Democratic presidential candidate Senator John Edwards discusses his foreign policy agenda as part of the Council on Foreign Relations' Campaign 2008 Series.
Senator John Edwards
Johnny Reid "John" Edwards (born June 10, 1953) was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2004, and a one-term U.S. Senator from North Carolina. On December 27, 2006, he announced his entry into the 2008 Presidential election.
Edwards was a trial lawyer before entering politics. He defeated incumbent Republican Lauch Faircloth in North Carolina's 1998 Senate election and during his six-year term sought the Democratic nomination in the 2004 presidential election.
He eventually became the Democratic candidate for Vice President, the running mate of presidential nominee Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts. After Edwards and Kerry lost the election to the incumbents George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, Edwards formed the One America Committee and was appointed director of the Center on Poverty, Work and Opportunity at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law. He was also a consultant for Fortress Investment Group LLC.
Jacob Weisberg is the Editor-in-Chief of The Slate Group, a division of The Washington Post Company. A native of Chicago, he attended Yale University and New College, Oxford. From 1989 until 1994, he worked as a writer and editor at The New Republic. Between 1994 and 1996, he wrote the National Interest column for New York Magazine. In the fall of 1996, he joined Slate as Chief Political Correspondent. He succeeded Michael Kinsley as editor of Slate in 2002. He has also been a Contributing Writer for The New York Times Magazine, a contributing editor of Vanity Fair and a reporter for Newsweek in London and Washington, and a weekly columnist for the Financial Times. In 2007, Min Magazine named him Web Editor of the Year.
Good afternoon. Welcome to the Council on Foreign Relations. Weare delighted that John Edwards is here to speak to us today. I've been asked to use thisopportunity to give you all a brief overview of the Council's special 2008 Initiative. Allof the presidential candidates have been invited to address Council members in NewYork or Washington. And this is the first of what we expect will be a series ofappearances by the people vying for the Republican and Democratic nominations.Candidates have also been invited to use the Council as a non-partisan resource onforeign policy issues. The Council is happy to arrange private briefings on issues of theirchoice for any candidate who wishes to take advantage. The Council's journal, "ForeignAffairs," will also run a series of articles by the candidates beginning in the July-August issue.Finally, launching today, the Council's excellent website, cfr.org, will have a dedicatedCampaign 2008 section that features exclusive interviews with the candidates, transcriptsof speeches and debates, as well as issue briefs on the range of foreign policy issues thatwill present themselves to the next president. We expect this -- the Council expects thisto be THE resource on foreign policy issues in the campaign. It's in this context -- of thisspecial Campaign 2008 initiative, that the Council is pleased to welcome Senator Edwards.A few brief items of housekeeping: I'd like to remind everyone that this event is on therecord. Participants around the nation, and indeed around the world, are watching viawebcast and may ask questions that way. And please remember to turn off all your cellphones, Blackberries, wireless devices, lest you be embarrassed by them ringing while the Senator is speaking.You all have Senator Edwards' biography, and more to the point, I think most of youprobably know it pretty well so I won't waste any time recapping it here. I do want to saythat while Senator Edwards is probably better known for his focus on domestic policy,I've seen him talk three times on foreign policy since the 2004 election -- in particularabout Russia here, about China and about Darfur. And each time I've come awayimpressed with the depth of his understanding, his seriousness about these issues, andalso his originality as a thinker about foreign policy.I'll also say that my interest was peaked watching the Democratic debate last month inSouth Carolina when Brian Williams asked all the candidates if they believe that theglobal war on terror -- well, if they believed in the global war on terror. And I believethat Senator Edwards, along with Dennis Kucinich, was the only candidate who didn'traise his hand. Among other subjects today, I think he may explain a little bit about whathe meant by that answer. So please welcome Senator Edwards.Thank you, Jacob, very much. And it's a great pleasure for me to beback at the Council, and I thank the Council for inviting me and the other candidates --and I thank Richard for his leadership here at the Council.You know I had the great pleasure last year of co-chairing a taskforce with Jack Kemp onU.S.