THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
STATEMENT BY VICE PRESIDENT GORE ON THE TECHNOLOGY REINVESTMENT PROJECT
I am disappointed that the House of Representatives voted Thursday to end the Defense Department's Technology Reinvestment Project, the flagship program in our effort to use cutting-edge commercial technology to maintain our military advantage.
Since World War II, U.S. military superiority has been based on our technological advantage, and technology is even more important in the unpredictable defense environment we now face. However, many of the new technologies most critical to defense are emerging in the commercial sector, and defense access to these technologies is limited.
The Technology Reinvestment Project (TRP) is a response to this new reality. With an investment of less than $900 million, the TRP has successfully leveraged billions of dollars of industry R&D to meet defense needs. TRP-supported projects, for example, are providing the military with more affordable night vision technology; with the capability to give front-line soldiers immediate access to the best electronic information and intelligence; and with new sensors and information systems to greatly improve battlefield casualty treatment.
The TRP is a model of how government/ industry partnerships can promote technological innovation. Winning projects are chosen solely on the basis of merit, and industry participants must contribute at least half the cost of the project. Every project has demonstrable benefit to the military.
Today's action cannot be justified as an austerity measure. House Republicans have added almost $8 billion to the President's request for the 1996 defense budget, including a large increase for ballistic missile defense. Many of the Republican increases do more to serve narrow special interests than they do to provide for a strong national defense.
Sadly, the TRP may become a victim of partisan politics. But it has been and remains a critical program to the Department of Defense, helping to provide affordable, leading-edge technology for the 21st Century. The President and I will continue to work to make dual-use technology investments an important part of our national security strategy.