Bush Highlights 10 Months' Progress in Terror War
By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jul. 26, 2002 After ten months in the war against terror, the United States has a great deal to show for its efforts, President Bush said today at the White House.
"We're making progress, and that's important for the American people to know," he said. The United States is leading a mighty coalition of civilized nations facing a common threat to humanity in the first war of the 21st century, he said.
"We and our allies have uncovered terrorist cells all across the world," Bush said. "We're disrupting plots. We're doing a pretty good job of seizing their assets and cutting off their money. And we've got them on the run."
The terrorists, he said, are international killers. "That's all they are." So far U.S. and coalition partners have captured over 2,000 terrorists. "Just about that many weren't quite as lucky," he added.
Still, the president warned, many terrorists remain at large. "No matter how long it takes, we're going to run them down one by one and bring them to justice," he vowed. "We do so, not only to defend freedom and civilization itself, we do so to protect the American people, which is our highest calling."
Along with combating terrorists abroad, he said, the United States is also doing "a pretty good job here at home." He cited Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge's work in producing the first comprehensive plan in the nation's history to protect America from terrorist attack and Congress' efforts to help law enforcement agencies investigate and prosecute terrorists.
The nation has strengthened aviation security, tightened its borders and stockpiled medicines to defend against bioterrorism. "We've developed new technologies to help first responders identify and react to attacks, Bush said. "We've dramatically improved information sharing amongst our intelligence agencies."
The nation is taking "urgent measures against clear vulnerabilities," the president said. "Now we must also prepare our people and our government for the long-term vigilance that the new threats will require.
"I say long-term," he explained, "because this is a determined enemy we face. This isn't just a one-battle war. This is a war that will occupy not only our time, but will occupy the time of future presidents and future members of the United States Congress and future agency heads."