of the U.S. GDP. In contrast to the approximately $270billion per year that the United States spends on defense,those nations together spend less than $15 billion peryear, or roughly 5 percent of the U.S. total.
Further,although some of those nations possess some capable wea-pons, none has a fully integrated military like that ofthe United States. A fully integrated military requiressuperior personnel, training, maintenance, and doctrine--attributes that those nations usually lack.
Threats to Korea and the Persian Gulf
The Department of Defense's Bottom-Up Review (BUR),which was completed in 1993, provided a requirement forenough U.S. forces to fight two major regional wars nearlysimultaneously. The department's Quadrennial DefenseReview, published in 1997, essentially reaffirmed thatrequirement. Although the BUR claimed that the two sce-narios used in the review--a North Korean invasion ofSouth Korea and an Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and SaudiArabia--were only illustrative, the worldwide defense com-munity quickly realized that the Clinton administrationbelieved that conflicts in the Persian Gulf region and onthe Korean peninsula would be the greatest threats to U.S.security.At the time the BUR was completed, only a very slimchance existed that two major regional wars would breakout nearly simultaneously. After all, the Soviet Union, ahostile superpower, never orchestrated a second conflict byone of its rogue client states when the United States wasinvolved in the Korean, Vietnam, or Desert Storm missions.After the demise of the USSR, it seems less likely thatone rogue state would take advantage of a U.S. conflictwith another rogue state. Even if that unlikely eventoccurred, it would be much less relevant to U.S. securitythan it would have been during the Cold War.The National Defense University's 1997 StrategicAssessment: Flashpoints and Force Structureadmitted that"the prospect[s] of near-simultaneous conflicts in boththeater[s] are declining." The assessment also notedthat, "in both cases, the threat is diminishing. It iseven possible that the Korean threat will collapse."
Intheir February 6, 1998, testimony before the Senate ArmedServices Committee, George Tenet, then acting director ofthe Central Intelligence Agency, and Lt. Gen. PatrickHughes, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, down-played any immediate threats to U.S. security. They stat-ed that the war on drugs, humanitarian missions, and