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Drain the Swamp They Live In - US Defence Sec

Published: Thu 20 Sep 2001 09:42 AM
Drain the Swamp They Live In - US Defence Secretary orders
by Selwyn Manning

United States Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told a Pentagon press briefing the best defense against terrorism is to go on the offensive. He added to get terrorists you must drain the swamp they live in.
The American Forces Press Service released his comments as the United States employed over 100 strike aircraft to the Persian Gulf region. The operation is to be called "Operation Infinite Justice" and will involve at least four aircraft carriers with their escorting fleets of attack ships, submarines, strike craft, missiles, and attack aircraft.
A large ground force is also being deployed to the Middle East as is the further 100 strike aircraft, including F-15E and F-16 fighters, and B-1 bombers.

The strike aircraft will also be accompanied by AWACS and other craft that can track objects and vehicles on the ground, and U-2 aircraft that can provide military surveillance.
On the water aircraft carrier the Carl Vinson will move into the Arabian Sea, where it will join the carrier Enterprise. A third carrier the Theodore Roosevelt and its escorting group is heading to the Mediterranean Sea. A further carrier is heading to the region to strengthen the US Military and NATO options once the warfare begins.
US Defence Secretary Rumsfeld told reporters in the Pentagon: "We simply cannot batten down the hatches and try to cope with every conceivable thing that the terrorists can imagine to do," he said.
"They've already done some unimaginable things."
The Defence Secretary warned of a long process to fight terrorist threats against the United States. "This will take a long, sustained effort," he said. "It will require the support of the American people as well as our friends and allies around the world."
But, he said, he's sure the American people are up to the challenge, "and certainly the men and women in uniform are up to it."
The US issued a grim warning to countries that harbour and allow terrorists to prosper within their borders.
"Terrorists do not function in a vacuum. They don't live in Antarctica. They work, they train and they plan in countries," Rumsfeld said. "And they're benefiting from the support of governments ... that are either actively supporting them with money, intelligence and weapons or allowing them to function on their territory and tolerating - if not encouraging - their activities."
He said to get terrorists you: "drain the swamp they live in," Rumsfeld said, referring to action against countries that harbor terrorist activities.
This will be unlike any war America has ever fought. "In the past, we were used to dealing with armies, navies, air forces, and ships and guns and tanks," Rumsfeld said.
"This adversary is different. It does not have any of those things or any high-value targets we can go after. But those countries that support them and give sanctuary do have such targets."
Rumsfeld said: "The people who committed these acts are clearly determined to try to force the United States of America and our values to withdraw from the world or to respond by curtailing our freedoms," he said. "If we do that the terrorists will have won."
He said it all boils down to two things: Americans have a choice, they can change the way they live, which Rumsfeld said was unacceptable, or America can change the way the terrorists live.
"We have chosen the latter. We intend to put them on the defensive. This requires a distinctly different approach from any war that we have fought before."
Selwyn Manning - Scoop Auckland
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