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Coalition Against Terror Now Larger Than Gulf War Alliance

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2003 – More nations are involved in the coalition against terror than participated in the Persian Gulf War, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said during a Pentagon press conference today.

"The commitment of our friends and partners has shown that we are not alone in this defense of freedom and justice and peace," he said. "Nor are we alone in understanding the threat posed by the connection between terrorist networks and the states that possess weapons of mass terror presents us with a catastrophe that could be orders of magnitude worse than what we experienced on Sept. 11."

Wolfowitz spoke after meeting with military representatives of 12 of the coalition nations. The men serve as military liaisons at U.S. Central Command in Tampa, Fla. A total of 48 nations have representatives at CENTCOM headquarters.

"These nations and many others are part of a large coalition who have risen to the defense of freedom," he said. "In fact, more countries are now involved in the global war of terror than were involved in the coalition that fought in the Gulf War 12 years ago. And the coalition continues to grow."

The contributions of the nations range from rebuilding assistance to combat operations. Each nation provides what it can to defeat a common global scourge, Wolfowitz said.

The deputy spoke about four nations that are allies in the coalition, but said he could have talked about them all.

He specifically remarked on the great work that medical personnel from Jordan have done in Mazar-e-Sharef, Afghanistan. In six months, the Jordanian field medical hospital treated more than 100,000 patients.

He spoke of the efforts of Spain and the help that country gives in maritime interdiction operations.

He thanked Kuwait for its part not only in hosting American troops, but also in providing food, money and expertise to Afghanistan.

Finally, he spoke about the Republic of Korea, provider of outstanding medical, humanitarian and transportation support.

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