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We are committed to defending the nation.  Yet wars are not won on the defensive.  The best way to keep America safe from terrorism is to go after terrorists where they plan and hide.
President George W. Bush
November 16, 2002


   America is taking the fight to the terrorists.  We have ended the Taliban regime and al Qaeda’s safe haven in Afghanistan.  The victory over the Taliban has been followed by successes in other areas of the world.  Yet the war has only begun.  As President Bush has repeated time and again, America is in the opening stages of a long struggle against terrorist groups and the nations that support them.    

   The United States and cooperating nations have brought a wide range of capabilities to bear on terrorism.  The diverse activities undertaken illustrate the degree to which we are engaged in a new type of war.  The United States and cooperating nations have:

   Achieving these kinds of successes in the years ahead will require a sustained commitment of resources. 

   Several recent high-profile events demonstrate that America and our allies are continuing to make progress:

   These dramatic events received wide publicity.  As important, however, are the every day successes in the war that by design go unnoticed. 

   America is committed to winning the war on terrorism.  One measure of our commitment is the funding that has already been dedicated to this effort.  The federal government has spent or committed to spend $100 billion to respond to terrorism.  This includes funding to fight the war on terrorism, to improve homeland security, and to finance recovery efforts in New York.  This year’s budget provides the resources necessary to advance the fight against terrorism.

   The war on terrorism is being fought on two fronts.  One is overseas and one is here at home, where our first order of business calls on us to protect our fellow Americans.

Homeland Security

   In 2002, the United States took its first long steps in building a homeland security system by hiring thousands of new personnel, improving information sharing, and strengthening partnerships with states, localities, and the private sector.  Immediately following the September 11th attacks, the Administration secured nearly $11 billion in funding for the effort—a more than 70-percent increase in domestic homeland security spending (outside the Department of Defense (DoD)).  In 2004, the budget includes $41 billion to continue homeland efforts—more than doubling 2002 funding. 

   In addition to securing needed funding, the Administration developed a road map for securing the homeland.  The National Strategy for Homeland Security lays out specific objectives for border and transportation security, emergency preparedness and response, protecting critical infrastructure, domestic counterterrorism, defending against catastrophic threats, and intelligence and warning.  A key to this strategy was creating a new department whose primary mission is homeland protection.  Late last year the Congress acted on the President’s proposal to create the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).  This new cabinet-level department marks the largest reorganization in the federal government in over 50 years.  It absorbs 22 agencies and programs with a combined total of nearly 180,000 employees.  With a clear vision and a clean organizational structure, the Administration will be able to meet and defeat the threats of the 21st Century.

   The creation of DHS was a historic step forward in protecting America, but it was not the only accomplishment made during the past year.  The federal government also took immediate measures to safeguard the nation in intelligence and warning, border security, aviation security, critical infrastructure protection, bioterrorism defense, and emergency response.

Intelligence and Warning

   One of the federal government’s top jobs is detecting where and when a future terrorist attack is planned and preventing it from happening.  Examples of efforts to improve our nation’s intelligence and warning capabilities include:

Border Security

   Over the past year the federal government has made significant progress improving the nation’s security at the borders.  Aside from arrests, the various agencies previously responsible for border security made great advances in detection and prevention using data resources, new technology and international partnerships as key tools.

A customs inspector oversees the unloading of cargo containers from a ship at the Miami seaport.

   Building on the border initiatives to date, the 2004 Budget includes $480 million to continue building a comprehensive system to track both the entry and exit of all visitors to the United States.  In addition, about $120 million in new funding is provided to support technology investments along the border, including radiation detection machines to inspect cargo containers.

Passenger screening is more efficient and effective at every checkpoint in the country as a result of better training, pay, and improved accountability.

