|REPUBLICAN PLATFORM 2000|
July 31, 2000
With a promise of a government "For the people," the GOP also discusses political reform and its policies concenring native Americans and the District of Columbia in this section of the platform.
Principled American Leadership
The duties of our day are different. But the values of our nation do not change.
Let us reject the blinders of isolationism, just as we refuse the crown of empire.
Let us not dominate others with our power - or betray them with our indifference.
And let us have an American foreign policy that reflects American character.
The modesty of true strength. The humility of real greatness. This is the strong heart of America. And this will be the spirit of my administration.
- Governor George W. Bush
The Emerging Fellowship of Freedom
The Twenty-First Century opens with unique promise for the United States. Democratic values are celebrated on every continent. The productivity and ingenuity of American business are the envy of the world. American innovation is leading the way in the information age. New technology speeds an exchange of ideas that often bear the mark of American inspiration. No other great power challenges American international preeminence. There is every reason for Americans to be extraordinarily optimistic about their future.
Few nations in history have been granted such a singular opportunity to shape the future. Even after World War II the United States had to reckon with a divided world and terrible dangers. Now America can help mold international ideals and institutions for decades to come. Handed the torch by generations that won great battles, our generation of Americans with its allies and friends can build a different and better world, promoting U.S. interests and principles, avoiding the economic convulsions and perilous conflicts that so scarred the century just past. Through a distinctly American internationalism, a new Republican president will build public support for a new strategy that can lead the United States of America toward a more peaceful and prosperous world for us, our children, and future generations.
Almost all Americans know they cannot prosper alone in the world. They know that America is safest when more and more countries share a profound belief in political and economic liberty, human dignity, and the rule of law, when more and more nations join the United States in an emerging fellowship of freedom.
That is what happened during the twelve years of Republican presidential leadership from 1981 to 1992. The Cold War ended with the triumph of freedom. The Soviet Empire collapsed, and the USSR followed it into history. The proud Atlantic community welcomed a united Germany and new friends in Central and Eastern Europe. Iraq tried the law of the jungle and was routed, its aggressive power broken. The Arab-Israeli peace process was revived. Alliances and friendships in Asia were robust and successful. Mexico joined with the United States in an unprecedented new economic partnership as peace and democracy spread through Latin America. Around the globe, the word, the ideals and the power of the United States commanded respect. The American presidency showed bright and purposeful.
In the last eight years the administration has squandered the opportunity granted to the United States by the courage and sacrifice of previous generations:
· The administration has run Americas defenses down over the decade through inadequate resources, promiscuous commitments, and the absence of a forward-looking military strategy.
· The ballistic missile threat to the United States has been persistently dismissed, delaying for years the day when America will have the capability to defend itself against this growing danger.
· The arrogance, inconsistency, and unreliability of the administrations diplomacy have undermined American alliances, alienated friends, and emboldened our adversaries.
· World trade talks in Seattle that the current administration had sponsored collapsed in spectacular failure. Authority to negotiate new fast-track trade agreements was slapped down by the administrations own party in the Congress. An initiative to establish free trade throughout the Americas has stalled because of this lack of Presidential leadership.
· The problems of Mexico have been ignored, as our indispensable neighbor to the south struggled with too little American help to deal with its formidable challenges.
· The tide of democracy in Latin America has begun to ebb with a sharp rise in corruption and narco-trafficking.
· A misguided policy toward China was exemplified by President Clintons trip to Beijing that produced an embarrassing presidential kowtow and a public insult to our longstanding ally, Japan.
· With weak and wavering policies toward Russia, the administration has diverted its gaze from corruption at the top of the Russian government, the slaughter of thousands of innocent civilians in Chechnya, and the export of dangerous Russian technologies to Iran and elsewhere.
· A chorus of empty threats destroyed Americas credibility in the Balkans, so that promised safe havens became killing fields.
· The administration prolonged the war in Kosovo by publicly limiting Americas military options - something no Commander-in-Chief should ever do.
· A generation of American efforts to slow proliferation of weapons of mass destruction has unraveled as first India and Pakistan set off their nuclear bombs, then Iraq defied the international community. Token air strikes against Iraq could not long mask the collapse of an inspection regime that had - until then - at least kept an ambitious, murderous tyrant from acquiring additional nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons.
· A humanitarian intervention in Somalia was escalated thoughtlessly into nation-building at the cost of the lives of courageous Americans.
· A military intervention in Haiti displayed administration indecision and incoherence and, after billions of dollars had been spent, accomplished nothing of lasting value
Reacting belatedly to inevitable crises, the administration constantly enlarges the reach of its rhetoric - most recently in Vice President Gores "new security agenda" that adds disease, climate, and all the worlds ethnic or religious conflicts to an undiminished set of existing American responsibilities. If there is some limit to candidate Gores new agenda for America as global social worker, he has yet to define it.
It is time for America to regain its focus. Winston Churchill, after he had lived through other years that the "locust hath eaten," declared: "The era of procrastination, of half-measures, of soothing and
baffling expedients, of delays, is coming to a close. In its place we are entering a period of consequences." As idle indulgence gives way to a new Republican president in the coming new "period of consequences," the United States can again regain the hope it lost eight years ago. We can restore our countrys sense of international purpose and national honor.
A Republican president will identify and pursue vital American national interests. He will set priorities and he will stick to them. Under his leadership, the United States will build and secure the peace. Republicans know what it takes to accomplish this: robust military forces, strong alliances, expanding trade, and resolute diplomacy.
Yet this new realism must be inspired by what we stand for as a nation. Republicans know that the American commitment to freedom is the true source of our nations strength. That is why, for one example, Congressional Republicans have made political and religious liberty a cornerstone of their approach to international affairs. That commitment is the glue that binds our great alliances. It is strong precisely because it is not just an American ideal. We propose our principles; we must not impose our culture. Yet the basic values of human freedom and dignity are universal.
A Military for the Twenty-First Century
Republicans are the party of peace through strength. A strong and well-trained American military is the worlds best guarantee of peace. It is the shield of this republics liberty, security, and prosperity. Only a President, as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, can ensure that our military stands ready to defend America and triumph against new challenges.
A Republican president and a Republican Congress will transform Americas defense capabilities for the information age, ensuring that U.S. armed forces remain paramount against emerging dangers.
They will restore the health of a defense industry weakened by a combination of neglect and misguided policies. To do all this, the United States must align its military power with the strengths of American society: our skilled people, our advanced technology, and our proficiency at integrating fast-paced systems into potent networks. While we are on the crest of a new age in military technology, we will not forget that the strength of our military lies with the combat soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine.
