14 February 2003
U.S. Counterterrorism Strategy Will Enhance National Security
(Strategy calls for frequent, relentless strikes against terrorists)
The U.S. strategy for battling terrorism requires direct and
continuous action against terrorist organizations to initially disrupt
them, over time degrade them, and ultimately to destroy them,
according to President Bush's new National Strategy for Combating
"The more frequently and relentlessly we strike the terrorists across
all fronts, using all the tools of statecraft, the more effective we
will be," according to the strategy's introduction. "The United
States, with its unique ability to build partnerships and project
power, will lead the fight against terrorist organizations of global
reach. By striking constantly and ensuring that terrorists have no
place to hide, we will compress their scope and reduce the capability
of these organizations."
The new Strategy for Combating Terrorism, released by the National
Security Council February 14, elaborates on Section III of the U.S.
National Security Strategy, released late last year, by expounding on
the U.S. need to destroy terrorist organizations, to win the "war of
ideas," and to bolster U.S. security at home and abroad, it says. The
National Strategy for Homeland Security, another facet of the National
Security Strategy, is designed to prevent attacks within the United
States, while the Terrorism Strategy focuses on identifying and
defusing threats before they reach the U.S. mainland, the report said.
The Bush administration has also supplemented its National Security
Strategy with a National Strategy for Combating Weapons of Mass
Destruction, and will add strategies protecting cyberspace and
critical infrastructures as well as combating illegal drug
The strategy notes that state sponsors of terrorism can be moderated
with political pressures and economic sanctions, but those tactics are
largely ineffective against individual terrorist organizations or
The first step, the strategy says, is to identify the terrorists,
locate their sanctuaries, and destroy their ability to plan and
"We cannot wait for terrorists to attack and then respond," the
strategy says. "The United States and its partners will disrupt and
degrade the ability of terrorists to act, and compel supporters of
terrorism to cease and desist."
In addition, the strategy says the United States, as one of its
highest priorities, will prevent terrorist organizations from gaining
access to technology, particularly that which supports weapons of mass
Following is the complete text of the strategy:
NATIONAL STRATEGY FOR COMBATING TERRORISM
THE NATURE OF THE TERRORIST THREAT TODAY
The Structure of Terror
The Changing Nature of Terrorism
A New Global Environment
Interconnected Terrorist Organizations
Availability of Weapons of Mass Destruction
Victory in the War Against Terror
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Defeat Terrorists and Their Organizations
Deny Sponsorship, Support, and Sanctuary to Terrorists
Diminish the Underlying Conditions that Terrorists Seek to Exploit
Defend U.S. Citizens and Interests at Home and Abroad
"No group or nation should mistake America's intentions: We will not
rest until terrorist groups of global reach have been found, have been
stopped, and have been defeated," President George W. Bush, November
The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in Washington, D.C., New
York City, and Pennsylvania were acts of war against the United States
of America and its allies, and against the very idea of civilized
society. No cause justifies terrorism. The world must respond and
fight this evil that is intent on threatening and destroying our basic
freedoms and our way of life. Freedom and fear are at war.
The enemy is not one person. It is not a single political regime.
Certainly it is not a religion. The enemy is terrorism --
premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against
noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.
Those who employ terrorism, regardless of their specific secular or
religious objectives, strive to subvert the rule of law and effect
change through violence and fear. These terrorists also share the
misguided belief that killing, kidnapping, extorting, robbing, and
wreaking havoc to terrorize people are legitimate forms of political
The struggle against international terrorism is different from any
other war in our history. We will not triumph solely or even primarily
through military might. We must fight terrorist networks, and all
those who support their efforts to spread fear around the world, using
every instrument of national power -- diplomatic, economic, law
enforcement, financial, information, intelligence, and military.
Progress will come through the persistent accumulation of successes --
some seen, some unseen. And we will always remain vigilant against new
terrorist threats. Our goal will be reached when Americans and other
civilized people around the world can lead their lives free of fear
from terrorist attacks.
There will be no quick or easy end to this conflict. At the same time,
the United States, will not allow itself to be held hostage by
terrorists. Combating terrorism and securing the U.S. homeland from
future attacks are our top priorities. But they will not be our only
priorities. This strategy supports the National Security Strategy of
the United States. As the National Security Strategy highlights, we
live in an age with tremendous opportunities to foster a world
consistent with interests and values embraced by the United States and
freedom-loving people around the world. And we will seize these
This combating terrorism strategy further elaborates on Section III of
the National Security Strategy by expounding on our need to destroy
terrorist organizations, win the "war of ideas," and strengthen
America's security at home and abroad. While the National Strategy for
Homeland Security focuses on preventing terrorist attacks within the
United States, the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism focuses
on identifying and defusing threats before they reach our borders.
While we appreciate the nature of the difficult challenge before us,
our strategy is based on the belief that sometimes the most difficult
tasks are accomplished by the most direct means.
Ours is a strategy of direct and continuous action against terrorist
groups, the cumulative effect of which will initially disrupt, over
time degrade, and ultimately destroy the terrorist organizations. The
more frequently and relentlessly we strike the terrorists across all
fronts, using all the tools of statecraft, the more effective we will
The United States, with its unique ability to build partnerships and
project power, will lead the fight against terrorist organizations of
global reach. By striking constantly and ensuring that terrorists have
no place to hide, we will compress their scope and reduce the
capability of these organizations. By adapting old alliances and
creating new partnerships, we will facilitate regional solutions that
further isolate the spread of terrorism. Concurrently, as the scope of
terrorism becomes more localized, unorganized and relegated to the
criminal domain, we will rely upon and assist other states to
eradicate terrorism at its root.
The United States will constantly strive to enlist the support of the
international community in this fight against a common foe. If
necessary, however, we will not hesitate to act alone, to exercise our
right to self-defense, including acting preemptively against
terrorists to prevent them from doing harm to our people and our
The war on terrorism is asymmetric in nature but the advantage belongs
to us, not the terrorists. We will fight this campaign using our
strengths against the enemy's weaknesses. We will use the power of our
values to shape a free and more prosperous world. We will employ the
legitimacy of our government and our cause to craft strong and agile
partnerships. Our economic strength will help failing states and
assist weak countries in ridding themselves of terrorism. Our
technology will help identify and locate terrorist organizations, and
our global reach will eliminate them where they hide. And as always,
we will rely on the strength of the American people to remain resolute
in the face of adversity.
We will never forget what we are ultimately fighting for -- our
fundamental democratic values and way of life. In leading the campaign
against terrorism, we are forging new international relationships and
redefining existing ones in terms suited to the transnational
challenges of the 21st century.
We seek to integrate nations and peoples into the mutually beneficial
democratic relationships that protect against the forces of disorder
and violence. By harnessing the power of humanity to defeat terrorism
in all its forms, we promote a freer, more prosperous, and more secure
world and give hope to our children and generations to come.
