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Waging and Winning the War on Terror

“Great harm has been done to us. We have suffered great loss. And in our grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment. Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom – the great achievement of our time, and the great hope of every time – now depends on us. Our nation – this generation – will lift a dark threat of violence from our people and our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.”

– President George W. Bush, September 20, 2001

The Accomplishments

Fighting Global Terrorism

  • President Bush launched a global effort to defeat terrorism and to protect and defend America. During his term in office, the President has led a steady and systematic campaign against global terrorists and their allies.
  • Since the terrorist attacks on September 11th, the United States has waged two of the swiftest and most humane wars in history (in Afghanistan and Iraq). Fifty million people have been liberated from two of the world’s most brutal and aggressive regimes – and the terrorists’ foreign operating bases are being taken away.
  • More than three-quarters of al Qaeda's known leaders and associates have been detained or killed. These include Mohammed Atef, al Qaeda’s senior field commander killed in a bombing raid in Afghanistan; Abu Zubaida, Osama bin Laden’s field commander after the killing of Atef, captured in Pakistan; Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, mastermind of the September 11th attacks, captured in Pakistan; Ramzi Binalshibh, a coordinator of the September 11th attacks, captured in Pakistan; Hambali, top strategist for al Qaeda's associate group Jemaah Islamiah in Southeast Asia, captured in Thailand; Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, al Qaeda’s chief of operations in the Persian Gulf, captured in the United Arab Emirates; Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, a suspect in the 1998 bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, captured in Pakistan; and Abu Issa al–Hindi, a central planner of detailed reconnaissance of American financial institutions, captured in Britain.
  • Operational and logistical terrorist support cells have been disrupted in Europe, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Southeast Asia.
  • Nearly $140 million in terrorist assets have been blocked in over 1,400 accounts worldwide.
  • We are working closely with intelligence services all over the globe and have enhanced our intelligence capabilities in order to trace dangerous weapons activity.