Americans are justly proud of their armed forces. But today, only nine years after the tremendous victory in the Persian Gulf War, the U.S. military faces growing problems in readiness, morale, and its ability to prepare for the threats of the future. The administration has cut defense spending to its lowest percentage of gross domestic product since before Pearl Harbor. At the same time, the current administration has casually sent American armed forces on dozens of missions without clear goals, realizable objectives, favorable rules of engagement, or defined exit strategies.
Over the past seven years, a shrunken American military has been run ragged by a deployment tempo that has eroded its military readiness. Many units have seen their operational requirements increased four-fold, wearing out both people and equipment. Only last fall the Army certified two of its premier combat divisions as unready for war because of underfunding, mismanagement, and over-
commitment to peacekeeping missions around the globe. More Army units and the other armed services report similar problems. It is a national scandal that almost one quarter of our Armys active combat strength is unfit for wartime duty.
When presidents fail to make hard choices, those who serve must make them instead. Soldiers must choose whether to stay with their families or to stay in the armed forces at all. Sending our military on vague, aimless, and endless missions rapidly saps morale. Even the highest morale is eventually undermined by back-to-back deployments, poor pay, shortages of spare parts and equipment, inadequate training, and rapidly declining readiness. When it comes to military health, the administration is not providing an adequate military health care system for active-duty service members and their families and for retired service members and their dependents. The nation is failing to fulfill its ethical, and legal health care obligations to those that are serving or have honorably served in the Armed Forces of the United States.
It is no surprise that the all-volunteer force - the pride of America - is struggling to recruit and retain soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. As recruiting lags, well-trained personnel are leaving in record numbers. Those dedicated military personnel that stay in the force face a pay gap of some, 13 percent relative to their civilian counterparts. Thousands of military families are forced to rely on food stamps. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has said that two-thirds of the nations military housing is substandard. The calculated indifference of the administration to national defense has forced thousands of our most experienced and patriotic warriors to leave the military. We will once again make wearing the uniform the object of national pride.
The new Republican government will renew the bond of trust between the Commander-in-Chief, the American military, and the American people. The military is not a civilian police force or a political referee. We believe the military must no longer be the object of social experiments. We affirm traditional military culture. We affirm that homosexuality is incompatible with military service.
The U.S. military under the leadership of a Republican President and a Republican Congress will focus on its most demanding task - fighting and winning in combat. Readiness prevents wars. Also, by being prepared for this most exacting mission with an uncommon sense of urgency, our military will know, unlike today, that its loyalty and self-sacrifice have meaning and purpose.
In a time of fluid change and uncertainty, intelligence is truly Americas first line of defense. The current administration has weakened that defense by allowing a series of shocking security breaches, from blatant espionage and its virtual abandonment of national security-related export controls, to sheer sloppiness at the highest levels of government. This must stop, immediately. Nor should the intelligence community be made the scapegoat for political misjudgments. A Republican administration working with the Congress will respect the needs and quiet sacrifices of these public servants as it strengthens Americas intelligence and counter-intelligence capabilities and reorients them toward the dangers of the future.
A Republican president will challenge Americas military leaders to envision a new architecture of American defense for decades to come. Our next president will balance the need to prepare for information age battles while keeping our conventional fighting skills second to none. To pay for profligate deployments, the administrations defense budgets have been eating their seed corn - slashing spending on modernization to levels not seen since before the Korean War, undermining the health of our defense industry and producing what one administration official admitted was a "death spiral" for the U.S. defense capability of the future. Even our elite combat units are scraping the bottom of the barrel to find funds for basic training.
A Republican president, working in partnership with a Republican Congress, will push beyond marginal improvements and incorporate new technologies and new strategies - spending more and investing wisely to transform our military into a true twenty-first century force. A Republican government will use this time of relative American strength in the world to prepare for a different kind of future. In the twenty-first century U.S. forces must be agile, lethal, readily deployable, and require a minimum of logistical support. They must also be fully prepared for possible enemy use of weapons of mass destruction.
To build such U.S. military forces will require foresight and steadfast commitment. We must be willing to act now to give the next generation of Americans what they will need to protect our country. This will also require a new spirit of innovation. Republicans believe that our military leaders will welcome and meet these challenges. Moments of national opportunity are either seized or lost. Americas opportunity beckons: to demonstrate that a new approach to U.S. defense can shape the future with new concepts, new strategies, and new resolve.
The men and women of the National Guard and Reserve are an important part of the nations military readiness, and we will maintain their strength in the States. Their role as citizen soldiers must continue to be a proud tradition that links every community in the country with the cause of national security. The Republican party created the all-volunteer force and opposes reinstitution of the draft, whether directly or through compulsory national service. We support the advancement of women in the military, support their exemption from ground combat units, and call for implementation of the recommendations of the Kassebaum Commission, which unanimously recommended that co-ed basic training be ended. We support restoration of sound priorities in the making of personnel policies, and candid analysis of the consequences of unprecedented social changes in the military. We will put renewed emphasis on encouraging the best and brightest of our young people to join our armed forces.
As the traditional advocate of Americas veterans, the Republican Party remains committed to fulfilling Americas obligations to them. That is why we defeated the administrations attempt to replace veterans health care with a national system for everybody. It is why Congressional Republicans enacted the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998, to thwart attempts to water down veterans preference in federal civil service hiring and retention, and why they created the National Veterans Business Development Corporation to assist vets in becoming entrepreneurs. The same holds true for their Veterans Millennium Health Care and Benefits Act, a first step toward correcting the deficiencies in medical care for vets and ensuring a medical infrastructure that will better honor the nations commitment to those who served. In a Republican administration, a true advocate for veterans will become Secretary of Veteran Affairs.
The maintenance and expansion of our national cemeteries is a solemn duty; a Republican administration will attend to it. Many of the programs designed to assist veterans cry out for modernization and reform. The American people cannot be content with the current unemployment rate of recently separated veterans, or with the significant number of veterans among the homeless. With a backlog of almost a half million cases, the Veterans Benefit Administration needs to be brought into the Information Age. The work of the Veterans Employment and Training Service needs a stronger focus on vocational education, and the nation as a whole must reconsider the ways restrictive licensing and certification rules prevent fully qualified vets from moving up the opportunity ladder.
Protecting the Fellowship of Freedom from Weapons of Mass Destruction
The new century will bring new threats, but America - properly led - can master them. Just as the generations of World War II and the Cold War were quick to seize the high frontier of science and craft the national defense America needed, so our country can build on its strengths and defend against unprecedented perils once again.
Ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction threaten the worlds future. America is currently without defense against these threats. The administrations failure to guard Americas nuclear secrets is allowing China to modernize its ballistic missile force, thereby increasing the threat to our country and to our allies. The theft of vital nuclear secrets by China represents one of the greatest security defeats in the history of the United States. The next Republican president will protect our nuclear secrets and aggressively implement a sweeping reorganization of our nuclear weapons program.
Over two dozen countries have ballistic missiles today. A number of them, including North Korea, will be capable of striking the United States within a few years, and with little warning. America is now unable to counter the rampant proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and their missile delivery systems around the world.
The response of the current administration has been anachronistic and politicized. Stuck in the mindset and agreements of the Cold War and immune to fresh ideas, the administration has not developed a sensible strategy that responds to the emerging missile threat. They have no adequate plan for how they will defend America and its allies. Visionary leadership, not the present delay and prevarication, is urgently needed for America to be ready for the future. The new Republican president will deploy a national missile defense for reasons of national security; but he will also do so because there is a moral imperative involved: The American people deserve to be protected. It is the presidents constitutional obligation.
America must deploy effective missile defenses, based on an evaluation of the best available options, including sea-based, at the earliest possible date. These defenses must be designed to protect all 50 states, Americas deployed forces overseas, and our friends and allies in the fellowship of freedom against missile attacks by outlaw states or accidental launches.
The current administration at first denied the need for a national missile defense system. Then it endlessly delayed, despite constant concern expressed by the Republican Congress. Now the administration has become hopelessly entangled in its commitment to an obsolete treaty signed in 1972 with a Soviet Union that no longer exists while it is constrained by its failure to explore vigorously the technological possibilities. In order to avoid the need for any significant revisions to the ABM Treaty, the administration supports an inadequate national missile defense design based on a single site, instead of a system based on the most effective means available. Their approach does not defend America's allies, who must be consulted as U.S. plans are developed. Their concept is a symbolic political solution designed on a cynical political timetable. It will not protect America.
We will seek a negotiated change in the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty that will allow the United States to use all technologies and experiments required to deploy robust missile defenses. Republicans believe that the administration should not negotiate inadequate modifications to the ABM Treaty that would leave us with a flawed agreement that ties the hands of the next president and prevents America from defending itself. The United States must be able to select the systems that will work best, not those that answer political expediency, and we must aggressively reinvigorate the ballistic missile defense technology base necessary to ensure that these systems succeed. There are today more positive, practical ways to reassure Russia that missile defenses are a search for common security, not for unilateral advantage. If Russia refuses to make the necessary changes, a Republican president will give prompt notice that the United States will exercise the right guaranteed to us in the treaty to withdraw after six months. The president has a solemn obligation to protect the American people and our allies, not to protect arms control agreements signed almost 30 years ago.
Clear thinking about defensive systems must be accompanied by a fresh strategy for offensive ones too. The Cold War logic that led to the creation of massive stockpiles of nuclear weapons on both sides is now outdated and actually enhances the danger of weapons or nuclear material falling into the hands of Americas adversaries. Russia is not the great enemy. The age of vast hostile armies in the heart of Europe deterred by the threat of U.S. nuclear response is also past. American security need no longer depend on the old nuclear balance of terror. It is time to defend against the threats of today and tomorrow, not yesterday.
It is past time that the United States should reexamine the requirements of nuclear deterrence. Working with U.S. military leaders and with the Congress, a Republican president will reevaluate Americas nuclear force posture and pursue the lowest possible number consistent with our national security. We can safely eliminate thousands more of these horrific weapons. We should do so. In the Cold War the United States rightfully worried about the danger of a conventional war in Europe and needed the nuclear counterweight. That made sense then. It does not make sense now. The premises
of Cold War targeting should no longer dictate the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The current administration seems not to realize that this notion, too, is old-think of the worst order. In addition, the United States should work with other nuclear nations to remove as many weapons as possible from high-alert, hair-trigger status - another unnecessary vestige of Cold War confrontation - to reduce the risks of accidental or unauthorized launch.
In 1991, the United States invited the Soviet Union to join it in removing tactical nuclear weapons from their arsenals. Huge reductions were achieved in a matter of months, quickly making the world much safer. Under a Republican president, Russia will again be invited to do the same with respect to strategic nuclear weapons. America should be prepared to lead by example, because it is in our best interest and the best interest of the world. These measures can begin a new global era of nuclear security and safety.
Republicans recognize new threats but also new opportunities. With Republican leadership, the United States has an opportunity to create a safer world, both to defend against nuclear threats and to reduce nuclear arsenals and tensions. America can build a robust missile defense, make dramatic reductions in its nuclear weapons, and defuse confrontation with Russia. A Republican President will do all these things.
A comprehensive strategy for combating the new dangers posed by weapons of mass destruction must include a variety of other measures to contain and prevent the spread of such weapons. We need the cooperation of friends and allies - and should seek the cooperation of Russia and China - in developing realistic strategies using political, economic, and military instruments to deter and defeat the proliferation efforts of others. We need to address threats from both rogue states and terrorist group - whether delivered by missile, aircraft, shipping container, or suitcase.
In this context, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is another anachronism of obsolete strategic thinking. This treaty is not verifiable, not enforceable, and would not enable the United States to ensure the reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent. It also does not deal with the real dangers of nuclear proliferation, which are rogue regimes - such as Iran, Iraq, and North Korea - that seek to hide their dangerous weapons programs behind weak international treaties. We can fight the spread of nuclear weapons, but we cannot wish them away with unwise agreements. Republicans in the Senate reacted accordingly and responsibly in rejecting the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
A new Republican president will renew Americas faltering fight against the contagious spread of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, as well as their means of delivery. The weak leadership and neglect of the administration have allowed Americas intelligence capabilities, including space based systems, to atrophy, resulting in repeated proliferation surprises such as Iraqs renewed chemical and biological weapons programs, Indias nuclear weapon test, and North Koreas test of a three-stage ballistic missile. Again in a partnership with the Congress, a new Republican administration will give the intelligence community the leadership, resources, and operational latitude it requires.
Seeking Enduring Prosperity
Under Republican leadership, the United States will foster an environment of economic openness to capitalize on our countrys greatest asset in the information age: a vital, innovative society that welcomes creative ideas and adapts to them. American companies are once more showing the world breathtaking ways to improve productivity and redraw traditional business models. This is an extraordinary foundation on which to rebuild an effective American trade policy.
