The Project Gutenberg eBook of National Strategy for Combating Terrorism

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Title: National Strategy for Combating Terrorism

Author: United States. Executive Office of the President

Release date: June 21, 2009 [eBook #29185]
Most recently updated: January 5, 2021

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Al Haines


National Strategy for
Combating Terrorism

February 2003

National Strategy for Combating Terrorism



The Structure of Terror
The Changing Nature of Terrorism
A New Global Environment
Interconnected Terrorist Organizations
Availability of Weapons of Mass Destruction


Victory in the War Against Terror


Defeat Terrorists and Their Organizations
Deny Sponsorship, Support, and Sanctuary to Terrorists
Diminish the Underlying Conditions that Terrorists Seek to Exploit
Defend U.S. Citizens and Interests at Home and Abroad



"No group or nation should mistake America's intentions:
We will not rest until terrorist groups of global reach
have been found, have been stopped, and have been defeated.

NOVEMBER 6, 2001

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, in Washington, D.C., New York City, and Pennsylvania were acts of war against the United States of America and its allies, and against the very idea of civilized society. No cause justifies terrorism. The world must respond and fight this evil that is intent on threatening and destroying our basic freedoms and our way of life. Freedom and fear are at war.

The enemy is not one person. It is not a single political regime. Certainly it is not a religion. The enemy is terrorism--premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents. Those who employ terrorism, regardless of their specific secular or religious objectives, strive to subvert the rule of law and effect change through violence and fear. These terrorists also share the misguided belief that killing, kidnapping, extorting, robbing, and wreaking havoc to terrorize people are legitimate forms of political action.

The struggle against international terrorism is different from any other war in our history. We will not triumph solely or even primarily through military might. We must fight terrorist networks, and all those who support their efforts to spread fear around the world, using every instrument of national power--diplomatic, economic, law enforcement, financial, information, intelligence, and military. Progress will come through the persistent accumulation of successes--some seen, some unseen. And we will always remain vigilant against new terrorist threats. Our goal will be reached when Americans and other civilized people around the world can lead their lives free of fear from terrorist attacks.

There will be no quick or easy end to this conflict. At the same time, the United States, will not allow itself to be held hostage by terrorists. Combating terrorism and securing the U.S. homeland from future attacks are our top priorities. But they will not be our only priorities. This strategy supports the National Security Strategy of the United States. As the National Security Strategy highlights, we live in an age with tremendous opportunities to foster a world consistent with interests and values embraced by the United States and freedom-loving people around the world. And we will seize these opportunities.

This combating terrorism strategy further elaborates on Section III of the the National Security Strategy by expounding on our need to destroy terrorist organizations, win the "war of ideas," and strengthen America's security at home and abroad. While the National Strategy for Homeland Security focuses on preventing terrorist attacks within the United States, the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism focuses on identifying and defusing threats before they reach our borders.

While we appreciate the nature of the difficult challenge before us, our strategy is based on the belief that sometimes the most difficult tasks are accomplished by the most direct means.

Ours is a strategy of direct and continuous action against terrorist groups, the cumulative effect of which will initially disrupt, over time degrade, and ultimately destroy the terrorist organizations. The more frequently and relentlessly we strike the terrorists across all fronts, using all the tools of statecraft, the more effective we will be.

The United States, with its unique ability to build partnerships and project power, will lead the fight against terrorist organizations of global reach. By striking constantly and ensuring that terrorists have no place to hide, we will compress their scope and reduce the capability of these organizations. By adapting old alliances and creating new partnerships, we will facilitate regional solutions that further isolate the spread of terrorism. Concurrently, as the scope of terrorism becomes more localized, unorganized and relegated to the criminal domain, we will rely upon and assist other states to eradicate terrorism at its root.

The United States will constantly strive to enlist the support of the international community in this fight against a common foe. If necessary, however, we will not hesitate to act alone, to exercise our right to self-defense, including acting preemptively against terrorists to prevent them from doing harm to our people and our country.

The war on terrorism is asymmetric in nature but the advantage belongs to us, not the terrorists. We will fight this campaign using our strengths against the enemy's weaknesses. We will use the power of our values to shape a free and more prosperous world. We will employ the legitimacy of our government and our cause to craft strong and agile partnerships. Our economic strength will help failing states and assist weak countries in ridding themselves of terrorism. Our technology will help identify and locate terrorist organizations, and our global reach will eliminate them where they hide. And as always, we will rely on the strength of the American people to remain resolute in the face of adversity.

We will never forget what we are ultimately fighting for--our fundamental democratic values and way of life. In leading the campaign against terrorism, we are forging new international relationships and redefining existing ones in terms suited to the transnational challenges of the 21st century.

We seek to integrate nations and peoples into the mutually beneficial democratic relationships that protect against the forces of disorder and violence. By harnessing the power of humanity to defeat terrorism in all its forms, we promote a freer, more prosperous, and more secure world and give hope to our children and generations to come. Ultimately, our fight against terrorism will help foster an international environment where our democratic interests are secure and the values of liberty are respected around the world.


"We have seen their kind before. They are the heirs of all the
murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing
human life to serve their radical visions--by abandoning
every value except the will to power--they follow
in the path of fascism, and Nazism, and totalitarianism.
And they will follow that path all the way, to where it ends:
in history's unmarked grave of discarded lies.

SEPTEMBER 20, 2001

Americans know that terrorism did not begin on September 11, 2001. Regrettably, its history is long and all too familiar. The first major terrorist attack on New York City's financial district, for instance, did not occur on September 11, or even with the 1993 truck bombing of the World Trade Center. It occurred September 16, 1920, when anarchists exploded a horse cart filled with dynamite near the intersections of Wall and Broad Streets, taking 40 lives and wounding about 300 others. Starting with the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901 and continuing with the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya in 1998 and the USS Cole in Yemen in 2000, American history in the 20th century was punctuated by terrorism.

Americans also understand that we are not alone in the struggle against terror. Terrorists have left their mark in some way upon every country in the world. Citizens from some 90 countries died in the attacks of September 11. For decades, the United States and our friends abroad have waged the long struggle against the terrorist menace. We have learned much from these efforts.

Even as we experience success in the war on terrorism, new enemies may emerge. Thus, the United States will confront the threat of terrorism for the foreseeable future. Consequently, we must continue to take aggressive action to uncover individuals and groups engaged in terrorist activity, by analyzing the common characteristics of terrorists in order to understand where our enemies are weak and where they are strong.