-Russia relations. And the experience, for me, served as powerful reminder of whatcan be done when we have -- bring together good people, smart people, experiencedpeople with divergent views, but who are bound in a common belief -- which I think wascertainly true in that taskforce -- about America's global responsibilities and the need forAmerica to provide leadership in the world.Our main conclusions on that -- in that taskforce are just as relevant today with what'shappening with Russia today, which is that Russia's direction is critically important toAmerica's national security for everything from energy to nonproliferation to the spreadof HIV/AIDS. And as our report's title made clear, Russia's been headed in the wrongdirection -- whether it's the de-democratization of Russia or the bullying of its neighbors.Now, I'm not saying -- and didn't say then, don't say now -- that we should needlesslypoke our finger in their eye, but we need to be clear about our interests and what we cando together with Russia to address the global problems that all of us face. You knowwe've not, unfortunately, been able to focus, from my perspective, an adequate amount ofattention and energy on critical issues like getting our relationship with Russia right.Instead, we've been distracted -- understandably distracted about larger problems createdby this president's military and national security policy, which I'm going to speak about today.The core of this presidency has been a political doctrine that George Bush calls "theglobal war on terror." He's used this doctrine like a sledgehammer to justify the worstabuses and biggest mistakes of his administration -- from Guantanamo to Abu Ghraib tothe war in Iraq. The worst thing about the "global war on terror" approach is that it'sbackfired. Our military's been strained to the breaking point and the threat from terrorismhas grown, not lessened.We need a post-Bush, post-9/11, post-Iraq American military that is mission-focused onprotecting Americans from 21st century threats and is not misused for ideologically-driven pursuits. We need to recognize that we have more powerful weapons -- far morepowerful weapons available to us than just bombs, and we need to bring those weapons tobear in our foreign policy.We need to reengage the world with the full weight of America's moral leadership. Whatwe need is not more slogans. What we need is a comprehensive strategy to deal with thecomplex challenge of both delivering justice and being just. Not hard power, not softpower, smart power. Nowhere are the problems of this administration's policies moretragically evident than they are in Iraq. Iraq's problems are deep and dangerous, but theycannot be solved by the U.S. military alone -- that's become clear.My plan calls on Congress to use its funding power to stop the surge; enforce animmediate withdrawal of 40 (thousand) to 50,000 combat troops from Iraq followed byan orderly and complete withdrawal of all combat troops in just less than a year. Thepresident has played political brinksmanship over the war in Iraq and he's done it overand over and over. He refuses to acknowledge the futility of his approach; he disregardsthe clear message that was sent by the American people last fall in the elections; and hefalsely claims that the only way for Congress to support the troops is to prolong the war.This is wrong and it is absolutely not true.Congress can support the troops and end the war, which exactly what the bill that theysent to the president last month did. When the president vetoed that bill, it was thepresident alone who was blocking support for the troops, no one else; it was PresidentBush. Any compromise that funds the war through the end of fiscal year is not acompromise at all -- it's a capitulation. Every member of Congress -- every member ofCongress should stand their ground on this issue and do everything in their power toblock this bill. As I've said repeatedly, Congress should send President Bush another billfunding the troops, supporting the troops, with a timetable for withdrawal. If thepresident vetoes that bill, they should send him another bill funding the troops with atimetable for withdrawal.The American people have made absolutely clear that they -- and have sent the Congressa mandate -- they want a different course in Iraq. It is the responsibility of the Congressto do the will of the country and to stand firm against this president. Unfortunately, wehave a president who's obstinate, stubborn and believes he can do no wrong, and we needthe Congress to do the will of the American people. We need to get out of Iraq on ourtimetable, not when we're forced to do so by our enemies or by events.As a recent Council report put it, the U.S. has already achieved what it's likely to achievein Iraq, and staying in Iraq can only drive up the price of those gains in blood, treasure,and strategic position. Iraq has done tremendous damage to the U.S. interests in theMiddle East, our military, and last but not least, to our moral authority in the world. It'salso completely consumed our country's foreign policy debate. In Congress and theWhite House, the focus has been on when to get out, how to get out and how quickly toget out. Too little consideration has been given to what happens after we get out -- andthat is the very least we owe to the men and women of the U.S. armed forces and theirfamilies who have sacrificed so much and continue to sacrifice so much today.I believe that once we're out of Iraq, the U.S. must retain sufficient forces in the region toprevent a genocide; to deter a regional spill-over of the civil war; and to prevent an al-Qaeda safe-haven. We will most likely need to retain quick action -- quick reactiontroops in Kuwait and in the Persian Gulf. We also need some presence in Baghdad --inside the Green Zone to protect the American embassy and other personnel.Finally, we'll need a diplomatic offensive to engage the rest of the world in Iraq's future,including Middle Eastern nations and our allies in Europe. As everyone in this roomknows, the Iraq war has made it far more difficult for America to deal with its otherglobal challenges, whether it's the worsening