Background: Three Years of Progress in the War on Terror
Protecting Our Homeland
- Almost three years have passed since the last attack on American soil, but the
danger is still clear. As President Bush reminded the Nation in his State of the
Union address, [I]t is tempting to believe that the danger is behind us. That hope
is understandable, comforting and false. President Bush has made winning the War
on Terror and securing our homeland a top priority.
- Creating the Department of Homeland Security (DHS): The
President has led the most extensive reorganization of the Federal government in 50
years by creating DHS. DHS brought together 22 entities and over 180,000 employees
with critical homeland security missions and provided the Nation with a single Federal
department with the primary mission to protect the homeland against terrorist threats.
- FBI Reform: The President transformed the FBI into an agency
focused on preventing terrorist attacks through intelligence collection and other key
efforts, while improving its ability to perform its traditional role as a world-class
law enforcement agency.
- Homeland Security Funding: Since 2001, the President has:
- Proposed a near tripling of FY 2001 funding for homeland security. The FY
2005 budget will increase homeland security funding by 9.7% over FY 2004 not
counting homeland security funding in the Department of Defense and Project BioShield.
- Strengthened counterterrorism efforts through the Department of Justice, proposing
a 19% increase in homeland security funding over FY 2004 to $2.6 billion. The FY 2005
budget also brings overall FBI funding to $5.1 billion, a $1.9 billion (60%) increase
over the FY 2001 level.
- Allocated more than $13 billion to help state and local governments prepare for
terrorism. President Bush has sought and secured historic and massive increases in
funding for first responder terrorism and public health preparedness since September
11, 2001. The President feels strongly that these funds should be spent on training
and equipping first responders for terrorism preparedness and response, which is one
of our nations top homeland security priorities.
- Transportation Security: The Administration instituted a
multi-layered strategy to enhance aviation security, from the curb to the cockpit.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) screens 100% of commercial air
passengers and checked bags; TSA has trained and authorized hundreds of pilots to
carry firearms in the cockpit, directed the hardening of cockpit doors on 6,000
commercial aircraft and stationed explosives detection canine teams at each of the
Nations largest airports; and Federal Air Marshals ride aboard tens of thousands of
flights each month.
- Border Security:
- Three years ago, there were inspectors from three different Federal agencies
at our ports of entry. Today, through DHS, the Bureau of Customs and Border
Protection (CBP) consolidates all port inspection activities into a single workforce
to create "one face at the border." The Border Patrol is also part of CBP, creating
synergy between inspectors at the ports and those patrolling between them. More than
18,000 CBP Officers, 1,400 CBP Agriculture Specialists, and 11,000 Border Patrol
Agents guard our Nations borders.
- The US-VISIT entry-exit system uses cutting-edge biometric technology to help
ensure that our borders remain open to legitimate travelers but closed to terrorists.
US-VISIT was launched at 115 airports and 14 seaports across the country and is
expanding to all land ports of entry. This program has been very successful,
processing more than 6.2 million travelers since January and over 850 individuals have
been matched who are the subjects of a look out.
- Port and Cargo Security:
- The President has significantly increased funding for the Coast Guard,
including dramatic increases for port security and acquisition of new resources. The
Coast Guard is creating thirteen 100-person Maritime Safety and Security Teams, to
provide point defense for critical infrastructure and high value shipping; employed
armed helicopters to provide waterside security; and reviewed thousands of new vessel,
facility, and port security plans. Funding for Coast Guard port security efforts has
increased over 500% from the beginning of this Administration through 2004. The Coast
Guards Deepwater fleet modernization project has received a total of $1.5 billion
over the last three years, and the President has requested $678 million in his FY 2005 budget.
- DHS has strengthened measures to protect the Nation from smuggled radioactive
materials and nuclear devices, by equipping CBP inspectors, Coast Guard boarding
personnel, and Border Patrol agents with portable radiation detectors and installing
radiation detection portals at sea, land, rail, and air ports of entry, including mail
processing facilities. The first radiation portals were installed in March 2003.
- DHS established the National Targeting Center (NTC), which uses computer-assisted
analytical protocols to determine which cargo and passengers destined for the United
States present the greatest threat, focusing examinations and inspections on them.
The NTC screens data on 100% of inbound seaborne shipping containers (nine million per
year) to identify those posing a high risk; CBP personnel conduct examinations of
100% of high-risk containers.
- DHS established the Container Security Initiative (CSI), deploying CBP officials
to 17 major international seaports to pre-screen shipping containers for illicit or
dangerous materials before they are loaded on vessels bound for the United States.
CSI includes the ports that ship roughly two-thirds of inbound containers to the
United States. Additional ports are being added over the next two years.
- Biodefense: Keeping Americans safe from the threat of
bioterrorism has been a priority since the outset of the Administration. Since 2001,
over $10 billion has been invested across all aspects of biodefense. In addition to
BioShield, the President has pursued aggressively a broad range of efforts to confront
the biological weapons threat.
