Progress Report on the Global War on Terrorism

Hampton Roads International Security Quarterly, November 15, 2003 | Go to article overview

Progress Report on the Global War on Terrorism


SUMMARY

The White House published September 10 a nearly 10,000-word document that provides a comprehensive listing of counterterrorism actions taken by the U.S. government since the attacks of September 11, 2001.

The "Progress Report on the Global War on Terrorism" is divided into three parts: "Attacking Terrorist Networks at Home and Abroad," "Securing the Homeland," and "Strengthening and Sustaining the International Fight Against Terrorism." There are sections in the first part dealing with defeating terrorist leadership and personnel, denying terrorist haven and sponsorship, and eradicating sources of terrorist financing. The second part deals with reorganizing the federal government -- especially creating the Department of Homeland Security, reducing America's vulnerability to terrorism, and enhancing emergency preparedness and response capabilities. The third part focuses on global and regional efforts to fight terrorism, and diminishing underlying conditions that terrorists exploit.

In a short executive summary, the document notes that along with overthrowing Afghanistan's Taliban regime, thus eliminating a base of operations for the terrorist al-Qaida group, almost two-thirds of al-Qaida's senior leaders, operational managers and key facilitators have been captured or killed. Furthermore, the U.S. Justice Department has charged more than 260 persons as a result of terrorism investigations, convicting or securing guilty pleas from more than 140 to date, and in the process disrupting alleged terrorist cells in Buffalo, Seattle, Portland, Detroit, Tampa and North Carolina.

As for securing the U.S. homeland, the executive summary notes the creation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the "Smart Borders" initiative which is designed to speed the crossing of U.S. borders for legitimate reasons while detecting both terrorists and their weapons before they can enter the country. The creation of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center, which integrates and analyzes both domestic and international terror threat-related information, is also mentioned. The USA Patriot Act, which strengthens U.S. law enforcement's ability to prevent, investigate and prosecute terrorist acts, is likewise mentioned.

The section on strengthening and sustaining the international fight against terror says that more than 170 nations are participating in the war against terror, along with international organizations. Taking terrorists into custody, freezing terrorist assets, providing military forces, and other measures are mentioned. In addition, the report states, "Actions taken by the G-8 [Group of Eight industrialized nations] will enhance transportation security, expand counterterrorism training and assistance, and help reduce the threat of surface-to-air missiles to civil aviation."

Aid plays its part, too, the report says. The United States and its partners are providing humanitarian aid and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with economic growth and development initiatives throughout the world, in order to "deny terrorists recruits and safe havens."

Following is the text of the report:

PROGRESS REPORT ON THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM

The White House September 2003

TABLE OF CONTENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

FOREWORD

ATTACKING TERRORIST NETWORKS AT HOME AND ABROAD

Defeating Terrorist Leadership and Personnel

Denying Terrorist Haven and Sponsorship

Eradicating Sources of Terrorist Financing

SECURING THE HOMELAND

Reorganizing the Federal Government

Reducing America's Vulnerability to Terrorism

Enhancing Emergency Preparedness and Response Capabilities

STRENGTHENING AND SUSTAINING THE INTERNATIONAL FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM

Global Efforts to Fight Terrorism

Regional Efforts to Fight Terrorism

Diminishing Underlying Conditions Terrorists Exploit

CONCLUSION

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

ATTACKING TERRORIST NETWORKS AT HOME AND ABROAD

Since September 11, 2001, the United States, with the help of its allies and partners, has dismantled the repressive Taliban, denied al-Qaida a safe haven in Afghanistan, and defeated Saddam Hussein's regime. …

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