Aviation Security

   Following the September 11th attacks, there was no area of security more worrisome to the American public, or more in need of dramatic improvement, than aviation security.  Congress and the President responded by creating the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), now part of DHS.  Over the past year, TSA has:

Protection of Critical Infrastructure

   Terrorism poses a significant threat to our critical infrastructure (e.g., nuclear power plants, water facilities, and telecommunications networks).  The government has worked to increase awareness of threats and vulnerabilities and has:

Defense Against Bioterrorism

   Over the past year the federal government has been committed to ensuring the safety of our citizens, food, and healthcare systems from the dangers of a bioterrrorist attack.  The President requested and the Congress provided a 10-fold increase in bioterrorism funding for the Department of Health and Human Services from about $350 million to over $3 billion in 2002.  A third of this amount, over $1 billion, was specifically provided to states and major cities to improve their public health and medical infrastructures.  In addition, the federal government:

   In 2004, $400 million is provided to maintain the nation’s medical stockpile and strengthen its future capacity.  In addition, the Administration proposes three new authorities to speed the arrival of medications and vaccines that can be used to protect the American people.  This first authority will allow the government to pre-purchase a medication or vaccine as soon as experts agree it is safe and effective enough to stockpile for use in an emergency.  The 2004 Budget for DHS includes about $900 million to make these purchases.  The second authority will provide experts at the National Institutes of Health with the flexibility they need to hire the best experts, make special purchases, and face other management challenges that can be barriers to quick progress in converting basic scientific discoveries into usable products.  The third authority will allow FDA to work more proactively with researchers and industry to allow emergency-use authorization licensure of these countermeasures.

Emergency Response

   At the same time, however, the United States must work equally hard to be prepared to respond quickly and effectively if there is another terrorist attack.  Over the past year, the federal government:

   The 2004 Budget proposes $3.5 billion to ensure that first responders are properly trained and equipped.  This includes funds to purchase protective gear for working in hazardous environments and devices for detecting and disarming explosives and other dangerous materials.  Out of this amount, $500 million will support assistance to firefighters, particularly for terrorism preparedness, and $500 million will support state and local law enforcement’s anti-terrorism efforts.

   Safeguarding Americans at home also means hunting down terrorists abroad.  An unprecedented campaign has been waged and sustained to that effect. 

Building on Global Military Successes

   Winning the war on terrorism will require a sustained commitment of resources for DoD and intelligence agencies.  Following September 11, 2001, the United States responded to the terrorist attacks using existing budget resources first.  Congress quickly appropriated $17 billion in emergency funds for DoD and the intelligence community to pursue al Qaeda and its allies, to recover from the devastation of the September 11th attacks, and to protect the country from future attacks.  The Congress then appropriated an additional $14 billion requested by the President to continue military efforts in the war in the summer of 2002.  The Congress also appropriated an extra $10 billion in annual 2003 appropriations for DoD and the intelligence community to continue the war on terrorism. 

   In 2004, DoD is requesting $379.9 billion to meet its myriad military missions.  In addition to funding in the base for the war on terrorism, the total defense request includes about $10 billion specifically dedicated to a select group of programs aimed at fighting terrorism including combat air patrols over U.S. cities, special equipment and forces to protect U.S. forces, and facilities to detain terrorists.  DoD's technological research and procurement efforts are well funded to help put the latest technology in the hands of our troops to find and defeat terrorists around the world.

Facts and Figures on the War

   The President gave the Taliban regime opportunities to turn over the terrorists it was harboring and renounce terrorism.  After the Taliban refused to cooperate, the United States and our coalition allies removed the regime, freed the Afghan people, and inflicted a tremendous blow against al Qaeda.  The campaign was an unprecedented success.  Although Afghanistan has historically been a tough battle-ground, the military was able to swiftly remove the Taliban by working with local forces, coalition allies, and other U.S. government agencies.     

   Our work is not yet done though.  United States and coalition forces continue to comb through the Afghan frontier, searching for Taliban and al Qaeda fugitives and gathering critical intelligence information.  U.S. forces are helping to train a new Afghan National Army, and in July 2002 the first battalion of soldiers graduated from the program. 

   Around the world, over 90 nations are playing their part in the war against terrorism.  The United States has taken significant measures to help those who have joined the fight. For example:

    In addition to military assistance, the United States is providing significant financial support to frontline states in the war on terrorism.  Since September 11, 2001, the United States has provided over $1 billion to Pakistan, $350 million to Jordan, and $250 million to Turkey to support anti-terror efforts undertaken by these key allies. 

Humanitarian Relief, Terrorist Finances,  International Law Enforcement, and Intelligence

Humanitarian Relief

   The people of Afghanistan suffered greatly at the hands of the Taliban and al Qaeda.  The Department of State and the U.S. Agency for International Development have provided over $850 million for relief and reconstruction in Afghanistan since September 11, 2001.  With these funds, the United States has:

   With the help of Japan and Saudi Arabia, the United States is rebuilding the highway that connects Kabul, Kandahar, and Herat.  This road is key to restoring trade and commerce throughout the region.  U.S. military civil affairs teams also have assisted by digging wells, building hospitals, and repairing roads, bridges, and irrigation canals.  These troops rebuilt 49 schools in eight different regions.  

Soldiers deliver food and supplies in Afghanistan.

   The United States has been encouraging other donors to increase their reconstruction and humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan.  At the donors conference in January 2002 in Tokyo, the international community pledged $4.5 billion for Afghanistan, including humanitarian and reconstruction assistance.  Donor pledges varied from one to five years.  Since then, additional pledges have pushed the total commitment to $5 billion.   

Terrorist Finances

   The Departments of the Treasury, Justice, and State, along with the intelligence community, are engaged in diplomatic, enforcement, intelligence, and financial activities in an effort to starve terrorists of their finances.  The United States has designated over 250 persons and entities as terrorists or terrorist supporters.  These designations have so far resulted in the freezing of $36 million in assets here at home and $87 million in assets overseas.

Fifteen Charities Have Been Designated as
Supporters of Terrorism

  • Afghan Support Committee

  • Al Haramain Islamic Foundation—Bosnia-

  • Al Haramain Islamic Foundation—Somalia

  • Al Rashid Trust

  • Benevolence International Foundation

  • Benevolence International Fund

  • Bosanska Idealna Futura

  • Global Relief Foundatio

  • Holy Land Foundation

  • Makhtab al-Khidamat / Al Kifah

  • Rabita Trust

  • Revival of Islamic Heritage Society

  • The Aid Organization of the Ulema

  • Ummah Tameer E-Nau

  • WAFA Humanitarian Organization

   Public attention has focused on the use of charities as conduits for financing terrorism.  The vast majority of charities and their donors support noble causes.  Unfortunately, whether known by the donors or not, some charities funnel contributions into illegal activities.  The government is working to ensure that legitimate charities do not unwittingly provide support to terrorist organizations and is shutting down those charities that knowingly finance terrorist operations. 

   The federal government will continue to work with partners around the world to deprive terrorists of the money needed to plan and execute attacks.

International Law Enforcement 

   Bringing terrorists to justice will take a combined, determined, and sustained effort by countries around the world.  The United States and key partners have stepped up to this challenge. 

   For example:


   The nation’s intelligence agencies have played an indispensable role in the war on terrorism.  Most intelligence community accomplishments are kept secret in order to safeguard national security and preserve the capabilities that produce intelligence.  However, a few of their successes can be brought to light:

Sustaining the Effort

   The United States and our allies must continue all efforts currently underway.  We must continue the task of supporting and rebuilding Afghanistan so that it does not become again a sanctuary for terrorists.  We have to close the valves through which money flows to terrorist groups.  We must maintain the diplomatic cooperation, intelligence sharing, and law enforcement coordination that are tightening the cordon around terrorist fugitives.  We must protect our people at home.  Finally, we must continue military operations against terrorists and prepare for unforeseen events.        

President Karzai reviews the first soldiers of the Afghan National Army.

   The President’s 2004 Budget provides the resources to help us meet these challenges.  The budget requests significant funding for programs across the federal government that contribute to the war on terrorism and protection at home.  The budget provides approximately $2.3 billion in assistance to countries that have joined us in the war on terrorism.  The Economic Support Fund provides grant assistance to countries such as Afghanistan and Pakistan.  The Foreign Military Financing Program provides equipment, training and defense services.  These and other anti-terrorist programs are described in more detail in the chapter on the Department of State and International Assistance Programs.

