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12/6/02 - TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY DEFENSE - 2002-12-06


During the Cold War, the only real threat to world peace came from the Soviet Union. And as Vice President Dick Cheney said, “[The U.S.] handled the threat with summit meetings, arms control treaties, and a policy of deterrence.”

Today, the threat comes from enemies who have nothing to defend. A terrorist group like al-Qaida cannot be deterred or reasoned with at a conference table. “For this reason,” said Mr. Cheney, “the war against terror will not end in a treaty. . . .The conflict can only end with their complete and utter destruction and a victory for the United States and the cause of freedom.”

To win the war against global terrorism, the battle is being taken to the enemy. As Vice President Cheney said, "the only path to safety is the path of action.” The U.S. leads a coalition of more than ninety nations. The U.S. and its allies are sharing intelligence, hunting down terrorists, and freezing the assets of terrorist groups and front organizations.

Wherever terrorists operate, they will be found. They will not be allowed to plot or train. And they will be brought to justice. Since al-Qaida attacked the United States on September 11th, many terrorists have been captured or killed.

They include: Abu Zubaydah, Osama bin-Laden’s chief of staff who was seized last March in Pakistan. Ramzi bin al-Shibh, believed to be a top planner of the September 11th attacks, was also apprehended in Pakistan. And Salem Suniam al-Harethi, a top bin Laden operative in Yemen who was reportedly killed there along with several other terrorists.

Most recently, the U.S. captured Abdal Rashim al Nashiri, a Saudi national and al-Qaida’s operations chief in the Persian Gulf. He is believed to have been a key planner of the October 2000 attack on the U.S.S. Cole in Aden harbor. He also is said to have taken part in the bombings of two U.S. embassies in east Africa in 1998.

So far, more than two-thousand-three-hundred suspected terrorists in more than ninety countries have been arrested. More than one-hundred-million dollars in terrorist assets worldwide have been frozen. As Vice President Cheney said, “We’ll stand firm against the enemies of freedom. We will organize ourselves to meet history’s latest challenge. We will out-think the terrorists, out-plan the terrorists, outfight the terrorists. No matter how long it takes.”

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