Ultimately, our fight against terrorism will help foster an
international environment where our democratic interests are secure
and the values of liberty are respected around the world.
THE NATURE OF THE TERRORIST THREAT TODAY
"We have seen their kind before. They are the heirs of all the
murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to
serve their radical visions -- by abandoning every value except the
will to power -- they follow in the path of fascism, and Nazism, and
totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way, to where
it ends: in history's unmarked grave of discarded lies," President
George W. Bush in his address to a joint session of Congress and the
American people, September 20, 2001
Americans know that terrorism did not begin on September 11, 2001.
Regrettably, its history is long and all too familiar. The first major
terrorist attack on New York City's financial district, for instance,
did not occur on September 11, or even with the 1993 truck bombing of
the World Trade Center. It occurred September 16, 1920, when
anarchists exploded a horse cart filled with dynamite near the
intersections of Wall and Broad Streets, taking 40 lives and wounding
about 300 others. Starting with the assassination of President William
McKinley in 1901 and continuing with the bombings of the U.S.
embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998 and the USS Cole in Yemen in
2000, American history in the 20th century was punctuated by
Americans also understand that we are not alone in the struggle
against terror. Terrorists have left their mark in some way upon every
country in the world. Citizens from some 90 countries died in the
attacks of September 11. For decades, the United States and our
friends abroad have waged the long struggle against the terrorist
menace. We have learned much from these efforts.
Even as we experience success in the war on terrorism, new enemies may
emerge. Thus, the United States will confront the threat of terrorism
for the foreseeable future. Consequently, we must continue to take
aggressive action to uncover individuals and groups engaged in
terrorist activity, by analyzing the common characteristics of
terrorists in order to understand where our enemies are weak and where
they are strong.
The Structure of Terror
Despite their diversity in motive, sophistication, and strength,
terrorist organizations share a basic structure.
At the base, underlying conditions such as poverty, corruption,
religious conflict and ethnic strife create opportunities for
terrorists to exploit. Some of these conditions are real and some
manufactured. Terrorists use these conditions to justify their actions
and expand their support. The belief that terror is a legitimate means
to address such conditions and effect political change is a
fundamental problem enabling terrorism to develop and grow.
The international environment defines the boundaries within which
terrorists' strategies take shape. As a result of freer, more open
borders this environment unwittingly provides access to havens,
capabilities, and other support to terrorists. But access alone is not
enough. Terrorists must have a physical base from which to operate.
Whether through ignorance, inability, or intent, states around the
world still offer havens -- both physical (e.g., safe houses, training
grounds) and virtual (e.g., reliable communication and financial
networks) -- that terrorists need to plan, organize, train, and
conduct their operations. Once entrenched in a safe operating
environment, the organization can begin to solidify and expand. The
terrorist organization's structure, membership, resources, and
security determine its capabilities and reach.
At the top of the structure, the terrorist leadership provides the
overall direction and strategy that links all these factors and
thereby breathes life into a terror campaign. The leadership becomes
the catalyst for terrorist action. The loss of the leadership can
cause many organizations to collapse. Some groups, however, are more
resilient and can promote new leadership should the original fall or
fail. Still others have adopted a more decentralized organization with
largely autonomous cells, making our challenge even greater.
The Changing Nature of Terrorism
While retaining this basic structure, the terrorist challenge has
changed considerably over the past decade and likely will continue to
evolve. Ironically, the particular nature of the terrorist threat we
face today springs in large part from some of our past successes.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the United States and its allies combated
generally secular and nationalist terrorist groups, many of which
depended upon active state sponsors. While problems of state
sponsorship of terrorism continue, years of sustained counterterrorism
efforts, including diplomatic and economic isolation, have convinced
some governments to curtail or even abandon support for terrorism as a
tool of statecraft. The collapse of the Soviet Union -- which provided
critical backing to terrorist groups and certain state sponsors --
accelerated the decline in state sponsorship. Many terrorist
organizations were effectively destroyed or neutralized, including the
Red Army Faction, Direct Action, and Communist Combatant Cells in
Europe, and the Japanese Red Army in Asia. Such past successes provide
valuable lessons for the future.
With the end of the Cold War, we also saw dramatic improvements in the
ease of transnational communication, commerce, and travel.
Unfortunately, the terrorists adapted to this new international
environment and turned the advances of the 20th century into the
destructive enablers of the 21st century.
A New Global Environment
Al-Qaida exemplifies how terrorist networks have twisted the benefits
and conveniences of our increasingly open, integrated, and modernized
world to serve their destructive agenda. The al-Qaida network is a
multinational enterprise with operations in more than 60 countries.
Its camps in Afghanistan provided sanctuary and its bank accounts
served as a trust fund for terrorism. Its global activities are
coordinated through the use of personal couriers and communication
technologies emblematic of our era -- cellular and satellite phones,
encrypted e-mail, Internet chat rooms, videotape, and CD-ROMs. Like a
skilled publicist, Usama bin Laden and al-Qaida have exploited the
international media to project his image and message worldwide.
Members of al-Qaida have traveled from continent to continent with the
ease of a vacationer or business traveler. Despite our coalition's
successes in Afghanistan and around the world, some al-Qaida
operatives have escaped to plan additional terrorist attacks. In an
age marked by unprecedented mobility and migration, they readily blend
into communities wherever they move.
They pay their way with funds raised through front businesses, drug
trafficking, credit card fraud, extortion, and money from covert
supporters. They use ostensibly charitable organizations and
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for funding and recruitment.
Money for their operations is transferred surreptitiously through
numerous banks, money exchanges, and alternate remittance systems
(often known as "hawalas") -- some legitimate and unwitting, others
These terrorists are also transnational in another, more fundamental
way -- their victims. The September 11 attacks murdered citizens from
Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Germany, India,
Israel, Jordan, Japan, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland,
Turkey, the United Kingdom and scores of other countries.
As the al-Qaida network demonstrates, the terrorist threat today is
mutating into something quite different from its predecessors.
Terrorists can now use the advantage of technology to disperse
leadership, training, and logistics not just regionally but globally.
Establishing and moving cells in virtually any country is relatively
easy in a world where more than 140 million people live outside of
their country of origin and millions of people cross international
borders every day.
Furthermore, terrorist groups have become increasingly self-sufficient
by exploiting the global environment to support their operations.
Whether it is the FARC's involvement in the cocaine trade in Colombia,
al-Qaida's profiting from the poppy fields in Afghanistan, or Abu
Sayyaf's kidnapping for profit in the Philippines, terrorists are
increasingly using criminal activities to support and fund their
terror. In addition to finding sanctuary within the boundaries of a
state sponsor, terrorists often seek out states where they can operate
with impunity because the central government is unable to stop them.
