Despite much progress in thwarting international terrorism since the September 11th, 2001, attacks, terrorists continue to inflict violence and death across the globe. Terrorism, says Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, stands in the way of global political progress and economic prosperity. It threatens international order and the future of civil society. “Because it cannot be appeased,” he says, “terrorism must be confronted on many fronts by all civil societies." A major front in that war, says Mr. Rumsfeld, is Iraq:
“Success in Iraq will be a victory for the security of the civilized world. Terrorists know this, and they are seeking to derail this progress. Their fear is that one day, the Middle East will shed itself of their tyranny and violence and replace the law of terror with governments of the people.”
“It is impossible,” says Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, “to defend at every moment against every conceivable terrorist technique, in every conceivable location.” That is why, he says, nations must rethink the way they defend themselves:
“Future dangers will less likely be from battles between great powers, and more likely from enemies that work in small cells, that are fluid and strike without warning anywhere, anytime.”
Mr. Rumsfeld says the only way to win this global struggle “is to go on the offense and to root out terrorists at their source and collectively put steady pressure on them and all of the enablers that sustain them.”
Some ninety countries have joined the fight against Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network and other terrorists. The U.S. and its allies, says President George W. Bush, are engaged in a difficult test of will against a determined enemy.
“We must hunt a scattered and resourceful enemy in dark corners around the world,” says Mr. Bush. “We must break up their cells, shut off their sources of money. And we must oppose the propaganda of hatred that feeds their cause.”