Tags: Rumsfeld | Warns | Terror | Nations | War

Rumsfeld Warns Terror Nations of War

Tuesday, 18 September 2001 12:00 AM

He said the war would not end with the capture or death of just Osama bin Laden, who is believed to be the mastermind behind last Tuesday's terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center.

"The terrorists do not function in a vacuum. They don't live in Antarctica. They work, they train and they plan in countries," Rumsfeld said.

"They're benefiting from the support of governments. They're benefiting from the support of non-governmental organizations that are either actively supporting them with money, intelligence and weapons or allowing them to function on their territory and tolerating if not encouraging their activities. In either case, it has to stop.

"We have a choice, either to change the way we live, which is unacceptable, or to change the way that they live, and we have - we chose the latter. We intend to put them on the defensive, to disrupt terrorist networks and remove their sanctuaries and their support systems. This requires a distinctly different approach from any war that we have fought before," he said.

The military faces particular difficulties in defining its role in President Bush's declared war. Terrorists do not have high-value targets such as buildings, bunkers and air defense systems to attack with high-tech weaponry.

"It does not have high-value targets that we can go after," Rumsfeld said. "But those countries that support them and give sanctuary do have such targets."

He promised to "drain the swamp [terrorists] live in."

"And that means dealing not only with the terrorists, but those who harbor terrorists," he said.

Rumsfeld fell silent for several seconds after being asked whether the United States had evidence that Tuesday's attacks on New York and Washington were sponsored by a foreign government.

"What I have said, as clearly as I know how, is that states are supporting these people," he said, after a pregnant pause.

As the administration grapples with how to root out and face an enemy unlike any the United States has seen, Rumsfeld said the government was moving "in a measured manner" and indicated this would be a protracted effort.

Rumsfeld conceded the difficulty of mounting a military campaign against Afghanistan.

"Several countries have exhausted themselves pounding it and fighting," Rumsfeld said. "There are not great things of value that are easy to deal with" as with traditional bombing campaigns.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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He said the war would not end with the capture or death of just Osama bin Laden, who is believed to be the mastermind behind last Tuesday's terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Center. The terrorists do not function in a vacuum. They don't live in Antarctica....
Rumsfeld,Warns,Terror,Nations,War
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2001-00-18
Tuesday, 18 September 2001 12:00 AM
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