Such areas are found in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa,
and Asia. More audaciously, foreign terrorists also establish cells in
the very open, liberal, and tolerant societies that they plan to
Interconnected Terrorist Organizations
The terrorist threat is a flexible, transnational network structure,
enabled by modern technology and characterized by loose
interconnectivity both within and between groups. In this environment,
terrorists work together in funding, sharing intelligence, training,
logistics, planning, and executing attacks. Terrorist groups with
objectives in one country or region can draw strength and support from
groups in other countries or regions. For example, in 2001, three
members of the Irish Republican Army were arrested in Colombia,
suspected of training the FARC in how to conduct an urban bombing
campaign. The connections between al-Qaida and terrorist groups
throughout Southeast Asia further highlight this reality. The
terrorist threat today is both resilient and diffuse because of this
mutually reinforcing, dynamic network structure.
... terrorists and terrorist organizations operate on three levels. At
the first level are those terrorist organizations that operate
primarily within a single country. Their reach is limited, but in this
global environment their actions can have international consequences.
Such state-level groups may expand geographically if their ambitions
and capabilities are allowed to grow unchecked.
At the next level are terrorist organizations that operate regionally.
These regional operations transcend at least one international
Terrorist organizations with global reach comprise the third category.
Their operations span several regions and their ambitions can be
transnational and even global.
These three types of organizations are linked together in two ways.
First, they can cooperate directly by sharing intelligence, personnel,
expertise, resources, and safe havens. Second, they can support each
other in less direct ways, such as by promoting the same ideological
agenda and reinforcing each other's efforts to cultivate a favorable
international image for their "cause." By capitalizing on the very
technological advances that we use within our country, terrorist
organizations learn and share information garnered from our web sites,
exploit vulnerabilities within our critical infrastructure, and
communicate across the same Internet paths we use each day. The
interconnected nature of terrorist organizations necessitates that we
pursue them across the geographic spectrum to ensure that all linkages
between the strong and the weak organizations are broken, leaving each
of them isolated, exposed, and vulnerable to defeat.
Availability of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
Weapons of mass destruction pose a direct and serious threat to the
United States and the entire international community. The probability
of a terrorist organization using a chemical, biological,
radiological, or nuclear weapon, or high-yield explosives, has
increased significantly during the past decade. The availability of
critical technologies, the willingness of some scientists and others
to cooperate with terrorists, and the ease of intercontinental
transportation enable terrorist organizations to more easily acquire,
manufacture, deploy, and initiate a WMD attack either on U.S. soil or
While new instruments of terror such as cyber attacks are on the rise,
and other conventional instruments of terror have not diminished, the
availability and potential use of a WMD is in a category by itself.
We know that some terrorist organizations have sought to develop the
capability to use WMD to attack the United States and our friends and
allies. Motivated by extreme, even apocalyptic ideologies, some
terrorists' ambitions to inflict mayhem seem unlimited. The Aum
Shinrikyo's unsuccessful efforts to deploy biological weapons and its
lethal 1995 sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subway provided an early
warning of such willingness to acquire and use WMD. In 1998, Usama bin
Laden proclaimed the acquisition of WMD a "religious duty," and
evidence collected in Afghanistan proves al-Qaida sought to fulfill
this "duty." The threat of terrorists acquiring and using WMD is a
clear and present danger. A central goal must be to prevent terrorists
from acquiring or manufacturing the WMD that would enable them to act
on their worst ambitions.
While terrorism is not new, today's terrorist threat is different from
that of the past. Modern technology has enabled terrorists to plan and
operate worldwide as never before. With advanced telecommunications
they can coordinate their actions among dispersed cells while
remaining in the shadows. Today's terrorists increasingly enjoy a
force-multiplier effect by establishing links with other like-minded
organizations around the globe. Now, with a WMD capability, they have
the potential to magnify the effects of their actions many fold. The
new global environment, with its resultant terrorist
interconnectivity, and WMD are changing the nature of terrorism. Our
strategy's effectiveness ultimately depends upon how well we address
these key facets of the terrorist threat.
"We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans and confront
the worst threats before they emerge. In the world we have entered,
the only path to safety is the path of action. And this nation will
act," President George W. Bush, June 1, 2002
The intent of our national strategy is to stop terrorist attacks
against the United States, its citizens, its interests, and our
friends and allies around the world and ultimately, to create an
international environment inhospitable to terrorists and all those who
support them. To accomplish these tasks we will simultaneously act on
The United States and its partners will defeat terrorist organizations
of global reach by attacking their sanctuaries; leadership; command,
control, and communications; material support; and finances. This
approach will have a cascading effect across the larger terrorist
landscape, disrupting the terrorists' ability to plan and operate. As
a result, it will force these organizations to disperse and then
attempt to reconsolidate along regional lines to improve their
communications and cooperation.
As this dispersion and organizational degradation occurs, we will work
with regional partners to implement a coordinated effort to squeeze,
tighten, and isolate the terrorists. Once the regional campaign has
localized the threat, we will help states develop the military, law
enforcement, political, and financial tools necessary to finish the
task. However, this campaign need not be sequential to be effective;
the cumulative effect across all geographic regions will help achieve
the results we seek.
We will deny further sponsorship, support, and sanctuary to terrorists
by ensuring other states accept their responsibilities to take action
against these international threats within their sovereign territory.
UNSCR 1373 and the 12 UN counterterrorism conventions and protocols
establish high standards that we and our international partners expect
others to meet in deed as well as word.
Where states are willing and able, we will reinvigorate old
partnerships and forge new ones to combat terrorism and coordinate our
actions to ensure that they are mutually reinforcing and cumulative.
Where states are weak but willing, we will support them vigorously in
their efforts to build the institutions and capabilities needed to
exercise authority over all their territory and fight terrorism where
Where states are reluctant, we will work with our partners to convince
them to change course and meet their international obligations.
Where states are unwilling, we will act decisively to counter the
threat they pose and, ultimately, to compel them to cease supporting
We will diminish the underlying conditions that terrorist seeks to
exploit by enlisting the international community to focus its efforts
and resources on the areas most at risk. We will maintain the momentum
generated in response to the September 11 attacks by working with our
partners abroad and various international forums to keep combating
terrorism at the forefront of the international agenda.
Most importantly, we will defend the United States, our citizens, and
our interests at home and abroad by both proactively protecting our
homeland and extending our defenses to ensure we identify and
neutralize the threat as early as possible.
Victory in the War Against Terror
Victory against terrorism will not occur as a single, defining moment.
It will not be marked by the likes of the surrender ceremony on the
deck of the USS Missouri that ended World War II. However, through the
sustained effort to compress the scope and capability of terrorist
organizations, isolate them regionally, and destroy them within state
borders, the United States and its friends and allies will secure a
world in which our children can live free from fear and where the
threat of terrorist attacks does not define our daily lives.
