The Soviet military challenge is real. To meet it, we need prudent, sustainable real increases in defense spending, backed by strong economic growth, supported by a solid public consensus, and focused on our real priorities.
For strategic forces, we need weapons such as cruise missiles, Trident and Stealth bombers that will ensure a survivable, stable deterrent, not "Star Wars" fantasies or excessively expensive B1s. There is no acceptable way of deploying the MX missile . We should move on to a smaller, mobile, single-warhead missile.
For conventional forces, we must stress training, readiness and mobility. We should use technology to strengthen our conventional defense, but without sacrificing combat capability and reliability. We do not need more nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, and we should not measure strength by artificial benchmarks such as the "600-ship Navy." Rather than imposing wage freezes, we must pay our volunteer forces enough to retain and reward skilled personnel, the core of our military strength.
To increase efficiency, we must reduce wasteful duplication among the services, reform defense development and procurement, and restructure the Joint Chiefs of Staff to ensure that the country gets sound military and strategic advice, not service parochialism.
To sustain our defense program, public confidence is essential. We can help restore it--here and abroad--by abandoning reckless talk of limited nuclear wars and a Fortress America defense. While reaffirming our troop commitments to Europe, we should press our allies to increase their contributions to the common defense. And we must pursue arms control seriously to reduce the cost of defense, minimize the risk of nuclear war and demonstrate our sincere commitment to peace.