U.S. Department of Defense Header Image (click to return to U.S. Department of Defense homepage)
Search DefenseLink.mil
Oct. 31, 2014  War on Terror   Transformation   News Products   Press Resources   Images   Websites   Contact Us 
Defense Department Update

Secretary Rumsfeld spoke today at the Truman Presidential Museum and Library in Independence, Mo. He reflected on President Truman’s leadership in the White House during the early days of the Cold War, and the similarities and differences between that struggle and the Global War on Terror.

Following are highlights.

  • Our task today is similar to that in the Cold War:
    • We must hold firm, defend ourselves over long decades, and trust that the truth will win.
  • The two eras have many differences:
    • Rather than an empire, our enemy today is a shadowy movement of terrorist cells;
    • Threats today are unconventional; and
    • Al Qaeda and other terrorists have neither territories to defend, nor diplomats to sign agreements.
  • The two eras also have many similarities. Both have required the United States to:
    • Be prepared for a long struggle, punctuated by periods of military conflict;
    • Use all elements of our national power to defeat the enemy;
    • Transition the Department of Defense from arrangements that worked in the last war to those better suited for a new and different era; and
    • Recognize that our citizens and leaders must above all persevere.
    • Both conflicts are also fundamentally ideological – challenging free people and free systems of government.
  • After World War II, the United States bolstered the capacity of partner nations:
    • Through the Marshall Plan, which helped to save western Europe from Soviet tyranny; by aiding Japan to become a democracy; and by investing in the Republic of Korea.
    • Today, we are bolstering the capabilities of our many new allies in the Global War on Terror, including Afghanistan and Iraq.
  • In the early days of the Cold War, the tasks often seemed insurmountable.
    • We did not win by luck, and our victory was not inevitable. We self-corrected, and we stayed resolved.
  • There was no clear answer when that war might be over, and there isn’t one today for this struggle.
    • The mission for our brave servicemen and women deployed around the world remains to continue to secure the peace for our generation and for generations to come.

Published by the U.S. Department of Defense Office of Public Affairs

Links: (speech as delivered)

 

Last Updated:
12/11/2006, Eastern Daylight Time
Special Reports
VA on Data Security
Leaving Lebanon Photos
Travels With Rumsfeld
BRAC
Guantanamo Bay
Web Watch
Top Leaders
News Products
Press Articles
Press Resources
Pentagon Press Passes
Today in DoD
Press Advisories
Releases
Photos
Photo Essays
Speeches
Transcripts
Briefing Slides
Casualty Reports
Civilian Jobs
Commanders Page
Detainee Affairs
DoD Websites
Freedom of Information
Military Homefront
Military Pay & Benefits
Multinational Force Iraq
My Pay
Publications
DoD Updates
ExpectMore.gov
 Site Map   Privacy & Security Notice   About DoD   External Link Disclaimer   Web Policy   About DefenseLINK   FirstGov.gov