   The 2004 Budget provides $41 billion to support domestic efforts against terrorism—more than doubling funding since 2002 (excluding DoD funding).  The budget moves forward on a range of key initiatives from the National Strategy for Homeland Security:  provide funding increases to enhance the FBI's analytical capability, build DHS's ability to map terrorist threats to our nation's critical infrastructure and initiate protective action; develop sensors to detect terrorist attempts to smuggle nuclear weapons into the United States; and buy cutting-edge vaccines and medications for biodefense.  See the Department of Homeland Security chapter for more details.

   Military operations will continue to play a significant role in the war on terrorism.  To ensure our military is prepared for the challenges it is assigned, the budget requests $379.9 billion for DoD, an increase of over $15 billion over the 2003 enacted level of $364.7 billion.  Within the total, the request for DoD provides strong support for:

   In addition to the activities currently underway, we need to face new challenges that lay ahead—particularly the threat of terrorists acquiring nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons of mass destruction.

Preventing Terrorists from Acquiring Weapons of Mass Destruction

   There is no greater danger to the United States than the connection between terrorists and weapons of mass destruction (WMD).  The spread of chemical technologies and advances in biotechnology have caused chemical and biological weapons to become less expensive and easier to produce.  Uneven controls and safeguards on nuclear and radiological materials around the world create the constant danger that these components could be stolen or illegally transferred. 

   As the attacks of September 11th demonstrated, the new breed of terrorists seek to inflict massive casualties on civilian populations.  They have shown the will to use the most destructive weapons available to them.  Terrorists may not be readily deterred from using WMD by the threat of massive response.  The United States and the international community must ensure that world’s most dangerous weapons do not fall into the hands of extremists eager to use them.    

   As described in The National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction, our efforts to combat WMD rest on three pillars:

   These three pillars of the National Strategy apply to both sovereign states and non-sovereign actors.  Regardless of an attack’s source, immediate measures will be taken to contain and mitigate the damage from a WMD attack.  The United States will also stand ready to assist friends and allies in response to WMD use. 

   However, just reacting to the use of weapons of mass destruction is not sufficient.  We must actively ensure that such weapons are not used against us or our friends and allies.  The United States must engage in counterproliferation activities, including interdicting WMD assets in transit to terrorists and destroying WMD already in the hands of terrorists. 

   A primary means by which terrorist groups can acquire weapons of mass destruction is through transactions with WMD-armed states that support terrorism.  Because each of these regimes poses unique challenges, the National Strategy states that we will pursue “country-specific strategies” to counter the different threats. 

   International treaties aimed at curbing proliferation, cooperation programs to safeguard materials in Russia, and global controls on nuclear and radiological materials help prevent terrorist groups from stealing WMD materials or acquiring them on the black market.  In June 2002, the G-8 nations agreed to a new comprehensive nonproliferation effort known as the Global Partnership.  To advance this goal, G-8 leaders committed to raise up to $20 billion over 10 years to fund nonproliferation programs in the former Soviet Union.  The United States intends to provide half that total through the Departments of Energy, Defense, and State.      

   In combination, these efforts are designed to keep the most deadly weapons from the people most likely to use them. 

Promoting Hope, Democracy, and Economic Opportunity

   In March 2002, President Bush stated that “persistent poverty and oppression can lead to hopelessness and despair.  And when governments fail to meet the most basic needs of their people, these failed states can become havens for terror.”  One of the most important weapons in the war on terror is the hope of hundreds of millions of impoverished people for a better future. 

   To make this hope a reality, the United States is promoting development as the shared responsibility of developed and developing countries.  The chapter on the Department of State and International Assistance Programs describes in more detail partnerships and initiatives the United States is fostering with other countries, such as the Millennium Challenge Account, the Middle East Partnership Initiative, and the African Education Initiative. 

   In facing down and defeating terrorism of global reach, America is engaged in a new kind of war that requires new tools and new ways of thinking.  Although we have made tremendous progress so far, the war will not be over soon.  Our enemies hide in shadows and patiently plan their next round of attacks.  But the United States will stay the course for as long as it takes.  We will secure ourselves at home while we aggressively take the fight to the terrorists and their sponsors overseas.  We will also promote hope, democracy, and economic opportunity abroad to combat the conditions that can breed terrorism.  The war will require constant vigilance and the commitment of resources on all fronts.  The cost of liberty is high, but it is a price Americans always have been, and always will be, willing to pay. 

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