Republican platform 2000 Renewing America’s Purpose. Together. Preamble



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Protecting the Fellowship of Freedom from Weapons of Mass Destruction

The new century will bring new threats, but America — properly led — can master them. Just as the generations of World War II and the Cold War were quick to seize the high frontier of science and craft the national defense America needed, so our country can build on its strengths and defend against unprecedented perils once again.

Ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction threaten the world’s future. America is currently without defense against these threats. The administration’s failure to guard America’s nuclear secrets is allowing China to modernize its ballistic missile force, thereby increasing the threat to our country and to our allies. The theft of vital nuclear secrets by China represents one of the greatest security defeats in the history of the United States. The next Republican president will protect our nuclear secrets and aggressively implement a sweeping reorganization of our nuclear weapons program.

Over two dozen countries have ballistic missiles today. A number of them, including North Korea, will be capable of striking the United States within a few years, and with little warning. America is now unable to counter the rampant proliferation of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons and their missile delivery systems around the world.

The response of the current administration has been anachronistic and politicized. Stuck in the mindset and agreements of the Cold War and immune to fresh ideas, the administration has not developed a sensible strategy that responds to the emerging missile threat. They have no adequate plan for how they will defend America and its allies. Visionary leadership, not the present delay and prevarication, is urgently needed for America to be ready for the future. The new Republican president will deploy a national missile defense for reasons of national security; but he will also do so because there is a moral imperative involved: The American people deserve to be protected. It is the president’s constitutional obligation.

America must deploy effective missile defenses, based on an evaluation of the best available options, including sea-based, at the earliest possible date. These defenses must be designed to protect all 50 states, America’s deployed forces overseas, and our friends and allies in the fellowship of freedom against missile attacks by outlaw states or accidental launches.

The current administration at first denied the need for a national missile defense system. Then it endlessly delayed, despite constant concern expressed by the Republican Congress. Now the administration has become hopelessly entangled in its commitment to an obsolete treaty signed in 1972 with a Soviet Union that no longer exists while it is constrained by its failure to explore vigorously the technological possibilities. In order to avoid the need for any significant revisions to the ABM Treaty, the administration supports an inadequate national missile defense design based on a single site, instead of a system based on the most effective means available. Their approach does not defend America's allies, who must be consulted as U.S. plans are developed. Their concept is a symbolic political solution designed on a cynical political timetable. It will not protect America.

We will seek a negotiated change in the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty that will allow the United States to use all technologies and experiments required to deploy robust missile defenses. Republicans believe that the administration should not negotiate inadequate modifications to the ABM Treaty that would leave us with a flawed agreement that ties the hands of the next president and prevents America from defending itself. The United States must be able to select the systems that will work best, not those that answer political expediency, and we must aggressively reinvigorate the ballistic missile defense technology base necessary to ensure that these systems succeed. There are today more positive, practical ways to reassure Russia that missile defenses are a search for common security, not for unilateral advantage. If Russia refuses to make the necessary changes, a Republican president will give prompt notice that the United States will exercise the right guaranteed to us in the treaty to withdraw after six months. The president has a solemn obligation to protect the American people and our allies, not to protect arms control agreements signed almost 30 years ago.

Clear thinking about defensive systems must be accompanied by a fresh strategy for offensive ones too. The Cold War logic that led to the creation of massive stockpiles of nuclear weapons on both sides is now outdated and actually enhances the danger of weapons or nuclear material falling into the hands of America’s adversaries. Russia is not the great enemy. The age of vast hostile armies in the heart of Europe deterred by the threat of U.S. nuclear response is also past. American security need no longer depend on the old nuclear balance of terror. It is time to defend against the threats of today and tomorrow, not yesterday.

It is past time that the United States should reexamine the requirements of nuclear deterrence. Working with U.S. military leaders and with the Congress, a Republican president will reevaluate America’s nuclear force posture and pursue the lowest possible number consistent with our national security. We can safely eliminate thousands more of these horrific weapons. We should do so. In the Cold War the United States rightfully worried about the danger of a conventional war in Europe and needed the nuclear counterweight. That made sense then. It does not make sense now. The premises of Cold War targeting should no longer dictate the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal. The current administration seems not to realize that this notion, too, is old-think of the worst order. In addition, the United States should work with other nuclear nations to remove as many weapons as possible from high-alert, hair-trigger status — another unnecessary vestige of Cold War confrontation — to reduce the risks of accidental or unauthorized launch.

