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Bush: Afghanistan Proof of Progress in War on Terror

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 22, 2005 – The successful Sept. 18 elections in Afghanistan signify a vital step toward democracy in that country, and the situation there is an example of the progress being made in the war on terror, President Bush said at the Pentagon today.

Afghanistan is still a work in progress, and nearly 18,000 U.S. troops are still there serving as part of the coalition, the president said. There are still terrorists who want to overthrow the new Afghan government, and the U.S. and the international community are dedicated to thwarting their attempts, he said.

"Our country will stand with the Afghan people as they secure their freedom and become an ally in the war on terror," he said.

Many key al Qaeda leaders have been brought to justice since the U.S. first entered Afghanistan, Bush said, and, while some of them remain at large, the American strategy is clear.

"Make no mistake about it, we're doing everything we can to find them," he said. "And when we do, we'll bring them to justice."

The war against terrorism truly is global in nature because terrorists are in countries all around the world and want to impose their philosophies, Bush said. Battling this extensive terrorist network requires a strong international coalition, like the U.S. is now a part of, to share information and bring terrorists to justice, he said.

The world is better and safer because democracy has been brought to Afghanistan and is being brought to Iraq, Bush said, but there is still much work to be done on both fronts.

"We got a lot of work, and this is a long struggle," he said. "To defeat this enemy, the United States of America must understand that it's going to take time, just like it took time to defeat other struggles we had."

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