Domestic Missions for the Armed Forces

  • February 01, 1993
  • Senator Sam Nunn

During the summer of 1992, Senator Sam Nunn, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, initiated legislation to enhance civilian and military cooperative efforts in meeting critical domestic needs. In a speech before the Senate Armed Services Committee, he called for a major reexamination of the roles and missions of the nation's Armed Forces to help solve these problems. The political context of Senator Nunn's speech is as important as its content. The cold war was over, domestic crises were manifesting themselves, and the Armed Forces, especially after the Gulf War, enjoyed unprecedented prestige and unique capabilities and efficiencies. These efficiencies, Senator Nunn believes, can be turned on domestic difficulties. As budgets were cut, the broad area of roles and missions also became the vehicle for scrubbing the budget and revalidating missions and force structures. The revalidation process continues and, in simple terms, the defense budget will see dollars being taken out or new missions added. This paper details Senator Nunn's ideas for new missions. It sets forth his speech, the relevant materials from reports of the Senate Armed Services Committee and the House-Senate Conference Committee (Appendix A), and the final text of the legislation as enacted in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1993 (Appendix B).