For Immediate Release:
April 19, 2000


Maureen Cragin
Ryan Vaart
(202) 225-2539

Statement of Chairman Spence on the Release of the Commission on National Security/21st Century Phase II Report

"I welcome the release of the Phase II report of the Commission on National Security/21st Century.  The Commission identifies a number of concepts that I have long believed are critical to the future security of this country, including the importance a national missile defense, the recognition of the potential threat posed by an emerging China, and the necessity of a security strategy based on our national interests. 

"However, based on my initial read, I take exception with the report's conclusion that we should abandon our current national security strategy of preparing to fight two nearly simultaneous major theater wars.  Further, I fundamentally disagree with those who advocate shifting the composition of our armed forces toward peacekeeping and humanitarian operations at the expense of warfighting capabilities.  As the world's only remaining superpower, the United States has global interests and responsibilities that require military capabilities only we can provide.  Our armed forces should be prepared to fight and win the nation's wars, and not be used as a pseudo police force or the referee of first resort for international disputes. 

"I look forward to continuing to work with the Commission on these important matters and welcome the ensuing opportunity to debate these critical national security questions."

House Armed Services Committee
2120 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515