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National Security, Homeland Defense Top Nation's Goals

By Linda D. Kozaryn
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25, 2002 – The president's upcoming State of the Union speech will cite national security, homeland defense and revitalizing the economy as the nation's top three goals.

White House officials said the president would discuss the keys to ultimate victory in the war against terrorism -- rooting out global terrorism wherever it exists and protecting America and its allies against chemical and biological attacks. He'll call on the nation to provide whatever it takes to win the war on terrorism and defend the country.

"In order to defeat the evil ones, we must use the mighty U.S. military to ... rout them out of their caves and bring them to justice," President Bush said in West Virginia earlier in the week. "The best way to secure the homeland of the United States is to find the enemy where he hides and bring him to justice."

Thanking the armed forces on behalf of all Americans, Bush said, "The military has performed brilliantly. I gave them a task with clear objectives, and they're accomplishing those tasks and those objectives."

The president said he grieves when a service member is lost, and he acknowledged that lives would be lost combating terrorism. He thanked those who wear the uniform and their families for their sacrifice.

"It is for a cause that is noble, and a cause that is just, and a cause that this great nation will win," he said.

White House officials said the president's State of the Union speech would also outline plans to strengthen protections against future attacks at home. This includes improving intelligence activities, tightening U.S. borders, and better protecting airports and airplanes. Bush also plans to increase funds to equip and train firefighters, law enforcement officers, and emergency medical personnel.

"Our FBI is on full alert," Bush said in West Virginia. "Their primary task now is to prevent another attack. We're working with local officers to better share information to disrupt and prevent (another attack)."

White House officials said the president would sum up his economic agenda with one word, "jobs." Creating jobs and a strong economy, requires a good education, affordable healthcare and a secure retirement, according to the president. It also requires a comprehensive energy policy and new markets for U.S. products through expanded trade.

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