Taking the Offense on Defense

Since beating out five senior rivals last January to become chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Wisconsin's Les Aspin has walked a tightrope on defense issues. A knowledgeable critic of Pentagon spending, he nevertheless angered many fellow Democrats by supporting the MX missile. Last week Aspin challenged his party, saying that the time has come to stop playing "the Doctor No of the defense debate." Democrats, he said, ought to start coming up with alternatives to weapons they do not like, instead of merely voicing criticism.

In a speech that attracted considerable attention on Capitol Hill, Aspin told the Coalition...

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