- Approved Biodefense for the 21st Century the first-ever national strategy
against bio threats that provides a roadmap for development of comprehensive U.S.
- Expanded international efforts to secure and keep dangerous biological materials
out of the hands of terrorists.
- Deployed early warning environmental sampling systems the BioWatch program --
making it possible to detect biological weapons attacks against major cities. To
date, the BioWatch program has analyzed more than half a million samples.
- Increased biodefense medical research and development within the Department of
Health and Human Services to more than $1.5 billion per year since 2003, thirty times
the investment in 2001.
- Expanded the Strategic National Stockpile of medicines for treating victims of
terror attacks, ensuring that push packages can be anywhere in the United States
within 12 hours.
- Stockpiled enough smallpox vaccine for every American and vaccinated nearly
500,000 members of the armed services.
- Trained hundreds of thousands of first responders to recognize and respond to the
effects of WMD.
- Created the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasure Center to
systematically apply, for the first time, cutting-edge science to the study of
classified intelligence about foreign weapons programs and develop first-class
forensics in support of law enforcement investigations of biological crimes.
- Protection of Critical Infrastructure: Since its inception,
DHS has visited several of the top chemical sites of concern nationwide and identified
measures to improve their security. The Administration continues to work with
Congress and the private sector to develop security standards for all chemical facilities.
- Intelligence and Coordination: Since 2001, the President has
improved intelligence collection, analysis, and sharing to obtain the best picture of
the terrorist threat to the Nation.
- The President established the Terrorist Threat Integration Center, integrating
and analyzing terrorism threat-related information collected domestically and abroad,
ensuring that intelligence and law enforcement entities are working together.
Elements of the Central Intelligence Agency, Department of Defense (DoD), Department
of Justice, DHS, and FBI work to close the seams in our intelligence analysis.
- The Terrorist Screening Center was established to consolidate terrorist watchlists
and provide 24/7 operational support for Federal and other government law enforcement
personnel across the country and around the world. The Center ensures that government
investigators, screeners, and agents are working off the same unified, comprehensive
set of anti-terrorist information and that they have access to information and
expertise that will allow them to act quickly when a suspected terrorist is screened or stopped.
- DHS launched the Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN), a real-time
collaboration system to report incidents, crimes, and potential terrorist acts to one
another and the DHS Homeland Security Operations Center. The HSIN is now linked to
all 50 states and more than 50 major urban areas.
- DoD created U.S. Northern Command, to provide for integrated homeland defense and
coordinated DoD support to Federal, state, and local civilian governments.
- The President signed the USA PATRIOT Act, which strengthens law enforcement's
abilities to prevent, investigate, and prosecute acts of terror, facilitating Federal
government efforts to thwart potential terrorist activity throughout the United
States. President Bush continues to call on Congress to take action to ensure that
these vital law enforcement tools do not expire.
Progress in the Global War on Terror
- Three Commitments in Our Strategy for Peace: To overcome the
dangers of our time, America is also taking a new approach in the world. We are
determined to challenge new threats not ignore them and simply wait for future
tragedy. Our strategy for peace has three commitments:
- First, we are defending the peace by taking the fight to the
enemy confronting them overseas so we do not have to confront them here at
home by destroying the leadership of terrorist networks in sudden raids; disrupting
their planning and financing; and shrinking the space in which they can freely operate
by denying them territory and the support of governments.
- Second, we are protecting the peace by working with friends and allies and
international institutions to isolate and confront terrorists and outlaw
regimes. America is leading a broad coalition of nations to disrupt
proliferation. We are working with the United Nations, the International Atomic
Energy Agency, and other international organizations to take action to preserve our
- Third, we are extending the peace by supporting the rise of democracy
and the hope and progress that democracy brings as the alternative to hatred and
terror in the broader Middle East. In democratic and successful societies,
men and women do not swear allegiance to malcontents and murderers; they turn their
hearts and labor to building better lives. And democratic governments do not shelter
terrorist camps, or attack their peaceful neighbors.
- Three Years of Progress: We have followed this strategy
defending the peace, protecting the peace, and extending the peace for nearly three
years, and the results are now clear for all to see.
- Afghanistan: Three years ago, Afghanistan was the
home base of al-Qaida a country ruled by the Taliban, one of the most backward and
brutal regimes of modern history. Today, a presidential election is scheduled
for this fall, the terror camps are closed and the Afghan government is helping us to
hunt the Taliban and terrorists in remote regions. Today, because we acted to
liberate Afghanistan, a threat has been removed, and the American people are safer.
- Pakistan: Three years ago, Pakistan was one of the few
countries in the world that recognized the Taliban regime, and al-Qaida was active and
recruiting in Pakistan without serious opposition. Yet the United States was not on
good terms with Pakistans military and civilian leaders the very people we would
need to help shut down al-Qaida operations in that part of the world. Today,
the United States and Pakistan are working closely in the fight against terror, and
Pakistani forces are rounding up terrorists along their nations western border.
