Enemies of Freedom Use Weapons of 'Terror, Chaos'
By Kathleen T. Rhem
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2004 The enemies of freedom "cannot defeat the coalition in a conventional war on any battlefield," Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in New York today. So they use weapons of terror and chaos.
"They want us to believe that the coalition cannot win, that the free Iraqi and Afghan governments cannot win, that the fight is not worth it, that the effort will be too hard and too ugly," the secretary said in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations.
America and her allies cannot let the terrorists win. "Failure in Afghanistan or Iraq would exact a terrible toll," Rumsfeld said. "It would embolden the extremists and make the world a far more dangerous place."
The secretary admitted it is a difficult road from tyranny to democracy, and it has always been so. He said America had its own problems seeking independence, and Germany and Japan suffered setbacks in the years after World War II.
Still, there have been many successes in the war on terrorism. Upcoming elections in Afghanistan and Iraq are sure signs that those countries are on the path to democracy, Rumsfeld noted. Osama bin Laden is on the run, and Saddam Hussein is in jail and his sons dead.
Libya no longer sponsors terrorists and has renounced its nuclear-weapons program, he pointed out. Pakistan is a major U.S. ally in the war on terrorism.
"Thanks to the coalition, terrorist safe havens have been reduced; major training camps have been eliminated," Rumsfeld said. "Their financial support structures have been attacked and disrupted. And intelligence and military cooperation with countries all around the world has dramatically increased."
The war on terrorism has also caused the American military to transform its structure and capabilities at a more rapid rate than anticipated. The active Army has increased by 30,000 troops and has been reorganized into "more agile, lethal and deployable brigades with enough protection, firepower and logistics assets to sustain themselves," Rumsfeld explained.
The Army is in the process of increasing the number of these brigades from 33 to 43, or even possibly 48 in the next two to three years, he pointed out.
The military's active and reserve components are being restructured to "achieve amore appropriate distribution of skill sets," the secretary continued. He said this restructuring should "improve the total-force responsiveness to crises so that individual reservists and guardsmen will mobilize less often for shorter periods of time and with somewhat more predictability."
The war on terror has also increased the military services' ability to work together. "Joint operations are no longer an exception," he said.
America's task is to remain steadfast in its resolve, the secretary said, asking the audience to consider what the world would be like if extremism were to prevail.
"Today, as before, the hard work of history falls to our country, to our coalition, to our people," Rumsfeld said. "We have been entrusted with the gift of freedom. It's ours to safeguard. It's ours to defend. And we can do it knowing that the great sweep of human history is for freedom, and that is on our side."