The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Hulshof). Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 7, 1997, the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Weldon) is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader.
Mr. WELDON of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I rise tonight to discuss an issue that is not one of the front page stories nationally, but which really needs to be discussed in this body, and that is the status of our national defense and our national security. It is an especially timely discussion tonight because we are about to take up for consideration both in this body and the other body a supplemental bill that will partially deal with the funds that we have been expending in Bosnia and in other parts of the world where our troops are currently deployed. But before I get into my overview, Mr. Speaker, let me respond to some of the discussion from our colleagues on the other side during the previous hour.
They attempted to portray the Republicans as being insensitive to the needs of working people, not caring about seniors, not caring about families, not caring about education, not caring about health care. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth, Mr. Speaker.
I take great pride in being a Member who, by profession, spent years as a public school teacher in a suburban district next to Philadelphia, ran a chapter 1 program for economically and educationally deprived children, and like my colleagues on the Republican and on the Democrat side, cared desperately about the future of our young people.
We in the Republican Party simply have a fundamental difference with our Democrat colleagues. We think that the American people can best decide how to spend their money, what the priorities should be. Obviously, we could spend the money of the American people in a number of different ways, and that is what many of our colleagues on the other side think should be the role of the Federal Government. We, however, believe that giving the American people more of their hard-earned money to spend on their priorities is in fact the best way to allow us all to enjoy the liberties under this system that we are so blessed with.
In fact, following my presentation tonight, one of our colleagues, the gentleman from Iowa (Mr. Ganske), will be doing an in-depth discussion of health care, and I think he will be raising some very provocative issues about our need to look at the way health care is being provided in this country.
So Republicans do care, Mr. Speaker, and Democrats do care. And I think for Members of either party to get up and totally tear apart the other side is, in fact, what it appears to be; it is just shallow rhetoric, it is political rhetoric designed to try to continue what happened in the last campaign cycle. We do not need that. With the difficult problems that this Nation has, we need to have intelligent discussion, debate, and deal with the real issues that face this country.
One of those issues, unfortunately, Mr. Speaker, that has not been getting much attention has been our national security. In fact, if we look at the record over the past 7 years, the only major area of the Federal budget that has in fact been cut in real terms is our defense portion of the budget. In fact, it has gone down for 13 consecutive years.
Now, many would argue that the world has changed, and since we are no longer in the Cold War where we are having to keep up with a very powerful Soviet Union, that reductions in defense spending are appropriate; and in fact, Mr. Speaker, I agree with that, and I have supported many of the reductions that we in fact have caused to occur over the past several years.
For instance, for the past 3 years, I have been a Republican, as chairman of the Subcommittee on Military Research and Development, voting consistently against the B-2 bomber. It is not that I do not like the technology, I think Stealth technology is critically important, but I just do not think we can afford the B-2 bomber with the budget limitations we have and with the other problems that we have as a Nation.
But we need to look at the facts, Mr. Speaker, in terms of what has been happening with our defense posture, what the threats are, and where we are going to be at the beginning of the next century, because I think we are going to face a very perilous period of time.
First of all, let us make some comparisons. Now the people of America, my constituents back home in Pennsylvania, believe that we are spending so much more of their tax dollars today on defense than what we did in previous years. The facts just do not bear that out, Mr. Speaker. In fact, in the 1960s, and I picked this period of time because we were at relative peace, it was after Korea, but before Vietnam, the country was not at war. John Kennedy was the President. During that time period, we were spending 52 cents of every Federal tax dollar sent to Washington on our military. We were spending 9 percent of our country's gross national product on defense. We were at peace.
Today, Mr. Speaker, we are spending 15 cents of the Federal tax dollars sent to Washington on the military, about 2.9 percent of our GNP. So, in fact, as a percentage of the total amount of money taken in by Washington, we have in fact dramatically cut the amount of that money going for national security.
