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IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Release No: 044-98
February 03, 1998

ANNUAL REPORT OF SECRETARY OF DEFENSE COHEN RELEASED

Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen has released his Annual Report to the President and the Congress for 1998. This report summarizes the plans of the Department of Defense--in conjunction with Department's Fiscal Year 1999 budget submission--to implement the national defense strategy outlined in the Quadrennial Defense Review as well as the subsequent Defense Reform Initiative in the coming years.

The Secretary's Annual Report details specific programs to carry out the three central elements of America's defense strategy: "shape," "respond" and "prepare." In shaping the international security environment, the Department of Defense maintains significant overseas force deployments; has acted to enlarge NATO and to enhance the Partnership for Peace; and is working to establish new cooperative ventures with its allies in the Far East, among a host of initiatives. U.S. military forces are responding to crisis around the globe, from fighting fires in Indonesia to providing a stabilizing element in Bosnia. Finally, the Department of Defense is accelerating preparations for the future by conducting warfighting experiments to test new systems and operational concepts and by greatly expanding efforts to defend against such potential threats as chemical, biological and information attacks.

The Clinton Administration has also submitted a national defense budget request for Fiscal Year 1999 which directly supports these strategic aspects. In urging Congressional support for this budget proposal, Secretary Cohen has noted, "Our defense strategy and the National Security Strategy it supports will enable us to reap enormous opportunities and benefits for our nation. We can do so, however, only if we have the right assets to execute our strategy. This means spending the right resources on the right programs--and having sufficient flexibility to manage those resources in a complex and changing world."

The text of the Secretary of Defense Annual Report will soon be available on the Department of Defense's Internet homepage, accessible at http://www.defenselink.mil. Details of the Department's Fiscal Year 1999 budget submission are currently available at that site.

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