situation in Afghanistan where the Talibanis resurgent, poppy heroin trade up; the nuclear ambitions of states like North Korea andIran; the crises in Darfur and northern Uganda; they offered (sic) to help bring peacebetween Israel and its neighbors; the growing economic and security threats from globalwarming; the plight of over 1 billion people in the world who live on less than $1 a day,or the vast implications of the political and economic rise of states like India and China;and the negative trends in Russia which I spoke about a few minutes ago.Throughout this campaign I've spoken about what we need to do to deal with these hugechallenges. In the future I'll continue to chart a course for America to regain the globalstature and legitimacy that we'll need to lead and shape the world our children andgrandchildren will inherit. But that course begins with an understanding of power and itspurpose, in all its forms -- political, economic, moral and, yes, military power. The greatDean Acheson once said that "Prestige is the shadow cast by power." If that's so, we risksquandering our prestige, as the current administration has done, if we continue to misuseand misdirect the extraordinary power that America has.I'll also talk more specifically about what I intend to do as commander in chief to lead ourgreat military and restore the contract that we have with those who proudly wear theuniform to defend our country and to make not only America but the world a safer place.Leading the military out of the wreckage left by the poor civilian leadership in thisadministration will be the single most important duty of the next commander in chief.The next commander in chief faces several important questions for the future: How willwe rebuild our military force -- what must everyone -- what must every -- excuse me --which most everyone agrees has been so severely stressed, if not broken, by the debaclein Iraq? What lessons have we learned about how the military should be used over thelast several years? And what is the right role for our military as we seek to restoreAmerica's moral leadership in the world?The answers to these questions are what I'd like to talk about today. I can think of nobetter time to have this discussion than in the days leading up to Memorial Day and theMemorial Day weekend. This is a day that is more meaningful than ball games andbarbecues, it's a time when we honor those who have sacrificed so much for our country.Memorial Day has always had a specific meaning in our own family. Elizabeth, my wife,grew up on military bases around the world -- she's the daughter of a Naval aviator fromthe U.S.S. Quincy. Elizabeth's father Vince took part in the first bombing runs of Japanduring World War II. Later, after the war, Elizabeth and her parents returned to live inJapan where her dad was stationed.World War II was not simply a moment of military glory, a moment of triumph for thecitizen soldier -- it was much more than that. The generation that won World War II isnot called the "greatest generation" because of the victory they earned on the battlefield,but because of what they did with that victory -- of what they gave to us and what theygave to the world. Military power without purpose is ultimately self-defeating. Ouractive engagement in the world after World War II is an example of why we need astrong military. It reveals the relationship between the strength of our military and thepower of American ideals. It reveals what America needs today, which is to marry ourstrengths -- our military strength, our economic strength, and our political strength withthe moral authority to lead.Think about the chances our wise leaders made -- choices our wise leaders made -- in1945. It would have been easy enough for America to glance at the devastation and justquickly look the other way. We and our allies had helped save the world from Nazismand fascism. We were wealthy and we were safe. Many thought it was time for us to gohome but, Americans like Harry Truman -- President Harry Truman and General GeorgeMarshall saw the truth. They would require not only American military might, but ouringenuity, our allies, and our generosity to rebuild Europe and keep it safe from tyrantswho would prey on poverty and resentment.Our leaders resisted the imperial temptation to force our will by virtue of our unmatchedstrength. Instead, they built bonds of trust founded on restraint, the rule of law and goodfaith. They were magnanimous out of strength, not weakness. General Marshall, one ofthis country's greatest military leaders, was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for hisleadership in rebuilding Europe and promoting peace in the world. In his Nobelacceptance speech, General Marshall said that military power was, quote, "too narrow abasis on which to build a dependable, long-enduring peace." As the Marshall Plandemonstrated, the military is only a means to an end. It is only one instrument ofAmerican power. It must work alongside and reinforce America's moral leadership.We saw the power of this relationship during the Cold War when America deterred theSoviet Union from its quest for world domination. We saw it when we established theUnited Nations and NATO, which have done so much for peace and for human rights.And after the Cold War, we saw it in Bosnia where we helped broker a lasting peace.And then we saw it again in Kosovo, where we joined our NATO allies to stop a brutalwar criminal from perpetrating another campaign of ethnic cleansing. This is theAmerica that I grew up in. This is the America I saw as