International efforts to dismantle terrorist networks, and to stifle terrorist activity in all its forms, have been remarkably successful.
Much has changed in the global struggle against terrorism in the past four years, said Vice President Joseph Biden, who once again led the United States delegation to the prestigious Munich Security Conference.
“Four years ago, I spoke of a shared struggle against a small number of violent extremists beyond the call of reason and said we will and we must defeat them,” said Vice President Biden.
“Now, as a result of the joint efforts of all of our countries and renewed and relentless focus on counterterrorism, the cooperation of our law enforcement agencies, and President Obama’s unflinching determination to bring Osama bin Laden to justice, those -- we’ve made progress. We’ve dealt that organization, al Qaida, a crippling blow, made all our homelands more secure,” he said.
Indeed, international efforts to dismantle terrorist networks, and to stifle terrorist activity in all its forms, have been remarkably successful. The leadership of some of the most notorious groups, such as al Qaida and its affiliates, has been decimated, and they have been evicted from territories they once controlled.
As a result of international cooperation, terrorist groups are finding it more difficult to raise money, to recruit and train new members, and to plan and execute international attacks.
But despite many successes, the international community still has much to do, said Vice President Biden. “Today, across North Africa and in parts of the Middle East, extremists are seeking to exploit the following: increasingly porous borders; a broad swath of ungoverned territory; readily available weapons; new governments that lack the capacity and sometimes the will to contend with violent extremism; a swelling generation of disaffected young people whose futures are stifled by stagnant economies,” he said.
The solution is not to spend billions on defense, or to send out armed forces as we used to do, but to work together and to employ a more integrated, more coordinated strategy.
“Although our mutual agenda has shifted over the past four years, one important thing remains unchanged: We need to work together; we need to stick together,” said Vice President Biden. “We need you as much as you need us. Neither the United States nor any other country can alone address the challenges we face.”