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06 February 2002

Excerpt: Powell Says War on Terror Requires Transnational Effort

(Yemen has taken 'good first step,' Somalia on watch-list) (1750)
Secretary of State Colin Powell told a Senate committee February 5
that the war against terrorism requires a transnational effort,
particularly on the part of countries that have harbored terrorists in
the past. He singled out Somalia as a country where terrorist cells
might seek refuge and said, "If we find al-Qaida there, you can rest
assured we will take the appropriate action."
Seeking support for President Bush's fiscal year 2003 international
affairs budget, Powell spoke before the Senate Foreign Relations
Committee in Washington. In his remarks, the secretary described U.S.
policy goals in several key areas, including the war on terrorism, the
search for terrorist hideouts, and the reconstruction of Afghanistan.
"What we are trying to do on the foreign policy side is to help
analyze where al-Qaida cells might seek refuge," Powell said. "A
country that immediately comes to mind is Somalia because it is quite
a lawless place without much of a government and because it has been
this sort of terrorist haven in the past, providing training camps,
communications links, and financial cover."
Powell warned that the United States is "watching Somalia very
closely" and alluded to possible U.S. action in that country.
"Terrorism might find fertile ground there and we do not want that to
happen. No plans have been made - yet," he said.
At the same time, the secretary commended Yemeni leadership for its
counter-terrorism efforts, saying, "We have also had a good dialogue
with President Ali Abdallah Salih of Yemen and we believe that actions
he is taking are a good first step toward the goal of uprooting the
al-Qaida network there." He also said the United States is working
with the Philippines to combat terrorist networks.
Powell also noted that the United States has been working with Sudan
in an effort to combat terror, and characterized the Sudanese as being
"somewhat responsive." He cautioned that terror-related problems in
Sudan "are not solved by any means," but that "some new opportunities
have opened up."
Powell spoke briefly on Afghanistan's reconstruction. While noting
progress in removing the Taliban regime from power, destroying the
al-Qaida network within Afghanistan, establishing a multi-ethnic
interim authority and delivering much-needed humanitarian aid, he
remarked that "much needs to be done and admittedly a lot what remains
will be difficult to accomplish."
The remaining tasks include disrupting the flow of opium from
Afghanistan, preventing the rise of any alternative power to the
Interim Authority, and delivering the promised funds for Afghanistan's
reconstruction, he said. The secretary noted that the United States
pledged $296 million, adding to the total international pledge of more
than $1,800 million for the first year.
"I am pleased with the first-year funds, but we must do better for the
long haul," Powell said. "The heavy lifting with respect to
Afghanistan is only just beginning."
Following is an excerpt from Powell's prepared remarks to the Senate
committee:
(begin excerpt)
Mr. Chairman, let me now turn to the war on terrorism.
A little over two weeks ago, I was in Tokyo to join the European
Union, Saudi Arabia, and Japan in hosting the Afghan Donor Conference.
Representatives from over 60 countries attended, as well as experts
from the Multilateral Development Banks, and a number of U.N.
agencies. The conference helped to ensure that a wide range of
countries will help the Afghans rebuild their country. The United
States pledged $296 million at the conference and others pitched in
accordingly. The total pledged at this point is around $4.5 billion
with more than $1.8 billion for the first year. I am pleased with the
first-year funds, but we must do much better for the long haul.
The heavy lifting with respect to Afghanistan is only just beginning.
We have helped the Afghans remove the oppressive Taliban regime from
their country. We have destroyed the al-Qaida network in Afghanistan,
with our troops mopping up some of the remnants as we speak. We have
made possible the delivery of humanitarian aid, including massive
amounts of food. We have avoided the wholesale starvation that many
predicted. Moreover, we have helped the people of Afghanistan
establish a multi-ethnic Interim Authority in Kabul, led by Chairman
Karzai. One of its ultimate goals is to oversee an agreed process that
will lead to a broad-based Afghan government -- one that represents
all the people of the country, people of every background and region,
women as well as men.
We also have a rare chance to disrupt seriously the flow of opium in
the world, as Afghanistan has been the world's largest source of this
drug, which is the base for heroin. A government that is headed toward
reconstruction, toward building a new and better life for its
citizens, and a government that is concerned with feeding its
population and giving them adequate education, good roads, clean
water, and other needed services, will not be a government that
permits the selling of opium to the world. And such a government needs
to be secure as well.