The Structure of Terror

Despite their diversity in motive, sophistication, and strength, terrorist organizations share a basic structure as depicted in figure 1.

At the base, underlying conditions such as poverty, corruption, religious conflict and ethnic strife create opportunities for terrorists to exploit. Some of these conditions are real and some manufactured. Terrorists use these conditions to justify their actions and expand their support. The belief that terror is a legitimate means to address such conditions and effect political change is a fundamental problem enabling terrorism to develop and grow.

The international environment defines the boundaries within which terrorists' strategies take shape. As a result of freer, more open borders this environment unwittingly provides access to havens, capabilities, and other support to terrorists. But access alone is not enough. Terrorists must have a physical base from which to operate. Whether through ignorance, inability, or intent, states around the world still offer havens--both physical (e.g., safe houses, training grounds) and virtual (e.g., reliable communication and financial networks)--that terrorists need to plan, organize, train, and conduct their operations. Once entrenched in a safe operating environment, the organization can begin to solidify and expand. The terrorist organization's structure, membership, resources, and security determine its capabilities and reach. At the top of the structure, the terrorist leadership provides the overall direction and strategy that links all these factors and thereby breathes life into a terror campaign. The leadership becomes the catalyst for terrorist action. The loss of the leadership can cause many organizations to collapse. Some groups, however, are more resilient and can promote new leadership should the original fall or fail. Still others have adopted a more decentralized organization with largely autonomous cells, making our challenge even greater.

The Changing Nature of Terrorism

While retaining this basic structure, the terrorist challenge has changed considerably over the past decade and likely will continue to evolve. Ironically, the particular nature of the terrorist threat we face today springs in large part from some of our past successes.

In the 1970s and 1980s, the United States and its allies combated generally secular and nationalist terrorist groups, many of which depended upon active state sponsors. While problems of state sponsorship of terrorism continue, years of sustained counterterrorism efforts, including diplomatic and economic isolation, have convinced some governments to curtail or even abandon support for terrorism as a tool of statecraft. The collapse of the Soviet Union--which provided critical backing to terrorist groups and certain state sponsors-- accelerated the decline in state sponsorship. Many terrorist organizations were effectively destroyed or neutralized, including the Red Army Faction, Direct Action, and Communist Combatant Cells in Europe, and the Japanese Red Army in Asia. Such past successes provide valuable lessons for the future.

With the end of the Cold War, we also saw dramatic improvements in the ease of transnational communication, commerce, and travel. Unfortunately, the terrorists adapted to this new international environment and turned the advances of the 20th century into the destructive enablers of the 21st century.

A New Global Environment

Al-Qaida exemplifies how terrorist networks have twisted the benefits and conveniences of our increasingly open, integrated, and modernized world to serve their destructive agenda. The al-Qaida network is a multinational enterprise with operations in more than 60 countries. Its camps in Afghanistan provided sanctuary and its bank accounts served as a trust fund for terrorism. Its global activities are coordinated through the use of personal couriers and communication technologies emblematic of our era--cellular and satellite phones, encrypted e-mail, internet chat rooms, videotape, and CD-roms. Like a skilled publicist, Usama bin Laden and al-Qaida have exploited the international media to project his image and message worldwide.

Members of al-Qaida have traveled from continent to continent with the ease of a vacationer or business traveler. Despite our coalition's successes in Afghanistan and around the world, some al-Qaida operatives have escaped to plan additional terrorist attacks. In an age marked by unprecedented mobility and migration, they readily blend into communities wherever they move.

They pay their way with funds raised through front businesses, drug trafficking, credit card fraud, extortion, and money from covert supporters. They use ostensibly charitable organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for funding and recruitment. Money for their operations is transferred surreptitiously through numerous banks, money exchanges, and alternate remittance systems (often known as "hawalas")--some legitimate and unwitting, others not.

These terrorists are also transnational in another, more fundamental way--their victims. The September 11 attacks murdered citizens from Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, El Salvador, France, Germany, India, Israel, Jordan, Japan, Pakistan, Russia, South Africa, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and scores of other countries.

As the al-Qaida network demonstrates, the terrorist threat today is mutating into something quite different from its predecessors. Terrorists can now use the advantage of technology to disperse leadership, training, and logistics not just regionally but globally. Establishing and moving cells in virtually any country is relatively easy in a world where more than 140 million people live outside of their country of origin and millions of people cross international borders every day.

Furthermore, terrorist groups have become increasingly self-sufficient by exploiting the global environment to support their operations. Whether it is the FARC's involvement in the cocaine trade in Colombia, al-Qaida's profiting from the poppy fields in Afghanistan, or Abu Sayyaf's kidnapping for profit in the Philippines, terrorists are increasingly using criminal activities to support and fund their terror. In addition to finding sanctuary within the boundaries of a state sponsor, terrorists often seek out states where they can operate with impunity because the central government is unable to stop them. Such areas are found in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. More audaciously, foreign terrorists also establish cells in the very open, liberal, and tolerant societies that they plan to attack.

Interconnected Terrorist Organizations

The terrorist threat is a flexible, transnational network structure, enabled by modern technology and characterized by loose interconnectivity both within and between groups. In this environment, terrorists work together in funding, sharing intelligence, training, logistics, planning, and executing attacks. Terrorist groups with objectives in one country or region can draw strength and support from groups in other countries or regions. For example, in 2001, three members of the Irish Republican Army were arrested in Colombia, suspected of training the FARC in how to conduct an urban bombing campaign. The connections between al-Qaida and terrorist groups throughout Southeast Asia further highlight this reality. The terrorist threat today is both resilient and diffuse because of this mutually reinforcing, dynamic network structure.

Figure 2 is representative of how terrorists and terrorist organizations operate on three levels. At the first level are those terrorist organizations that operate primarily within a single country. Their reach is limited, but in this global environment their actions can have international consequences. Such state-level groups may expand geographically if their ambitions and capabilities are allowed to grow unchecked.

At the next level are terrorist organizations that operate regionally. These regional operations transcend at least one international boundary.

Terrorist organizations with global reach comprise the third category. Their operations span several regions and their ambitions can be transnational and even global.