Victory, therefore, will be secured only as long as the United States
and the international community maintain their vigilance and work
tirelessly to prevent terrorists from inflicting horrors like those of
September 11, 2001.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
"America is no longer protected by vast oceans. We are protected from
attack only by vigorous action abroad, and increased vigilance at
home," President George W. Bush, January 29, 2002
Goal: Defeat Terrorists and Their Organizations
The first tenet of the 4D strategy (Defeat, Deny, Diminish and Defend)
calls for defeating terrorist organizations of global reach through
the direct or indirect use of diplomatic, economic, information, law
enforcement, military, financial, intelligence, and other instruments
of power. The evolution of terrorist organizations into loose,
flexible networks with small, informal groups compounds the challenges
of combating them. The United States will use all its resources,
including the ability to marshal and sustain international coalitions,
to defeat networks and prevent the growth of new organizations. The
United States and its partners will target the individuals, state
sponsors, and transnational networks that enable terrorism to
An analysis of the history of combating terrorism confirms that the
best way to defeat terrorism is to isolate and localize its activities
and then destroy it through intensive, sustained action. Political
pressures and economic sanctions have moderated some state sponsors,
but have had little effect on individual groups that can sustain an
independent presence. However, due to the broad expanse and
sophistication of some of these global terrorist organizations, we
must first act to reduce their scope and capability. This effort
requires us to identify the terrorists, locate their sanctuaries, and
destroy their ability to plan and operate.
We cannot wait for terrorists to attack and then respond. The United
States and its partners will disrupt and degrade the ability of
terrorists to act, and compel supporters of terrorism to cease and
desist. Preventing terrorist groups from gaining access to technology,
particularly that which supports WMD, will be one of our highest
Objective: Identify terrorists and terrorist organizations. "Know your
enemy" is one of the most accepted maxims in warfare. Unfortunately,
our knowledge of the inner workings of some terrorist organizations
remains incomplete. The Intelligence Community and law enforcement
agencies will therefore continue their aggressive efforts to identify
terrorists and their organizations, map their command and control and
support infrastructure, and then ensure we have broad, but
appropriate, distribution of the intelligence to federal, state, and
local agencies as well as to our international allies. While we will
not ignore regional or emerging threats, our operational efforts and
intelligence will focus primarily upon the most dangerous groups,
namely, those with global reach or aspirations to acquire and use WMD.
We will prioritize our efforts based on the immediate threat and our
national interests. Based on this prioritization and mapping of
terrorist organizations, we will determine where to position forces
and collection assets to identify terrorist ground, air, maritime, and
cyber activities. Timely and advantageous positioning of these assets
will be crucial for obtaining intelligence and developing options for
A key component of this force and asset alignment will be our ability
to understand the terrorist intent through technical and document
exploitation. This will require a dramatic increase in linguistic
support. Consequently, all government agencies will review their
language programs to ensure adequate resources are available to meet
The Intelligence Community will continue to enhance its collection on
terrorist WMD capabilities, including bioterrorism threats against
agriculture and the food supply.
Objective: Locate terrorists and their organizations. The shadowy
nature of terrorist organizations precludes an easy analysis of their
capabilities or intent. The classic net assessment of the enemy based
on the number of tanks, airplanes, or ships does not apply to these
non-state actors. For intelligence to succeed in this war on
terrorism, the United States must not only rely on technical
intelligence, but renew its emphasis on other types of intelligence
needed to get inside the organizations, locate their sanctuaries, and
disrupt their plans and operations.
The Intelligence Community will review its current capability to
gather human and technical intelligence on terrorist organizations and
make recommendations, as necessary, to expand its recruitment,
training, and operations. The Intelligence Community will continue its
comprehensive effort to acquire new reporting sources, then use those
sources to penetrate designated terrorist organizations to provide
information on leadership, plans, intentions, modus operandi,
finances, communications, and recruitment. The law enforcement
community, using the leverage provided by our criminal justice system,
will continue its efforts to identify and locate terrorist
organizations operating at home and abroad.
Our regional partners are often better poised than the United States
to gain access to information and intelligence. Therefore, the
intelligence and law enforcement communities will continue to expand
and improve their relations with their foreign counterparts in an
effort to take better advantage of their source reporting.
Objective: Destroy terrorists and their organizations. Once we have
identified and located the terrorists, the United States and its
friends and allies will use every tool available to disrupt,
dismantle, and destroy their capacity to conduct acts of terror. The
final element to the Defeat goal is an aggressive, offensive strategy
to eliminate capabilities that allow terrorists to exist and operate
-- attacking their sanctuaries; leadership; command, control, and
communications; material support; and finances.
While divulging the details of this aspect of the strategy would be
imprudent, we will focus our efforts on three pillars. First, we will
expand our law enforcement effort to capture, detain, and prosecute
known and suspected terrorists. Second, America will focus decisive
military power and specialized intelligence resources to defeat
terrorist networks globally. Finally, with the cooperation of its
partners and appropriate international organizations, we will continue
our aggressive plan to eliminate the sources of terrorist financing.
To synchronize this effort, the Department of State will take the lead
in developing specific regional strategies for the defeat of
terrorism. We will further leverage regional relationships, by
ensuring appropriate allied participation with the regional Combatant
Commanders as they prosecute the war on terrorism.
Goal: Deny Sponsorship, Support, and Sanctuary to Terrorists
The National Strategy's second front stresses denying terrorists the
sponsorship, support, and sanctuary that enable them to exist, gain
strength, train, plan, and execute their attacks. The United States
has a long memory and is committed to holding terrorists and those who
harbor them accountable for past crimes. The states that choose to
harbor terrorists are like accomplices who provide shelter for
criminals. They will be held accountable for the actions of their
The strategy to deny sponsorship, support, and sanctuary is
three-fold. First, it focuses on the responsibilities of all states to
fulfill their obligations to combat terrorism both within their
borders and internationally. Second, it helps target U.S. assistance
to those states who are willing to combat terrorism, but may not have
the means. And finally, when states prove reluctant or unwilling to
meet their international obligations to deny support and sanctuary to
terrorists, the United States, in cooperation with friends and allies,
or if necessary, acting independently, will take appropriate steps to
convince them to change their policies.
The goal of this front is to choke off the lifeblood of terrorist
groups -- their access to territory, funds, equipment, training,
technology, and unimpeded transit. This approach will therefore weaken
terrorist organizations and their ability to conduct operations. Of
particular importance is working to prevent terrorists from acquiring
the capability to use chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear
weapons, or high-yield explosives.
Non-state actors play an important role in the international
environment. Nongovernmental organizations are important in combating
international terrorism and we will work with them to prevent
terrorists from taking advantage of their services.
Objective: End the state sponsorship of terrorism. The United States
will assume a clear and pragmatic approach in prosecuting the campaign
against terrorism. This will include incentives for ending state
sponsorship. When a state chooses not to respond to such incentives,
tough decisions will be confronted. At all times within this new
dynamic we will balance a nation's near-term actions against the
long-term implications and consequences.