President Musharraf is a friend of our country, who helped us capture Khalid Sheik
Mohammed, the operational planner behind the 9/11 attacks. Today, because we are
working with Pakistani leaders, Pakistan is an ally in the war on terror, and the
American people are safer.
- Saudi Arabia: Three years ago, terrorists were well
established in Saudi Arabia. Inside that country, fundraisers and other facilitators
gave al-Qaida financial and logistical help with little scrutiny or opposition.
Today, after attacks in Riyadh and elsewhere, the Saudi government knows that
al-Qaida is its enemy. Saudi Arabia is working hard to shut down the facilitators and
financial supporters of terrorism, and they have captured or killed many first-tier
leaders of the al-Qaida organization in Saudi Arabia including one last month.
Today, because Saudi Arabia has seen the danger and joined the war on terror, the
American people are safer.
- Iraq: Three years ago, the ruler of Iraq was a sworn
enemy of America, who provided a safe haven for terrorists, had used weapons of mass
destruction, and turned his nation into a prison. Saddam Hussein was a proven mass
murderer who refused to account for his weapons of mass murder.
- The Bush Administration, Members of Congress, and the United Nations Security
Council looked at the intelligence on Iraq and saw a threat. The previous
Administration and the Congress looked at the intelligence and made regime change in
Iraq the policy of our country.
- In 2002, the UN Security Council yet again demanded a full accounting of Saddam
Husseins weapons programs. As he had for over a decade, Saddam Hussein refused to
comply. So we had a choice to make: either take the word of a ruthless dictator, or
take action to defend America. Faced with that choice, President Bush will defend
America every time.
- We were right to go into Iraq, although we have not found stockpiles of weapons of
mass destruction. We removed a declared enemy of America, who had defied the
international community for 12 years, and who had the capability of producing weapons
of mass murder, and could have passed that capability to terrorists bent on acquiring
them. In the world after September 11th, that was a risk we could not afford to take.
- Today, the dictator who caused decades of death and turmoil who twice
invaded his neighbors, who harbored terrorist leaders, and used chemical weapons, is
finally before the bar of justice. Iraq is now becoming an example of reform to the
region. Iraqi security forces are fighting beside coalition troops to defeat
terrorists and foreign fighters. Today, because America and our coalition helped
to end the violent regime of Saddam Hussein, and because we are helping to raise a
peaceful democracy in its place, the American people are safer.
- Libya: Three years ago, Libya, a longtime supporter
of terror, was spending millions to acquire chemical and nuclear weapons.
Today, thousands of Libyas chemical munitions have been destroyed and
equipment to produce nuclear materials that could ultimately have threatened the lives
of hundreds of thousands is stored in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Today, because the
Libyan government saw the determination of the civilized world, and correctly judged
its own interests, the American people are safer.
- Weapons Proliferation: Three years ago, a private weapons
proliferation network, operated by Pakistani nuclear scientist A. Q. Khan, was selling
nuclear plans and equipment to countries like Libya, Iran, and North Korea.
Today, the A. Q. Khan network has been exposed, we have ended one of the most
dangerous sources of proliferation in the world, and the American people are safer.
- Breaking this proliferation network was possible because of outstanding work
by the CIA. Dedicated intelligence officers were tireless in obtaining vital
information, sometimes at great personal risk. Our intelligence services do an
essential job for America.
- The Senate Intelligence Committee has identified some shortcomings in our
intelligence capabilities and the Committees report will help us in the work of
reform. President Bush believes that intelligence reform efforts should: 1) increase
the number of intelligence agents to cover the globe; 2) invest in the best,
cutting-edge technology to listen and look for dangers; and 3) result in better
coordination among intelligence services.
- The President proposed the establishment of the Proliferation Security Initiative
(PSI). PSI is a broad international partnership of countries which, using their own
laws and resources, will coordinate their actions to interdict shipments of dangerous
technologies to and from states and non-state actors of proliferation concern at
sea, in the air, and on land.
- The President proposed and the United States led the effort to pass UN Security
Council Resolution 1540 which requires states to criminalize proliferation of weapons
of mass destruction and their means of delivery by non-state actors, enact and
implement effective export controls, and secure proliferation sensitive materials.
- Missile Defense: The United States will soon begin the
operational deployment of an initial capability to defend against long-range ballistic
missiles from rogue states such as North Korea. While this initially will be a
limited capability, it will provide a basis for improvements as the threats and
July 21, 2004
May 19, 2004
July 16, 2003
June 23, 2003
February 3, 2003
~ASK THE WHITE HOUSE~
Dr. Penrose "Parney" Albright
Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Division
Dr. Anthony Fauci
Director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
July 21, 2004
April 28, 2004
February 3, 2003