In 1991, the United States invited the Soviet Union to join it in removing tactical nuclear weapons from their arsenals. Huge reductions were achieved in a matter of months, quickly making the world much safer. Under a Republican president, Russia will again be invited to do the same with respect to strategic nuclear weapons. America should be prepared to lead by example, because it is in our best interest and the best interest of the world. These measures can begin a new global era of nuclear security and safety.

Republicans recognize new threats but also new opportunities. With Republican leadership, the United States has an opportunity to create a safer world, both to defend against nuclear threats and to reduce nuclear arsenals and tensions. America can build a robust missile defense, make dramatic reductions in its nuclear weapons, and defuse confrontation with Russia. A Republican President will do all these things.

A comprehensive strategy for combating the new dangers posed by weapons of mass destruction must include a variety of other measures to contain and prevent the spread of such weapons. We need the cooperation of friends and allies — and should seek the cooperation of Russia and China — in developing realistic strategies using political, economic, and military instruments to deter and defeat the proliferation efforts of others. We need to address threats from both rogue states and terrorist group — whether delivered by missile, aircraft, shipping container, or suitcase.

In this context, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty is another anachronism of obsolete strategic thinking. This treaty is not verifiable, not enforceable, and would not enable the United States to ensure the reliability of the U.S. nuclear deterrent. It also does not deal with the real dangers of nuclear proliferation, which are rogue regimes — such as Iran, Iraq, and North Korea — that seek to hide their dangerous weapons programs behind weak international treaties. We can fight the spread of nuclear weapons, but we cannot wish them away with unwise agreements. Republicans in the Senate reacted accordingly and responsibly in rejecting the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

A new Republican president will renew America’s faltering fight against the contagious spread of nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, as well as their means of delivery. The weak leadership and neglect of the administration have allowed America’s intelligence capabilities, including space based systems, to atrophy, resulting in repeated proliferation surprises such as Iraq’s renewed chemical and biological weapons programs, India’s nuclear weapon test, and North Korea’s test of a three-stage ballistic missile. Again in a partnership with the Congress, a new Republican administration will give the intelligence community the leadership, resources, and operational latitude it requires.



Principled American Leadership (continued)


Seeking Enduring Prosperity

Under Republican leadership, the United States will foster an environment of economic openness to capitalize on our country’s greatest asset in the information age: a vital, innovative society that welcomes creative ideas and adapts to them. American companies are once more showing the world breathtaking ways to improve productivity and redraw traditional business models. This is an extraordinary foundation on which to rebuild an effective American trade policy.

Under the policies of the present administration, many markets remain closed and U.S. trade deficits keep rising. New economic structures are needed to combine regional agreements with the development of global rules for opening the world economy. Collaborating with the Congress, a Republican administration will engage the Latin American and the Asia-Pacific nations, including a new dialogue with India, about political economy and free trade. As impoverished countries in Eurasia, the Middle East, and Africa accept freer economies, they will need the incentives of more open world markets. In addition, the United States can encourage the European Union and our Asian friends and allies to open more sectors to cross-investment and competition with the aim of freer trans-oceanic trade.

Republicans are confident that the worldwide trade agenda is full of promise. From the traditional goods of agriculture to the virtual links of e-commerce, gates can swing open. Tariffs should be cut further. The United States can back private sector efforts to streamline common standards and deregulate services, from finance to filmmaking. As the one economy with truly global reach, America can set the standards and be at the center of a worldwide web of trade, finance, and openness. If some nations choose to opt out, they will see how other countries accepting economic freedom will advance on their own, working together.

This is the Republican approach, and a critical dimension of a distinctly American internationalism. It goes beyond the old choice of private sector laissez-faire versus government regulation. Instead it is a vision of private initiative encouraged, not stifled, by governments. Private parties are already fashioning new ways to exchange goods and settle disputes but national governments still struggle to define many of the underlying rules. Republicans will also go beyond the old arguments that pitted bilateral deals against global trade rules. Instead they envision a comprehensive approach to the more interdependent global economy, one that uses bilateral, regional, and global arrangements to spur reluctant states to become more open or to be left behind. At the same time, innovative and flexible global rules and structures can facilitate regional progress.