But some other things have changed during that time period that we have to look at. First of all, Mr. Speaker, back when John Kennedy was the President, we had the draft. Young people were sucked out of high school, they were paid far less than the minimum wage, and they were asked to serve the country for 2 years.
Today's military is all volunteer; we have no draft. Our young people are paid a decent wage. In fact, many of them have education well beyond high school, college degrees, some have advanced degrees. So we have education costs. We have housing costs
because many of our young people in the military today are married; so we have health care costs, housing costs, education costs that we did not have when John Kennedy was President because our troops were largely drafted. So a much larger percentage of this 15 cents on the dollar that we bring into Washington for the military goes for the quality of life of our troops.
And in fact, the bulk of our money today, the bulk of the money spent in the defense budget goes to provide for quality of life for the men and women who serve this country. So that is a fundamental change. But some other things have happened, Mr. Speaker.
First of all, we have to look at what has occurred during the last 7 years or 6 years as this President has seen fit to dramatically cut defense far beyond what I think is a safe level in terms of long-term spending. During a time where the President has proposed massive decreases in defense spending, he has increased the deployment rate of our troops to an all-time high, in fact, the highest level of deployments in the history of America.
Now, let me give some examples, Mr. Speaker. I have a chart that bears this out. This chart shows the number of deployments that our country has provided our troops in terms of the past 7 years. We have deployed our troops, rather, the President has deployed our troops 25 times at home and around the world. These are deployments that involved military operations, some have involved confrontation, many are peacekeeping, some are involved with disaster relief, a whole host of missions. But the point is that during the period of time where we decimated defense spending to an all-time low, we increased the deployment low to an all-time high. Mr. Speaker, 25 deployments in the past 7 years.
Now, compare that to the previous 40 years. We had 10 deployments in that period of time. So in the previous 40 years, prior to Bill Clinton becoming the President, our troops were deployed a total of 10 times. Just in the last 7 years, our troops have been deployed 25 times.
Now, what is so significant about that, Mr. Speaker? Well, what is so significant about that is that none of those deployments were budgeted for, none of them were planned for. So to pay for those deployments, we had to take money from other accounts, because there were no special monies made available to pay for the costs of all of these deployments.
Now, Mr. Speaker, that has a devastating impact on our ability to modernize our military equipment and to maintain the morale of our troops. Let me give an example.
The Bosnian operation, we were told, would only last for a matter of months, perhaps a year to 2 years at the most. By the end of the next fiscal year, the American taxpayers will have spent $9.4 billion on the Bosnia operation alone. In fact, Mr. Speaker, over the past 7 years, with those 25 deployments, we have spent $15 billion on contingency operations around the world, none of which were budgeted for.
Now, someone might say, Mr. Speaker, well, that really does not matter. The military is getting paid anyway; why can they not do their training in these faraway places? Well, sometimes they can do some of that training, Mr. Speaker, but by and large, we cannot pay for the bulk of the support necessary to pay for our troops just out of the training accounts. It just does not work.
What is even more troubling is, as the President has deployed our troops at this rapidly escalating rate, he has not taken the time to get our allies to pay their fair share of the deployment costs.
Now, let me give a comparison. George Bush deployed our troops to the Middle East in Desert Storm, a very expensive operation. But there was a fundamental difference, Mr. Speaker. In Desert Storm, leading up to that operation, President Bush interacted with the leaders of the world on a regular basis. He said to them, we will go in there and we will provide the support of our military in cooperation with an allied forces group, and we will provide the bulk of the sealift and the airlift. But, he said to our allies, not only must you provide the troops to go in with our troops, but you must pay for the operation itself.
Desert Storm cost $52 billion. America was reimbursed over $53 billion. So that in terms of the cost, there was no negative impact on our budget process.
The $15 billion that we have spent on the 25 deployments since Desert Storm have not been paid for and shared by our allies. America has had to pay that bill itself, and all of that funding has come out of defense budgets, none of which was planned for.