Under the policies of the present administration, many markets remain closed and U.S. trade deficits keep rising. New economic structures are needed to combine regional agreements with the development of global rules for opening the world economy. Collaborating with the Congress, a Republican administration will engage the Latin American and the Asia-Pacific nations, including a new dialogue with India, about political economy and free trade. As impoverished countries in Eurasia, the Middle East, and Africa accept freer economies, they will need the incentives of more open world markets. In addition, the United States can encourage the European Union and our Asian friends and allies to open more sectors to cross-investment and competition with the aim of freer trans-oceanic trade.
Republicans are confident that the worldwide trade agenda is full of promise. From the traditional goods of agriculture to the virtual links of e-commerce, gates can swing open. Tariffs should be cut further. The United States can back private sector efforts to streamline common standards and deregulate services, from finance to filmmaking. As the one economy with truly global reach, America can set the standards and be at the center of a World Wide Web of trade, finance, and openness. If some nations choose to opt out, they will see how other countries accepting economic freedom will advance on their own, working together.
This is the Republican approach, and a critical dimension of a distinctly American internationalism. It goes beyond the old choice of private sector laissez-faire versus government regulation. Instead it is a vision of private initiative encouraged, not stifled, by governments. Private parties are already fashioning new ways to exchange goods and settle disputes but national governments still struggle to define many of the underlying rules. Republicans will also go beyond the old arguments that pitted bilateral deals against global trade rules. Instead they envision a comprehensive approach to the more interdependent global economy, one that uses bilateral, regional, and global arrangements to spur reluctant states to become more open or to be left behind. At the same time, innovative and flexible global rules and structures can facilitate regional progress.
Rooted in Americas political and economic ideals, this Republican blueprint promotes open markets and open societies, free trade and the free flow of information, and the development of new ideas and private sectors. These nurture the human spirit, the middle class, law, and liberty.
As the Cold War ended, Republican presidents fought off protectionist pressure, eased the debt crisis then facing developing countries, signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and started to enlarge free trade arrangements throughout the Western Hemisphere. They promoted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group that could bind economic interests across the Pacific. They then used these regional initiatives to bring the global trade talks of the Uruguay Round to the edge of conclusion. Thus America began to build on victory in the Cold War to build new structures for economic liberty as well.
For nearly eight years this promising construction project has languished half-built, the old blueprint shelved and no new ones drawn.
· The administration returned to the old rhetoric of managed trade - demanding government intervention from a Japanese government that needed less regulation in its sputtering economy, not more. On the verge of a foolish trade war, the administration backed down and dropped its quota demands.
· After failing for years to make the case for free trade, the administration finally got around to seeking fast-track trade negotiating authority, but could persuade only one-fifth of Democratic members of Congress to follow its lead.
· With China, the administration sought to link normal trade relations to human rights performance. Then it flip-flopped and dropped the linkage. They tried to bring China into the World Trade Organization as the Prime Minister of China visited the United States in 1999, but the political waters got choppy. So the administration reversed course again. Finally the administration turned to Republican leadership in the Congress to enact permanent normal trade relations with China.
· The administration refused to fight for passage of the Caribbean Basin Initiative that was designed to extend the benefits of free trade to some of Americas poorest neighbors. Congressional Republicans did the job on their own. They also enacted the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act as a companion to CBI.
· The failed leadership of the administration in international economics is exemplified by the humiliating debacle of the WTO meeting in Seattle - a conference the current administration first sponsored and then wrecked through its own indecision and inconsistency.
Republicans know that prosperous democracies depend upon the promise of shared economic opportunity across national borders. If the new globalized information economy provokes a fearful drift into national or regional isolation, hopes for a better world will vanish. Institutions founded in the Second World War and its aftermath built the basis for Americas position today, but those institutions, like the Bretton Woods monetary system and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, were partly sustained by the Cold War. In this new century, the United States should devise new mechanisms to enable the private sector to unleash productivity, innovation, and a free flow of ideas.
Communities of private groups can achieve results far beyond the reach of governments and international bureaucracies. Given America's strong and diverse private sector, the United States, with close cooperation between a Republican president and a Republican Congress, can gain from the widening global influence of American citizens, businesses, associations, and norms. A Republican administration will have the opportunity to fashion, with like-minded nations, the international structures of sustainable prosperity for the next several decades.
The older international financial institutions should be overhauled but not scrapped. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank should no longer stand for unelected elites imposing their often flawed solutions to tough problems by offering bailouts of corrupt officials and risk-taking investors. The IMF should concentrate on its original mission of promoting sound fiscal and monetary policies, advancing sound central banking practices, and easing global exchange rate adjustments. It should improve transparency and accountability, tackling corruption rather than contributing to it. The World Bank should continue to move away from counterproductive development schemes of the past to an agenda that promotes the provision of basic needs. This agenda will include support for structural reforms that will encourage self-help through efficient markets.
The United States should aggressively pursue its national interest. Unlike the current administration, Republicans do not believe multilateral agreements and international institutions are ends in themselves. The Kyoto treaty to address momentous energy and environmental issues was a case in point. Whatever the theories on global warming, a treaty that does not include China and exempts "developing" countries from necessary standards while penalizing American industry is not in the national interest. We reject the extremist call for the United Nations to create a "Stewardship Council," modeled on the Security Council, to oversee the global environment. Republicans understand that workable agreements will build on the free democratic processes of national governments, not try to bypass them with international bureaucrats.
Unlike the Democratic minority in Congress, Republicans do not believe that economic growth is always the enemy of protecting the worlds common environmental heritage. Rather, the Republican vision seeks more creative international solutions. These solutions should use market mechanisms to allocate the costs of adjustment, help governments competently manage the resources they do control, and encourage application of the new technologies that offer the greatest promise to protect the global environment.
Neighborhood of the Americas
Latin America and Canada have helped shape the United States and its people. The countries of the Western Hemisphere are our neighbors. For tens of millions of Americans these neighbors are also our relatives. Latin America buys more than one-fifth of U.S. exports while Canada is Americas largest trading partner. These purchases by our Latin American neighbors are rising at a rate almost twice as fast as the rate for the rest of the world. In the next decade, U.S. trade and investment in the Western Hemisphere are projected to exceed our trade and investment with either Europe or Japan. Future prospects for Americas neighborhood are extraordinarily bright.
Secure in its strength and its principles, the United States wants strong, healthy neighbors. The next American century should include all of the Americas. Democracy and free markets are again under siege from narcotics traffickers, guerrillas, economic uncertainty, and demographic upheaval. Poverty, inadequate education, rampant crime and corruption all tear at the fabric of several of these societies. In Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, and other countries, democracy is faltering or under serious attack.
