Man in A Minefield

Talk about a tall order: Les Aspin has to shrink the Pentagon, find a compromise on gays in the military, and keep Sam Nunn out of Clinton's way

For more than 20 years, Congressman and military wonk Les Aspin fantasized about becoming Secretary of Defense. Now, as he sits behind the huge desk in room 3E880, the top office in the Pentagon, Aspin's dream job has become something of a nightmare. His problem is in the timing. Rather than building an empire as his cold-war predecessors did, he has the task of bringing the Pentagon down to size and opening it up to diversity. That means smaller budgets, fewer troops, less new hardware, a streamlined bureaucracy and the possible integration of gays into the service. Making matters worse is...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!