What does that mean? That means we have slipped programs to the outyears. It means we have not bought new helicopters to replace old ones. We wonder why we are having helicopter accidents today. In fact, Mr. Speaker, we are going to be flying helicopters built during the Vietnam War that will be 45 years old before they are retired, because to pay for those deployments, we have had to stretch out the replacement buys that will allow those helicopters to be retired.
The B-52 bomber, Mr. Speaker, will be 55 years old before we ultimately retire that aircraft, yet it is still a critical part of our capacity in terms of bombing needs that we might have around the world.
So to pay for all of these deployments, we have had to raid the defense budget. We have kept the numbers that we agreed to, and our party has held fast. But we have eaten out of the Defense Department's capability to modernize our forces and to maintain the quality of life for our troops.
But it is even more outrageous than that, Mr. Speaker. In these deployments where our troops have been sent to Haiti and to Somalia and Macedonia and to Bosnia, the concern of our colleagues in Congress is not that we should not be there; I think almost all of us in this body, Democrats and Republicans, believe, as the world's only remaining superpower, we have an obligation to help settle regional conflicts.
That is not the issue. The issue in the Congress, Mr. Speaker, is that this administration has not gotten support from our allies to be involved and to pay their fair share.
When this body went on record and voted on whether or not to support the President's decision to go into Bosnia, the bulk of our colleagues that I talked to were not against going into Bosnia. They were upset that America was putting 36,000 young Americans in that part of the world when the Germans, right next door to Bosnia, were only committing 4,000 troops. Our colleagues and I say, what is going on here? If Bosnia is right next to Germany, why should not Germany be committing more of its troops, and why should not the European nations be paying more of the cost of the Bosnian operation?
In fact, Mr. Speaker, my understanding is that in the case of some of the Scandinavian militaries, we actually agreed to pay some of their housing costs to get their troops to be part of the multinational force.
The same thing has occurred in Haiti. Our troops are still in Haiti, still maintaining the peace, when we were told they would only be there for a few months at the longest period of time.
In Haiti the President has said to the Congress, I have gotten other nations to come in with America. He is right. But, Mr. Speaker, what he has not told the American people is that to get those countries to come in, he actually has had American DOD dollars pay for the salaries, the housing costs, and the food for those foreign troops. The Bangladesh military has sent 1,000 troops into Haiti to help out. Why? Partially because American tax dollars have paid for those troops to come into Haiti.
The point is one, I think, Mr. Speaker, that points up the fact of the problem of our defense budget. In a period where we have cut defense spending dramatically because the threats have decreased, we in fact, Mr. Speaker, have increased deployments and not gotten our allies to share that burden. It has caused us to face a crisis right now in the military.
There is one more factor we have to look at, Mr. Speaker. That is the fastest growing portion of the defense budget, the fastest growing portion of the defense budget, in a very quickly shrinking budget, is not for new weapons systems. It is not for salary increases for the troops. It is for a fund that we call environmental mitigation.
I take great pride in my environmental voting record, Mr. Speaker, as a Republican, and will continue that record as long as I am in this body. But we are spending $12 billion this year of DOD money for what we call environmental mitigation.
Some of that is critically important. When we decommission nuclear submarines, we have to make sure that we deal with that spent nuclear fuel and that we do it in a safe way. When we close down military sites, we have to make sure that we clean up those sites from any hazards that may be there.
But Mr. Speaker, we have gone to the extreme. We have begun to use the defense budget as a cash cow. A military base is open on one day, where you have the children, the offspring of military personnel, going to an elementary school on the base and not suffering any adverse consequences.
The base closes down, and then the local leaders of the community say, this base is a toxic waste site because the military used chemicals there. Then they demand from the Federal government, and we have gone along with this game, hundreds of millions of dollars not to just clean up those sites, but to develop very extensive reuse and economic development schemes, using money that was originally designed to be used for the defense of this country. That fund, Mr. Speaker, is now $12 billion, and it is growing each year.