a young boy -- a strong nationwhose moral promise to fill the hearts, and did fill the hearts, of almost everyone. Webelieved that America, like a beacon, was a light -- a light for the rest of the world.As we all saw six years ago on September 11th, America's greatness alone does notprotect us from attack. At that moment, the president could have -- could have -- sent amessage of swift justice, but also combined with moral leadership. He could have told uswhere destroying al-Qaeda fit into the broader challenges America faces in the newcentury. He could have asked all Americans to sacrifice in this new struggle, inviting awhole new era of citizenship as the ultimate answer to these terrorists' cynical, evilattack. But he didn't. Instead, he adopted the most short-sighted ideological policiesavailable. His strategy has put severe strain on America's military; tarnished our moralstanding in the world; and it's unfortunately emboldened our enemies.It is now clear that George Bush -- George Bush's misnamed "War on Terror" hasbackfired -- and it's now part of the problem. I know that President Bush just spoke onthis and so I want to be clear. The War on Terror is a slogan designed only for politics. Itis not a strategy to make America safe. It's a bumper sticker, not a plan. It has damagedour alliances and has weakened our standing in the world. As a political frame, it's beenused to justify so many abuses that have occurred under this administration, fromGuantanamo, to the war in Iraq, to illegal spying on American people. It's even beenused by the White House as an instrument to bludgeon their political opponents.Whether by manipulating threat levels leading up to the elections or by deemingopponents weak on terror, they've shown no hesitation whatsoever about using fear to divide.But the worst thing about this slogan is it hasn't worked. This so-called "war" has createdeven more terrorism, as we've seen tragically in Iraq. The State Department itselfrecently released a study showing that worldwide terrorism increased 25 percent in 2006,including a 40 percent surge in civilian fatalities. By framing this as a war, we've walkedright into the trap that the terrorists set -- that we're engaged in some kind of clash ofcivilizations in a war against Islam. The "war" metaphor also fails because it exaggeratesthe role of only one instrument of American power -- the military. This has occurred, inpart, because the military is so effective in what it does. Yet, if you think that all we haveis a hammer, then unfortunately every problem looks like a nail.There's an emerging consensus inside the armed forces that we have to move beyond thisidea of a war on terror. The commander of the U.S. military's Central Command recentlystated that he would no longer use the phrase "long war." Top military leaders likeretired General Zinni have rejected the term. These leaders know we need substance, notslogans; leadership, not labels. The question is, what should replace the War on Terror?Since the end of the world war -- of the Cold War, folks here at CFR and elsewhere havebeen engaged in a effort to be "the next George Kennan" and redefine the era. As all ofyou know, we need a new strategy for rebuilding a strong military for a new century.Any new strategy must include new preventive measures to win the long-term struggleand to fuel hope and opportunity. This includes strong and creative diplomacy and alsonew efforts to lead the fight against global poverty. I proposed a plan to lead aninternational effort to educate every child in the world -- over 100 million children. Aspresident, I would increase foreign assistance by $5 billion a year to make millions ofpeople safer, healthier, more democratic and I would create a cabinet-level position to oversee this effort.Any new strategy must improve how we gather intelligence. From years on the SenateIntelligence Committee, I know how difficult this can be. We must always seek toprotect our national security by aggressively gathering intelligence in accordance withproven methods -- methods that work. Yet we cannot do this by abandoning humanrights and the rule of law. Two former generals recently wrote in the Washington Post,"If we forfeit our values by signaling that they are negotiable, we drive undecideds intothe arms of the enemy."And we must avoid actions that will give terrorists, or even other nations, an excuse toabandon international law. As president I will close Guantanamo Bay, restore habeascorpus, and ban torture. Measures like these will help America once again achieve itshistoric moral stature and lead the world toward democracy and peace.And finally, a new strategy must have a clear idea of how to rebuild the U.S. military.For the last four years, the administration has not only mismanaged the war in Iraq, it'sactually mismanaged the military itself -- it's an extraordinary, historical irony actually.The president and his team held themselves out as these great stewards and experts in themilitary. During his campaign in 2000, then-Governor Bush went to the Citadel in SouthCarolina and said our military powers should be used, and I quote, "wisely, remembering the costs of war."His team came into office with decades of experience. They promised that, quote, "helpwas on the way." They made bold pronouncements about new military doctrines like"transformation" and "an end to nation-building." They held themselves out as saviors,called themselves "Vulcans," and cast their opponents as amateurs who should bow downbefore their slogans and gestures. They even disregarded the advice