The War to Liberate Afghanistan

  • In Operation Enduring Freedom, the United States built a worldwide coalition of 70 countries that destroyed terrorist training camps, dismantled the brutal Taliban regime, denied al Qaeda a safe haven in Afghanistan, and saved a people from starvation.
  • Today, Afghanistan has a new president, Hamid Karzai, and a new constitution that gives unprecedented rights and freedoms to all Afghans.
  • Historic presidential and parliamentary elections are planned for this fall and the following spring. America will launch an ambitious training program for newly-elected Afghan politicians.
  • Preliminary figures indicate that nearly nine million Afghan citizens (91 percent of the electorate) have so far registered to vote.
  • Three years ago, women in Afghanistan were whipped in the streets, executed in a sports stadium, and beaten for wearing brightly-colored shoes. Schooling was denied to girls. Today, the constitution gives women the right to vote and guarantees freedom of expression, assembly, and religion. Young girls are attending school. Two Afghan cabinet ministers are women, and a woman leads the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission.
  • One hundred forty-five health care facilities have been constructed or rehabilitated. The coalition has trained thousands of Afghan health care professionals, treated 700,000 cases of malaria, and inoculated close to 4.5 million children against measles and other childhood diseases.
  • More than 200 schools have been rebuilt; 7,000 teachers have been trained; and 25 million textbooks have been provided to Afghan students.
  • The coalition is training a modern Afghan national army to defend its borders, root out terrorists, and promote national unity. There are now close to 25,000 trained Afghan police officers and the Afghan police are on track to achieve their goal of up to 50,000 trained officers by December 2005.
The War to Liberate Iraq
  • On March 19, 2003, the United States and its coalition partners launched Operation Iraqi Freedom. Three weeks later, Saddam Hussein’s regime was toppled from power. Today the former dictator is awaiting trial in prison rather than ruling in a palace. A regional threat and state-sponsor of terrorism has been removed. Sovereignty has been transferred to the Iraqi people, and free elections will be held in January 2005.
  • The international community has pledged at least $32 billion to rebuild and improve schools, health care, roads, water, agriculture, electricity, and other elements of Iraq’s infrastructure.
  • Schools and clinics have been renovated and reopened, and power plants, hospitals, water and sanitation facilities, and bridges and roads are being rehabilitated. Since the liberation of Iraq, food and electricity are now distributed more equally across the country.
  • Iraq’s oil infrastructure is being rebuilt, with production capacity reaching between 2.3 and 2.5 million barrels of oil per day.
  • Saddam Hussein’s regime spent $16 million in 2002 on health care – less than one dollar per Iraqi per year. Iraq’s budget for the Ministry of Health is now $950 million.
  • More and more Iraqi children are attending schools. Attendance in the 2003-2004 school year is as high as, or in some cases higher than, pre-conflict levels. More than eight million new textbooks have been distributed around the country.
  • Iraqi university students and scholars are now able to communicate and travel abroad freely, reconnecting Iraqi higher education with the international academic community after decades of isolation.
  • Iraqis now have an ever-growing free press, including newspapers, internet, radio stations, and satellite television networks.
  • Small businesses are opening in Iraq, creating new jobs for Iraqis.
  • A year and a half ago, Iraq was an enemy of America and the civilized world; today it is an ally of both.
Recruiting New Allies in the War on Terror
  • Three years ago, Pakistan was one of the few countries in the world that recognized the Taliban regime, and al Qaeda was active and recruiting in Pakistan without serious opposition. Today, the United States and Pakistan are working closely in the fight against terror, and Pakistani forces are rounding up terrorists along the nation’s western border.
  • Three years ago, terrorists were established in Saudi Arabia. Inside that country, fundraisers and other facilitators gave al Qaeda financial and logistical help with little scrutiny or opposition. Today, after attacks in Riyadh and elsewhere, Saudi Arabia is working to shut down the facilitators and financial supporters of terrorism, and they have captured or killed many leaders of the al Qaeda organization in Saudi Arabia.
  • Three years ago, Yemen stonewalled the investigation of the USS Cole bombing. Today, Yemeni authorities have moved against al Qaeda in their own territory; hosted Army Special Forces to train and advise Yemeni troops in counterterrorism; and increased contacts with the Defense Department, CIA, and FBI. In November 2002, Yemeni authorities allowed a US Predator drone to kill six al Qaeda operatives in Yemen, including senior al Qaeda leader Abu Ali al-Harithi.
  • Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country, has moved against Jemaah Islamiah, the al Qaeda-linked Islamic terrorist organization, and has arrested its suspected leader, radical cleric Abubakar Baasyir.
  • The US military has trained and advised Philippine troops in Philippine-led anti-terror operations, such as those against the Abu Sayyaf Islamic terrorist group.
Halting the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction
  • President Bush led the creation of the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), a broad international partnership of more than 60 countries that is interdicting lethal materials in transit. These nations are sharing intelligence information, tracking suspect international cargo, and conducting joint military exercises.
  • As a result of the PSI, American and British intelligence discovered advanced components intended to build nuclear weapons that were being shipped to Libya. German and Italian authorities helped seize the materials. And confronted with the discovery, Libya voluntarily agreed to end its WMD programs.
  • American and British intelligence officers uncovered and shut down a sophisticated black market network headed by A.Q. Khan, the architect of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, which sold nuclear technologies and equipment to outlaw regimes stretching from North Africa to the Korean Peninsula.
  • President Bush spearheaded the establishment of the G-8 Global Partnership, which over 10 years will provide $20 billion in nonproliferation and weapons reduction assistance to the former Soviet Union. This represents a dramatic increase in US and allied efforts.
  • In the former Soviet Union, 41 percent of the 600 metric tons of weapons-usable material that was previously determined to be vulnerable has been secured. US-Russian efforts have shortened by two years the timeline for securing weapons-usable nuclear material at 51 sites in Russia and other former Soviet states.
  • The Bush Administration launched the Megaports Initiative, a global nuclear material detection effort focused on major seaports to the United States. It is helping stem illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological materials.
  • Since 2001, the United States has installed radiation detection equipment at 39 Russian border sites to deter and interdict trafficking in nuclear and radioactive materials.
  • President Bush proposed that only states that have signed the Additional Protocol – which requires states to declare a broad range of nuclear activities and facilities and allows the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to inspect those facilities – be allowed to import equipment for their civilian nuclear programs.
  • The President has proposed the creation of a special committee of the IAEA Board that will focus intensively on safeguards and verification.