The next Republican president will pay serious and sustained attention to the American neighborhood. In concert with the Congress, he will work with key democracies like Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and - above all - Mexico. His administration will be guided by the principles of respect for sovereignty, private initiative, multilateral action, free politics and markets, the rule of law, and regard for the variety of peoples and cultures that make up the Western Hemisphere.
With Mexico, whose historic recent election we salute, the United States should continue to reduce barriers to trade and investment, including the implementation of existing commitments where the current administration has backtracked. Yet a true North American community should have a wider agenda that also includes the development of civil society. Our two countries can share ideas for improving education and public services on both sides of the border and using the federal system in both countries to promote governmental cooperation between honest officials who are close to their people.
A new Republican government committed to NAFTA can enlarge it into a vision for hemispheric free trade, drawing nations closer in business, common commercial standards, dispute resolution, and education. Republicans do not want to create new trading blocs to battle rivals. They mean to encourage general political and economic reform, starting with the American neighborhood.
In Cuba, Fidel Castro continues to impose communist economic controls and absolute political repression of 11 million Cubans. His regime harasses and jails dissidents, restricts economic activity, and forces Cubans into the sea in a desperate bid for freedom. He gives refuge to fugitives from American justice, hosts a sophisticated Russian espionage facility that intercepts U.S. government and private communications, and has ordered his air force to shoot down two unarmed U.S. civilian airplanes thereby killing American citizens.
U.S. policy toward Cuba should be based upon sound, clear principles. Our economic and political relations will change when the Cuban regime frees all prisoners of conscience, legalizes peaceful protest, allows opposition political activity, permits free expression, and commits to democratic elections. This policy will be strengthened by active American support for Cuban dissidents. Under no circumstances should Republicans support any subsidy of Castros Cuba or any other terrorist state.
Republicans also support a continued effort to promote freedom and democracy by communicating objective and uncensored news and information to the Cuban people via U.S. broadcasts to the captive island. Finally, Republicans believe that the United States should adhere to the principles established by the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act, which recognizes the rights of Cuban refugees fleeing communist tyranny.
Across the Pacific
As in every region of the world, Americas foreign policy in Asia starts with its allies: Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, Thailand, and the Philippines. Our allies are critical in building and expanding peace, security, democracy, and prosperity in East Asia joined by long-standing American friends like Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, and New Zealand.
Republican priorities in the next administration will be clear. We will strengthen our alliance with Japan. We will help to deter aggression on the Korean peninsula. We will counter the regional proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems and deploy, in cooperation with our allies, effective theater missile defenses. We will promote peace in the Taiwan Strait. We will reconstitute our relations with the nations of Southeast Asia. We will obtain the fullest possible accounting for our POW/MIAs from the Pacific wars. And we will promote democracy, open markets, and human rights for the betterment of the people of Asia and the United States.
Japan is a key partner of the United States and the U.S.-Japan alliance is an important foundation of peace, stability, security, and prosperity in Asia. America supports an economically vibrant and open Japan that can serve as engine of expanding prosperity and trade in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Republic of Korea is a valued democratic ally of the United States. North Korea, on the other hand, lies outside of the international system. Americans have shed their blood to stop North Korean aggression before. Fifty years after the outbreak of the Korean War, Republicans remember this "forgotten war." Americans should honor the sacrifices of the past and remain prepared to resist aggression today. Policies to protect the peace on the Korean peninsula will be developed in concert with Americas allies, starting with South Korea and Japan. What must be clear is an American policy of decisive resolve. The United States will stand by its commitments and will take all necessary measures to thwart, deter, and defend itself and its allies against attack, including enemy use of weapons of mass destruction.
After fighting together in both world wars, the United States forged a formal alliance with Australia that has stood the test of fire in the Korean, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf conflicts. American partnership with Australia is just as relevant to the challenges of Asia's future, as exemplified by Australias leadership in the East Timor crisis.
American ties to the Philippines have been close for more than a hundred years. We Republicans have supported the victory of Filipino democracy and cherish our continuing friendship with this great nation and its people who have been by our side in war as in peace.
Americas key challenge in Asia is the Peoples Republic of China. China is not a free society. The Chinese government represses political expression at home and unsettles neighbors abroad. It stifles freedom of religion and proliferates weapons of mass destruction.
Yet China is a country in transition, all the more reason for the policies of the United States to be firm and steady. America will welcome the advent of a free and prosperous China. Conflict is not inevitable, and the United States offers no threat to China. Republicans support Chinas accession into the World Trade Organization, but this will not be a substitute for, or lessen the resolve of, our pursuit of improved human rights and an end to proliferation of dangerous technologies by China.
China is a strategic competitor of the United States, not a strategic partner. We will deal with China without ill will - but also without illusions. A new Republican government will understand the importance of China but not place China at the center of its Asia policy.
A Republican president will honor our promises to the people of Taiwan, a longstanding friend of the United States and a genuine democracy. Only months ago the people of Taiwan chose a new president in free and fair elections. Taiwan deserves Americas strong support, including the timely sale of defensive arms to enhance Taiwans security.
In recognition of its growing importance in the global economy, we support Taiwans accession to the World Trade Organization, as well as its participation in the World Health Organization and other multilateral institutions.
America has acknowledged the view that there is one China. Our policy is based on the principle that there must be no use of force by China against Taiwan. We deny the right of Beijing to impose its rule on the free Taiwanese people. All issues regarding Taiwans future must be resolved peacefully and must be agreeable to the people of Taiwan. If China violates these principles and attacks Taiwan, then the United States will respond appropriately in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act. America will help Taiwan defend itself.
This countrys relations with Vietnam are still overshadowed by two grave concerns. The first is uncertainty concerning the Americans who became prisoners of war or were missing in action. A Republican president will accelerate efforts in every honorable way to obtain the fullest possible accounting for those still missing and for the repatriation of the remains of those who died in the cause of freedom. The second is continued retribution by the government of Vietnam against its ethnic minorities and others who fought alongside our forces there. The United States owes those individuals a debt of honor and will not be blind to their suffering.
Attention to the fate of East Asia should not obscure American attention to the future of South Asia. India is emerging as one of the great democracies of the twenty-first century. Soon it will be the worlds most populous state. India is now redefining its identity and future strategy. The United States should engage India, respecting its great multicultural achievements and encouraging Indian choices for a more open world. Mindful of its longstanding relationship with Pakistan, the United States will place a priority on the secure, stable development of this volatile region where adversaries now face each other with nuclear arsenals.
The Republican party is committed to democracy in Burma, and to Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and other democratic leaders whose election in 1990 was brutally suppressed and who have been arrested and imprisoned for their belief in freedom and democracy. We share with her the view that the basic principles of human freedom and dignity are universal. We are committed to working with our allies in Europe and Asia to maintain a firm and resolute opposition to the military junta in Rangoon.
