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DefendAmerica Speakers Keep the Public Informed

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, March 24, 2003 – The Defense Department is committed to keeping the American people informed and involved in the global war against terrorism, according to Brent Krueger, public liaison director in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs.

To that end, he said, the DefendAmerica outreach program was created immediately following the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on America to provide speakers for community groups and organizations holding public events on national defense. Speakers talk about the continuing war against terrorism.

"In the past year, the U.S.-led coalition drove the Taliban from power in Afghanistan and disrupted the al Qaeda network responsible for the September 11th attacks," Pentagon spokeswoman Victoria Clarke said in a recent letter about the speakers' program to U.S. chambers of commerce. "In cooperation with our international partners, we continue to arrest terrorists, freeze their assets and prevent new attacks," she said. "Worldwide, terrorists are on the run, less able to plan and finance their schemes of destruction."

But the world is still a dangerous place, Clarke continued. "Hostile countries and terrorist networks are seeking weapons of mass destruction. Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups are as committed as ever to taking the lives of innocent people. And, at this writing, Saddam Hussein continues to pose a grave threat to his own people, his neighbors, the United States, and global security."

In the war against terrorism, she concluded, there remains much work to be done, and it will take a long time to complete. "Victory is only possible with the support of the American people, including the employers who drive the U.S. economy and from whose places of business America's National Guard and Reserve forces are called to serve."

Anyone interested in hosting an event featuring a Department of Defense speaker should contact Krueger at (703) 695-2113 or Eric Holland at (703) 697-7385.

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