Nation: The Great Defense War

At issue: How prepared is the U.S. military for a fight?

The war in the Persian Gulf and the election campaign at home have added new urgency to a debate that has been going on for months over the state of U.S. defenses. The dispute pits U.S. Defense Secretary Harold Brown against his top generals and admirals, Republicans against Democratics. Ronald Reagan insists that the U.S. has become No. 2 in military power, while Jimmy Carter maintains, as he did last week to voters on Long Island: "We are the strongest nation on earth,...

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