The United States currently lists seven state sponsors of terrorism:
Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Cuba, North Korea, and Sudan. We are firmly
committed to removing countries from the list once they have taken the
necessary steps under our law and policy. A checkered past does not
foreclose future membership in the coalition against terrorism.
It is important for all countries to adopt a "zero tolerance" policy
for terrorist activity within their borders. In the new global
environment it is also important for states to understand how
terrorists and their supporters may use legitimate means of
communication, commerce, and transportation for illegal activities.
Each state that gets out of the business of sponsoring terrorism
represents a significant step forward and offers a tangible measure of
success. America will never seek to remove states from the sponsorship
list by lowering the bar; instead, these states should be encouraged
-- or compelled -- to clear the bar.
We will not have a single, inflexible approach to handling the
recognized state sponsors of terrorism. Each case is unique, with
different interests and legacy issues involved. Each situation demands
specifically tailored policies.
We will be open to overtures from states that want to put their
sponsorship of terrorism behind them, but we will not compromise on
the essential principle that there are no "good" or "just" terrorists.
We will be relentless in discrediting terrorism as a legitimate means
of expressing discontent.
To ensure we have a well-orchestrated and synchronized policy, the
Department of State will take the lead in developing policy action
plans that employ both incentives and disincentives to end state
sponsorship of terrorism. All appropriate departments and agencies
will engage key allies to develop common or complementary strategies
to support the above plans. So that no state miscalculates U.S.
resolve, we will articulate these policy goals through appropriate
public and diplomatic channels.
Objective: Establish and maintain an international standard of
accountability with regard to combating terrorism. In addition to U.S.
pressure to end state sponsorship, we will strongly support new,
strict standards for all states to meet in the global war against
terrorism. States that have sovereign rights also have sovereign
responsibilities. UNSCR 1373 clearly establishes states' obligations
for combating terrorism.
This resolution calls upon all member states to cooperate to prevent
terrorist attacks through a spectrum of activities, including
suppressing and freezing terrorist financing, prohibiting their
nationals from financially supporting terrorists, denying safe haven,
and taking steps to prevent the movement of terrorists. Additionally,
the 12 international counterterrorism conventions and protocols,
together with UNSCR 1373, set forth a compelling body of international
obligations relating to counterterrorism. We will continue to press
all states to become parties to and fully implement these conventions
Together, UNSCR 1373, the international counterterrorism conventions
and protocols, and the inherent right under international law of
individual and collective self-defense confirm the legitimacy of the
international community's campaign to eradicate terrorism. We will use
UNSCR 1373 and the international counterterrorism conventions and
protocols to galvanize international cooperation and to rally support
for holding accountable those states that do not meet their
This baseline level of commitment has four other basic advantages.
First, it reaffirms the primacy of local efforts -- the vital
principle that each nation bears primary responsibility for fighting
terrorism within its territory. Second, it provides an internationally
recognized baseline against which the efforts of all nations --
including the United States -- can be evaluated. Third, this
foundation does not prevent the formation of coalitions of willing
nations for special tasks above and beyond the requirements of UNSCR
1373 and the international counterterrorism conventions and protocols.
Fourth, the United States remains free to emphasize reciprocity in its
counterterrorism policies. While we will always meet our baseline
responsibilities, U.S. efforts can prioritize support to our allies,
protect vital interests, and assist those international partners who
prove themselves most willing to cooperate in the campaign against
The steady increase in the number of countries that are fully
implementing UNSCR 1373 will thus provide a tangible measure of
progress in the years ahead.
Additionally, we will encourage international, regional, and
subregional organizations to call upon their members to adopt and
fully implement the counterterrorist conventions, protocols, and UNSCR
1373, and subsequently we will support them in their effort. To help
ensure compliance and maintain oversight, the U.S. Government will
support the establishment of a comprehensive plan to monitor and, when
appropriate, publicize nations' counterterrorist activities.
To maintain the momentum since September 11 and keep the global war on
terrorism in the forefront, all departments and agencies of the U.S.
Government will promote combating terrorism as a standard agenda item
for their bilateral and multilateral discussions.
Objective: Strengthen and sustain the international effort to fight
terrorism. Defeating terrorism is our nation's primary and immediate
priority. It is "our calling," as President Bush has said. But it is
not our challenge alone. Unlike the Cold War, where two opposing camps
led by superpower states vied for power, we are now engaged in a war
between the civilized world and those that would destroy it. Success
will not come by always acting alone, but through a powerful coalition
of nations maintaining a strong, united international front against
Working with Willing and Able States: An essential element of our
strategy remains working with others to reorient existing partnerships
and create new mechanisms for cooperation among the willing and able
states around the world. No support will be more important to success
than that from the other nations that have the will and resources to
combat terrorism with us at the state, regional, and even global
In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks we have reaped the
rewards of the investments made in our major alliances during the past
50 years. These rewards are evident in NATO's unprecedented invocation
of Article V of the NATO Treaty, Australia's invocation of Article IV
of the ANZUS Treaty, and in the way both our NATO and ANZUS allies
have matched words with deeds on every front in the war against
Military forces representing a broad coalition of countries from North
America, Europe, the Middle East and Oceania have participated in
vital operations in Afghanistan. Japan has also provided historic
support to the campaign against terrorism. Our Western Hemispheric
neighbors invoked the Rio Treaty and have shown a commitment to combat
terrorism through a new Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism
adopted in June 2002. But these alliances cannot be taken for granted
or remain static. We will strive to help them evolve to meet the
demands of this new era.
At the same time, through our common efforts against terrorism, we are
recasting our relations with Russia, China, Pakistan, and India. The
cooperation forged with these countries in the war on terrorism
highlights how our future relations need not be constrained by past
Ensuring that the current level of international cooperation is a
lasting feature of our world will be a defining challenge of this era.
Enabling Weak States: Some countries are committed to fighting
terrorism but lack the capacity to fulfill their sovereign
responsibilities. Some governments, for example, lack the legal
framework, training, or technical capabilities needed to fight money
laundering. Others do not have the law enforcement, intelligence, or
military capabilities to assert effective control over their entire
territory. After September 11, we redoubled our efforts to develop
programs that help them to acquire the necessary capabilities to fight
terrorism through a variety of means, including improved legislation,
technical assistance, new investigative techniques, intelligence
sharing, and law enforcement and military training. For example, we
are stepping up our efforts in the Balkans to help governments secure
their borders and refocusing our assistance to place increased
priority on efforts to promote the rule of law. We are helping the
Armed Forces of the Philippines to build their capacity to fight
terrorism through a robust training and professional education
The United States will continue to develop comprehensive plans to
build strong and agile partnerships, particularly in regions that
historically have been difficult to engage. We will work together to
develop programs to train foreign governments in tactics, techniques,
and procedures to combat terrorism. We will review funding for
international counterterrorism training and assistance programs and
ensure adequate resources are available to strengthen the capabilities
of key states.
