As President Bush settles into the White House, his core policies are being defined by the day. During his election campaign, he spoke about increasing military spending to increase the salaries of the members of the US armed forces. The Pentagon’s current budget of 296 billion USD is to be increased to 340 bn. USD by 2002. George Bush is reported to have his own, very strong, ideas about the US armed forces. This means that most of the agreements undertaken by the Clinton administration will be revised, including the USA’s Middle East policy. Bush understands that the US armed forces are oriented towards a Cold War situation which no longer exists and as such, they need to be modernised. The new policy will see a substitution of caterpillar-traction vehicles by lighter, faster machines with wheels and tyres, a replacement of the Marines’ helicopters by VTO (vertical take off) aeroplanes and a new generation of high-speed launches. However, despite the modernist tendencies, old habits die hard : the new US Under-Secretary of State, Paul Wolfowitz, proposes that the USA should use its military power to discourage any potential enemies from developing a military or security threat. Read into this a continuation of the bombing policy against Iraq.
TIMOTHY BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.RU
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the termination of diplomatic relations with NATO at a time when US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ended a meeting in Georgia with his counterpart