Rooted in America’s political and economic ideals, this Republican blueprint promotes open markets and open societies, free trade and the free flow of information, and the development of new ideas and private sectors. These nurture the human spirit, the middle class, law, and liberty.

As the Cold War ended, Republican presidents fought off protectionist pressure, eased the debt crisis then facing developing countries, signed the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), and started to enlarge free trade arrangements throughout the Western Hemisphere. They promoted the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) group that could bind economic interests across the Pacific. They then used these regional initiatives to bring the global trade talks of the Uruguay Round to the edge of conclusion. Thus America began to build on victory in the Cold War to build new structures for economic liberty as well.

For nearly eight years this promising construction project has languished half-built, the old blueprint shelved and no new ones drawn.


  • The administration returned to the old rhetoric of managed trade — demanding government intervention from a Japanese government that needed less regulation in its sputtering economy, not more. On the verge of a foolish trade war, the administration backed down and dropped its quota demands.

  • After failing for years to make the case for free trade, the administration finally got around to seeking fast-track trade negotiating authority, but could persuade only one-fifth of Democratic members of Congress to follow its lead.

  • With China, the administration sought to link normal trade relations to human rights performance. Then it flip-flopped and dropped the linkage. They tried to bring China into the World Trade Organization as the Prime Minister of China visited the United States in 1999, but the political waters got choppy. So the administration reversed course again. Finally the administration turned to Republican leadership in the Congress to enact permanent normal trade relations with China.

  • The administration refused to fight for passage of the Caribbean Basin Initiative that was designed to extend the benefits of free trade to some of America’s poorest neighbors. Congressional Republicans did the job on their own. They also enacted the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act as a companion to CBI.

  • The failed leadership of the administration in international economics is exemplified by the humiliating debacle of the WTO meeting in Seattle — a conference the current administration first sponsored and then wrecked through its own indecision and inconsistency.

Republicans know that prosperous democracies depend upon the promise of shared economic opportunity across national borders. If the new globalized information economy provokes a fearful drift into national or regional isolation, hopes for a better world will vanish. Institutions founded in the Second World War and its aftermath built the basis for America’s position today, but those institutions, like the Bretton Woods monetary system and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, were partly sustained by the Cold War. In this new century, the United States should devise new mechanisms to enable the private sector to unleash productivity, innovation, and a free flow of ideas.

Communities of private groups can achieve results far beyond the reach of governments and international bureaucracies. Given America's strong and diverse private sector, the United States, with close cooperation between a Republican president and a Republican Congress, can gain from the widening global influence of American citizens, businesses, associations, and norms. A Republican administration will have the opportunity to fashion, with like-minded nations, the international structures of sustainable prosperity for the next several decades.

The older international financial institutions should be overhauled but not scrapped. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank should no longer stand for unelected elites imposing their often flawed solutions to tough problems by offering bailouts of corrupt officials and risk-taking investors. The IMF should concentrate on its original mission of promoting sound fiscal and monetary policies, advancing sound central banking practices, and easing global exchange rate adjustments. It should improve transparency and accountability, tackling corruption rather than contributing to it. The World Bank should continue to move away from counterproductive development schemes of the past to an agenda that promotes the provision of basic needs. This agenda will include support for structural reforms that will encourage self-help through efficient markets.

The United States should aggressively pursue its national interest. Unlike the current administration, Republicans do not believe multilateral agreements and international institutions are ends in themselves. The Kyoto treaty to address momentous energy and environmental issues was a case in point. Whatever the theories on global warming, a treaty that does not include China and exempts "developing" countries from necessary standards while penalizing American industry is not in the national interest. We reject the extremist call for the United Nations to create a "Stewardship Council," modeled on the Security Council, to oversee the global environment. Republicans understand that workable agreements will build on the free democratic processes of national governments, not try to bypass them with international bureaucrats.

