Rumsfeld Praises Coalition Contributions In Anti- Terror War
By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 26, 2002 Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld today praised the contributions made by America's coalition partners in the war against global terrorism.
Some 80 nations experienced human loss as a consequence of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, Rumsfeld noted to Pentagon reporters. Currently, 68 nations are partnered with the United States in the global war against terrorism.
"The war on terrorism is truly a global struggle and it affects all nations," Rumsfeld remarked.
"Dozens of countries" have helped the United States since Sept. 11 to combat terror in a variety of important ways, Rumsfeld noted, to include military, diplomatic, economic and financial assistance.
"Some have helped openly; others have helped less openly," he remarked. Many world leaders, he emphasized, have courageously spoken out openly against global terrorists, and have provided troops, material, humanitarian aid, information, over-flight and basing privileges to assist U.S. anti-terrorist efforts in Afghanistan.
America's coalition partners are providing land, air and sea military forces in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Rumsfeld noted. Hospital facilities established in Afghanistan run by Jordan and Spain, he added, are providing much needed humanitarian relief to the Afghan populace.
In fact, the secretary noted, almost 6,000 coalition forces are now deployed in Afghanistan. They're part of the 17,000 troops 17 nations have deployed to the U.S Central Command area of operations to support Operation Enduring Freedom. That compares to the United States' 5,000 troops in Afghanistan as part of its 60,000 in the CENTCOM area.
Rumsfeld also pointed out the sacrifices by the coalition partners, from the Australian Special Forces service member recently killed in Afghanistan to the other coalition troops seriously wounded during anti-terror operations.
"These are fine men and women who are putting their lives on the line to defend freedom," the secretary remarked.
Up to now, Rumsfeld said he hadn't characterized the help other countries provided in the fight against terrorism. The U.S. government preferred to let the other countries detail their assistance. At this point, all concerned felt more comfortable in disclosing more details on the type and level of assistance, Rumsfeld said.
The countries supporting the war against global terrorism "deserve credit for their substantial and valuable contributions," Rumsfeld concluded.
According to a DoD fact sheet, a partial list of countries providing support in the war against global terrorism include Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Jordan, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, the Republic of Korea, Romania, Russia, Spain, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan.