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Homeland Security

Washington File

01 May 2003

Cheney Calls Ending Links Between Terrorists, Rogue States "Vital"

(Says success in Iraq is due to technology and new doctrines) (2460)
Vice President Dick Cheney says ending alliances between terrorist
organizations and rogue states will continue to be a vital element of
U.S. strategy in the war on terrorism.
And based on events in Iraq, he added, there now can be "no doubt in
anyone's mind that the president of the United States keeps his word."
At a May 1 speech to the Heritage Foundation in Washington, Cheney
said that as a former secretary of defense he was in a unique vantage
point to appreciate the improvements in U.S. military capabilities
that have occurred since the first Persian Gulf War that took place
only 12 years ago. He noted the effective impact of bold military
planning and flexibility as well as vastly improved technologies that
transformed the war in virtually all phases of air and ground combat,
as well as in the arena of command and control. Real-time computer
displays aided commanders in the air, on land and at sea, he said.
Now that liberation has occurred in Iraq, Cheney said life is
improving every day and that Iraqis will soon be able to "choose new
leaders who respect their rights, reflect their character, and
represent their aspirations." As they carry on the hard work of
building a prosperous and peaceful nation, Iraqis "can count on the
friendship and on the support of the people of the United States," he
Cheney added that the United States is fortunate to have George Bush
as its leader in these challenging times, because Bush "has the
patience and the resolve and the moral clarity necessary to wage the
war on terror and to win it."
Following is the transcript of Cheney's remarks:
(begin transcript)
Office of the Vice President
May 1, 2003
The Ronald Reagan Building
Washington, D.C.
12:03 P.M. EDT
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you all very much. Thank you, Ed. I'll
tell the President what he missed. (Laughter.) I'm here this morning
-- obviously, the President planned to be here today, and then you
know that he's headed for the Pacific right now to get on board the
USS Lincoln, where he'll address the nation tonight from the carrier.
She's steaming back, has been deployed for almost 10 months in the
Gulf, played a major role in the war in Iraq and is our first carrier
returning home. And he thought it was appropriate to get out there and
thank the troops, but to do it in front of the American people.
Of course, the interesting part of it is, he's going to fly onto the
carrier and do a trap -- that is, they'll catch him with cable
arresting gear. No President has ever done that before. (Laughter.)
And I'm not sure he told Laura what he's going to do, either.
Anyway, he was really looking forward to it. He's promised Ed a
rain-check. But I'm here this morning as a pinch-hitter for him and on
behalf of the Heritage Foundation. (Applause.)
You know, Heritage for 30 years has made a lasting contribution to the
nation and to the important public policy debates and discussions of
our time, from the economy to social policy to national defense.
You've always understood that government does not create wealth, it
does not create jobs, but the right policies in Washington can create
the conditions for growth and new jobs. Free trade, lower taxes,
spending discipline here in Washington, D.C. have always served
America well. And President Bush is determined to ensure that they
keep serving us well in the years ahead.
Heritage has always reminded us as well of our founding principles and
our bedrock values as a nation: our belief in limited government, in
democracy, in pluralism and the rule of law. These are the fixed stars
by which the American ship of state navigates. They underpin our
earliest achievements and they will help us to attain our future
But along with an unshakable commitment to our nation's founding
principles, Heritage has always recognized the need to adapt
strategies to our changing times. During the Cold War, Heritage was a
staunch supporter of two of the policies that helped save the free
world from the spread of communism: the doctrines of containment and
Yet, in a post-September 11th world, Heritage was among the first to
recognize that we cannot to continue to rely upon these old, Cold War
doctrines in the future. How do you contain rogue states willing to
provide terrorists with weapons of mass destruction? How do you deter
terrorists who have no nation to defend and who are willing to
sacrifice their own lives in order to kill Americans?
These problems will define the new era in American foreign policy.
They are problems that the American government has never before faced,
and they require new thinking, courageous leadership and bold action.
Fortunately, in this period of challenge, the United States has a
leader in President Bush, who has the patience and the resolve and the
moral clarity necessary to wage the war on terror and to win it.
The President has made clear from the very beginning that this will be
a long and a focused effort, not only because the terrorists operate
in the shadows, but because they also enjoy the backing and support of
outlaw states. It is this alliance between terrorist networks seeking
weapons of mass destruction and rogue states developing or already
possessing these weapons that constitutes the gravest threat to
America's national security.
Therefore, a vital element of our strategy against terror is to break
the alliances between terrorist organizations and terrorist states. In
the case of Iraq, President Bush made it absolutely clear that the
United States would not tolerate a growing danger from this dictator
and his brutal regime. Today, Saddam Hussein's regime is history.
And there is no doubt in anyone's mind that the President of the
United States keeps his word. (Applause.)
As virtually everyone agrees today, [Operation] Iraqi Freedom has been
one of the most extraordinary military campaigns ever conducted. It
followed a carefully drawn plan, with fixed objectives and the
flexibility to meet them. Secretary Rumsfeld, General Franks, General
Myers, General Pace and those who report to them have served their
nation exceedingly well. (Applause.)
As a former Secretary of Defense, I've never been more proud of the
men and women who wear the uniform of the United States military.
(Applause.) By their skill, by their courage, they've made our nation
and the world more secure.
Having been involved in planning and waging the Persian Gulf War in
1991, I can say with some authority that this campaign has displayed
vastly improved capabilities that we did not have a dozen years ago.
In Desert Storm, only 20 percent of our air-to-ground fighters could
guide a laser-guided bomb to the target. In Operation Iraqi Freedom,
all of our air-to-ground fighters were capable of employing
laser-guided bombs. As a result, with only two-thirds of the attack
aircraft deployed in Desert Storm, we could strike twice as many
Our ground forces have also improved their combat power. In Desert
Storm, the Marines had the M-60 tank. In Operation Iraqi Freedom, they
had the Abrams M1, equipped with a thermal sight, 120 millimeter gun,
which increased their range by 50 percent, enabled them to engage the
enemy before they could even fire a single round.
In Desert Storm, our Bradley armored vehicle crews had to estimate the
range of their targets, and often missed on their first round. In
Operation Iraqi Freedom, thanks to improved laser range finders, the
Bradley crews could hit their targets with their very first round of
We've also improved our ability to locate enemy targets. In Desert
Storm, our forces had only one type on Unmanned Aerial Vehicle [UAVs].
In Operation Iraqi Freedom, we had 10 different types of UAVs, ranging
from tactical systems that would allow our soldiers to look over the
next hill to strategic systems that operated at 65,000 feet and could
provide images the size of the state of Illinois.
And we've dramatically improved our ability to make use of targeting
photos. In Desert Storm, it often took two days for target planners to
identify a target, to locate its coordinates, to deliver them to the
bomber crew to plan the strike and deliver weapons on target. This
time in Iraq, we had near real-time imaging of targets with photos and
coordinates transmitted by e-mail to bombers already in flight.
Our command and control systems have also become more flexible and
effective. In Desert Storm, the Air Tasking Order, which specifies
which units will take part in combined air operations and the targets
that each of them will strike, was more than 800 pages long and
required five hours to download and print and had to be flown daily to
our aircraft carriers.
In Iraq, the air tasking order was immediately available to all
participating air commands -- Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines -- on
the military Internet.
In Desert Storm, only the air component commander had a near real-time
picture of the air campaign provided by our airborne warning and
control aircraft. In Operation Iraqi Freedom, all of our component
commanders shared a real-time computer display of our air, land and
sea forces, tailored to their specific needs.
On the ground, battalion brigade and division commanders in Desert
Storm had to rely on maps, grease pencils and radio reports to track
the movements of forces. This time, in Iraqi Freedom, these same
commanders had a real-time computer display of all of our forces.