The point that I am trying to make is not that we have in fact the need to dramatically increase defense spending, because we cannot do that. But, Mr. Speaker, we have some hard choices to make.
This President has either got to help us reform the laws dealing with these bases that we have closed, to give us some flexibility in the Congress and in the administration of these base closings in terms of the costs that we have to put forward, he has to get our allies to pay more of the share of these deployments, or reduce the deployment levels that our troops are being asked to commit to around the world, or he has to do what he has already asked for, and that is another round of base closings.
The administration today is pleading for this Congress to approve another round of military base closings. Let me say, Mr. Speaker, I agree with the President. We should close more bases in America. I agree with the President, but the President is not going to be able to get a base closing bill through this Congress.
The average citizen would say well, if we need to close more bases, if that is going to help us save money because it will reduce our military, why then will not the Congress approve a base closing process? The answer is simple, Mr. Speaker.
In the 12 years that I have been in Congress, one of the most difficult assignments that we had to make 6 or 7 years ago was how to reduce the military infrastructure as we cut the number of troops in the military. No Member of Congress wants to close a base in his or her district. It is political suicide. So we went to great lengths, Democrats and Republicans, to set up an independent process to remove politics from base closings, so neither Democrats nor Republicans could decide whose base would be closed based upon politics alone.
This independent commission twice recommended base closings. One of the first bases closed was the Philadelphia Navy Yard, right next to my district. When it closed, 13,000 people lost their jobs. But with a shrinking Navy, we cannot support eight public shipyards. We had to close four of them. So the base closing process worked twice. We closed a significant number of bases.
Then a third round of base closings was recommended, and something different happened. President Clinton, in the year that he was running for reelection, made a decision. He said, we are going to take the recommendations of the commission, except for two. I am going to recommend that we keep one base in California and one base in Texas open, even though it has been recommended for closure. So those two bases were given reprieves.
It just so happened that those two bases are in the two States with the most electoral votes. Many would say that the reason the President disagreed with the base closing commission was because he wanted to have California and Texas support him in the campaign. I am not going to make that accusation today, but what the President did do, Mr. Speaker, was that he soured the process.
Members of Congress today, Democrats and Republicans, will not vote for a new round of base closings because they do not trust this administration. We were fooled once, and we will not be fooled again. This President took a nonpolitical
process that Republicans and Democrats agreed to and he violated that process. Now we do not have the confidence that this administration will go back to the way base closings occurred in the past.
Therefore, we are in a dilemma. We need to close more bases, but this administration, who says we need to close more bases, cannot get a base closing process approved by this Congress. It is because of the actions of this President.
All of these things occurring are affecting our defense budget. That is why the debate coming up this week and next week on the floor of the House and the floor of the other body will be about whether or not we replenish some of that money that has been spent on Bosnia into the DOD budget. I think that is the only thing we can do. We have had a budget agreement that has been very tight. We set caps on defense spending, and we have now violated those caps.
The Congress did not go in and take money out of that defense budget, we did not raise the caps. It was the President himself that deployed these troops to exotic places around the world, many of which I supported, and did not propose a way to pay for them. Therefore, our defense budget was unilaterally cut.
What we want the supplemental to do, what I want the supplemental to do, is to reinstate some of that money, less than $2 billion, to those defense accounts that have been decimated by over $9 billion just for Bosnia alone, and $15 billion for all of our contingency operations over the past 7 years. I think that is the right thing to do for our troops, and the right thing to do for our military.
Let me get on to the next point I wanted to make, Mr. Speaker: that is, the President lulling us into a false sense of security. The President is the Commander in Chief. When my constituents back in Pennsylvania listen to the President give a speech, they know he is also the Commander in Chief, and he knows what the threats are in the world. But let me talk about some of those threats. Let me talk about the President's use of the bully pulpit to convey to the American people a false sense that there are no longer threats in the world.
