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6/7/03 - THE U-S AGENDA - 2003-06-09

NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is showing the resolve and foresight to act outside Europe. NATO has agreed to take over leadership in August of the international security force in Afghanistan and is supporting Poland’s effort to help bring security to Iraq. And NATO continues to play a major role in the global war against terrorism.

“Yet,” as President George W. Bush said, “armed force is always a last resort, and Americans know that terrorism is not defeated by military power alone”:

“We believe that the ultimate answer to hatred is hope. The ideology of terrorism takes hold in an atmosphere of resentment and despair. And so we help men and women around the world to build lives of purpose and dignity.”

The U.S. is committed to a fifteen-billion dollar effort to prevent and treat AIDS and provide care for its victims in Africa and the Caribbean. President Bush has also asked the U.S. Congress to increase foreign assistance to help spur economic growth and alleviate poverty:

“This aid will go where it will do the most good -- not to corrupt elites, but to nations with leaders that respect the rule of law, invest in the health and education of their people, and encourage economic freedom.”

But for freedom to prevail, said President Bush, “terrorism must end”:

“This is America’s agenda in the world. From the defeat of terror, to the alleviation of disease and hunger, to the spread of human liberty, we welcome and we need the help, advice, and wisdom of friends and allies.”

Afghanistan and Iraq have been liberated. In the last twenty months, the world has seen the determination of the U-S-led coalition to fight regimes that give safe haven to terrorists. As President Bush said, “Today we are striving for a world in which men and women can live in freedom and peace, instead of in fear and chaos, and every civilized nation has a stake in the outcome.”