These three types of organizations are linked together in two ways. First, they can cooperate directly by sharing intelligence, personnel, expertise, resources, and safe havens. Second, they can support each other in less direct ways, such as by promoting the same ideological agenda and reinforcing each other's efforts to cultivate a favorable international image for their "cause." By capitalizing on the very technological advances that we use within our country, terrorist organizations learn and share information garnered from our web sites, exploit vulnerabilities within our critical infrastructure, and communicate across the same internet paths we use each day. The interconnected nature of terrorist organizations necessitates that we pursue them across the geographic spectrum to ensure that all linkages between the strong and the weak organizations are broken, leaving each of them isolated, exposed, and vulnerable to defeat.

Availability of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Weapons of mass destruction pose a direct and serious threat to the United States and the entire international community. The probability of a terrorist organization using a chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapon, or high-yield explosives, has increased significantly during the past decade. The availability of critical technologies, the willingness of some scientists and others to cooperate with terrorists, and the ease of intercontinental transportation enable terrorist organizations to more easily acquire, manufacture, deploy, and initiate a WMD attack either on U.S. soil or abroad.

While new instruments of terror such as cyber attacks are on the rise, and other conventional instruments of terror have not diminished, the availability and potential use of a WMD is in a category by itself.

We know that some terrorist organizations have sought to develop the capability to use WMD to attack the United States and our friends and allies. Motivated by extreme, even apocalyptic ideologies, some terrorists' ambitions to inflict mayhem seem unlimited. The Aum Shinrikyo's unsuccessful efforts to deploy biological weapons and its lethal 1995 sarin gas attack in the Tokyo subway provided an early warning of such willingness to acquire and use WMD. In 1998, Usama bin Laden proclaimed the acquisition of WMD a "religious duty," and evidence collected in Afghanistan proves al-Qaida sought to fulfill this "duty." The threat of terrorists acquiring and using WMD is a clear and present danger. A central goal must be to prevent terrorists from acquiring or manufacturing the WMD that would enable them to act on their worst ambitions.


While terrorism is not new, today's terrorist threat is different from that of the past. Modern technology has enabled terrorists to plan and operate worldwide as never before. With advanced telecommunications they can coordinate their actions among dispersed cells while remaining in the shadows. Today's terrorists increasingly enjoy a force-multiplier effect by establishing links with other like-minded organizations around the globe. Now, with a WMD capability, they have the potential to magnify the effects of their actions many fold. The new global environment, with its resultant terrorist interconnectivity, and WMD are changing the nature of terrorism. Our strategy's effectiveness ultimately depends upon how well we address these key facets of the terrorist threat.


"We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans
and confront the worst threats before they emerge.
In the world we have entered, the only path to safety is
the path of action. And this nation will act.

JUNE 1, 2002

The intent of our national strategy is to stop terrorist attacks against the United States, its citizens, its interests, and our friends and allies around the world and ultimately, to create an international environment inhospitable to terrorists and all those who support them. To accomplish these tasks we will simultaneously act on four fronts.

The United States and its partners will defeat terrorist organizations of global reach by attacking their sanctuaries; leadership; command, control, and communications; material support; and finances. This approach will have a cascading effect across the larger terrorist landscape, disrupting the terrorists' ability to plan and operate. As a result, it will force these organizations to disperse and then attempt to reconsolidate along regional lines to improve their communications and cooperation.

As this dispersion and organizational degradation occurs, we will work with regional partners to implement a coordinated effort to squeeze, tighten, and isolate the terrorists. Once the regional campaign has localized the threat, we will help states develop the military, law enforcement, political, and financial tools necessary to finish the task (figure 3). However, this campaign need not be sequential to be effective; the cumulative effect across all geographic regions will help achieve the results we seek.

We will deny further sponsorship, support, and sanctuary to terrorists by ensuring other states accept their responsibilities to take action against these international threats within their sovereign territory. UNSCR 1373 and the 12 UN counterterrorism conventions and protocols establish high standards that we and our international partners expect others to meet in deed as well as word.

Where states are willing and able, we will reinvigorate old partnerships and forge new ones to combat terrorism and coordinate our actions to ensure that they are mutually reinforcing and cumulative.

Where states are weak but willing, we will support them vigorously in their efforts to build the institutions and capabilities needed to exercise authority over all their territory and fight terrorism where it exists.

Where states are reluctant, we will work with our partners to convince them to change course and meet their international obligations.

Where states are unwilling, we will act decisively to counter the threat they pose and, ultimately, to compel them to cease supporting terrorism.

We will diminish the underlying conditions that terrorist seek to exploit by enlisting the international community to focus its efforts and resources on the areas most at risk. We will maintain the momentum generated in response to the September 11 attacks by working with our partners abroad and various international forums to keep combating terrorism at the forefront of the international agenda.

Most importantly, we will defend the United States, our citizens, and our interests at home and abroad by both proactively protecting our homeland and extending our defenses to ensure we identify and neutralize the threat as early as possible.

Victory in the War Against Terror

Victory against terrorism will not occur as a single, defining moment. It will not be marked by the likes of the surrender ceremony on the deck of the USS Missouri that ended World War II. However, through the sustained effort to compress the scope and capability of terrorist organizations, isolate them regionally, and destroy them within state borders, the United States and its friends and allies will secure a world in which our children can live free from fear and where the threat of terrorist attacks does not define our daily lives.

Victory, therefore, will be secured only as long as the United States and the international community maintain their vigilance and work tirelessly to prevent terrorists from inflicting horrors like those of September 11, 2001.


"America is no longer protected by vast oceans.
We are protected from attack only by vigorous action abroad,
and increased vigilance at home.

JANUARY 29, 2002

Goal: Defeat Terrorists and Their Organizations

The first tenet of the 4D strategy (Defeat, Deny, Diminish and Defend) calls for defeating terrorist organizations of global reach through the direct or indirect use of diplomatic, economic, information, law enforcement, military, financial, intelligence, and other instruments of power. The evolution of terrorist organizations into loose, flexible networks with small, informal groups compounds the challenges of combating them. The United States will use all its resources, including the ability to marshal and sustain international coalitions, to defeat networks and prevent the growth of new organizations. The United States and its partners will target the individuals, state sponsors, and transnational networks that enable terrorism to flourish.

An analysis of the history of combating terrorism confirms that the best way to defeat terrorism is to isolate and localize its activities and then destroy it through intensive, sustained action. Political pressures and economic sanctions have moderated some state sponsors, but have had little effect on individual groups that can sustain an independent presence. However, due to the broad expanse and sophistication of some of these global terrorist organizations, we must first act to reduce their scope and capability. This effort requires us to identify the terrorists, locate their sanctuaries, and destroy their ability to plan and operate.