As I said earlier, I am the first to admit, it is a changed world. The Cold War is over. But does that mean Russia is no longer a threat? Mr. Speaker, I do a significant amount of work with Russia. I formed and chair the initiative with their Duma. I have been to Russia 14 times, four times in the last year. My undergraduate degree is in Russian studies. I know the language, and I am working right now on a number of positive programs to help stabilize Russia.
I do not see Russia as an evil empire, Mr. Speaker. But let me say this: Russia is more destabilized today than at any time in the last 50 years. We need to understand that, not from fear of having Russia mount an all-out attack on America. I do not believe that is in any way, shape, or form what Boris Yeltsin or any other leader would want to do. But there is a heightened opportunity or a heightened potential for incidents involving and as a result of the instability in Russia today.
Let me give some examples. With the economic chaos in Russia today, more and more of Russia's conventional military is being decimated. The generals and admirals who were the key leaders in the Soviet military have been forced out of their positions with no pensions, with inadequate housing, in most cases no housing.
In many cases, as General Lebed testified before my subcommittee last week here in Washington, and as he has told me on two other visits in Moscow and Washington, they have now had to resort to criminal activities to take care of their families.
So these generals and admiral, who know where all the technology is in Russia, who know where the nuclear materials are in Russia, are now resorting to selling those materials on the black market because they feel betrayed by the motherland. We are seeing technology transfer occur at a rate now that we have not seen in the past 50 years.
This is not being fostered by Boris Yeltsin, it is occurring because of instability in Russia, because of Russian military officers who feel betrayed by their country. In addition to that, Mr. Speaker, Russia's demise of their conventional military has caused them to be more reliant on their offensive, long-range strategic missiles.
The President has given a speech three times in this well and 190 times in America where he has said something like this. He has looked in the camera and said, you all can sleep well tonight because, for the first time in 50 years, there are no long-range ICBMs pointed at America's children.
As the Commander in Chief, Mr. Speaker, he knows we have no way of verifying that. The Russians will not allow us to have access to their targeting, just as we will not allow them to have access to ours. But he also knows, Mr. Speaker, you can retarget an ICBM in 15 to 30 seconds. In addition, Mr. Speaker, he knows that China today has 18 to 25 ICBMs, each with a range of 30,000 kilometers, that are aimed at American cities that can launch at any city in America.
But let us look beyond that, Mr. Speaker. Let us look at whether or not there is a potential for an incident to occur that would threaten American troops or the American people.
In January, 1995, Norway announces to Russia in a written communication that they are going to launch a multi-stage weather rocket from an island off the coast of Norway. It is a courtesy to notify a neighboring country. The date of the launch comes about, and Norway launches this multi-stage weather rocket. Russian intelligence, with systems that are not being properly maintained, sees this multi-stage rocket taking off and mistakes it for an American multi-stage ICBM coming from one of our submarines at sea.
The Russian security system puts the system in Russia on a full alert, which means that they activate the black boxes, the cheggets, that control the Russian nuclear arsenal which are in the hands of Boris Yeltsin, at that time Pavel Grachev, the defense minister, and General Kolesnikov, the chief of the command staff, which meant that Russia had 15 minutes within which was the time period allocated to call off a nuclear response against America to a weather rocket that they had been forewarned of by Norway.
Mr. Speaker, this is not a Stephen Spielberg science fiction movie, this is what occurred. The Russians have acknowledged this. In fact, Boris Yeltsin's explanation was that it was a good test of their system; that with 7 minutes left, he overruled Kolesnikov and Grachev and called off the response.
Mr. Speaker, that is the threat. The threat is from an accidental launch. The threat is from a rogue Nation getting a capability that threatens our troops, our allies, and our people. That is why we need to continue to focus on national security. Not because Russia is the `evil empire,' because they are not. Not because China is coming after us, because they are not. But because there are risks in the world today that I would argue are greater than what they have been for the past 50 years, mainly because of the lack of cohesion inside of Russia and with the Russian Government and its military.
