War on Terrorism 'Is Going Well' Rumsfeld Says
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 20, 2004 Recently held elections in Afghanistan make the point that the global war against terrorism "is going well," the Defense Department's top civilian said during an Oct. 19 radio interview.
The United States and its allies continue to apply "pressure on the terrorist financing, making it harder for them to raise money, harder for them to recruit people, harder for them to move between countries," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld noted on a WTKF-FM, Jacksonville, N.C., news radio program.
The successfully conducted Oct. 9 elections in Afghanistan mark "a wonderful accomplishment" in the anti-terror war, Rumsfeld pointed out, adding he was "absolutely amazed" at the lack of American media coverage of that event.
The secretary spoke with pride of U.S. service members' efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq. "They are helping open schools," he said. "They're starting soccer teams, they're helping people learn how to register and vote, they're putting generators in hospitals."
Rumsfeld said the Taliban militants who cruelly governed Afghanistan before U.S. and coalition forces chased them out in late 2001 "are shrinking in numbers." Some Taliban remnants may be hiding along the Afghan-Pakistani border, but Rumsfeld said he didn't consider them "a serious threat over a sustained period of time in Afghanistan."
Meanwhile, the United States and its allies, the secretary said, must keep on the hunt for global terrorists.
"We must find them where they are," Rumsfeld pointed out, "and, we must address countries like Afghanistan that was a safe haven for the al Qaeda and see that they are no longer able to recruit and train and plot the killing of thousands of innocent human beings."