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22 September 2002

Bush Reports on Deployment of U.S. Forces to Fight Terrorism

(Letter to Speaker of House, President Pro Tempore of Senate) (880)
President Bush sent a letter to the Speaker of the House of
Representatives and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate September
20 reporting on the deployment of U.S. forces around the world to
fight terrorism.
Following is the text of the letter:
(begin text)
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
September 20, 2002
TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF
REPRESENTATIVES AND THE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE OF THE SENATE
September 20, 2002
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
On September 24, 2001, I reported the deployment of various
combat-equipped and combat support forces to a number of locations in
the Central and Pacific Command areas of operations. On October 9,
2001, I reported the beginning of combat action in Afghanistan against
terrorists and their Taliban supporters. In my report to the Congress
of March 20, 2002, I provided supplemental information on the
deployment of combat-equipped and combat support forces to a number of
foreign nations in the Central and Pacific Command areas of
operations. As a part of my efforts to keep the Congress informed, I
am reporting further on U.S. efforts in the global war on terrorism.
Our efforts in Afghanistan have met with success, but as I have stated
in my previous reports, the U.S. campaign against terrorism will be
lengthy. To date, U.S. Armed Forces, with the assistance of numerous
coalition partners, have executed a superb campaign to eliminate the
primary source of support to the terrorists who viciously attacked our
Nation on September 11, 2001. The heart of the al-Qaida training
capability has been seriously degraded. The Taliban's ability to
brutalize the Afghan people and to harbor and support terrorists has
been virtually eliminated. Pockets of al-Qaida and Taliban forces
remain a threat to U.S. and coalition forces and to the Afghan
government. What is left of both the Taliban and the al-Qaida fighters
is being pursued and engaged by U.S. and coalition forces.
Due to our success in Afghanistan, we have detained several hundred
al-Qaida and Taliban fighters who are believed to pose a continuing
threat to the United States and its interests. The combat-equipped and
combat support forces deployed to Guantanamo Bay Naval Base, Cuba, in
the Southern Command area of operations since January 2002, continue
to conduct secure detention operations. We currently hold
approximately 550 enemy combatants at Guantanamo. All are being
treated humanely and, to the extent appropriate and consistent with
military necessity, in a manner consistent with the principles of the
Geneva Conventions of 1949.
In furtherance of our worldwide efforts against terrorists who pose a
continuing and imminent threat to the United States, our friends and
allies, and our forces abroad, we continue to work with the Government
of the Philippines to protect U.S. and Philippine citizens and to
defeat international terrorism in the Philippines. The combat-equipped
and combat support forces that were deployed to the Philippines in
January 2002 to train with, advise, and assist the Armed Forces of the
Philippines made great progress in enhancing the Philippine
government's counterterrorist capabilities. United States forces have
reduced their presence in the Southern Philippines, but will continue
a long-term effort to assist the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Additionally, we are conducting maritime interception operations in
the Central and European Command areas of responsibility to deny the
high seas as a haven for moving, arming, or financing international
terrorists.
Combat-equipped and combat support forces also have been deployed to
Georgia and Yemen to assist their armed forces in enhancing their
counter-terrorism capabilities, including by training and equipping
their armed forces. We continue to assess options for working with
other nations to assist them in this respect.
I have taken these actions pursuant to my constitutional authority to
conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief
Executive. In addition, these actions are consistent with Public Law
107-40. As I stated in my previous reports, it is not possible to know
at this time either the duration of combat operations or the scope and
duration of the deployment of U.S. Armed Forces necessary to counter
the terrorist threat to the United States. I will direct additional
measures as necessary to exercise our right to self-defense and to
protect U.S. citizens and interests. Such measures may include short
notice deployments of special operations and other forces for
sensitive operations in various locations throughout the world.
I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep the Congress
informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution and Public Law
107-40. Officials of my Administration and I have been communicating
regularly with the leadership and other Members of Congress, and we
will continue to do so. I appreciate the continuing support of the
Congress in our effort to protect the security of the United States of
America and its citizens, civilian and military, here and abroad.
Sincerely,
GEORGE W. BUSH
(end text)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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