Courtesy Reuters

During last year's presidential campaign, then Texas Governor George W. Bush pilloried the Clinton administration for its supposed mishandling of the nation's armed forces. Alleging that U.S. troops were no longer ready to respond to major conflicts, in August Bush listed his complaints about the status quo: "Lack of equipment and material. Undermanning of units. Overdeployment. Not enough time for family. Soldiers who are on food stamps, and soldiers who are poorly housed."

To help solve these problems, Bush proposed slightly higher defense spending. He also argued for cutting back on overseas military deployments -- particularly those involved in

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