Because of the strategic location and historical ties of the Pacific island nations to the United States, the next Republican administration will work closely with the countries of this region on a wide variety of issues of common concern.
As a result of the courageous and resolute leadership of Presidents Reagan and Bush, the Cold War has been won, Germany unified and, with the leadership of a Republican Senate, Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary returned to the Euro-Atlantic Community. The security of the United States is inseparable from the security of Europe. Now in its second half-century, a strong NATO is the foundation of peace. Sustained American commitment to the security of Europe has paid off. Our allies across the Atlantic face no conventional external threats. American military deployments are a fraction of their Cold War size. But alliances are not just for crises. They are sustained by the kind of joint planning, political and economic as well as military, that defines and reinforces common interests and mutual trust.
Standing alongside our allies, we seek a NATO that is strong, cohesive, and active. The next Republican president will give consistent direction on the alliances purpose, on Europes need to invest more in defense capabilities, and, when necessary, on acting jointly with the United States in military conflict. The United States needs its European allies to help with key regional security problems as they arise, since America also has global responsibilities. Our goal for NATO is a strong political and security fellowship of independent nations in which consultations are mutually respected and defense burdens mutually shared.
For our allies, sharing the enormous opportunities of Eurasia also means sharing the burdens and risks of sustaining the peace. We seek greater cooperation within NATO to deal with the geopolitical problems of the Middle East and Eurasia. We will work with our European partners as we develop our plans to build effective missile defenses that can protect all of Americas allies.
Republicans believe that the political objectives of Europe and America are mutually reinforcing and complementary. The next Republican president will ensure that the relationship between NATO and the European Union, particularly in the division of military responsibilities, is clear and constructive. The leaders of the European Union must resist the temptation of protectionism as we work together to build a Europe whole and free.
We are proud that Americas longstanding commitment to the forward defense of democracy is being rewarded as Europe becomes whole and free. In the new era that resulted, some of Americas strongest allies and friends have been the democracies of Central and Eastern Europe. In their recent histories, these nations have shown their commitment to the values shared by members of the Trans-Atlantic community. Poles, Czechs, and Hungarians inspired the world, assaulting the Iron Curtain again and again until finally it crashed down forever.
As the new democracies of Central Europe chose freedom, America was ready to respond. Republicans made the enlargement of NATO part of our Contract with America. Their firm stand before the American people and in the Congress finally succeeded in bringing Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary into the North Atlantic Alliance. Republicans recognize and applaud the tremendous achievements of the people of Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia in reclaiming their freedom and rejoining the Trans-Atlantic community of democracies.
It is in America's interest that the new European democracies become fully integrated into the economic, political, and security institutions of the Trans-Atlantic community. These countries are today making great progress toward developing the market economies and democratic political systems that are the best way to ensure both their long-term stability and their security. The enlargement of NATO to include other nations with democratic values, pluralist political systems, and free market economies should continue. Neither geographical nor historical circumstances shall dictate the future of a Europe whole and free. Russia must never be given a veto over enlargement.
The Republican party has long been the advocate of independence for the people of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, even when others despaired of their emergence from foreign rule. We reaffirm our traditional ties with and strong support for the courageous Ukrainian and Armenian people, who like the people of the Baltic States, have endured both persecution and tyranny to reassert their ancient nationhood. The United States should promote reconciliation and friendship not only between the United States and Russia, but also between Russia and its neighbors.
The current administration has damaged the NATO alliance with years of insensitivity and episodic attention. In the Yugoslav war the administration bungled the diplomacy, misjudged the adversary, and ignored the advice of our military commanders. Even after NATOs operations in Bosnia and Kosovo laid bare Europes lagging military capabilities, the administration failed to persuade the allies to enhance these capabilities. The next Republican administration will work to repair this damage.
After the many trials and errors of the current administration, the United States is contributing to NATOs peacekeeping efforts in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kosovo. Those troops cannot stay indefinitely without jeopardizing the American ability to defend other important U.S. and allied interests. Over time European troops should take the place of American forces under the NATO umbrella as the United States and its allies work together to bring peace and democracy to the Balkans. The next Republican president will not negotiate with indicted war criminals such as Slobodan Milosevic but will seek their arrest, trial, and imprisonment.
Russia stands as another reminder that a world increasingly at peace is also a world in transition. If Russia can realize the enormous potential of its people and abundant resources, it can achieve the greatness that is currently defined solely by the reach of its weapons. Russia has the potential to be a great power and should be treated as such. With Russia, the United States needs patience, consistency, and a principled reliance on democratic forces.
Americas own national security is the first order of business with Russia. The United States and Russia share critical common interests. Both Russia and the United States confront the legacy of a dead ideological rivalry - thousands of nuclear weapons, which, in the case of Russia, may not be entirely secure. And together we also face an emerging threat - from rogue nations, nuclear theft, and accidental launch. For its own sake and ours, Russia must stop encouraging the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
The development of a democratic and stable Russia is in the interest of the United States and all of Europe. But the battle for democracy is a fight that must be won by Russians. We must avoid misguided attempts to remake Russia from the outside. The current administrations quixotic efforts have only propped up corrupt elites, identified America with discredited factions and failed policies, and encouraged anti-Americanism.
The United States should show its concern about Russias future by focusing on the structures, spirit, and reality of democracy in Russia, embodied by the rule of law. We will do this by directing our aid and attention to help the Russian people, not enriching the bank accounts of corrupt officials.
The rule of law is not consistent with state-sponsored brutality. When the Russian government attacks civilians in Chechnya - killing innocents without discrimination or accountability, neglecting orphans and refugees - it can no longer expect aid from international lending institutions. Moscow needs to operate with civilized self-restraint.
Russia should also display such self-restraint in its shipments of sensitive nuclear and military technology to Iran. As long as Iran remains an international outlaw, preventing such transfers must be a priority for U.S. policy. Americans stand ready to cooperate with Russia in sharing technology for missile defense that can promote a more stable world, but Russia must also choose lasting stability over transitory profit and support the effort against proliferation.
