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U.S. Will Disintegrate Al Qaeda, Rumsfeld Says

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 1, 2001 – The United States will "disintegrate" the Al Qaeda terrorist network, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Sept. 30.

He said the Taliban leaders in Afghanistan have not met one of the demands President Bush made to them following the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

The world is going to have to do everything possible to "disintegrate" the Al Qaeda war plan, Rumsfeld said on the NBC program "Meet the Press."

"(Al Qaeda) is not just in Afghanistan, it's in 60 countries. It has to be disintegrated. It has to end, it has to go out of business," he said. Rumsfeld said the United States will work with those inside Afghanistan who oppose the Taliban, and said not to look for a conventional conflict inside Afghanistan.

"Unconventional approaches are much more likely and more appropriate than the typical conventional approach of armies and navies and air forces," he said.

Taliban officials announced over the weekend that Osama bin Laden is under their control. "It was just a few days ago, that (the Taliban) said they didn't know where he was," Rumsfeld said. "So I have no reason to believe anything a Taliban representative would say."

Rumsfeld said the U.S. military needs to transform to address the problems of homeland defense among other things.

"This has never been a problem (before), with friends to the north and south and oceans on either side," he said. "Today, because we are a free people, these attacks can come from within."

The United States has refashioned national strategy toward capabilities aimed at countering asymmetrical threats such as terrorism. The change is necessary "so we can arrange and train and organize and equip to deal with the kind of capabilities that are out there rather than orienting them solely to a specific country or threat," he said.

Rumsfeld said the world has always had terrorism, but that terrorists today are especially dangerous because of the weapons available to them. Chemical, biological and nuclear weapons are spreading to countries that harbor terrorists, he said. "One has to recognize the possibility -- the probability -- that at some point these terrorist- sponsoring nations will provide these capabilities to these terrorist networks," he said.

Rumsfeld said the goal in this war on terrorism is the same as it has been in all America's wars: Victory. "The goal is to be able to have dealt with the problems that exist -- in this case, the terror networks and the countries that harbor them -- in a way that we have won," he said. "That they no longer are free to go out and terrorize the world. How that happens, the president's phrase was, 'We need to bring them to justice or bring justice to them.'"

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Related Sites:
Secretary Rumsfeld Interview with NBC 'Meet the Press' with host Tim Russert, Sept. 30, 2001

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