Many of our key allies and partners are contributing to the
International Security Assistance Force in Kabul to help ensure a
secure environment for Mr. Karzai to build a new Afghanistan. We are
reviewing whether or not more forces might be needed for this force
and we will continue to look closely at the security needs as we move
forward. We want to do everything possible to prevent the rise of any
alternative power to the Interim Authority, until a permanent
government can be established and begin to take care of that challenge
on its own.
Much remains to be done and admittedly a lot of what remains will be
difficult to accomplish. But we believe that at long last Afghanistan
is on a positive track. There is no question that this is a time of
great challenge for the Afghan people, but it is equally
unquestionable that this is also a time of great hope. And, as
President Bush pledged last week during Chairman Karzai's visit to
Washington: "The United States is committed to playing a leading role
in the reconstruction of Afghanistan."
Mr. Chairman, you and several other Senators have been to Afghanistan.
You have seen at first hand the desperate need but also the hope for
the future. You know from your visit how important it is to provide
the needed funds for reconstruction. We must have a long-term
commitment, from America and from the other countries dedicated to
this process. If we can ensure such a commitment, and if we can
achieve proper accountability and use of these funds, then I believe
there is a good chance of making significant progress in bringing a
new future to Afghanistan -- and ending the days of warlordism and
political chaos that bred the Taliban and made a fertile ground for
terrorists.
And as reconstruction begins in Afghanistan, the war against terrorism
continues. As President Bush said last week in his State of the Union
Address, "What we have found in Afghanistan confirms that, far from
ending there, our war against terror is only beginning." The
administration is working together in new ways never before
envisioned. And that's what this effort is going to require. FBI, CIA,
INS, Treasury, State, NSC, the Attorney General and Justice
Department, and others, are all coming together. This campaign is
transnational, cross-border, even global in a way we have never
contemplated.
What we are trying to do on the foreign policy side is to help analyze
where al-Qaida cells might seek refuge. A country that immediately
comes to mind is Somalia because it is quite a lawless place without
much of a government and because it has been this sort of terrorist
haven in the past, providing training camps, communications links, and
financial cover.
We are watching Somalia very closely. Terrorism might find fertile
ground there and we do not want that to happen. No plans have been
made -- yet. But if we find al-Qaida there, you can rest assured we
will take the appropriate action.
We have also had a good dialogue with President Ali Abdallah Salih of
Yemen and we believe that actions he is taking are a good first step
toward the goal of uprooting the al-Qaida network there.
There are other countries we are working with as well, some of whom
have their own sort of terrorist problem that has spillover into our
own problem. The Philippines has the Abu Sayyaf, who in the past have
had connections with al-Qaida. But this is not just a campaign against
al-Qaida -- it is a campaign against terrorism throughout the world.
So we are working with President Arroyo in the Philippines to assist
that country in combating its terrorists -- who as you know right now
hold two American citizens as hostages.
We are also working with the Sudan, a country with whom we have had
major difficulties in the past few years. Even before September 11 we
had been working with the Sudanese, asking them "What do you get for
this? What do you get for letting people like these terrorists have
safe haven in the Sudan? What does it do for you except bring down the
condemnation of the world?" And they have been somewhat responsive.
The problems in the Sudan are not solved by any means. But some new
opportunities have opened up.
As you can see, then, part of our approach to this extended campaign
against terrorism is to work with countries such as the Sudan. We are
not being nave, not being unmindful of the challenges that exist, but
using diplomacy, using good people like Senator Danforth and others,
and at the same time cooperating together on intelligence and law
enforcement activities to put a stop to easy passage or safe haven for
terrorists.
We have not made any recommendation to the President about the major
use of military force and the President has made no decision as yet
with respect to such use of force. But there are many other actions
that are taking place -- actions of a law enforcement, political,
diplomatic, financial, and intelligence-sharing nature.
A sizable portion of the President's budget request is dedicated to
these counterterrorism efforts, as you will see as I turn to the
specific priorities of our budget request for Foreign Operations.
(end excerpt)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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