Leslie Aspin, U.S. Congressman (Democrat, WI), U. S. Secretary of Defense, Chairman, House Armed Services Committee, Quoted in Playboy, November 1973
Eigen's Political and Historical Quotations
Leslie Aspin Jr. was a United States Representative from 1971 to 1993, and the United States Secretary of Defense under President Bill Clinton from January 21, 1993 to February 3, 1994. In Congress, Aspin had a reputation as an intellectual who took a middle-of-the-road position on controversial issues. He supported the Reagan administration regarding the MX missile and aid to the Nicaraguan Contras, but he opposed the B-2 bomber and the Strategic Defense Initiative. He played a major role in convincing the House to support the January 1991 resolution supporting the use of force by President G.H.W. Bush against Iraq, after it invaded Kuwait. As Secretary of Defense, he faced complex social issues, such as the roles of homosexuals in uniform, and of women in combat. He faced major decisions regarding the use of military force in Somalia, Bosnia, and Haiti. He proposed budget cuts and restructuring of forces as part of the downsizing of the military after the end of the Cold War. The deaths of U.S. soldiers in Somalia because of inadequate military support led to his resignation.