Wolfowitz: Terrorism Fight Means More Than Military Action

By Gerry J. Gilmore
American Forces Press Service

BRUSSELS, Belgium, Sept. 26, 2001 -- Don't expect the United States and its allies to simply drop a heavy military hammer on terrorists worldwide and leave it at that.

"I think it can't be stressed enough that everybody who is waiting for a military action because they think that is the definition of a campaign" doesn't understand the war on global terrorism is a multifaceted endeavor, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz said to reporters today at NATO headquarters.

Wolfowitz, attending defense ministerial meetings here, noted that actions have been taken against the terrorists already. For example, he noted, President Bush on Monday froze the financial assets of some 27 suspected terrorist organizations and individuals.

He said DoD is engaged in efforts to find the terrorists responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks on the New York World Trade Center and the Pentagon and bringing them to justice. However, he added, the ultimate goal is to shut down terrorism worldwide.

Military action may indeed be taken against global terrorists, Wolfowitz said. However, he added, it is important for the United States and its allies to first gather more information on where the terrorists are and how they operate.

Generating information about crucial targets is part of fighting terrorism, Wolfowitz said, adding that accurate information means more effective results. "We're trying to find every snake in the swamp," however, it is also necessary to drain that swamp, he added,

To be effective against global terrorists, Wolfowitz said the United States and its coalition partners must be flexible and adaptive. This means bringing diplomatic, economic, humanitarian and political pressures to bear in addition to military methods, he said.

Members of anti-terrorist coalitions may mix or match specific contributions to achieve goals, such as one member providing diplomatic expertise in a particular region of the world, Wolfowitz said.

"Some countries will be very active with us, we think, going after problems that affect them more directly, and (also) helping us with problems that are more remote," he said.

Other countries would be willing to help anti-terrorist nations secretly, Wolfowitz said.

"We'll take that help," he concluded.

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