No D-Day in Struggle Against Terror Networks
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 25, 2001 Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said today there "is not going to be a D-Day as such and I'm sure there will not be a signing ceremony on the Missouri as such," in regards to the war on terrorists.
He said the withdrawal of recognition of Afghanistan's ruling Taliban by the United Arab Emirates Sept. 22 and Saudi Arabia Sept. 25, plus America's show of unity and resolve suggest to him that terrorists have to begin to look at the world differently.
"The American people when stirred can be united and purposeful and relentless," Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld tells reporters at a press briefing in the Pentagon. Behind the secretary is a poster from the second and third graders of St. Luke's Catholic School in Lake Worth, Fla., who sent their best wishes to Pentagon workers. Since the terrorist attack on the building Sept. 11, well-wishers from around the country have sent similar posters and banners that now adorn the walls and hallways. Photo by Jim Garamone.
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
"The American people when stirred can be united and purposeful and relentless," he said to reporters at a Pentagon press briefing.
Rumsfeld said the United States is engaged in a broad-based effort. The ongoing build-up of forces is already having an effect on terrorists.
"It's true that as forces are deployed, people who have reasons to be frightened have to take steps to change their behavior in a way that probably adds cost and adds difficulty to them, and that's not a bad thing," Rumsfeld said.
He said some military steps will be visible as they have been during traditional conflicts. In other cases, however, they will be covert by necessity.
Rumsfeld said the public should not look for just a military response. "We do intend to have the entire United States government engaged in this over a sustained period of time," he said.
He said the United States would not build a coalition, but coalitions, to stop terrorists. "We will engage some countries on one aspect of it and still other countries on another aspect," he said. "We will see coalitions that will evolve and change over time depending on the activity and the circumstance of the country. The mission needs to define the coalition, and we ought not think that the coalition should define the mission."
Rumsfeld defined victory as crippling terrorist organizations' ability "to coerce and terrorize and otherwise disrupt the way of life of Americans and our friends and allies around the world."
He said this conflict will involve casualties and that efforts against the terrorist organizations will be difficult and dangerous.
"There is, as we are aware, the likelihood that more people will be lost, but what is at stake here is our way of life and our ability to remain engaged in the world," he said. America's global engagement is the underpinning of peace and stability in the world, he said, and "being able to live without fear is a worthy cause."