated, with a number of longer-term defense spending and policy issues emerging to the forefront. Major issues included whether the administration budget is sufficient to maintain high levels of military readiness, whether the planned military force is large enough to support the military strategy articulated in BUR, and whether the necessary pace of weapons modernization will outrun likely weapons budgets after the turn of the century.
Over the past several years, debate has focused not on whether defense spending should be cut, but rather by how much. Proponents of greater and accelerated reductions have argued that with the end of the Cold War, funds previously allocated for defense are now free to be spent on urgent domestic needs. With defense spending currently at its lowest level (as a percentage of GDP) since World War II, others have argued that downsizing must be done methodically and carefully, warning that quick and deep reductions in the past have left the U.S. unprepared to respond to unforeseen global threats.
A key issue in the current defense policy debate is whether the defense budget projected by the Clinton Administration for the next several years is sufficient to support a well-equipped, well-trained, high- quality military force. Defense analysts have generally assumed that if the size of the military force remains stable, then defense spending will and probably should grow moderately over time in order to purchase and operate more modern equipment and to improve the quality of life in the military. Some observers see current defense budgets as comparable (in inflation-adjusted prices) to average Cold War-era budgets, and conclude that a continuing "Cold War level of funding" should suffice to support a substantially smaller, post-Cold War force. Because defense spending normally has grown over time relative to the size of the force, however, such a comparison may not be very meaningful. When the normal growth in defense funding per troop is taken into account, it appears that currently planned budgets will begin to fall below the historical trend over the next few years. How well or how poorly the budget fits the force will depend on the impact of a slowdown in weapons modernization and on how well efforts to protect readiness are managed. Senior administration officials acknowledge that procurement funding has declined substantially in recent years, but, they say this is acceptable in the short run. Judging by historical standards, however, significant increases in defense funding may be necessary in the future to maintain a capable force of the planned size unless there are significant changes in patterns of acquisition and operations.
International Peacekeeping Operations
The U.S. participates in a number of peacekeeping operations worldwide, most of which are organized, carried out and paid for by the U.S. in association with U.N. efforts. Currently, the incremental costs associated with the mission -- costs above and beyond normal peacetime operating expenses -- are funded through (1) supplemental appropriations, (2) DOD reprogramming, (3) absorption by DOD accounts, and (4) earmarkings in annual defense funding bills. The U.S. has 13 ongoing missions. Last year, President Clinton requested $597 million for peacekeeping and Congress appropriated $401.6 million.
Because of the rapid increase in both the number and cost of peacekeeping operations since the end of the Cold War, some members of Congress have expressed concern about the existing funding procedures. One solution is to create a new account to hold advanced funding of U.S. peacekeeping missions. The Clinton Administration tried to do this in the FY 1994 defense budget, calling the account the Global Cooperative Initiative, but it was rejected by Congress.
The U.S. also funds peacekeeping operations through mandatory contributions to the U.N. The U.S. is responsible for 25 percent of the U.N.'s normal operating budget and 31.7 percent of the cost of each U.N.-sponsored peacekeeping activity. The peacekeeping assessment was raised from 30.4 percent to 31.7 percent last year to compensate for reduced contributions by the now-dissolved Soviet Union. This increase added fire to existing concerns about the U.N.'s management practices, causing the administration to demand that the U.S. share be reduced to 25 percent.
At the end of the Cold War, partially fueled by the success of Operation Desert Storm, enthusiasm for peacekeeping operations peaked. But the mood quickly changed as Americans monitored an inconclusive U.S. mission in Somalia and considered the possibility of many American deaths in a ground war in Bosnia. On May 8, 1994, the Clinton Administration unveiled criteria the president will use to decide which peacekeeping efforts to support with money, troops or both. Under these criteria, in order for the U.S. to vote in favor of a mission it must advance U.S. interests; result from a threat to international peace and security; and have clear, realistic objectives. The criteria for deciding whether to commit troops to the mission, especially if combat is expected, are more stringent. The directive also makes clear that American forces can never be placed under foreign command unless doing so would serve American security interests. White House national security adviser Anthony Lake describes these guidelines as an attempt to reform and limit U.S. participation for such activities.
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