of highly decoratedmilitary officers themselves. The results have been a complete disaster. Thisadministration's policies have been particularly hard on the men and women of ourmilitary and their families. President Bush could have called on Americans to sacrifice,but the only ones who've been at war -- the only ones asked to sacrifice have been oursoldiers, sailors, airmen, marines and their families. This is not right.I'm here today to announce a new pledge to America's servicemen and women, to theirfamilies and to our veterans, "We will stand by you just as you have stood by us." Aspresident, I'll implement a defense policy that's based on five major principles: First,ensuring that our military policy is planned and executed to fulfill essential nationalsecurity missions, not some ideological fantasy; second, repairing the tremendousdamage done to the civil-military relations; third, rooting out cronyism and waste andincreasing efficiency in the Pentagon; fourth, rebalancing our force structure for thechallenges of this new century, including improving our capabilities to help weak orfailing nations; and taking a broader -- finally, taking a broader view of securitythroughout our government. With this -- these steps, we can begin to rebuild anAmerican military for the new century.First, we have to clarify the mission of a post-Bush, post-9/11, post-Iraq Americanmilitary for the 21st Century. We must be clear, first, about when it's appropriate for acommander in chief to use force. As president, I will only use offensive force after allother options, including diplomacy, have been exhausted -- and after we've made effortsto bring as many countries as possible to our side. However, there are times when forceis justified: to protect our vital national interests; to respond to acts of aggression byother nations and non-state actors; to protect treaty allies and alliance commitments; toprevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons; and to prevent or stop genocide.But we have to remember that the complimentary relationship between the military forceand diplomacy is crucial. Too often during the past six years this administration'sdiplomatic efforts have left the U.S. with two unacceptable options: to do nothing or touse force. We have to do better than that. We should always seek to solve problemspeacefully -- preferably working with others. Yet one of the oldest rules of statecraft isthat diplomacy is most effective when it's backed up by a strong military. This does notmean, however, that every problem needs a military answer -- far from it.Our military has three important missions: deterring and responding to aggressors;making sure that weak and failing states do not threaten our interests; and maintainingour strategic advantage against major competitors. The first mission is deterring orresponding to those who wish to do us harm. I want to make one thing absolutely clear:any American president must be able to act with swiftness and strength against anyonewho would do us harm. But by elevating this right -- which has existed forever, to adoctrine of preventive war, this administration has only isolated America further.Our goal has to be to defeat Islamic extremists and limit their reach, not to help themrecruit and become stronger. There's an entire new generation of young people sitting onthe fence right now: on one side are the terrorists, on one -- or the other side are Americaand its allies. And the question is, on which side will this generation go? It's America'sresponsibility to attract them to our side like a magnet.Our second mission is to ensure that the problems of weak and failing states do not createdangers for the United States. We face substantial security threats from states that fallapart. These situations are not only dangerous for those countries' civilian populations,but they create regional instability and can strengthen terrorist groups that, in turn,directly threaten the United States.A third mission is maintaining our strategic advantage against major competitor statesthat could do us harm and otherwise threaten our interests. In all of these missions wemust continue to strengthen our great partnerships -- whether bilateral relationships withfriends like Great Britain, to Israel, to Japan; or, through institutions like NATO, whichhave done so much good for America and the world. While the U.S. does not needpermission to protect its interests, we have to realize that our strength lies in standingtogether with the world -- not isolated and apart from the world.Next, we have to reestablish our strong connection with military leadership. The past fewyears have brought extraordinary crises in civil-military relations in this government.The mismanagement at the Pentagon has been so severe that many of our most decoratedretired officers are now speaking out. Our constitutional design is absolutely clear -- andour military leadership clearly must follow civilian command, but this does not mean thatcivilians should be able to ram-through their pet military projects. George Bush's civilianleadership at the Pentagon repeatedly -- repeatedly -- ignored the counsel of their moreexperienced colleagues. They disregarded wise generals like Ric Shinses -- Shinseski --Shin-seski (laughs) -- I'll say it right eventually -- who advised that hundreds ofthousands of troops should be needed to secure the peace in Iraq. He was right. He was right all along.As president, I'll repair this breach. I'll institute regular, one-on-one meetings with mytop military leadership so their analysis and