The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 9, 2008

Fact Sheet: Transforming Our Armed Forces to Face the Threats of Today and Tomorrow
Over The Past Eight Years, America's Military Has Become Stronger, More Agile, And Better Prepared To Confront Threats To The American People

     Fact sheet President Bush Discusses Defense Transformation at West Point
     Fact sheet In Focus: Defense

Today, President Bush visited the United States Military Academy and discussed the ways he and his Administration have retooled the U.S. military over the past eight years. Following the attacks of 9/11, President Bush strengthened and reshaped our approach to national security. To harden our defense, President Bush:

The President Has Transformed Our Military To Become Better Trained, Better Equipped, And Better Prepared For The Threats Of Today, Tomorrow, And Beyond

The United States is arming its troops with the intelligence, weapons, training, and support they need to face a different kind of enemy. The President has equipped our troops with real-time battlefield intelligence capabilities – unimaginable just a few years ago. In Iraq and Afghanistan, troops in the field have used advanced technologies like Global Positioning Systems to direct airstrikes that take out the enemy while sparing the innocent, and the Administration is arming Predator drones and using them to track down terrorists. When President Bush took office, the United States had fewer than 170 unmanned aerial vehicles. Today, that number has expanded to more than 6,000.

Additionally, the President has been transforming the military to confront the challenges ahead. This Administration began the most sweeping transformation of America's global force posture since the end of World War II. Troops are shifting from Cold War garrisons in Europe and Asia, in order to surge more rapidly to troubled spots around the world. President Bush established new military commands to meet challenges unique to Africa and protect the United States. This Administration has also invested more than a half trillion dollars in research and development, to build even more advanced capabilities to protect America. U.S. forces are becoming more joint and interoperable, in order to cooperate seamlessly across different services and with foreign partners. Additionally, the Federal Government is cooperating closely with the private sector to improve security in cyberspace to confront an emerging threat to the U.S. economy, defense systems, and citizens.

Thanks To Our Military, Terrorists Have Suffered Defeats Across The World

Under President Bush, the United States went on the offense against the terrorists overseas, rather than wait for our country to be attacked again. Recognizing the need for strong partners, we helped strengthen the counterterrorism capabilities of our allies and made clear that hostile regimes sponsoring terror or pursuing weapons of mass destruction would be held to account. The United States and its allies have applied the full range of our military and intelligence assets to keep pressure on al Qaeda and its affiliates. They have:

The United States has helped key partners and allies strengthen their capabilities in the fight against the terrorists. Intelligence sharing has increased with friends and allies around the world, and training and support has been provided to counterterrorism partners who have made substantial contributions to the war on terror, such as the Philippines, Indonesia, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.

President Bush has made clear that governments that sponsor terror are as guilty as the terrorists and will be held to account. Following 9/11, the President applied this doctrine to Afghanistan and removed the Taliban from power, shut down al Qaeda training camps, and liberated more than 25 million Afghans. Today, the United States, its 25 NATO allies, and 17 partner nations are standing with the Afghan people as they defend their free society.

Recognizing that the only way to defeat the terrorists in the long run is to present an alternative to their hateful ideology, the United States is helping democratic societies emerge as examples for people across the Middle East. President Bush is pressing nations around the world – including our friends – to allow their citizens to have greater freedom of speech, worship, and assembly. Additionally, the Administration is advancing a broader vision of reform that includes economic prosperity, quality health care and education, vibrant civil societies, and women's rights.

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