Two centuries ago we were the world's hope for freedom. Today we are its hope for survival. That responsibility requires thoughtful, careful and pragmatic decision-making, not a unilateral laying down of arms nor the procurement of a Pentagon wish list.
We cannot afford military strength without economic strength. America must retool, invest in the future and put 12 million Americans back to work. To do that, we must begin by freezing the federal budget to reduce recovery-choking deficits. That sacrifice must be shared, even by the Pentagon. We have already increased defense spending by nearly $100 billion in three years.
As president, I would hold further defense increases to 3 percent real growth, our NATO commitment. I would eliminate the B1 bomber and MX missile. Each costs over $30 billion and may be obsolete by completion date. I would limit the Navy to one of its two proposed aircraft carriers. I would cancel the DIVAD program--America's copy of an ineffective, inexpensive Soviet anti-aircraft system made expensive. I would cancel the ill-fated F18 fighter-bomber and hold all other procurements to 3 percent real growth.
These steps would allow us to put our scarce defense dollars where we need them most. We could improve our conventional readiness. Beef up our Rapid Deployment Force, National Guard and Reserves. And accelerate the Trident submarine, Stealth bomber and cruise missile programs.
My plan would save $175 billion over five years. It would provide not only a strong defense, but also a wise one. Our responsibility as leader of the free world calls for nothing less.