We cannot wait for terrorists to attack and then respond. The United States and its partners will disrupt and degrade the ability of terrorists to act, and compel supporters of terrorism to cease and desist. Preventing terrorist groups from gaining access to technology, particularly that which supports WMD, will be one of our highest priorities.

Objective: Identify terrorists and terrorist organizations. "Know your enemy" is one of the most accepted maxims in warfare. Unfortunately, our knowledge of the inner workings of some terrorist organizations remains incomplete. The Intelligence Community and law enforcement agencies will therefore continue their aggressive efforts to identify terrorists and their organizations, map their command and control and support infrastructure, and then ensure we have broad, but appropriate, distribution of the intelligence to federal, state, and local agencies as well as to our international allies. While we will not ignore regional or emerging threats, our operational efforts and intelligence will focus primarily upon the most dangerous groups, namely, those with global reach or aspirations to acquire and use WMD.

We will prioritize our efforts based on the immediate threat and our national interests. Based on this prioritization and mapping of terrorist organizations, we will determine where to position forces and collection assets to identify terrorist ground, air, maritime, and cyber activities. Timely and advantageous positioning of these assets will be crucial for obtaining intelligence and developing options for decisive action.

A key component of this force and asset alignment will be our ability to understand the terrorist intent through technical and document exploitation. This will require a dramatic increase in linguistic support. Consequently, all government agencies will review their language programs to ensure adequate resources are available to meet this demand.

The Intelligence Community will continue to enhance its collection on terrorist WMD capabilities, including bioterrorism threats against agriculture and the food supply.

Objective: Locate terrorists and their organizations. The shadowy nature of terrorist organizations precludes an easy analysis of their capabilities or intent. The classic net assessment of the enemy based on the number of tanks, airplanes, or ships does not apply to these non-state actors. For intelligence to succeed in this war on terrorism, the United States must not only rely on technical intelligence, but renew its emphasis on other types of intelligence needed to get inside the organizations, locate their sanctuaries, and disrupt their plans and operations.

The Intelligence Community will review its current capability to gather human and technical intelligence on terrorist organizations and make recommendations, as necessary, to expand its recruitment, training, and operations. The Intelligence Community will continue its comprehensive effort to acquire new reporting sources, then use those sources to penetrate designated terrorist organizations to provide information on leadership, plans, intentions, modus operandi, finances, communications, and recruitment. The law enforcement community, using the leverage provided by our criminal justice system, will continue its efforts to identify and locate terrorist organizations operating at home and abroad.

Our regional partners are often better poised than the United States to gain access to information and intelligence. Therefore, the intelligence and law enforcement communities will continue to expand and improve their relations with their foreign counterparts in an effort to take better advantage of their source reporting.

Objective: Destroy terrorists and their organizations. Once we have identified and located the terrorists, the United States and its friends and allies will use every tool available to disrupt, dismantle, and destroy their capacity to conduct acts of terror. The final element to the Defeat goal is an aggressive, offensive strategy to eliminate capabilities that allow terrorists to exist and operate--attacking their sanctuaries; leadership; command, control, and communications; material support; and finances.

While divulging the details of this aspect of the strategy would be imprudent, we will focus our efforts on three pillars. First, we will expand our law enforcement effort to capture, detain, and prosecute known and suspected terrorists. Second, America will focus decisive military power and specialized intelligence resources to defeat terrorist networks globally. Finally, with the cooperation of its partners and appropriate international organizations, we will continue our aggressive plan to eliminate the sources of terrorist financing.

To synchronize this effort, the Department of State will take the lead in developing specific regional strategies for the defeat of terrorism. We will further leverage regional relationships, by ensuring appropriate allied participation with the regional Combatant Commanders as they prosecute the war on terrorism.

Goal: Deny Sponsorship, Support, and Sanctuary to Terrorists

The National Strategy's second front stresses denying terrorists the sponsorship, support, and sanctuary that enable them to exist, gain strength, train, plan, and execute their attacks. The United States has a long memory and is committed to holding terrorists and those who harbor them accountable for past crimes. The states that choose to harbor terrorists are like accomplices who provide shelter for criminals. They will be held accountable for the actions of their "guests."

The strategy to deny sponsorship, support, and sanctuary is three-fold. First, it focuses on the responsibilities of all states to fulfill their obligations to combat terrorism both within their borders and internationally. Second, it helps target U.S. assistance to those states who are willing to combat terrorism, but may not have the means. And finally, when states prove reluctant or unwilling to meet their international obligations to deny support and sanctuary to terrorists, the United States, in cooperation with friends and allies, or if necessary, acting independently, will take appropriate steps to convince them to change their policies.

The goal of this front is to choke off the lifeblood of terrorist groups--their access to territory, funds, equipment, training, technology, and unimpeded transit. This approach will therefore weaken terrorist organizations and their ability to conduct operations. Of particular importance is working to prevent terrorists from acquiring the capability to use chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear weapons, or high-yield explosives.

Non-state actors play an important role in the international environment. Nongovernmental organizations are important in combating international terrorism and we will work with them to prevent terrorists from taking advantage of their services.

Objective: End the state sponsorship of terrorism. The United States will assume a clear and pragmatic approach in prosecuting the campaign against terrorism. This will include incentives for ending state sponsorship. When a state chooses not to respond to such incentives, tough decisions will be confronted. At all times within this new dynamic we will balance a nation's near-term actions against the long-term implications and consequences.

The United States currently lists seven state sponsors of terrorism: Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Cuba, North Korea, and Sudan. We are firmly committed to removing countries from the list once they have taken the necessary steps under our law and policy. A checkered past does not foreclose future membership in the coalition against terrorism.

It is important for all countries to adopt a "zero tolerance" policy for terrorist activity within their borders. In the new global environment it is also important for states to understand how terrorists and their supporters may use legitimate means of communication, commerce, and transportation for illegal activities.

Each state that gets out of the business of sponsoring terrorism represents a significant step forward and offers a tangible measure of success. America will never seek to remove states from the sponsorship list by lowering the bar; instead, these states should be encouraged--or compelled--to clear the bar.

We will not have a single, inflexible approach to handling the recognized state sponsors of terrorism. Each case is unique, with different interests and legacy issues involved. Each situation demands specifically tailored policies.