These advances in command and control allowed us to integrate joint
operations much more effectively than ever before, thereby enabling
commanders to make decisions more rapidly, to target strikes more
precisely, to minimize human casualties, civilian casualties, and to
accomplish the missions more successfully.
General Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, has said that all
of these changes amount to a new American way of war. And certainly
the way we conducted Operation Iraqi Freedom differed significantly
from our performance in Desert Storm. The 1991 war began with a 38 day
air campaign followed by a brief ground attack. This time around, in
Iraqi Freedom, the ground war began before the air war.
In 1991, Saddam Hussein had time to set Kuwait's oil fields ablaze. In
the current conflict, our Special Operations forces were sent in early
to protect 600 oil wells in southern Iraq, to prevent environmental
catastrophe and to safeguard a vital resource for the people of Iraq.
During Operation Desert Storm, Saddam managed to fire scud missiles at
Israel and Saudi Arabia. This time was different. Again, thanks to our
use of Special Operations forces, they seized control of the missile
launch baskets in western Iraq and prevented their use by the enemy.
Our Special Ops forces, joined by those of our British, Australian and
Polish allies, played a much more central role in the success of
Operation Iraqi Freedom than they did 12 years ago.
During Desert Storm we faced a massive flow of refugees in needed aid
and shelter. In Operation Iraqi Freedom, we averted a large-scale
humanitarian crisis. U.S. and British Royal Marines succeeded in
taking the Al Faw Peninsula and bringing food and water and medical
supplies to liberated Iraqis even as the fighting continued.
If you look at the overall effort, Saddam Hussein apparently expected
that this war would essentially be a replay of Desert Storm. Although
he realized there were some 250,000-coalition forces stationed in the
Gulf on the eve of the war, he seems to have assumed there was ample
time to destroy the oil wells that he had already rigged to explode,
and to destroy the bridges and the dams that he wired.
But the tactics employed by General Franks were bold, they made the
most of every technological advantage our military possesses, and they
succeeded in taking the enemy by surprise. Indeed, with less than half
of the ground forces and two-thirds of the air assets used 12 years
ago in Desert Storm, Secretary Rumsfeld and General Franks have
achieved a far more difficult objective in less time and with fewer
casualties. (Applause) Coming on the heels of our victory in
Afghanistan, Operation Iraqi Freedom is proof positive of the success
of our efforts to transform our military to meet the challenges of the
21st century.
With the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, the people of Iraq will be
able to choose new leaders who will respect their rights, reflect
their character and represent their aspirations. The task ahead is
difficult, because Iraq is recovering not just from three weeks of
war, but from three decades of brutal totalitarian rule. Yet, they are
determined to succeed and we are determined to help them succeed.
Every day, life in Iraq is improving as coalition troops secure unsafe
areas, bring food and medical care to the needy and make sure Iraq's
drinking water is clean and dependable. And as Iraqis carry on the
hard work of building a prosperous and peaceful democratic nation,
they can count on the friendship and on the support of the people of
the United States. (Applause.)
An Iraqi government that is of the people, by the people and for the
people will serve as a dramatic and an inspiring example to other
nations in the Middle East. As the President has said, the power and
appeal of human liberty is felt in every life and every land. And the
greatest power of freedom is to overcome hatred and violence, and to
turn the creative gifts of men and women to the pursuits of peace.
The men and women of the Heritage Foundation have long recognized the
power of freedom to transform human lives and to revitalize entire
societies. You know that free societies value the arts of conciliation
and compromise, and reject the ideologies of hatred and terror. Your
faith in freedom's ultimate triumph was vindicated when the Berlin
Wall was toppled, when an evil empire vanished from the face of the
Today, freedom has a new set of totalitarian enemies. Once again we're
called on to defend the safety of our people and the hopes of all
mankind. And once again, your faith in freedom's triumph will be
Thank you very much.
(end transcript)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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