advice will not be filtered and I'll be able tohear it directly. And so I'll have the best information about what's actually happeningwith our troops on the ground -- not coming through others.I'll also reinstate a basic doctrine that's been demolished by the Bush administration.Under my administration military professionals will have primary responsibility in issuesof tactics and operations, while civilian leadership will have authority in all matters ofbroad strategy and political decisions. As president, I'll exercise command and I willdelegate the decision to use force to absolutely no one. But I will also remove anycivilian or military officers who stifle debate or simply tell me what it is they think I want to hear.The administration's mismanagement of the military has not only breached the faith at thehighest level, it's led to an extraordinarily dangerous situation for our troops, for theirfamilies, and ultimately, for America. The military that's fighting in Iraq andAfghanistan is very different than those that have gone to battle before. Today, active-duty service men and women are, on average, 27 years old; Guard and Reserve members,on average, 33 years old. Sixty percent of those deployed have left families at home andabout 50 percent of those killed in action have left a spouse or child behind.Alarmingly high rates of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are being reported. These troopsare exhausted and they're overworked. And we've been forced to dig deeper and deeperto find ground forces for Iraq and Afghanistan -- it leaves us very ill-prepared for the future.Today, every available active-duty Army combat brigade has been to Iraq or Afghanistanfor at least 12 months -- for at least one 12-month tour. We're sending some troops backto Iraq with less than a year's rest. And to make all these matters worse, the secretary ofDefense just extended tours from 12 to 15 months, which is unconscionable. Recruitinghas suffered. The Army has been meeting its recruiting targets, but only by lowering itsstandards. Recruits from the least-skilled category have increased 800 percent over thepast two years. And the Army granted nearly twice as many waivers for felonies andother shortcomings in 2006 as it did in 2003.Finally, it's clear that Guard and Reserve members will always play an active and veryvaluable role in the total force of the United States. Yet, they've been subjected torepeated and lengthy deployments that do not fit their job description. This is not whatthey signed up for. And as the disgraceful conditions at Walter Reed demonstrated, thisadministration has failed our service men and women not only in Iraq but also here athome. I will never allow our wounded to be housed in dilapidated, rodent-infestedfacilities. On the contrary, as I'll be announcing in remarks later this week, I'll make anew pledge to our veterans to meet our sacred responsibility to them -- to them, ourservice men and women and their families -- that our benefits, support service andreadjustment programs properly meet their needs. We owe them no less.The problem of our force structure is not best dealt with by a numbers game. It is verytempting for politicians to try and outbid each other on the number of troops that theywould add to our military forces. Some politicians have fallen right in line behindPresident Bush and his recent proposal to add 92,000 troops between now and 2012 withlittle rationale for exactly why we need this many troops, particularly in light of a likelywithdrawal from Iraq. The numbers games only get us to the same problems as thepresident's approach. We have to be more thoughtful about what these troops willactually be used for. Any troops we add today would take a number of years to recruitand train, and so that will not help us today in Iraq. We might need a substantial increasein troops in the Army, Marine Corps and Special Forces for at least four reasons: torebuild Iraq; to bolster deterrence; to decrease our heavy reliance on Guard and Reservemembers in the military; and to deploy in Afghanistan and any other trouble spots thatmay develop. While such proposals are worth very close examination, they do not takeinto account what is obvious, that America will be leaving Iraq. And I believe that needsto occur over the next year. We need to avoid talking about numbers simply for politicalbenefit and instead take a broader view.As president, I will carefully assess the post-Iraq threat environment and consult withmilitary commanders to determine the exact number of troops we need and where. I'llalso double the budget for recruiting and raise the standards for the recruiting pool so weissue fewer waivers than we do today under the president's policy. I'll put substantialadditional resources into maintenance of our equipment and to reset the force. We mustspend what it takes to reset our force after Iraq. We've seen a rapid depletion in ourmilitary equipment. Over 1,000 vehicles, including tanks and helicopters, have been lostin Iraq. And our equipment is being used at a rate of five to six times its peak time use.This inadequacy is especially clear when we look at the demands that have been placedon our Guard and Reserve members. They've been sent to battle without the bestequipment. Some units slated to return to Iraq recently reported that they have outdatedequipment. This is completely unacceptable for us to send men and women, putting theirlives at risk, without the equipment that they're entitled to.The military budget itself also needs substantial reforms. Today, dozens of agenciesperform