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Rumsfeld Says This War Is Different

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2001 – The war against terrorism the United States finds itself in is different from any other in the country's experience, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Sept. 20.

The attacks of Sept. 11 were an act of war committed against America, Rumsfeld said. But the war will require a different vocabulary to describe and different tactics to fight.

"What we're engaged in is very, very different from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Kosovo, Bosnia -- the kinds of things that people think of when they use the words 'war' or 'campaign' or 'conflict,'" Rumsfeld told reporters in the Pentagon. "It is very different (from) embarking on a campaign against a specific country within a specific timeframe for a specific purpose."

He said the war would require the full resources of the U.S. government. He said political, diplomatic, economic, financial, law enforcement and military moves will be required to fight the terror networks. All will be engaged, and all must work together, he said.

Rumsfeld also spoke about deployments. "We are trying to get ourselves arranged in the world with our forces in places that we believe conceivably could be useful in the event the president decided to use them for one thing or another," he said.

He said he would not discuss what forces are moving where. "It's sufficiently sensitive that I'm not going to provide specific details of who's doing what, when and where," he said. "I don't think it's helpful."

After his briefing, DoD announced the first call-up of reserve component personnel. A total of 5,131 members of the Air National Guard and the Air Force Reserve have been mobilized in 29 units from 24 states and the District of Columbia. The unit list is at www.defenselink.mil/news/Sep2001/0920gr.pdf.

Rumsfeld said the United States will take the effort to the terror networks, but that doing so would take time. "It's a marathon, not a sprint," he said.

He said the United States is receiving a lot of international support for the effort against the terror networks. "This was an attack on the world," Rumsfeld said. "Hundreds of people from 60 countries were killed in these attacks."

There has been an outpouring of support from many countries and alliances. "We appreciate deeply these powerful expressions of support," he said.

Rumsfeld stressed this is not an effort "aimed at any religion or people."

He stressed the United States faces the asymmetrical threats of terrorism as well as threats from ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, cyberattacks and weapons of mass destruction. "These are front and center to us because of the problems of proliferation," he said.

He said that with the end of the Cold War, weapons of increased lethality and range are available to terrorist groups and countries "if they are determined and if they have the money."

Given the effects of the terror attacks, the importance of counterproliferation efforts increases. "Counterproliferation is important in seeing those weapons of vastly greater power don't come into the hands, and are not used by, the kinds of people who attacked the United States," he said.

Rumsfeld said recovery operations at the Pentagon are going well, but the FBI cannot say when they will be finished.

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Related Sites:
DoD News Briefing - Secretary Rumsfeld, Sept. 20, 2001

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