Freedom on March Throughout World, Deputy Secretary Nominee Says
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, April 20, 2005 Freedom is on the march, but it is "never guaranteed," President Bush's nominee for deputy defense secretary told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee April 19.
Navy Secretary Gordon England testified at his Senate nomination hearing April 19 to become deputy defense secretary.
(Click photo for screen-resolution image)
Bush has nominated Navy Secretary Gordon R. England to replace current Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, who will take office as president of the World Bank in June.
England said the world has changed since he first appeared before the committee for confirmation as Navy secretary in May 2001. Then, the emphasis was on traditional enemies and threats to be dealt with in traditional military ways. Then came the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
England told the senators about Bush's Sept. 12 visit to the Pentagon. "The Pentagon was still burning," England said. "The president told the leadership of the Defense Department to get ready. He said that the war on terror would be a long struggle, that it would be diplomatic, economic and military, but that the military had to succeed for the nation to succeed."
Since the attacks in New York and Washington, servicemembers have demonstrated their prowess to the world. The military's efforts in support of the president's vision of freedom and liberty are starting to make a profound difference in the Middle East, England said.
"The world watched as the courageous people of Afghanistan cast ballots for the first time," he said. "Since then, we have seen historic elections in Iraq, among the Palestinians, and in the Ukraine twice. Syria is beginning to disengage in Lebanon, and other countries are moving closer to free elections."
England, who also served as the first deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security before returning to DoD, said he will work alongside Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to further the goals of the country and the department. He said he will work to "secure the United States from direct attack, secure strategic access, and retain global freedom of action."
The nominee said he would work to strengthen alliances and partnerships and establish favorable security conditions. Part of his job would be to "assure allies and friends, dissuade potential adversaries, deter aggression and counter coercion and defeat adversaries," he said.
He said that his Homeland Security Department experiences showed him the limits of defense. "You cannot protect America from solely inside America," he said. "It takes both a defense and an offense. We need to continue to take the fight to the enemies of freedom, to where they train and where they organize."
England said the United States and its allies no longer face just traditional and predictable threats. "Rather, we are now also threatened by enemies who operate from the shadows -- outside governments, outside the rule of law, and without compassion for humanity," England said.
If confirmed, England will continue his duties as DoD's point man for administrative hearings for enemy combatants held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and for the department's National Security Personnel System, Pentagon officials said.