|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 22, 2004
Fact Sheet: Progress in the War on Terror
January 22, 2004
Fact Sheet: Progress in the War on Terror
Today's Presidential Action
President George W. Bush today visited the New Mexico Military
Institute to address America's leadership in the global War on
The President today announced a 9.7% increase in government-wide
homeland security funding in his FY 2005 budget, nearly tripling the
FY 2001 levels (excluding the Department of Defense and Project
o The President's budget will propose increasing
counterterrorism funding through the Department of Justice to
$2.6 billion, a 19% increase over FY 2004 levels. The
additional Department of Justice resources will put more FBI
agents to work on counterterrorism activities, bringing overall
FBI funding to $5.1 billion -- a $1.9 billion (60%) increase
over FY 2001 levels. The additional resources will also
strengthen the FBI's intelligence capabilities and support the
interagency Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC),
announced by President Bush in last year's State of the Union
o Since 2001, the Federal government has provided more than
$13 billion to help state and local governments prepare for
Over two 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, joined by a bipartisan
majority in Congress, made the decision that we would not stand by
and wait for another attack. Instead, America has taken the fight to
America's steadfast resolve is paying dividends. Terrorists are
being rounded up, regimes that harbor and sponsor them have been
defeated, and states pursuing weapons of mass destruction are getting
the message. At the same time, America will redouble its efforts to
spread democracy and freedom as alternatives to terror and violence.
Background: Significant Progress in the War on Terror
Protecting Our Homeland
Under President Bush's leadership, America has made an
unprecedented commitment to homeland security, including leading the
most extensive reorganization of the Federal government in 50 years
by creating the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). DHS is
working to protect our skies, borders, ports, and critical
infrastructure as well as supporting the new intelligence mission and
providing research to develop the next generation of terrorism
Before DHS was created, there were inspectors from three
different agencies of the Federal Government and Border Patrol
officers protecting our borders. Through DHS, U.S. Customs and
Border Protection (CBP) now consolidates all border activities
into a single agency to create "one face at the border." This
not only better secures the borders of the United States, but
it also eliminates many of the inefficiencies that occurred
under the old system. With over 18,000 CBP inspectors and
11,000 Border Patrol agents, CBP has 29,000 uniformed officers
on our borders.
Since September 11, 2001, the Coast Guard has conducted
more than 124,000 port security patrols, 13,000 air patrols,
boarded more than 92,000 vessels, interdicted over 14,000
individuals attempting to enter the United States illegally,
and created and maintained more than 90 Maritime Security
In less than a year, over 45,000 Federal security screeners
were hired, trained, and deployed at America's airports. All
people and their baggage are now being professionally inspected
prior to flying.
Information regarding nearly 100% of all containerized
cargo is carefully screened by DHS before it arrives in the
United States. Higher risk shipments are physically inspected
for terrorist weapons and contraband prior to being released
from the port of entry.
Advanced technologies are being deployed to identify
warning signs of chemical, biological, or radiological attacks.
Since September 11, 2001, hundreds of thousands of first
responders across America have been trained to recognize and
respond to the effects of a WMD attack.
In the past year, DHS has visited several hundred chemical
facilities in high-threat urban areas and has identified
measures to improve their security. As a result, millions of
Americans are safer today.
The Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC) has been
established, integrating and analyzing terrorism threat-related
information collected domestically and abroad, ensuring that
intelligence and law enforcement entities are working in common
The Terrorist Screening Center was established to
consolidate terrorist watchlists and provide 24/7 operational
support for thousands of Federal screeners across the country
and around the world. The Center will ensure 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. The Center began operations on December
1, 2003, and remains on schedule to achieve full operational
capability in 2004.
The USA PATRIOT ACT provides authorities that strengthen
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, in his State of the Union
Address, called on Congress to take action to ensure that these
vital law enforcement tools do not expire.
Dismantling the Al-Qaida Network
Leader by leader and member by member, Al-Qaida is being hunted down in dozens of countries around the world. Of the senior al-Qaida leaders, operational managers, and key facilitators the U.S. Government has been tracking, nearly two-thirds have been taken into custody or killed. The detentions or deaths of senior al-Qaida leaders, including Khalid Shaykh Muhammad, the mastermind of 9/11, and Muhammad Atef, Usama Bin Ladin's second-in-command until his death in late 2001, have been important in the War on Terror.
Despite these successes, we cannot rest until al-Qaida has been
fully dismantled. Al-Qaida has claimed responsibility for recent
terrorist attacks in Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Al-Qaida supporters
have been arrested in the United States -- including in Buffalo, New
York, and Portland, Oregon -- a clear sign that the terrorists are
still plotting to strike America again.
Freeing the Afghan People and Denying Refuge to Terrorists
In Afghanistan, the Taliban regime, which turned the country into
a training camp for al-Qaida, has been removed from power. America
and more than 20 other allied countries are continuing operations
against Al-Qaida and Taliban elements in the region while helping the
Afghan people rebuild their nation.