We will continue to negotiate extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance
Treaties (MLATs) and expand the international coalition that supports
the war on terrorism. We will conduct an extensive review to determine
the viability of establishing new institutions that may help combat
terrorism. And at every opportunity we will continue to enhance
international counterterrorism cooperation through the further
expansion and sharing of intelligence and law enforcement information.
While focusing on terrorism, this effort will strengthen our strategic
alignments and transform the international environment.
Persuading Reluctant States: In waging the campaign against terrorism,
the United States will also confront difficult cases involving
countries that, although capable, prove reluctant to comply with their
responsibilities in the fight against terror. Some countries will
cooperate on some fronts but not others. This unwillingness can spring
from many sources, such as external threats, internal schisms that
enable one faction to use the state to extend tacit or active support
to terrorists, or cultural or political differences that lead to
disagreements over what constitutes "terrorist" or criminal activity.
These cases will be the most delicate. The United States recognizes
that some governments might place themselves in the crosshairs -- and
not just figuratively -- by joining the war against terrorism.
Therefore, constructive engagement, with sustained diplomacy and
targeted assistance will be used to persuade these regimes to become
more willing and, eventually able, to meet their international
obligations to combat terrorism.
Compelling Unwilling States: The unwilling states are those that
sponsor or actively provide sanctuary to terrorists. Those states that
continue to sponsor terrorist organizations will be held accountable
for their actions.
Objective: Interdict and disrupt material support for terrorists. A
key component of any nation's sovereignty is control of its borders.
Every nation bears responsibility for the people and goods transiting
While we expect states to fulfill their obligations, we will
nevertheless be prepared to interdict terrorist ground, air, maritime,
and cyber traffic by positioning forces and assets to deny terrorists
access to new recruits, financing, equipment, arms, and information.
As part of this undertaking, our National Strategy to Combat Weapons
of Mass Destruction addresses the most serious of these threats and
outlines plans and policies to execute timely, effective interdiction
efforts against WMD-related materials, technologies, and expertise.
Some irresponsible governments -- or extremist factions within them --
seeking to further their own agenda may provide terrorists access to
WMD. Such actions would be unacceptable to the United States. We are
prepared to act decisively to stop terrorists from acquiring WMD or
Interdiction, whether against terrorist material support or WMD, will
be carefully coordinated to ensure prioritization of intelligence,
proper allocation of resources, and, when necessary, swift, decisive
action. We will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes and
terrorists to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons.
Drug trafficking and protection schemes surrounding the drug trade
also generate vast sums of money for international organized crime
syndicates and terrorist organizations. Laundered through the
international financial system, this money then provides a huge source
of virtually untraceable funds to corrupt officials, bypass
established financial controls, and further other illegal activities,
including arms trafficking and migrant smuggling. These activities
ensure a steady supply of weapons and cash and ease the movement of
operatives for terrorist organizations worldwide. Breaking the nexus
between drugs and terror is a key objective in our war on terrorism
and the National Drug Control Strategy outlines U.S. goals in this
The United States will continue to work with our friends and allies to
disrupt the financing of terrorism. We will identify and block the
sources of funding, freeze the assets of terrorists and those who
support them, deny terrorists access to the international financial
system, protect legitimate charities from being abused by terrorists,
and prevent the movement of terrorists' assets through alternative
Sensitive technology in the hands of terrorists can be just as
damaging to our war efforts as weapons and financing. Therefore, we
will continue to pursue an aggressive strategy that identifies
sensitive information and technology and outlines appropriate steps to
preclude terrorists from obtaining and exploiting them.
Objective: Eliminate terrorist sanctuaries and havens. Terrorism
cannot have a place of refuge. It must be rooted out and destroyed.
The United States and the international community must develop
procedures and mechanisms that will eradicate terrorism wherever it
exists. An essential part of this campaign will be the promotion of
international standards of behavior and national legal systems to
eliminate terrorist refuges.
The United States will work in concert with our international and
regional partners to ensure effective governance over ungoverned
territory, which could provide sanctuary to terrorists. Where there is
a clear indication of terrorist activity in these areas, the United
States, in conjunction with our friends and allies, will work to
eliminate these terrorist sanctuaries and preclude any future access
to these areas by terrorist organizations.
The Intelligence Community, in conjunction with the Department of
Defense, the Department of State, and others, will conduct an annual
review and assessment of international terrorist sanctuaries and
subsequently develop plans that address the denial of these areas.
Goal: Diminish the Underlying Conditions that Terrorists Seek to
The third component of the 4D strategy is made up of the collective
efforts to diminish conditions that terrorists can exploit. While we
recognize that there are many countries and people living with
poverty, deprivation, social disenfranchisement, and unresolved
political and regional disputes, those conditions do not justify the
use of terror. However, many terrorist organizations that have little
in common with the poor and destitute masses exploit these conditions
to their advantage. The September 11 terrorists, for instance, came
predominantly from the ranks of the educated and middle-class and
served in an organization led by a millionaire murderer.
These efforts to diminish underlying conditions have material as well
as intangible dimensions. Ongoing U.S. efforts to resolve regional
disputes, foster economic, social, and political development,
market-based economies, good governance, and the rule of law, while
not necessarily focused on combating terrorism, contribute to the
campaign by addressing underlying conditions that terrorists often
seek to manipulate for their own advantage. Additionally, diminishing
these conditions requires the United States, with its friends and
allies, to win the "war of ideas," to support democratic values, and
to promote economic freedom.
The United States does not propose to undertake this difficult
challenge alone. The United States has neither the resources nor the
expertise to be in every place in the world. Moreover, the struggle
against terrorism is not solely an American struggle. Our friends and
allies face many of the same threats. It is essential for America to
work with its friends and allies in this campaign.
Objective: Partner with the international community to strengthen weak
states and prevent the (re)emergence of terrorism. Weak states and
failed ones are a source of international instability. Often, these
states may become a sanctuary for terrorism. Therefore, we will ensure
that efforts designed to identify and diminish conditions contributing
to state weakness and failure are a central U.S. foreign policy goal.
The principal objective of our collective response will be the
rebuilding of a state that can look after its own people -- their
welfare, health, prosperity, and freedom -- and control its borders.
The United States is willing to assist the civilized world --
governments, nongovernmental agencies, and public-private partnerships
-- in undertaking these efforts.
We will continue to expand bilateral and multilateral efforts, such as
the U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative, to promote good
governance, the rule of law, respect for human rights, and
professionalization of local justice systems. In particular, we will
broaden the scope and strength of International Law Enforcement
Academies, and combatant commands will address civil-military
relations and humanitarian assistance in their Theater Security
Cooperation Plans. Additionally, the Chiefs of Mission will support
and report on U.S. and local efforts to diminish underlying conditions
of terrorism and encourage all nations to implement anti-corruption
measures pursuant to multilateral, regional, or bilateral agreements.