Another example, Mr. Speaker, last May I was in Moscow, and among the meetings that I had were with the senior leaders of the Duma, including the Deputy Defense Minister; the Minister of Natural Resources, Orlov; the Minister of Atomic Energy, Mikhaylov; and Boris Nemtsov, the Deputy Prime Minister.
I met again with General Lebed. And as you know, General Lebed is a four-star retired general. He is the individual credited with ending two wars that Russia was involved in: the war in Moldavia and the war in Chechnya. Lebed himself ended both of those conflicts. He ran for the presidency against Yeltsin, and Yeltsin was so fearful of his candidacy that he enticed him to leave the race to come work for him as one of his top advisors.
Many give General Lebed the credit for allowing Yeltsin to win the last election, because if Lebed had stayed in the race, he would have taken enough votes away from Yeltsin that the Communist Zyuganov would have won the presidential election in Russia at the same time the Communist Party was winning 165 seats in the State Duma.
General Lebed, in our meeting last May, a private meeting with six Members of Congress, was talking to us about the security of Russian nuclear weapons. He was talking to us about decommissioned submarines, nuclear powered submarines sitting in dry-dock with no solutions in sight to deal with that nuclear waste and those contaminated products.
He gave us a number of examples of Russian military going into Mafia-type operations, selling equipment, hardware, and even the potential of selling nuclear materials. But then he talked about one specific incident. He said in response to a question I asked him about nuclear devices, whether or not Russia had any small nuclear devices, he said, `Let me tell you a story. When I was the secretary of the Defense Council for President Yeltsin, one of my assignments was to account for 132 suitcase-sized nuclear bombs. These are devices that could be carried by two people, each with the capacity of approximately 1 kiloton, which is about one-tenth the size of the Hiroshima bomb.
He said Russia built 132 of these. `I was given the assignment to account for them.' He said, `My people could only find 48.' We said, `General, where are the rest?' And he said, `I have no idea.' He said, `They could be safe. They could be secure. We do not know where they are. They could be in someone else's hands. They could be on the border. They could be in the former Soviet States, I just do not know.'
Mr. Speaker, I came back from that trip. There was no press in place. This was not an attempt, as the Russian Government would later say, by Lebed to get some headlines. There was no press in the meeting. There was no press conference. I came back to Washington and I debriefed the CIA and the DIA on what the Russian general had told me. They could not tell me whether or not they knew whether or not General Lebed knew that these devices were not secure. Our intelligence just did not know the answer to that question.
Now, the Russians trashed General Lebed. They called him a traitor. They said he did not know what he was talking about, this general had no idea of whether or not Russia ever built nuclear devices. And many of the senior officials from Russia denied that Russia ever built these devices.
`60 Minutes' contacted me in August when they read my trip report, which became a part of the Congressional Record, and they said, `Congressman, did the general really say this?' And I said yes. They said, `Can we interview you?' I said yes. They interviewed me and went to Moscow and interviewed General Lebed. And the first story in September of last year by `60 Minutes' was General Lebed repeating what he told me in that meeting in Moscow.
Again, the Russia media denied what the general said. They trashed him. In fact, our own Department of Defense, our press spokesman said publicly, `We have no reason to doubt that Russia does not control any small nuclear devices they may have built.'
So in October, I invited one of my Russian scientific friends to come to Washington. Alexei Yablakov. Dr. Yablakov is one of the most world-renowned environmental leaders in Russia. He is an ecologist. Dr. Yablakov came. He is a member of the Academy of Sciences in Moscow. He came to Washington and testified before my committee. He said on the public record that he knew that General Lebed was telling the truth. Russia built these devices, and he knew scientists who were his colleagues who had worked on these devices and who told him that some of them were built for the KGB, and that it was imperative for Russia to find and locate and destroy these nuclear suitcases.