We will be open to overtures from states that want to put their sponsorship of terrorism behind them, but we will not compromise on the essential principle that there are no "good" or "just" terrorists. We will be relentless in discrediting terrorism as a legitimate means of expressing discontent.

To ensure we have a well orchestrated and synchronized policy, the Department of State will take the lead in developing policy action plans that employ both incentives and disincentives to end state sponsorship of terrorism. All appropriate departments and agencies will engage key allies to develop common or complementary strategies to support the above plans. So that no state miscalculates U.S. resolve, we will articulate these policy goals through appropriate public and diplomatic channels.

Objective: Establish and maintain an international standard of accountability with regard to combating terrorism. In addition to U.S. pressure to end state sponsorship, we will strongly support new, strict standards for all states to meet in the global war against terrorism. States that have sovereign rights also have sovereign responsibilities. UNSCR 1373 clearly establishes states' obligations for combating terrorism.

This resolution calls upon all member states to cooperate to prevent terrorist attacks through a spectrum of activities, including suppressing and freezing terrorist financing, prohibiting their nationals from financially supporting terrorists, denying safe haven, and taking steps to prevent the movement of terrorists. Additionally, the 12 international counterterrorism conventions and protocols, together with UNSCR 1373, set forth a compelling body of international obligations relating to counterterrorism. We will continue to press all states to become parties to and fully implement these conventions and protocols.

Together, UNSCR 1373, the international counterterrorism conventions and protocols, and the inherent right under international law of individual and collective self-defense confirm the legitimacy of the international community's campaign to eradicate terrorism. We will use UNSCR 1373 and the international counterterrorism conventions and protocols to galvanize international cooperation and to rally support for holding accountable those states that do not meet their international responsibilities.

This baseline level of commitment has four other basic advantages. First, it reaffirms the primacy of local efforts--the vital principle that each nation bears primary responsibility for fighting terrorism within its territory. Second, it provides an internationally recognized baseline against which the efforts of all nations--including the United States--can be evaluated. Third, this foundation does not prevent the formation of coalitions of willing nations for special tasks above and beyond the requirements of UNSCR 1373 and the international counterterrorism conventions and protocols. Fourth, the United States remains free to emphasize reciprocity in its counterterrorism policies. While we will always meet our baseline responsibilities, U.S. efforts can prioritize support to our allies, protect vital interests, and assist those international partners who prove themselves most willing to cooperate in the campaign against terror.

The steady increase in the number of countries that are fully implementing UNSCR 1373 will thus provide a tangible measure of progress in the years ahead.

Additionally, we will encourage international, regional, and subregional organizations to call upon their members to adopt and fully implement the counterterrorist conventions, protocols, and UNSCR 1373, and subsequently we will support them in their effort. To help ensure compliance and maintain oversight, the U.S. Government will support the establishment of a comprehensive plan to monitor and, when appropriate, publicize nations' counterterrorist activities.

To maintain the momentum since September 11 and keep the global war on terrorism in the forefront, all departments and agencies of the U.S. Government will promote combating terrorism as a standard agenda item for their bilateral and multilateral discussions.

Objective: Strengthen and sustain the international effort to fight terrorism. Defeating terrorism is our nation's primary and immediate priority. It is "our calling," as President Bush has said. But it is not our challenge alone. Unlike the Cold War, where two opposing camps led by superpower states vied for power, we are now engaged in a war between the civilized world and those that would destroy it. Success will not come by always acting alone, but through a powerful coalition of nations maintaining a strong, united international front against terrorism.

Working with Willing and Able States: An essential element of our strategy remains working with others to reorient existing partnerships and create new mechanisms for cooperation among the willing and able states around the world. No support will be more important to success than that from the other nations that have the will and resources to combat terrorism with us at the state, regional, and even global level.

In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks we have reaped the rewards of the investments made in our major alliances during the past 50 years. These rewards are evident in NATO's unprecedented invocation of Article V of the NATO Treaty, Australia's invocation of Article IV of the ANZUS Treaty, and in the way both our NATO and ANZUS allies have matched words with deeds on every front in the war against terrorism.

Military forces representing a broad coalition of countries from North America, Europe, the Middle East and Oceania have participated in vital operations in Afghanistan. Japan has also provided historic support to the campaign against terrorism. Our Western Hemispheric neighbors invoked the Rio Treaty and have shown a commitment to combat terrorism through a new Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism adopted in June 2002. But these alliances cannot be taken for granted or remain static. We will strive to help them evolve to meet the demands of this new era.

At the same time, through our common efforts against terrorism, we are recasting our relations with Russia, China, Pakistan, and India. The cooperation forged with these countries in the war on terrorism highlights how our future relations need not be constrained by past differences.

Ensuring that the current level of international cooperation is a lasting feature of our world will be a defining challenge of this era.

Enabling Weak States: Some countries are committed to fighting terrorism but lack the capacity to fulfill their sovereign responsibilities. Some governments, for example, lack the legal framework, training, or technical capabilities needed to fight money laundering. Others do not have the law enforcement, intelligence, or military capabilities to assert effective control over their entire territory. After September 11, we redoubled our efforts to develop programs that help them to acquire the necessary capabilities to fight terrorism through a variety of means, including improved legislation, technical assistance, new investigative techniques, intelligence sharing, and law enforcement and military training. For example, we are stepping up our efforts in the Balkans to help governments secure their borders and refocusing our assistance to place increased priority on efforts to promote the rule of law. We are helping the Armed Forces of the Philippines to build their capacity to fight terrorism through a robust training and professional education program.

The United States will continue to develop comprehensive plans to build strong and agile partnerships, particularly in regions that historically have been difficult to engage. We will work together to develop programs to train foreign governments in tactics, techniques, and procedures to combat terrorism. We will review funding for international counterterrorism training and assistance programs and ensure adequate resources are available to strengthen the capabilities of key states.

We will continue to negotiate extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLATs) and expand the international coalition that supports the war on terrorism. We will conduct an extensive review to determine the viability of establishing new institutions that may help combat terrorism. And at every opportunity we will continue to enhance international counterterrorism cooperation through the further expansion and sharing of intelligence and law enforcement information. While focusing on terrorism, this effort will strengthen our strategic alignments and transform the international environment.

Persuading Reluctant States: In waging the campaign against terrorism, the United States will also confront difficult cases involving countries that, although capable, prove reluctant to comply with their responsibilities in the fight against terror. Some countries will cooperate on some fronts but not others. This unwillingness can spring from many sources, such as external threats, internal schisms that enable one faction to use the state to extend tacit or active support to terrorists, or cultural or political differences that lead to disagreements over what constitutes "terrorist" or criminal activity.

