U.S. 'Part of the Battleground' In Terror War, General Says
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 13, 2004 While American forces are fighting overseas, it's likely that terrorists are planning another attack on the United States, a senior military officer noted here today.
"We are at war in this country," Army Lt. Gen. Edward G. Anderson III noted to attendees at the annual Technet information technology conference. Anderson is the deputy commander of U.S. Northern Command and vice commander of the U.S. element of North American Aerospace Defense Command.
NORTHCOM, with headquarters at Peterson Air Force Base, Colo., is tasked to deter, prevent and defeat threats to the United States and its territories, while NORAD watches for threats from the skies.
The United States, the general said, "is part of the battleground" in the global war against terrorism. He emphasized that terrorists "are absolutely dedicated to doing harm to the people of this nation, in this nation I guarantee it."
The terrorists are well financed, adaptive -- and patient, Anderson pointed out.
"They will wait as long as they have to," the general said, "until they can find a vulnerability to do what it is that they want to do." Consequently, Anderson said, it's paramount not to underestimate terrorists' capabilities. "We must, must make sure that we do not let our guard down" and become complacent, he emphasized.
The consequences of underestimating terrorists "would be tragic," Anderson said. The terrorists' intent, the general said, "is for an event bigger than we saw on 9/11 and using - if possible -- weapons of mass destruction."