overlapping tasks, and there is no central, overall accounting of all securityactivities performed by all relevant agencies. I'll create a national security budget thatwill include all security activities by the Pentagon and the Department of Energy and ourHomeland Security, intelligence and foreign affairs agency. This would allow moreoversight, and it will allow us to more carefully tailor our expenditures to the missionswe're confronted with.Today, literally dozens of agencies have overlapping responsibilities, missions, tasks andprograms. We don't link these efforts together the way we should. We have nuclearproliferation programs in the Defense, State and the Energy Departments. We have morethan 15 different security assistance programs running out of both the State Departmentand the Defense Department.As president, I'll send to Congress a national security budget that will grow out of areview of our military, our diplomacy, our foreign assistance programs, our intelligence,our global energy and our homeland security activities. This budget will provide onegovernment-wide strategy for countering proliferation, a unified strategy for fightingterrorists, a unified strategy for providing security assistance to our allies and clearguidance for our agencies on how they should set their budget priorities to make all thesepolicies work together.The military has gone a long way in making sure that it is capable and prepared to fighthumanitarian crises as we've seen when it provided aid to the victims of the tsunami. Butthis aid is often imbalanced. We've got one agency on steroids -- the Pentagon -- whilethe civilian agencies are on life support. As president, I'll help rebuild the delivery ofcivilian services throughout the federal government. Civilians with training andexperience need to be involved in stabilizing states with weak governments and providinghumanitarian assistance where it's needed. We need bankers to set up financial systems,political scientists to implement election systems and civil engineers to design water andpower systems. As president, I'll create a marshal corps modeled on the military reservesof up to 10,000 expert professionals who will help stabilize weak societies and providehumanitarian assistance.I'll also take the additional steps to put stabilization first throughout the government. I'llput a senior official in the Pentagon to implement these programs. I'll harmonize theState Department and Pentagon's overlapping efforts (through ?) diplomacy andstabilization. And I'll implement new stabilization programs at war colleges and staff colleges.Just as we need to get our national security budget in order, we also have to reform ourPentagon budget. The Bush administration has funneled an enormous amount oftaxpayer money to private military contractors, many of whom were run by their ownfriends and political cronies. It's no surprise that we've seen rampant overruns in the costof many weapons programs. I will respond to these overruns and cronyism strongly anddirectly. We need a modern-day equivalent of Harry Truman's famous TrumanCommittee which traveled the country in the 1940s to find billions of dollars of waste inmilitary spending. As president, I'll direct my secretary of Defense to launch acomprehensive, tough review of fraud, waste and abuse and to put an end to it. Oneexample is missile defense and offensive-based space weapons which are costly and unlikely to work.We also need fundamental reform in our privatization policies. Almost half of DefenseDepartment contracts are now awarded on a non-competitive basis, giving companies likeHaliburton millions of dollars. To end this, I'll direct my secretary of Defense tooverhaul the rules governing privatization, to punish mismanagement and to reform DODbonus policies to reward performance.Finally, I'll challenge the military to continue to modernize for a new century. We needto ensure that the U.S. military is the most modern and capable fighting force on theplanet. Modernization will also have other benefits. (Greening ?) the military willincrease innovation, save millions of dollars, reduce reliance on vulnerable supply linesand help America lead the fight against global warming.We also must do what we can to prevent these problems before they arise. That's why Ibelieve it's so important for us to address issues like global poverty. The reforms that Iannounced a couple of months ago would help stabilize at-risk nations and spread thedream of freedom across the globe and, in the process, re-establish America as a force forgood in the world. Today we need great principles, moral courage and, above all, avision of a tomorrow that's better than today, of a world where the power of example ismightier than the sword. We need a strong military for a new century, and we need onebased on hope, not fear. As Robert F. Kennedy once wrote, "Our answer is the world'shope." We will need imagination and courage to imagine great possibilities, to create aworld where terrorism belongs to the past. We must, at the same time, rely on ourheritage, a time when we were admired by the world, where we shared with generosityand good faith our ideals of truth, justice and equality. Like a beacon, America onceagain can provide a clear light for the world, dissolving the fog of injustice andilluminating the path to a new century. This is the America that I grew up in, and it is theAmerica that Elizabeth and I want again to share, not only with our own children but withthe children of America and of the world. Thank you all very much. God bless America.