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Intelligence Chief Calls Sept. 11 First Move of 'Post-Cold War Struggle'

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 19, 2002 – The Defense Department's military intelligence chief told Congress today that, in many respects, "the post-Cold War world ended on Sept. 11."

Vice Adm. Thomas Wilson, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee. He said the terrorist attacks on America have touched off a struggle over "globalization."

Globalization is a concept involving increasingly free movement of money, people, information, technologies, ideas, goods and services around the world at higher speeds and with fewer restrictions, Wilson said.

He said extremists like al Qaeda increasingly understand that globalization goes hand-in-hand with values and concepts championed by the United States and the West -- political and economic openness, democracy and individual rights, market economics, international trade, scientific rationalism and the rule of law.

"They equate 'globalization' to 'Americanization' and see the United States as the principal architect and primary beneficiary of an emerging order that undermines their values, interests, beliefs and culture," he said. "They blame the United States for what is wrong in the world and seek allies among states, groups and individuals who worry about U.S. hegemony and are unhappy about the present or perceived future."

But these extremists use the fruits of globalization against the United States and its allies. They exploit the freer flow of money, people and technology to attack these open societies, Wilson said.

The effects of globalization are not all positive, and extremist groups are quick to use the negative impacts to attract recruits and support from globalization's "losers," Wilson said.

"These extremists and their allies understand that their desired world cannot coexist within our brand of civilization," he said. "Encouraging, furthering and consolidating the positive aspects of globalization -- while reducing and managing its downsides and defeating its enemies -- may well be the civilized world's measure of merit for the next decade."

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Prepared statement by Vice Adm. Thomas R. Wilson, Director, Defense Intelligence Agency, March 19, 2002

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