More than15 million Afghan citizens have been freed from
the brutal zealotry of the Taliban. Millions of Afghan women
are experiencing freedom for the first time, and thousands of
Afghan girls are going to school -- an act that was illegal
under the Taliban regime.
The United States led the world in providing humanitarian
assistance and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. The U.S.
Congress passed the Afghanistan Freedom Support Act, which
authorizes $3.47 billion for Afghanistan over fiscal years
2003-2006. More than 400,000 metric tons of food have been
delivered since operations in Afghanistan began. The United
States is assisting in the repair of more than 7,000 kilometers
of roads, reconstruction of more than 70 bridges, and the
rehabilitation of over 11,000 water wells, canals, dams, and
Security and stability are improving as the new Afghan
National Army (ANA) and the Afghan National Police grow in
size. The central government is gradually but surely extending
its authority throughout the country. And the U.S. military is
helping the Afghan people help themselves through provincial
reconstruction teams (PRTs), which carry out both
civil-military operations and security functions. Twelve ANA
battalions consisting of 6,000 troops have been trained and are
on full-time duty, with a goal of 10,000 by June 2004 and
70,000 eventually. The ANA is a disciplined fighting force
capable of conducting both combat and civil-military-affairs,
and is currently helping coalition forces hunt down remnants of
the Taliban regime.
Making Real Progress in Iraq -- the Front Lines of the War on Terror
In Iraq, the United States and its allies liberated 25 million
people from the Saddam Hussein regime. Since then, working with our
allies and the Iraqi people themselves, we have discovered:
Clear evidence that Saddam Hussein was in material breach
of UN Security Council Resolution 1441, a last chance that
promised "serious consequences" if Saddam refused full and
immediate cooperation with international weapons inspections.
Previously unknown human rights atrocities, including at
least 50 mass graves where an estimated 300,000 victims of
Saddam's vicious regime are buried; torture chambers and rape
rooms run by the Iraqi secret police; and systematic oppression
of Iraqi civilians.
More evidence of Iraq's links to international terrorism,
including first-hand accounts of high-level meetings between
Iraqi Intelligence Service officials and al-Qaida.
Working with the Iraqi people and a broad international
coalition, America is helping to bring peace, stability, and
democracy to Iraq.
Forty-five of the 55 most wanted regime members have been
captured or killed, including the dictator himself -- Saddam
Hussein. The capture of Saddam Hussein sent a powerful message
to the Iraqi people that the tyranny of the past will never
America's Armed Forces are taking the offensive against
remnants of the Saddam Hussein regime and foreign terrorists,
leading over 1,600 patrols a day and conducting an average of
180 raids a week. More than 200,000 Iraqis are serving in
Iraqi security forces, including police, border patrol, and the
New Iraqi Army.
A broad coalition of nations is providing support for
efforts to stabilize and rebuild Iraq. More than 30 countries,
including 11 of the 19 NATO countries, have provided over
24,000 troops to help provide security in Iraq. The
international community has pledged at least $32 billion to
improve schools, health care, roads, water and electricity
supplies, agriculture, and other essential services. The World
Bank, International Monetary Fund, the European Union, and 38
countries have pledged to extend loans and grants to Iraq.
Other nations are contributing humanitarian assistance,
extending export credits, and reducing Iraqi debt. This
international support is crucial to improving the lives of the
Iraqi people and reversing the years of neglect under Saddam
The Iraqi Governing Council (IGC) is leading the
transition to full Iraqi sovereignty and democracy. The IGC
will draft a "Fundamental Law" by February 28, 2004, through
which regional caucuses will select an interim legislative body
before June 2004. This interim body will then elect a
transitional Iraqi Administration to which full sovereign
powers will be conveyed by the end of June 2004. The
Fundamental Law will also contain a timetable for: formulating
a permanent constitution through a body elected by the Iraqi
people; holding a popular referendum to ratify the
constitution; and conducting elections for a new permanent
Iraqi government before the end of 2005.
Setting the Conditions for Long-Term Peace
America's steadfast resolve is paying dividends, sending a clear
signal to other nations about the consequences of developing illegal
weapons programs and supporting terror. Just last month, after
months of diplomatic negotiations, Libya voluntarily pledged to
disclose and dismantle all of its weapons of mass destruction
programs, including a uranium enrichment project for nuclear weapons.
In the long term, America's goal is not only to stabilize Iraq
and Afghanistan, but to bring freedom and democracy to those
countries and throughout the Middle East. President Bush announced
that the United States would pursue a "forward strategy of freedom"
to promote democracy throughout the Middle East. Promoting
democracy and freedom in the Middle East is a challenging
undertaking, but it is worthy of America's effort and sacrifice. As
long as freedom and democracy do not flourish in the Middle East,
that region will remain stagnant, resentful, and violent -- and serve
as an exporter of violence and terror to free nations.
President Bush believes that democracy and Islam can co-exist.
America has accomplished the task of spreading democracy where it has
not existed before, and the President believes that the advance of
freedom will increase chances for peace and security for Americans as
well as for the people of the Middle East. To support this effort,
the President proposed a doubling of funding for the National
Endowment for Democracy.