These cases will be the most delicate. The United States recognizes that some governments might place themselves in the crosshairs--and not just figuratively--by joining the war against terrorism. Therefore, constructive engagement, with sustained diplomacy and targeted assistance will be used to persuade these regimes to become more willing and, eventually able, to meet their international obligations to combat terrorism.

Compelling Unwilling States: The unwilling states are those that sponsor or actively provide sanctuary to terrorists. Those states that continue to sponsor terrorist organizations will be held accountable for their actions.

Objective: Interdict and disrupt material support for terrorists. A key component of any nation's sovereignty is control of its borders. Every nation bears responsibility for the people and goods transiting its borders.

While we expect states to fulfill their obligations, we will nevertheless be prepared to interdict terrorist ground, air, maritime, and cyber traffic by positioning forces and assets to deny terrorists access to new recruits, financing, equipment, arms, and information. As part of this undertaking, our National Strategy to Combat Weapons of Mass Destruction addresses the most serious of these threats and outlines plans and policies to execute timely, effective interdiction efforts against WMD-related materials, technologies, and expertise.

Some irresponsible governments--or extremist factions within them--seeking to further their own agenda may provide terrorists access to WMD. Such actions would be unacceptable to the United States. We are prepared to act decisively to stop terrorists from acquiring WMD or precursors.

Interdiction, whether against terrorist material support or WMD, will be carefully coordinated to ensure prioritization of intelligence, proper allocation of resources, and, when necessary, swift, decisive action. We will not permit the world's most dangerous regimes and terrorists to threaten us with the world's most destructive weapons.

Drug trafficking and protection schemes surrounding the drug trade also generate vast sums of money for international organized crime syndicates and terrorist organizations. Laundered through the international financial system, this money then provides a huge source of virtually untraceable funds to corrupt officials, bypass established financial controls, and further other illegal activities, including arms trafficking and migrant smuggling. These activities ensure a steady supply of weapons and cash and ease the movement of operatives for terrorist organizations worldwide. Breaking the nexus between drugs and terror is a key objective in our war on terrorism and the National Drug Control Strategy outlines U.S. goals in this area.

The United States will continue to work with our friends and allies to disrupt the financing of terrorism. We will identify and block the sources of funding, freeze the assets of terrorists and those who support them, deny terrorists access to the international financial system, protect legitimate charities from being abused by terrorists, and prevent the movement of terrorists' assets through alternative financial networks.

Sensitive technology in the hands of terrorists can be just as damaging to our war efforts as weapons and financing. Therefore, we will continue to pursue an aggressive strategy that identifies sensitive information and technology and outlines appropriate steps to preclude terrorists from obtaining and exploiting them.

Objective: Eliminate terrorist sanctuaries and havens. Terrorism cannot have a place of refuge. It must be rooted out and destroyed. The United States and the international community must develop procedures and mechanisms that will eradicate terrorism wherever it exists. An essential part of this campaign will be the promotion of international standards of behavior and national legal systems to eliminate terrorist refuges.

The United States will work in concert with our international and regional partners to ensure effective governance over ungoverned territory, which could provide sanctuary to terrorists. Where there is a clear indication of terrorist activity in these areas, the United States, in conjunction with our friends and allies, will work to eliminate these terrorist sanctuaries and preclude any future access to these areas by terrorist organizations.

The Intelligence Community, in conjunction with the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and others, will conduct an annual review and assessment of international terrorist sanctuaries and subsequently develop plans that address the denial of these areas.

Goal: Diminish the Underlying Conditions that Terrorists Seek to Exploit

The third component of the 4D strategy is made up of the collective efforts to diminish conditions that terrorists can exploit. While we recognize that there are many countries and people living with poverty, deprivation, social disenfranchisement, and unresolved political and regional disputes, those conditions do not justify the use of terror. However, many terrorist organizations that have little in common with the poor and destitute masses exploit these conditions to their advantage. The September 11 terrorists, for instance, came predominantly from the ranks of the educated and middle-class and served in an organization led by a millionaire murderer.

These efforts to diminish underlying conditions have material as well as intangible dimensions. Ongoing U.S. efforts to resolve regional disputes, foster economic, social, and political development, market-based economies, good governance, and the rule of law, while not necessarily focused on combating terrorism, contribute to the campaign by addressing underlying conditions that terrorists often seek to manipulate for their own advantage. Additionally, diminishing these conditions requires the United States, with its friends and allies, to win the "war of ideas," to support democratic values, and to promote economic freedom.

The United States does not propose to undertake this difficult challenge alone. The United States has neither the resources nor the expertise to be in every place in the world. Moreover, the struggle against terrorism is not solely an American struggle. Our friends and allies face many of the same threats. It is essential for America to work with its friends and allies in this campaign.

Objective: Partner with the international community to strengthen weak states and prevent the (re)emergence of terrorism. Weak states and failed ones are a source of international instability. Often, these states may become a sanctuary for terrorism. Therefore, we will ensure that efforts designed to identify and diminish conditions contributing to state weakness and failure are a central U.S. foreign policy goal. The principal objective of our collective response will be the rebuilding of a state that can look after its own people--their welfare, health, prosperity, and freedom--and control its borders. The United States is willing to assist the civilized world--governments, nongovernmental agencies, and public-private partnerships--in undertaking these efforts.

We will continue to expand bilateral and multilateral efforts, such as the U.S.-Middle East Partnership Initiative, to promote good governance, the rule of law, respect for human rights, and professionalization of local justice systems. In particular, we will broaden the scope and strength of International Law Enforcement Academies, and combatant commands will address civil-military relations and humanitarian assistance in their Theater Security Cooperation Plans. Additionally, the Chiefs of Mission will support and report on U.S. and local efforts to diminish underlying conditions of terrorism and encourage all nations to implement anti-corruption measures pursuant to multilateral, regional, or bilateral agreements. A state's stand on terrorism will be considered when providing aid to that country.

Objective: Win the War of Ideas. Together with the international community, we will wage a war of ideas to make clear that all acts of terrorism are illegitimate, to ensure that the conditions and ideologies that promote terrorism do not find fertile ground in any nation, to diminish the underlying conditions that terrorists seek to exploit in areas most at risk, and to kindle the hopes and aspirations of freedom of those in societies ruled by the sponsors of global terrorism.