A state's stand on terrorism will be considered when providing aid to
Objective: Win the War of Ideas Together with the international
community, we will wage a war of ideas to make clear that all acts of
terrorism are illegitimate, to ensure that the conditions and
ideologies that promote terrorism do not find fertile ground in any
nation, to diminish the underlying conditions that terrorists seek to
exploit in areas most at risk, and to kindle the hopes and aspirations
of freedom of those in societies ruled by the sponsors of global
We must use the full influence of the United States to delegitimize
terrorism and make clear that all acts of terrorism will be viewed in
the same light as slavery, piracy, or genocide: behavior that no
respectable government can condone or support and all must oppose. In
short, with our friends and allies, we aim to establish a new
international norm regarding terrorism requiring non-support,
non-tolerance, and active opposition to terrorists.
The United States will seek to support moderate and modern
governments, especially in the Muslim world. We will continue assuring
Muslims that American values are not at odds with Islam. Indeed, the
United States has come to the aid of many Muslims in the past -- in
Afghanistan, Kuwait, Bosnia, and Kosovo, to name a few. The United
States will work with such moderate and modern governments to reverse
the spread of extremist ideology and those who seek to impose
totalitarian ideologies on our Muslim allies and friends.
Finding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a critical
component to winning the war of ideas. No other issue has so colored
the perception of the United States in the Muslim world. The
Israeli-Palestinian conflict is critical because of the toll of human
suffering, because of America's close relationship with the state of
Israel and key Arab states, and because of that region's importance to
other global priorities of the United States. There can be no peace
for either side without freedom for both sides. America stands
committed to an independent and democratic Palestine, living beside
Israel in peace and security. Like all other people, Palestinians
deserve a government that serves their interests and listens to their
voices. The United States will continue to encourage all parties to
step up to their responsibilities as we seek a just and comprehensive
settlement to the conflict. The United States can play a crucial role
but, ultimately, lasting peace can only come when Israelis and
Palestinians resolve the issues and end the conflict between them.
We will also use effective, timely public diplomacy and government
supported media to promote the free flow of information and ideas to
kindle the hopes and aspiration for freedom of those in societies
ruled by the sponsors of global terrorism.
Goal: Defend U.S. Citizens and Interests at Home and Abroad
The final tenet of the 4D strategy encompasses our nation's collective
efforts to defend the United States' sovereignty, territory, and its
national interests, at home and abroad. This tenet includes the
physical and cyber protection of the United States, its populace,
property, and interests, as well as the protection of its democratic
We face an adaptive enemy. Empowered by modern technology and
emboldened by success, terrorists seek to dictate the timing of their
actions while avoiding our strengths and exploiting our
vulnerabilities. In an increasingly interconnected and technologically
sophisticated world, where time and distance provide less and less
protection, we must be prepared to defend our interests, as a nation
and as citizens.
Embodied in this strategy is the old adage that the best defense is a
good offense. By improving and coordinating our indications and threat
warnings, we will be able to detect terrorist plans before they
mature. Through continuous law enforcement, Intelligence Community,
and military pursuit of terrorist organizations, we will disrupt their
ability to execute attacks both at home and abroad, and by expanding
our physical and cyber protection and awareness, we will reduce the
vulnerability of U.S. personnel, critical infrastructure, and other
Our response to this complex mission requires a coordinated and
focused effort from our entire society -- the federal, state and local
governments, the private sector, and the American people. This plan,
in concert with the National Strategy for Homeland Security, the
National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, and the National Strategy for
the Physical Protection of Critical Infrastructures and Key Assets
will help to prepare our Nation for the work ahead.
The attacks of September 11 demonstrate that our adversaries will
engage asymmetrically, within and across our borders. They will
exploit global systems of commerce, transportation, communications,
and other sectors to inflict fear, destruction, and death, to
compromise our national security, and to diminish public confidence
and weaken our will to fight. Their attacks may be coordinated to
counter our offensive activities abroad. Because we are a free, open,
and democratic society, we are, and will remain, vulnerable to these
dangers. Therefore, as we seek to engage globally, we must ensure a
seamless web of defense across the spectrum of engagement to protect
our citizens and interests both at home and abroad.
Objective: Implement the National Strategy for Homeland Security. The
establishment of the new Department of Homeland Security will help
mobilize and organize our Nation to secure the U.S. homeland from
terrorist attacks. A key to this task will be the National Strategy
for Homeland Security. The recommendations of the National Strategy
for Homeland Security and the National Strategy for Combating
Terrorism compliment and reinforce each other. From enhancing the
analytical capabilities of the FBI and recapitalizing the U.S. Coast
Guard, to preventing terrorist use of WMD through better sensors and
procedures and integrating information sharing across the federal
government, the objectives in these national strategies are vital to
our future success in the war on terrorism.
Objective: Attain domain awareness. Today's world is sharply defined
by compression of both time and distance. Key to defending our Nation
is the effective knowledge of all activities, events, and trends
within any specified domain (air, land, sea, cyber) that could
threaten the safety, security, or environment of the United States and
its populace. This "domain awareness" enables identification of
threats as early and as distant from our borders -- including
territories and overseas installations -- as possible, to provide
maximum time to determine the optimal course of action.
Domain awareness is dependent upon having access to detailed knowledge
of our adversaries distilled through the fusion of intelligence,
information, and data across all agencies. It means providing our
operating forces -- afloat, aloft, and ashore, foreign and domestic --
with a single integrated operating matrix of relevant information
within their specific domain of responsibility. Domain awareness
supports coordinated, integrated, and sustained engagement of the
enemy across the full spectrum of U.S. instruments of power.
The President has instructed the leaders of the FBI, Central
Intelligence, Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense to
develop a Terrorist Threat Integration Center, to merge and analyze
all threat information in a single location. The center is being
created because our government must have the very best information
possible to make sure that the right people are in the right places to
protect the American people.
The National Strategy for Homeland Security addresses information
sharing and technology within the United States. The components of
this information sharing apply equally well at home and abroad. Those
procedures and systems that facilitate interagency, intergovernmental,
and private information sharing will be expanded to allow our overseas
agencies to have access and input, as necessary. This initiative will
include not only database alignment and the horizontal and vertical
information flow; it will also optimize disclosure policy and
establish a consistent reporting criteria across agencies and allies.
Additionally, implementation of both the domestic and international
elements of the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace and the
National Strategy for the Physical Protection of Critical
Infrastructures and Key Assets are designed to help ensure that all
possible efforts are made to safeguard critical information networks
whether located in the United States or abroad.
Objective: Enhance measures to ensure the integrity, reliability, and
availability of critical physical and information-based
infrastructures at home and abroad. Much of our strength as a nation
is built upon expansive and efficient transportation, as well as
logistic and information systems permitting unsurpassed participation
in global commerce. Infrastructures and systems that support our
economy and national interests are fully integrated, often dependent
upon those outside of our borders, and span the globe. During times of
rapid, prolonged, and large-scale conflict, even our military forces
must rely upon portions of the global infrastructure to support
sustained operations abroad.