Republicans welcome the historic reconciliation in Northern Ireland that is slowly bringing peace and a representative local assembly to this beautiful land that means so much to Americans. We congratulate the people of Northern Ireland for their approval of the Good Friday Agreement, and we call for the full and fastest possible implementation of its terms. In the spirit of that healing document, we call for a review of issues of deportation and extradition arising prior to the accord. We applaud the work of the Patten Commission to reform the police authorities in Northern Ireland and urge complete implementation of the Commissions recommendations. The sufferings of the people on the island of Ireland have been our sorrow too, and the new hope for peace and reconciliation is the answer to Americas prayers. We continue to support this progress toward peace with justice and, accordingly, we encourage private U.S. investment in the North, with care to ensure fair employment and better opportunities for all. Though the burdens of history weigh heavily upon this land, we cheer its people for taking the lead in building for themselves and for their children a future of peace and understanding. The next president will use the prestige and influence of the United States to help the parties achieve a lasting peace. If necessary, he will appoint a special envoy to help facilitate the search for lasting peace, justice, and reconciliation.
We likewise encourage a peaceful settlement for Cyprus and respect by all parties for the wishes of the Cypriot people. A fair and lasting Cyprus settlement will benefit the people of Cyprus, as well as serve the interests of America and our allies, Greece and Turkey.
The Middle East and Persian Gulf
In the Middle East, the advancement of U.S. national interests requires clear and consistent priorities as well as close cooperation with Americas friends and allies. We have four priorities for the Middle East. First, we seek to promote and maintain peace throughout the region. Second, we must ensure that Israel remains safe and secure. Third, we must protect our economic interests and ensure the reliable flow of oil from the Persian Gulf. And fourth, we must reduce the threat of weapons of mass destruction in the region. Because America cannot achieve these objectives by acting alone, U.S. policy must rest on leadership that can build strong coalitions of like-minded states and hold them together to achieve common aims.
As American influence declined during the current administration, the OPEC cartel drove up the price of oil. Anti-Americanism among the Arab people redoubled. Iran continued to sponsor international terrorism, oppose the Arab-Israeli peace process, and pursue nuclear, biological, chemical, and missile capabilities with extensive foreign assistance. Americas closest allies expanded their political and economic relations with Iran. A Republican president will work to reverse these damaging trends.
It is important for the United States to support and honor Israel, the only true democracy in the Middle East. We will ensure that Israel maintains a qualitative edge in defensive technology over any potential adversaries. We will not pick sides in Israeli elections. The United States has a moral and legal obligation to maintain its Embassy and Ambassador in Jerusalem. Immediately upon taking office, the next Republican president will begin the process of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Israels capital, Jerusalem.
The United States seeks a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East. America can use its prestige to encourage discussions and negotiations. But peace must be negotiated between the parties themselves. We will not impose our view or an artificial timetable. At the heart of the peace process is the commitment to resolve all issues through negotiation. A unilateral declaration of independence by the Palestinians would be a violation of that commitment. A new Republican administration would oppose any such declaration. It will also do everything possible to promote the conclusion of a genuine peace in the Middle East. While we have hopes for the peace process, our commitment to the security of Israel is an overriding moral and strategic concern.
Perhaps nowhere has the inheritance of Republican governance been squandered so fatefully as with respect to Iraq. The anti-Iraq coalition assembled to oppose Saddam Hussein has disintegrated. The administration has pretended to support the removal of Saddam Hussein from power, but did nothing when Saddam Husseins army smashed the democratic opposition in northern Iraq in August 1996. The administration also surrendered the diplomatic initiative to Iraq and Iraqs friends, and failed to champion the international inspectors charged with erasing Iraqs nuclear, biological, chemical, and ballistic missile programs. When, in late 1998, the administration decided to take military action, it did too little, too late. Because of the administrations failures there is no coalition, no peace, and no effective inspection regime to prevent Saddams development of weapons of mass destruction.
A new Republican administration will patiently rebuild an international coalition opposed to Saddam Hussein and committed to joint action. We will insist that Iraq comply fully with its disarmament commitments. We will maintain the sanctions on the Iraqi regime while seeking to alleviate the suffering of innocent Iraqi people. We will react forcefully and unequivocally to any evidence of reconstituted Iraqi capabilities for producing weapons of mass destruction. In 1998, Congress passed and the president signed the Iraq Liberation Act, the clear purpose of which is to assist the opposition to Saddam Hussein. The administration has used an arsenal of dilatory tactics to block any serious support to the Iraqi National Congress, an umbrella organization reflecting a broad and representative group of Iraqis who wish to free their country from the scourge of Saddam Hussein's regime. We support the full implementation of the Iraq Liberation Act, which should be regarded as a starting point in a comprehensive plan for the removal of Saddam Hussein and the restoration of international inspections in collaboration with his successor. Republicans recognize that peace and stability in the Persian Gulf is impossible as long as Saddam Hussein rules Iraq.
All Americans hope that a new generation of Iranian leaders will rise to power seeking friendlier relations with the United States and a less threatening posture in the region. But Irans record of supporting terrorism, opposing the Middle East peace process, developing weapons of mass destruction and long-range missiles, and its denial of human rights, most recently demonstrated in the trial and conviction of Iranian Jews on unfounded espionage charges, demonstrates that Tehran remains a dangerous threat to the United States and our interests in the region. The next Republican administration will form its policy toward Iran based on Iranian actions, not words. It will stop making unilateral gestures toward the Iranian government which, to date, have failed to result in a change in Iranian behavior. We will work to convince our friends and allies, most importantly the Europeans, to join us in a firm, common approach toward Iran.
Republicans endorse continued assistance and support for countries that have made peace with Israel - led by Egypt and Jordan. We appreciate the significant contributions by Jordan to our common struggle against terrorism, and will take steps to bolster relations with Amman including negotiating a U.S.-Jordan Free Trade Agreement.
The United States and its allies depend on oil from the Middle East. Republicans prefer an America that is far less dependent on foreign crude oil. A Republican president will not be so tolerant if OPEC colludes to drive up the world price of oil, as it has done this past year. Yet influence also comes from friendship. The United States should restore its underlying good and cooperative relations with the oil-exporting nations, most importantly Saudi Arabia, as well as with other moderate Arab governments.
The nations of Africa have endured tremendous burdens of war, poverty, disease, and bad government. But freedom is gaining ground in South Africa, Nigeria, Niger, Mozambique, and Mauritius. Democracy can help ensure that the interests of the people are elevated above the preoccupations and self-enrichment of corrupt elites.
Some of Africas developing countries are turning to private markets, building middle classes, and evolving toward more representative forms of government that respect individual liberties. But such transformation is not simple. A Republican president and Congress will work to encourage these efforts through closer economic integration, security assistance, and support for freedom. Republicans will replace process with outcome and rhetoric with substance.
