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The BBC's Rob Watson in Philadelphia
"The demonstrators are promising further action"
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The BBC's Stephen Sackur in Philadelphia
"The party dominated by white conservative men is getting down in Philadelphia"
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The BBC's Rob Watson in Philadelphia
"The protesters' spokesman accused the police of brutality"
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Wednesday, 2 August, 2000, 05:36 GMT 06:36 UK
Republicans pledge boost for military
John McCain
Senator McCain voiced strong support for his former rival Bush
The US military was the predominant theme at the second day of the Republican Party convention in Philadelphia, with war heroes endorsing the party's presidential candidate George W Bush.

The atmosphere at the convention contrasted sharply with the scenes on Philadelphia's streets, where police arrested more than 100 anti-Republican protesters.

Arizona Senator John McCain, a Vietnam war veteran who was a strong rival to Mr Bush for the Republican nomination, told delegates: "I support him, I am grateful to him, and I am proud of him".


It is time to have a president devoted to a new nuclear strategy and to the deployment of effective missile defences at the earliest possible date

Condoleezza Rice

A BBC correspondent in Philadelphia, Paul Reynolds, says Mr McCain's support is vital to Mr Bush as he solidifies party unity.

Mr Bush himself joined the convention via a satellite link from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania - a Civil War town redolent of American military tradition and symbolism.

'Rebuilding the military'

"Morale in our military today is dangerously low," said the Texas governor.

"Our men and women in the military need better pay, better training and better equipment. As commander-in-chief, I will rebuild our military and strengthen our alliances."

The theme of military prowess was also taken up by his foreign policy adviser Condoleezza Rice, who could become the nation's first black national security adviser if Mr Bush is elected.

She pledged that Mr Bush would push ahead with deployment of a national missile defence shield, despite Russian opposition to the plan and the reluctance of US allies.

"It is time to have a president devoted to a new nuclear strategy and to the deployment of effective missile defences at the earliest possible date," she said.

But she also warned against the US overcommitting itself abroad, saying the "magnificent men and women of America's armed forces are not a global police force".

Norman Schwarzkopf
Norman Schwarzkopf delivered a Gulf War anniversary message

The retired Gulf War general, Norman Schwarzkopf, noted that Wednesday was the 10th anniversary of Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, and warned that the US might not be ready to fight another war.

"We must do better for the great men and women who defend our country today," he said via a satellite link from the battleship USS New Jersey.

Anthems

Another prominent Republican war hero, former Senator Bob Dole, urged veterans to stand as their service anthems resounded through the convention hall.

On Monday, the Republican Party delegates formally nominated Mr Bush as their presidential candidate.

Opinion polls show the Republican candidate leading his far more experienced rival, Vice-President Al Gore, when it comes to being trusted with America's security.

Mr Bush has also promised to redefine the US relationship with China as competitors, rather than as strategic partners - the term preferred by President Bill Clinton.

Our correspondent says that in other ways, despite the rhetoric, there is little difference between what Mr Bush is promising and the approach of the current administration.

Mr Bush will formally accept the presidential nomination at the convention on Thursday.

The Democratic Party holds its convention in Los Angeles in two weeks' time.

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See also:

29 Jul 00 | Election news
Choreographing the convention
01 Aug 00 | Election news
The two faces of Philadelphia
02 Aug 00 | Americas
Anti-Republican demo: 100 arrested
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