We must use the full influence of the United States to delegitimize terrorism and make clear that all acts of terrorism will be viewed in the same light as slavery, piracy, or genocide: behavior that no respectable government can condone or support and all must oppose. In short, with our friends and allies, we aim to establish a new international norm regarding terrorism requiring non-support, non-tolerance, and active opposition to terrorists.

The United States will seek to support moderate and modern governments, especially in the Muslim world. We will continue assuring Muslims that American values are not at odds with Islam. Indeed, the United States has come to the aid of many Muslims in the past--in Afghanistan, Kuwait, Bosnia, and Kosovo, to name a few. The United States will work with such moderate and modern governments to reverse the spread of extremist ideology and those who seek to impose totalitarian ideologies on our Muslim allies and friends.

Finding a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a critical component to winning the war of ideas. No other issue has so colored the perception of the United States in the Muslim world. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is critical because of the toll of human suffering, because of America's close relationship with the state of Israel and key Arab states, and because of that region's importance to other global priorities of the United States. There can be no peace for either side without freedom for both sides. America stands committed to an independent and democratic Palestine, living beside Israel in peace and security. Like all other people, Palestinians deserve a government that serves their interests and listens to their voices. The United States will continue to encourage all parties to step up to their responsibilities as we seek a just and comprehensive settlement to the conflict. The United States can play a crucial role but, ultimately, lasting peace can only come when Israelis and Palestinians resolve the issues and end the conflict between them.

We will also use effective, timely public diplomacy and government supported media to promote the free flow of information and ideas to kindle the hopes and aspiration for freedom of those in societies ruled by the sponsors of global terrorism.

Goal: Defend U.S. Citizens and Interests at Home and Abroad

The final tenet of the 4D strategy encompasses our nation's collective efforts to defend the United States' sovereignty, territory, and its national interests, at home and abroad. This tenet includes the physical and cyber protection of the United States, its populace, property, and interests, as well as the protection of its democratic principles.

We face an adaptive enemy. Empowered by modern technology and emboldened by success, terrorists seek to dictate the timing of their actions while avoiding our strengths and exploiting our vulnerabilities. In an increasingly interconnected and technologically sophisticated world, where time and distance provide less and less protection, we must be prepared to defend our interests, as a nation and as citizens.

Embodied in this strategy is the old adage that the best defense is a good offense. By improving and coordinating our indications and threat warnings, we will be able to detect terrorist plans before they mature. Through continuous law enforcement, Intelligence Community, and military pursuit of terrorist organizations, we will disrupt their ability to execute attacks both at home and abroad, and by expanding our physical and cyber protection and awareness, we will reduce the vulnerability of U.S. personnel, critical infrastructure, and other U.S. interests.

Our response to this complex mission requires a coordinated and focused effort from our entire society--the federal, state and local governments, the private sector, and the American people. This plan, in concert with the National Strategy for Homeland Security, the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, and the National Strategy for the Physical Protection of Critical Infrastructures and Key Assets will help to prepare our Nation for the work ahead.

The attacks of September 11 demonstrate that our adversaries will engage asymmetrically, within and across our borders. They will exploit global systems of commerce, transportation, communications, and other sectors to inflict fear, destruction, and death, to compromise our national security, and to diminish public confidence and weaken our will to fight. Their attacks may be coordinated to counter our offensive activities abroad. Because we are a free, open, and democratic society, we are, and will remain, vulnerable to these dangers. Therefore, as we seek to engage globally, we must ensure a seamless web of defense across the spectrum of engagement to protect our citizens and interests both at home and abroad.

Objective: Implement the National Strategy for Homeland Security. The establishment of the new Department of Homeland Security will help mobilize and organize our Nation to secure the U.S. homeland from terrorist attacks. A key to this task will be the National Strategy for Homeland Security. The recommendations of the National Strategy for Homeland Security and the National Strategy for Combating Terrorism compliment and reinforce each other. From enhancing the analytical capabilities of the FBI and recapitalizing the U.S. Coast Guard, to preventing terrorist use of WMD through better sensors and procedures and integrating information sharing across the federal government, the objectives in these national strategies are vital to our future success in the war on terrorism.

Objective: Attain domain awareness. Today's world is sharply defined by compression of both time and distance. Key to defending our Nation is the effective knowledge of all activities, events, and trends within any specified domain (air, land, sea, cyber) that could threaten the safety, security, or environment of the United States and its populace. This "domain awareness" enables identification of threats as early and as distant from our borders--including territories and overseas installations--as possible, to provide maximum time to determine the optimal course of action.

Domain awareness is dependent upon having access to detailed knowledge of our adversaries distilled through the fusion of intelligence, information, and data across all agencies. It means providing our operating forces--afloat, aloft, and ashore, foreign and domestic--with a single integrated operating matrix of relevant information within their specific domain of responsibility. Domain awareness supports coordinated, integrated, and sustained engagement of the enemy across the full spectrum of U.S. instruments of power.

The President has instructed the leaders of the FBI, Central Intelligence, Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense to develop a Terrorist Threat Integration Center, to merge and analyze all threat information in a single location. The center is being created because our government must have the very best information possible to make sure that the right people are in the right places to protect the American people. The National Strategy for Homeland Security addresses information sharing and technology within the United States. The components of this information sharing apply equally well at home and abroad. Those procedures and systems that facilitate interagency, intergovernmental, and private information sharing will be expanded to allow our overseas agencies to have access and input, as necessary. This initiative will include not only database alignment and the horizontal and vertical information flow; it will also optimize disclosure policy and establish a consistent reporting criteria across agencies and allies. Additionally, implementation of both the domestic and international elements of the National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace and the National Strategy for the Physical Protection of Critical Infrastructures and Key Assets are designed to help ensure that all possible efforts are made to safeguard critical information networks whether located in the United States or abroad.

Objective: Enhance measures to ensure the integrity, reliability, and availability of critical physical and information-based infrastructures at home and abroad. Much of our strength as a nation is built upon expansive and efficient transportation, as well as logistic and information systems permitting unsurpassed participation in global commerce. Infrastructures and systems that support our economy and national interests are fully integrated, often dependent upon those outside of our borders, and span the globe. During times of rapid, prolonged, and large-scale conflict, even our military forces must rely upon portions of the global infrastructure to support sustained operations abroad.