Unlike the Democratic minority in Congress, Republicans do not believe that economic growth is always the enemy of protecting the world’s common environmental heritage. Rather, the Republican vision seeks more creative international solutions. These solutions should use market mechanisms to allocate the costs of adjustment, help governments competently manage the resources they do control, and encourage application of the new technologies that offer the greatest promise to protect the global environment.

Neighborhood of the Americas

Latin America and Canada have helped shape the United States and its people. The countries of the Western Hemisphere are our neighbors. For tens of millions of Americans these neighbors are also our relatives. Latin America buys more than one-fifth of U.S. exports while Canada is America’s largest trading partner. These purchases by our Latin American neighbors are rising at a rate almost twice as fast as the rate for the rest of the world. In the next decade, U.S. trade and investment in the Western Hemisphere are projected to exceed our trade and investment with either Europe or Japan. Future prospects for America’s neighborhood are extraordinarily bright.

Secure in its strength and its principles, the United States wants strong, healthy neighbors. The next American century should include all of the Americas. Democracy and free markets are again under siege from narcotics traffickers, guerrillas, economic uncertainty, and demographic upheaval. Poverty, inadequate education, rampant crime and corruption all tear at the fabric of several of these societies. In Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, and other countries, democracy is faltering or under serious attack.

The next Republican president will pay serious and sustained attention to the American neighborhood. In concert with the Congress, he will work with key democracies like Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and — above all — Mexico. His administration will be guided by the principles of respect for sovereignty, private initiative, multilateral action, free politics and markets, the rule of law, and regard for the variety of peoples and cultures that make up the Western Hemisphere.

With Mexico, whose historic recent election we salute, the United States should continue to reduce barriers to trade and investment, including the implementation of existing commitments where the current administration has backtracked. Yet a true North American community should have a wider agenda that also includes the development of civil society. Our two countries can share ideas for improving education and public services on both sides of the border and using the federal system in both countries to promote governmental cooperation between honest officials who are close to their people.

A new Republican government committed to NAFTA can enlarge it into a vision for hemispheric free trade, drawing nations closer in business, common commercial standards, dispute resolution, and education. Republicans do not want to create new trading blocs to battle rivals. They mean to encourage general political and economic reform, starting with the American neighborhood.

In Cuba, Fidel Castro continues to impose communist economic controls and absolute political repression of 11 million Cubans. His regime harasses and jails dissidents, restricts economic activity, and forces Cubans into the sea in a desperate bid for freedom. He gives refuge to fugitives from American justice, hosts a sophisticated Russian espionage facility that intercepts U.S. government and private communications, and has ordered his air force to shoot down two unarmed U.S. civilian airplanes thereby killing American citizens.

U.S. policy toward Cuba should be based upon sound, clear principles. Our economic and political relations will change when the Cuban regime frees all prisoners of conscience, legalizes peaceful protest, allows opposition political activity, permits free expression, and commits to democratic elections. This policy will be strengthened by active American support for Cuban dissidents. Under no circumstances should Republicans support any subsidy of Castro’s Cuba or any other terrorist state.

Republicans also support a continued effort to promote freedom and democracy by communicating objective and uncensored news and information to the Cuban people via U.S. broadcasts to the captive island. Finally, Republicans believe that the United States should adhere to the principles established by the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act, which recognizes the rights of Cuban refugees fleeing communist tyranny.


Principled American Leadership (continued)


Across the Pacific

As in every region of the world, America’s foreign policy in Asia starts with its allies: Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, Thailand, and the Philippines. Our allies are critical in building and expanding peace, security, democracy, and prosperity in East Asia joined by long-standing American friends like Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan, and New Zealand.

Republican priorities in the next administration will be clear. We will strengthen our alliance with Japan. We will help to deter aggression on the Korean peninsula. We will counter the regional proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems and deploy, in cooperation with our allies, effective theater missile defenses. We will promote peace in the Taiwan Strait. We will reconstitute our relations with the nations of Southeast Asia. We will obtain the fullest possible accounting for our POW/MIAs from the Pacific wars. And we will promote democracy, open markets, and human rights for the betterment of the people of Asia and the United States.

Japan is a key partner of the United States’ and the U.S.-Japan alliance is an important foundation of peace, stability, security, and prosperity in Asia. America supports an economically vibrant and open Japan that can serve as engine of expanding prosperity and trade in the Asia-Pacific region.

