THE CANDIDATES ON THE ISSUES: #3 DEFENSE; ANDERSON
Spending for defense John Anderson says he would increase defense spending by some 3 percent in "real dollar" terms (but not more than $5 billion to $6 billion per year), in order to raise military pay and improve conventional forces.
Anderson would also "increase operations and maintenance funding to improve overall force readiness. Too large a proportion of our equipment is not ready for action on short notice."
Funds for the MX missile system, which he has termed a $100 billion "boondoggle," would not appear in an anderson budget.
Congressman Anderson voted in 1978 to eliminate funding for the B-1 strategic bomber. But he would continue research leading toward "new bomber forces, including those capable of launching cruise missiles."
He says: "We must spend what we need for defense, but we must apply the most exacting standards of efficiency and accountability to the way we spend defense dollars. What matters is what we buy with out defense dollars, not how much we incrementally change our budget. We must discard simplicities which hold that spending more money will itself provide s solution to our security problems." Meeting obligations abroad
"We cannot enter the international arena of the 1980s either poorly armed or fearful to do whatever is necessary to meet our commitments," Anderson says.
The Western alliance, he holds, "should proceed with its plans to modernize and deploy certain of its nuclear weapons. . . .
"Although the defense of Europe remains the central concern of our overseas conventional force capablities, . . . an Anderson administration will not let out primary focus on European force requirements lead us to neglect our responsibilities in other areas of the world.
"Our military forces in the Persian Gulf area should serve two purposes: to give confidence to friends and to deter Soviet action. . . . To achieve these goals, an Anderson administration will improve the Marine Corps's tactical mobility and ground-based firepower capabilities. We will take measures to deploy a regular naval presence in the Persian Gulf region, without impairing our naval strength elsewhere. We must be able to reinforce this presence rapidly with sufficient military power to contend successfully with Soviet incursions." Personnel problems
Anderson opposes peacetime registration, calling it the "first step down the slippery slope of peacetime conscription." But he also says, "I would not leave this country go undefended" if vital interests were at stake -- apparently meaning that if national security demanded it, he would resort to the draft.
He voted for putting the military services on a voluntary basis, and still supports that policy. But he is critical of the readiness of US forces to meet even limited emergencies, pointing out that serious manpower shortages, particularly skilled technicians and noncommissioned officers, are a major factor in this weakness.
"We simply have failed to keep pace with the cost of living," Anderson says, so the average serviceman is at least 15 percent below what has happened to cost of living.
"An Anderson administration will rebuild American military strength," says the independent candidate's platform. "We will pay the men and women in our volunteer armed forces what they need and richly deserve." Strategic nuclear deterrent
"We must question Mr. Reagan's claim that building more weapons will give either side nuclear superiority," Anderson says. "It is simply not attainable, because each side will match the other, missile for missile. . . ."
He decries the recent shift by the Carter administration from the longtime policy of nuclear deterrence to one that allows for the possibility of a limited nuclear conflict. Anderson's answer to that includes: clear reaffirmation of the strategy of mutual deterrence; improving command and control of strategic forces; improving basing systems for strategic aircraft and nuclear missile submarines; moving ahead swiftly with the Trident missile submarine program; accelerating reseach into missile-carrying subs and surface craft; modernizing the force of B-52 strategic bombers, and continuing research on a new, cost-effective bomber capable of launching cruise missiles.
Anderson's response to the Soviet threat to US land-based missiles is less specific: "Surely American ingenuity can devise a more flexible and cost-effective solution" than the MX system.
Anderson favored developing the neutron bomb, but offered an amendent that would have required the approval of Congress before deployment. Conventional forces
Anderson says on conventional weapons: "First, we must strive for a better balance between cost and complexity, between technology and numbers." He notes that a fighter plan might be designed with less sophistication so that the US could afford more of them. "Second, we must concentrate on weapons that are likely to work under battle conditions. . . . Third, we must make sure that the weapons we have are battleworthy at all times [by investing more in spare parts and maintenance]."
He also says the US should promote standardization among its own weapons and ammunition, and between US weapons and those of the European allies. And proper testing of weapons systems must be ensured, he asserts.
"During the past 20 years," Anderson says, "our general-purpose naval forces have emphasized capabilities for offensive actions against Soviet sea and land targets. This must remain a significant mission for the Navy. But we believe that the Navy, as a flexible instrument of American statecraft, must give renewed and significant attention to its traditional responsibilities, namely, protecting the sea lanes between the United States and our allies and protecting our interests in third world areas." Intelligence agencies
"The work of the intelligence agencies is a significant and necessary part of America's efforts to live securely and peacefully in the world," the Anderson platform says.
Anderson "strongly supports" congressional oversight, but would reduce the number of committees to which agencies must report."Congress should receive prior notification of all significant covert intelligence operations, and the principle of congressional access to intelligence agency information and material must be firmly established.
"Covert operations should be undertaken only for compelling reasons, and we will support legislation that prohibits assassination in peacetime and other practices that are repugnant to our democratic traditions."
Anderson also would ban covert use of American journalists, academicians, clergy, and Peace Corps volunteers. And he would "consider" seeking legislation providing criminal penalties against those who, "using secrets learned while employed in an intelligence agency, endanger lives by revealing an agent's identity." However, punishing writers who have not been intelligence agency employees would violate the First Amendment, he says.