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Deputy Secretary Wolfowitz Media Availability at Hungarian Embassy

Presenter: Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz
October 11, 2003

            Ambassador Simonyi:  I just want to tell you all how pleased and honored we are that Minister Juhasz and Secretary Wolfowitz are here to unveil the statue of Colonel Commandant Michael Kovats de Fabricy.  It’s a great moment in Hungarian/American relationship and Mr. Secretary you might want to say just a few words.


            Wolfowitz:  It’s an honor to be here and it’s, I think, quite a statement that there was a Hungarian troop that actually gave his life for our freedom.  And I still remember, almost as though it was yesterday, when you had your revolution in 1956, and how tragic it was and how much pain we felt here and how wonderful it was to see a free Hungary emerging after 1989.  How wonderful it is to have a free Hungary as a strong partner in Europe and a strong partner in the war on terrorism.


            We’ve been partners for freedom for over two centuries.  It’s a wonderful symbol that we’re doing here today.


            Q:  Mr. Secretary what does the alliance of a small country, given the huge global interest of the United States, mean for America?


            Wolfowitz:  Some very small countries are making very big contributions all over the place.  We’ve had operations in Afghanistan for example, where Lithuanian Special Forces have worked with our Special Forces.  We have troops from New Zealand who are going to be operating in a provincial reconstruction team in a remote city in Afghanistan.   When we needed a place to train free Iraqi forces before the liberation of Iraq, we looked all over the world and Hungary was the country that steeped up and provided that facility Taszar to train those people.  I think the more friends we have in the world the better.  And, frankly, it is particularly important to have friends who really understand the value of freedom.  And I think countries that regained their freedom relatively recently seem to have that sense more strongly sometime than others.  So, it’s not measured just by the size but the spirit (inaudible).


            Q:  (Inaudible) air base?


            Wolfowitz:  We realize there’s a very valuable facility there.  If it were a little closer to some of the places we’re operating we’d be making more use of it.  But we are taking a very broad look at how our forces should be reorganized and redeployed to deal with a world that is very, very different from the world in which our basing structure was developed over the years.  I don’t want to sit down and suddenly have people say we had some new plan in mind.  We’re working on a variety of ideas, but I think one thing that’s clear is that we need the ability to be much more flexible than we were in the past to deal with unpredictable things.  And I think the wider range of options we have available (inaudible).


            Q:   Thank you so much.  Thank you.

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