Yablakov was called a traitor back in Moscow. The media trashed him. They said he was no good. Yablakov defended his honor. The story was a major story all over Russia. In fact, the Defense Minister called Yablakov into the Kremlin, and working with him, said they would issue a decree, a presidential decree to account for any of these devices that may have been built which they denied had been built earlier.
Mr. Speaker, I was again in Moscow in December, and on that trip I met for an hour and a half with the Defense Minister of Russia, General Sergeyev. In his office I again asked him about the small nuclear devices. He said, `Congressman, we did build these devices. In fact, we built several types of them, as your country did. We know that have you destroyed all of your small nuclear devices. We still have approximately 200. But I commit to you that by the year 2000, we will have them all destroyed.'
Now, why do I tell this story, Mr. Speaker? I tell this story because to create the impression that all is stable in Russia is exactly the wrong position to be stating to the American people. We do not need to scare the American people, but we need to be honest with them, candid with them, and the same thing applies with Russia itself.
Because of the instability in Russia, many individuals and entities are looking to sell off technologies and products to rogue nations. Two years ago, we caught Russian institutes and individuals transferring guidance systems for rockets to Iraq. In fact, the Jordanian and Israeli intelligence intercepted these devices which are very expensive, that had been taken off of Russian SSN-19 rockets, very sophisticated long-range rockets that were being shipped to Iraq.
Three times the CIA caught Russia transferring sets of guidance systems to Iraq. One hundred twenty sets of these guidance systems, Mr. Speaker, went from Russia to Iraq, to allow Iraq to improve the accuracy of their Scud missiles which killed our 27 Americans 7 years ago.
Not one time did this administration impose sanctions as required under the treaty between the U.S. and Russia called Missile Technology Control Regime, which requires sanctions when a nation or an entity is caught selling material that is covered by that treaty. In fact since 1993, we have caught Russia violating the Missile Technology Control Regime seven times. We have not imposed sanctions once.
This past summer, the Israelis came to America and they said, we have evidence that Russian scientists are working with Iran to allow Iran to build medium-range missiles that we cannot defend against. Initially the administration raised cain because that kind of intelligence information they did not want out. When the investigation was done, we found out exactly what happened, and that in fact was Russian entities involved with the Russian space agency had been transferring technology to Iran to allow Iran to build a medium-range missile partly based on the Russian SS-4 missile.
What does this mean, Mr. Speaker? This means that within 12 months, Iran will have a medium-range missile that can hit any one of 25,000 American troops that this President today has deployed in Bosnia, in other regions around the Middle East, Somalia, Macedonia, because of the capability of those missiles. It also means that Iran will be able to hit, from its homeland, Israel directly with a medium-range missile.
It means that Iran is working, as well as Iraq, on developing medium-range missile capabilities that is going to destabilize that part of the world. And the horror story here, Mr. Speaker, is we will have no system in place to defend Israel against those missiles when they are deployed.
Now, some say we have the Patriot system. It was great during Desert Storm. The Patriot system was not designed to take out missiles. It was built as a system to shoot down airplanes. When the risk of Saddam's Scud missiles appeared in Desert Storm, Raytheon Corporation was able to heat up that Patriot system to give us some capability to take out low-complexity Scud missiles. But our military has acknowledged publicly that during Desert Storm, the Patriot system was at best 40 percent effective, which meant that 60 percent of the time we could not take out those Scud missiles. And even when we did hit the Scud missile, we were not hitting the warhead where a chemical or biological weapon would be. We were hitting the tail section, so that the debris would actually land on the people and still do the devastating damage of the bomb or the weapon of mass destruction and have its impact on the people whom it was intended to hurt.
In fact we had our largest loss of life of American troops in this decade in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, when that low-complexity Scud missile went into that barracks.
The point reinforces my notion, Mr. Speaker. While we need to continue to control the amount of defense spending, we need to be prepared for what is happening in the world today. China is spending a larger and larger amount of its money on defense. North Korea has now deployed a medium-range missile that we thought we would not see for 5 years. It is called the No Dong. It now threatens all of Japan. It threatens South Korea, and potentially troops in that theater, and they are working on a longer-range missile that eventually will be able to hit Alaska and Hawaii.