Protection of vital systems is a shared responsibility of the public and private sectors, working collectively with the owners, operators, and users of those systems. The integrity of critical infrastructures, permitting national security mobilization and global engagement during times of both peace and conflict, must be assured. In many cases U.S. enterprises overseas are linked or networked to domestic critical infrastructure, and a terrorist event overseas would have a cascading effect on domestic reliability. To reduce this possibility, the Department of State will take the lead and, in conjunction with appropriate agencies, identify and prioritize critical infrastructure overseas and partner with industry to establish cost-effective best practices and standards to maximize security. Where appropriate, we will coordinate with the host country to ensure its security and response network is adequate.

Sufficient defense is a balance between our need to accommodate the enhanced flow of "low risk, high volume" people and goods essential to our economic vitality, while at the same time focusing energy and resources on the criminal, hostile and fraudulent few. It places a premium on effective domain awareness activities, such as accurate identification of containerized goods before they depart for the United States.

Implementation of the U.S. Smart Borders Initiatives with Canada and Mexico, as well as the Third Border Initiative for the Caribbean Basin, address potential vulnerabilities in the many critical physical and information-based infrastructures shared with our two North American allies. Moreover, the U.S. Government's comprehensive border management strategy will greatly enhance the ability of the U.S. to screen, verify and process the entry of people and goods into the country.

Objective: Integrate measures to protect U.S. citizens abroad. Defense of our economic vitality must be matched by increased security of U.S. citizens abroad. The nature of the threat confronting our citizens has expanded. U.S. citizens living or traveling abroad may now be at greater risk as potential terrorist targets. Protective measures must benefit facilities privately owned by U.S. interests as well as embassies and military installations abroad. Similarly, U.S. travelers and citizens living abroad must be provided meaningful, up-to-date, and coordinated threat information. The Department of State will work to enhance existing programs to inform U.S. citizens traveling or living abroad about the potential terrorist threats.

As we continue to pursue terrorist organizations of global reach, there may be a rise in the number of hostages taken overseas. The new policy on U.S. citizens taken hostage abroad, which was promulgated by the Department of State in February 2002, ensures that each incident receives careful review at the federal level. The policy also calls for aggressive law enforcement efforts to apprehend, prosecute, and punish terrorists consistent with crisis resolution and force-protection efforts. All appropriate agencies should be prepared with adequate resources and authorities to assist in the rescue of U.S. citizens taken hostage abroad if the circumstances warrant.

In an effort to ensure U.S. law enforcement interests are properly addressed between the embassy and the host country, the Department of Justice working with the Department of State, will expand, where appropriate, its law enforcement presence abroad to further counterterrorism interdiction, investigation, and prosecution. Additionally, in coordination with host governments, the U.S. government will enhance training of and assistance to host governments in building legal infrastructures to strengthen the rule of law.

Objective: Ensure an integrated incident management capability. In the end, prevention of catastrophic terrorism is dependent upon interdiction of people and materials. However, solid plans, preparations, and immediate response remain key to mitigating acts of terrorism. Unity of effort requires coordination not only at the apex of the federal government, but also at the operational/tactical level, where response and intervention actions may be taken by diverse authorities, acting independently or in coordination with each other. An effective, integrated response requires incident management planning, enhanced interoperability, and coordination, based on and supported by rapid and effective decision-making.

In an effort to ensure rapid crisis response, the U.S. will coordinate with host governments and regional partners to develop plans for alerting, containing, and, if necessary, repelling an attack in progress while ensuring adequate resources are available to mitigate the damage. At the outset of a crisis, an interagency team capable of supporting the affected U.S. Embassy with assessments and recommendations is essential. Consequently, the Department of State, the Department of Defense, and other relevant agencies shall ensure that adequate staffing, training, equipment, and transportation are available for the Foreign Emergency Support Team. All appropriate departments and agencies will review and, if necessary amend, their incident-management procedures for overseas terrorist incidents involving critical infrastructure and facilities of U.S. national security interest.


Political violence may be endemic to the human condition, but we cannot tolerate terrorists who seek to combine the powers of modern technology and WMD to threaten the very notion of civilized society. The war against terrorism, therefore, is not some sort of "clash of civilizations"; instead, it is a clash between civilization and those who would destroy it.

Given these stakes, we must persevere until the United States, together with its friends and allies, eliminates terrorism as a threat to our way of life. As our enemies exploit the benefits of our global environment to operate around the world, our approach must be global as well. When they run, we will follow. When they hide, we will find them. Some battlefields will be known, others unknown. The campaign ahead will be long and arduous. In this different kind of war, we cannot expect an easy or definitive end to the conflict.

This National Strategy reflects the reality that success will only come through the sustained, steadfast, and systematic application of all the elements of national power--diplomatic, economic, information, financial, law enforcement, intelligence, and military--simultaneously across four fronts. We will defeat terrorist organizations of global reach through relentless action. We will deny terrorists the sponsorship, support, and sanctuary they need to survive. We will win the war of ideas and diminish the underlying conditions that promote the despair and the destructive visions of political change that lead people to embrace, rather than shun, terrorism. And throughout, we will use all the means at our disposal to defend against terrorist attacks on the United States, our citizens, and our interests around the world.

We will also be resourceful. This strategy relies upon the ingenuity, innovation, and strength of the American people. We will rally others to this common cause. We will not only forge a diverse and powerful coalition to combat terrorism today, but work with our international partners to build lasting mechanisms for combating terrorism and for coordination and cooperation. Working with states that are both willing and able to be full partners in the campaign, we will attack terrorist groups directly and indirectly, help the weak but willing states build their capabilities to fight terrorism, and persuade reluctant states to meet their obligations to the international community in this fight. We will use all our resources and resourcefulness to compel the unwilling states to cease support for terrorism.

We will be resolute. Others might flag in the face of the inevitable ebb and flow of the campaign against terrorism. But the American people will not. We understand that we cannot choose to disengage from the world, because in this globalized era, the world will engage us regardless. The choice is really about what kind of world we want to live in.

In waging this war, therefore, we will be equally resolute in maintaining our commitment to our ultimate objective. The defeat of terror is a worthy and necessary goal in its own right. But ridding the world of terrorism is essential to a broader purpose. We strive to build an international order wheremore countries and peoples are integrated into a world consistent with the interests and values we share with our partners--values such as human dignity, rule of law, respect for individual liberties, open and free economies, and religious tolerance. We understand that a world in which these values are embraced as standards, not exceptions, will be the best antidote to the spread of terrorism. This is the world we must build today.