Americans are troubled by the humanitarian catastrophes that have plagued the people of Africa including conflicts in Sierra Leone, the Great Lakes region, the Horn of Africa, and elsewhere. The risk of famine is never far away. Millions live in poverty and suffer from disease, especially AIDS and the vaccine-preventable diseases that prey on innocent children. The situation in the Sudan demands special attention, due to its employment of the slave trade and its persecution of Sudanese Christians, and we deplore the government of Zimbabwes refusal to adhere to the rule of law. The conflict in Angola should be resolved through dialogue leading to the release of political prisoners and democratic government.
The people of Africa need economic opportunity, foreign investment, and access to markets, food, and medicine. The United States will support international organizations and non-governmental organizations that can improve the daily lives of Africans. The United States must also work to promote democracy and sound governance in Africa, and the prevention and resolution of conflict. We will help the continent achieve its economic potential by implementing measures to reduce trade barriers. Republicans will not ignore the challenges of Africa.
The promotion of freedom and democracy is a critical national interest. President Reagan was a champion of this idea, establishing the National Endowment for Democracy in 1983 as an instrument of U.S. public diplomacy. The National Endowment for Democracy, and other American public diplomacy institutions, continues today to advance and protect American ideals and interests abroad.
The United States must commit itself to doing more to assist refugees and displaced persons. A Republican administration will improve Americas longstanding practice of aiding the innocent victims of political repression, conflict, famine, and natural disasters, and we will lead other countries in responding similarly.
Republicans fully recognize that the spread of AIDS is a terrible humanitarian disaster and will continue to emphasize action over rhetoric. In particular, we commend the Republican Congress for recently approving legislation to assist the victims of this disease in Africa.
The United Nations
International organizations can serve the cause of peace, but they can never serve as a substitute for, or exercise a veto over, principled American leadership. The United Nations was not designed to summon or lead armies in the field and, as a matter of U.S. sovereignty, American troops must never serve under United Nations command. Nor will they be subject to the jurisdiction of an International Criminal Court. The United Nations can provide a valuable forum for nations to peacefully resolve their differences, and it can help monitor international agreements and organize international humanitarian assistance. The United States will pay a fair, not disproportionate, share of dues to the United Nations once it has reformed its management and taken steps to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse. All funds that the U.S. contributes for operations, conferences, and peacekeeping should count against these dues.
The next Republican administration will use its diplomatic influence to put an end to a pattern of discrimination that persists at the United Nations in denying committee assignments to Israel. It will do the likewise at the International Red Cross which refuses to accredit the symbol of Magen David Adom, Israels equivalent of the Red Cross. Moreover, Republicans oppose the ideological campaign against participation by the Vatican in U.N. conferences and other activities. The United Nations was created to benefit all peoples and nations, not to promote a radical agenda of social engineering. Any effort to address global social problems must be firmly placed into a context of respect for the fundamental social institutions of marriage and family. We reject any treaty or convention that would contradict these values. For that reason, we will protect the rights of families in international programs and will not fund organizations involved in abortion. This approach to foreign assistance will unify people, respect their diverse beliefs, and uphold basic human rights. It will enable us, in cooperation with other free societies around the world, to more effectively oppose religious persecution and the sex trafficking that ruins the lives of women and children.
Terrorism, International Crime, and Cyber Threats
America faces a new and rapidly evolving threat from terrorism and international crime. Meeting this threat requires not just new measures, but also consistent policies and determination from Americas leaders.
Many established terrorist groups faded away in the 1990s after the Cold War ended. But the decade also witnessed a series of enormously destructive attacks against America. Increasingly, terrorists seem to be motivated by amorphous religious causes or simple hatred of America rather than by specific political aims. Terrorism crosses borders easily and frequently, including U.S. borders, and cannot easily be categorized as either domestic or international.
Republicans support a response to terrorism that is resolute but not impulsive. The most likely highly destructive terrorist attack remains a large bomb hidden in a car or truck. Yet, as with the rest of our defense posture, we must prepare for the most dangerous threats as well as the most likely ones. Therefore the United States must be extremely vigilant about the possibility that future terrorists might use weapons of mass destruction, which are increasingly available and present an unprecedented threat to America. In many instances the military will have to rethink it traditional doctrine and begin to focus on counterterrorism, human intelligence gathering, and unconventional warfare.
Republicans endorse the four principles of U.S. counterterrorism policy that were laid down originally by Vice President George Bushs Commission on Combating Terrorism in 1985. First, we will make no concessions to terrorists. Giving in simply encourages future terrorist actions and debases Americas power and moral authority. Second, we will isolate, pressure, and punish the state sponsors of terrorism. Third, we will bring individual terrorists to justice. Past and potential terrorists will know that America will never stop hunting them. Fourth, we will provide assistance to other governments combating terrorism. Fighting international terrorism requires international collaboration. Once again, allies matter.
Republicans in Congress have led the way in building the domestic preparedness programs to train and equip local, state, and federal response personnel to deal with terrorist dangers in America. The administration has not offered clear leadership over these programs. They remain scattered across many agencies, uncoordinated and poorly managed. We will streamline and improve the federal coordination of the domestic emergency preparedness programs.
We will ensure that federal law enforcement agencies have every lawful resource and authority they require to combat international organized crime. A Republican administration will work to improve international cooperation against all forms of cross-border criminality, especially the burgeoning threat of cyber-crime that threatens the vitality of American industries as diverse as aerospace and entertainment.
Nowhere has the administration been more timid in protecting Americas national interests than in cyberspace. Americans have recently glimpsed the full vulnerability of their information systems to penetration and massive disruption by amateurs. A sophisticated terrorist or adversary government could potentially cripple a critical U.S. infrastructure, such as the electrical grid or a military logistics system, in time of crisis. A new Republican government will work closely with our international partners and the private sector to conceive and implement a viable strategy for reducing America's vulnerability to the spectrum of cyber threats, from the adolescent hacker launching a contagious computer virus to the most advanced threat of strategic information warfare.
Principled American Leadership
Americans have good reason to be optimistic about our role in world. Few nations in history have been afforded the range of possibilities to shape the future that has been presented to this generation of Americans. After the wavering and ambivalence of the current administration, Americans have a fresh chance to build on the enormous opportunities of this new era and new century. Earlier generations defended America through great trials. This generation can adapt America to thrive amid great change - change in economies, societies, technologies, and weapons.
Republicans have a strategy. It is a strategy that recalls traditional truths about power and ideals and applies them to networked marketplaces, modern diplomacy and the high-tech battlefield. A Republican administration will use power wisely, set priorities, craft needed institutions of openness and freedom, and invest in the future. A Republican president and a Republican Congress can achieve the unity of national governance that has so long been absent. We see a confident America united in the fellowship of freedom with friends and allies throughout the world. We envision the restoration of a respected American leadership firmly grounded in a distinctly American internationalism.