Protection of vital systems is a shared responsibility of the public
and private sectors, working collectively with the owners, operators,
and users of those systems. The integrity of critical infrastructures,
permitting national security mobilization and global engagement during
times of both peace and conflict, must be assured. In many cases U.S.
enterprises overseas are linked or networked to domestic critical
infrastructure, and a terrorist event overseas would have a cascading
effect on domestic reliability. To reduce this possibility, the
Department of State will take the lead and, in conjunction with
appropriate agencies, identify and prioritize critical infrastructure
overseas and partner with industry to establish cost-effective best
practices and standards to maximize security. Where appropriate, we
will coordinate with the host country to ensure its security and
response network is adequate.
Sufficient defense is a balance between our need to accommodate the
enhanced flow of "low risk, high volume" people and goods essential to
our economic vitality, while at the same time focusing energy and
resources on the criminal, hostile and fraudulent few. It places a
premium on effective domain awareness activities, such as accurate
identification of containerized goods before they depart for the
Implementation of the U.S. Smart Borders Initiatives with Canada and
Mexico, as well as the Third Border Initiative for the Caribbean
Basin, address potential vulnerabilities in the many critical physical
and information-based infrastructures shared with our two North
American allies. Moreover, the U.S. Government's comprehensive border
management strategy will greatly enhance the ability of the U.S. to
screen, verify and process the entry of people and goods into the
Objective: Integrate measures to protect U.S. citizens abroad. Defense
of our economic vitality must be matched by increased security of U.S.
citizens abroad. The nature of the threat confronting our citizens has
expanded. U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad may now be at
greater risk as potential terrorist targets. Protective measures must
benefit facilities privately owned by U.S. interests as well as
embassies and military installations abroad. Similarly, U.S. travelers
and citizens living abroad must be provided meaningful, up-to-date,
and coordinated threat information. The Department of State will work
to enhance existing programs to inform U.S. citizens traveling or
living abroad about the potential terrorist threats.
As we continue to pursue terrorist organizations of global reach,
there may be a rise in the number of hostages taken overseas. The new
policy on U.S. citizens taken hostage abroad, which was promulgated by
the Department of State in February 2002, ensures that each incident
receives careful review at the federal level. The policy also calls
for aggressive law enforcement efforts to apprehend, prosecute, and
punish terrorists consistent with crisis resolution and
force-protection efforts. All appropriate agencies should be prepared
with adequate resources and authorities to assist in the rescue of
U.S. citizens taken hostage abroad if the circumstances warrant.
In an effort to ensure U.S. law enforcement interests are properly
addressed between the embassy and the host country, the Department of
Justice working with the Department of State, will expand, where
appropriate, its law enforcement presence abroad to further
counterterrorism interdiction, investigation, and prosecution.
Additionally, in coordination with host governments, the U.S.
government will enhance training of and assistance to host governments
in building legal infrastructures to strengthen the rule of law.
Objective: Ensure an integrated incident management capability. In the
end, prevention of catastrophic terrorism is dependent upon
interdiction of people and materials. However, solid plans,
preparations, and immediate response remain key to mitigating acts of
terrorism. Unity of effort requires coordination not only at the apex
of the federal government, but also at the operational/tactical level,
where response and intervention actions may be taken by diverse
authorities, acting independently or in coordination with each other.
An effective, integrated response requires incident management
planning, enhanced interoperability, and coordination, based on and
supported by rapid and effective decision-making.
In an effort to ensure rapid crisis response, the U.S. will coordinate
with host governments and regional partners to develop plans for
alerting, containing, and, if necessary, repelling an attack in
progress while ensuring adequate resources are available to mitigate
the damage. At the outset of a crisis, an interagency team capable of
supporting the affected U.S. Embassy with assessments and
recommendations is essential. Consequently, the Department of State,
the Department of Defense, and other relevant agencies shall ensure
that adequate staffing, training, equipment, and transportation are
available for the Foreign Emergency Support Team. All appropriate
departments and agencies will review and, if necessary amend, their
incident-management procedures for overseas terrorist incidents
involving critical infrastructure and facilities of U.S. national
Political violence may be endemic to the human condition, but we
cannot tolerate terrorists who seek to combine the powers of modern
technology and WMD to threaten the very notion of civilized society.
The war against terrorism, therefore, is not some sort of "clash of
civilizations"; instead, it is a clash between civilization and those
who would destroy it.
Given these stakes, we must persevere until the United States,
together with its friends and allies, eliminates terrorism as a threat
to our way of life. As our enemies exploit the benefits of our global
environment to operate around the world, our approach must be global
as well. When they run, we will follow. When they hide, we will find
them. Some battlefields will be known, others unknown. The campaign
ahead will be long and arduous. In this different kind of war, we
cannot expect an easy or definitive end to the conflict.
This National Strategy reflects the reality that success will only
come through the sustained, steadfast, and systematic application of
all the elements of national power -- diplomatic, economic,
information, financial, law enforcement, intelligence, and military --
simultaneously across four fronts. We will defeat terrorist
organizations of global reach through relentless action. We will deny
terrorists the sponsorship, support, and sanctuary they need to
survive. We will win the war of ideas and diminish the underlying
conditions that promote the despair and the destructive visions of
political change that lead people to embrace, rather than shun,
terrorism. And throughout, we will use all the means at our disposal
to defend against terrorist attacks on the United States, our
citizens, and our interests around the world.
We will also be resourceful. This strategy relies upon the ingenuity,
innovation, and strength of the American people. We will rally others
to this common cause. We will not only forge a diverse and powerful
coalition to combat terrorism today, but work with our international
partners to build lasting mechanisms for combating terrorism and for
coordination and cooperation. Working with states that are both
willing and able to be full partners in the campaign, we will attack
terrorist groups directly and indirectly, help the weak but willing
states build their capabilities to fight terrorism, and persuade
reluctant states to meet their obligations to the international
community in this fight. We will use all our resources and
resourcefulness to compel the unwilling states to cease support for
We will be resolute. Others might flag in the face of the inevitable
ebb and flow of the campaign against terrorism. But the American
people will not. We understand that we cannot choose to disengage from
the world, because in this globalized era, the world will engage us
regardless. The choice is really about what kind of world we want to
In waging this war, therefore, we will be equally resolute in
maintaining our commitment to our ultimate objective. The defeat of
terror is a worthy and necessary goal in its own right. But ridding
the world of terrorism is essential to a broader purpose. We strive to
build an international order where more countries and peoples are
integrated into a world consistent with the interests and values we
share with our partners -- values such as human dignity, rule of law,
respect for individual liberties, open and free economies, and
religious tolerance. We understand that a world in which these values
are embraced as standards, not exceptions, will be the best antidote
to the spread of terrorism. This is the world we must build today.
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
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