The Republic of Korea is a valued democratic ally of the United States. North Korea, on the other hand, lies outside of the international system. Americans have shed their blood to stop North Korean aggression before. Fifty years after the outbreak of the Korean War, Republicans remember this "forgotten war." Americans should honor the sacrifices of the past and remain prepared to resist aggression today. Policies to protect the peace on the Korean peninsula will be developed in concert with America’s allies, starting with South Korea and Japan. What must be clear is an American policy ofdecisive resolve. The United States will stand by its commitments and will take all necessary measures to thwart, deter, and defend itself and its allies against attack, including enemy use of weapons of mass destruction.

After fighting together in both world wars, the United States forged a formal alliance with Australia that has stood the test of fire in the Korean, Vietnam, and Persian Gulf conflicts. American partnership with Australia is just as relevant to the challenges of Asia's future, as exemplified by Australia’s leadership in the East Timor crisis.

American ties to the Philippines have been close for more than a hundred years. We Republicans have supported the victory of Filipino democracy and cherish our continuing friendship with this great nation and its people who have been by our side in war as in peace.

America’s key challenge in Asia is the People’s Republic of China. China is not a free society. The Chinese government represses political expression at home and unsettles neighbors abroad. It stifles freedom of religion and proliferates weapons of mass destruction.

Yet China is a country in transition, all the more reason for the policies of the United States to be firm and steady. America will welcome the advent of a free and prosperous China. Conflict is not inevitable, and the United States offers no threat to China. Republicans support China’s accession into the World Trade Organization, but this will not be a substitute for, or lessen the resolve of, our pursuit of improved human rights and an end to proliferation of dangerous technologies by China.

China is a strategic competitor of the United States, not a strategic partner. We will deal with China without ill will — but also without illusions. A new Republican government will understand the importance of China but not place China at the center of its Asia policy.

A Republican president will honor our promises to the people of Taiwan, a longstanding friend of the United States and a genuine democracy. Only months ago the people of Taiwan chose a new president in free and fair elections. Taiwan deserves America’s strong support, including the timely sale of defensive arms to enhance Taiwan’s security.

In recognition of its growing importance in the global economy, we support Taiwan’s accession to the World Trade Organization, as well as its participation in the World Health Organization and other multilateral institutions.

America has acknowledged the view that there is one China. Our policy is based on the principle that there must be no use of force by China against Taiwan. We deny the right of Beijing to impose its rule on the free Taiwanese people. All issues regarding Taiwan’s future must be resolved peacefully and must be agreeable to the people of Taiwan. If China violates these principles and attacks Taiwan, then the United States will respond appropriately in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act. America will help Taiwan defend itself.

This country’s relations with Vietnam are still overshadowed by two grave concerns. The first is uncertainty concerning the Americans who became prisoners of war or were missing in action. A Republican president will accelerate efforts in every honorable way to obtain the fullest possible accounting for those still missing and for the repatriation of the remains of those who died in the cause of freedom. The second is continued retribution by the government of Vietnam against its ethnic minorities and others who fought alongside our forces there. The United States owes those individuals a debt of honor and will not be blind to their suffering.

Attention to the fate of East Asia should not obscure American attention to the future of South Asia. India is emerging as one of the great democracies of the twenty-first century. Soon it will be the world’s most populous state. India is now redefining its identity and future strategy. The United States should engage India, respecting its great multicultural achievements and encouraging Indian choices for a more open world. Mindful of its longstanding relationship with Pakistan, the United States will place a priority on the secure, stable development of this volatile region where adversaries now face each other with nuclear arsenals.

The Republican party is committed to democracy in Burma, and to Nobel Laureate Aung San Suu Kyi and other democratic leaders whose election in 1990 was brutally suppressed and who have been arrested and imprisoned for their belief in freedom and democracy. We share with her the view that the basic principles of human freedom and dignity are universal. We are committed to working with our allies in Europe and Asia to maintain a firm and resolute opposition to the military junta in Rangoon.

Because of the strategic location and historical ties of the Pacific island nations to the United States, the next Republican administration will work closely with the countries of this region on a wide variety of issues of common concern.


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