For Immediate Release
September 9, 2003
A CENTRAL FRONT IN THE WAR ON TERROR
From the President's speech to the Nation, 9/7/03
Iraq is now the central front in the War on Terror. Enemies of freedom are making a desperate stand there.
The terrorists want us to leave Iraq before our work is done. They want to shake the will of the civilized world and they must be defeated.
The surest way to avoid attacks on Americans is to engage the enemy where he lives and plans. We are fighting that enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan so that we do not meet him in our own cities.
Two years ago, the President told Congress and the country that the war on terror would be a lengthy war, fought on many fronts in many places. America and a broad coalition acted first in Afghanistan. Nearly two-thirds of al-Qaida's known leaders have been captured or killed. We also acted in Iraq, where the former regime sponsored terror, possessed and used weapons of mass destruction, and for 12 years defied the clear demands of the United Nations Security Council.
Our main objectives in Iraq are to improve security, expand the international coalition and accelerate efforts to transfer power and responsibility to the Iraqi people.
The War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq will require a sustained commitment of time and resources, similar to our commitment to rebuilding Germany and Japan after World War II.
The President will soon submit to Congress a request of $87 billion for military and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
This Nation takes great pride in the incredible achievements of our people in uniform, who have removed gathering threats to America and our friends, and we mourn every American who has died so bravely.