The point is that as much as we want to spend more and more money on domestic programs, we cannot do that by sacrificing the strong deterrent that a strong military provides. The reason we have a strong military is not just to fight wars. It is to deter aggression. There has never been a nation that has fallen because it is too strong. And while we do not want to be the bully of the world, we need to understand that strength in our military systems deters regional aggression. And regional aggression is what leads to larger confrontations and eventually world war.
Here is a summary, Mr. Speaker, of the budget projections from 1991 to 2001. The blue bar graph is mandatory outlays. They are going to increase by 35 percent during that 10-year period. The green bar graph is domestic discretionary spending. That is going to increase by 15 percent during the 10-year period. The red bar graph is defense spending. It is decreasing by 35 percent during that 10-year time period.
We need to be careful, Mr. Speaker, that we do not approach a similar situation to what occurred in the 1970s, because if we allow our military to not modernize, to not provide the support for the morale of the troops, we could begin to see a decay that we will not be able to reverse.
Now, why is all of this important and why do I discuss it today? Because the budget problems that I outlined at the beginning of my special order are going to be exacerbated after the turn of the century. This administration has postponed all modernization in our military and, therefore, everything has been slid until the next administration comes into office. This administration looks great. They have been able to balance the budget, they have been able to cut spending. They say they have cut Federal spending. They have only cut defense. That is the only area of the Federal Government where we have had real decline in real terms.
But in the process of doing that, they have postponed decisions for new systems until the next century. In the year 2000 and beyond, these are the systems that are currently scheduled by this administration to go into full production: the V-22 for the Marine Corps; the Comanche for the Army; the F-22 for the Air Force; the F/A-18E and F for the Navy; the Joint Strike Fighter for the Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps; a new aircraft carrier; new destroyers.
The Army after next, an information-controlled Army: missile defense, theater missile defense, national missile defense. All of these programs, Mr. Speaker, are coming on line at the beginning of the next century and none of them can be paid for because of what we are doing to the defense budget today.
Now, what have I proposed? I have told the administration, cut more programs. If you are not going to cut environmental costs, if you are not going to reduce deployments, if you cannot close more bases, and if you are not going to give us more money for defense, then cancel more programs.
I voted to cancel the B-2, and the President kept the line open one more year during his election year in spite of the fact that we should have canceled it and saved that money. And I told the administration, cancel one of the tactical aviation programs. We cannot build three new TACAIR programs. This year we are spending $2.7 billion on tactical aviation that is buying new fighter planes.
The current plans of this administration in building the F-22, the Joint Strike Fighter, and the F/A-18E and F, the GAO and CBO estimate in 10 years would cost us between 14 and 16 billion dollars a year. Where does this President think he is going to get--he is not going to be here. Where does he think the next President is going to get an increase of $10 to $12 billion just for tactical fighters alone? It is not going to happen, Mr. Speaker.
That is why I am predicting a major train wreck, a train wreck that could jeopardize security of this country. We have got to be realistic about what the threats are. We have got to be realistic about what our needs are. We have got to be realistic about the way that we prioritize spending. We have got to be honest with the American people. And we have not done this.
This administration in the State of the Union speech two months ago mentioned national security out of an 80-minute speech in two sentences. Yet the President is quick to deploy our troops around the world, but does not want to fund the dollars to support those very troops and modernize them.
Something has got to give, Mr. Speaker. And I hope this special order tonight will make our colleagues, will make this city, and will make this country understand the dilemma we are facing. I am not here to advocate massive increases in defense spending. I am here to say help us control the amount of money we are currently putting forth, cut where we can, be realistic about what the threats are, and be honest about what our needs are in the 21st century. Because if we do not do that, I think the prospects for the long-term security of this country and the free world get dimmer and dimmer.