On a visit to Krakow, Poland, President George W. Bush said America owes its moral heritage of democracy, tolerance, and freedom to Europe. The U.S. and Poland made great sacrifices for those ideals during the Second World War to defeat German Nazism and during the Cold War to overcome Soviet Communism. Today, the U.S. and Europe need to close ranks again, said Mr. Bush:
“Our alliance of freedom faces a new enemy, a lethal combination of terrorist groups, outlaw states seeking weapons of mass destruction, and an ideology of power and domination that targets the innocent and justifies any crime.”
It is time for Europe to unite in the defense of liberty and to assume the duties of free nations, said President Bush:
“We are striving for a world in which men and women can live in freedom and peace, instead of fear and chaos. And every civilized nation has a stake in the outcome.”
Europe is a main front in the global war on terrorism. Al-Qaida has used cities throughout Europe as staging areas for their attacks. European police forces and intelligence services are playing an important role in hunting down the terrorists. And Poland has led the effort to increase anti-terrorism cooperation among Central and Eastern European countries.
But law enforcement is not always enough. Sometimes military action is necessary, as in Afghanistan and Iraq. That’s why the NATO alliance has to remain strong and ready to act, said President Bush:
“This a matter of capability and a matter of will. Our common security requires European governments to invest in modern military capabilities, so our forces can move quickly with a precision that can strike the guilty and spare the innocent.”
A strong NATO alliance, willing to act beyond its borders, is critical to defeating the terrorist threat.