Thursday, September 11, 2003

The War So Far

It's been two years since Al Qaeda declared war on the United States. Since then, we have killed half of Al Qaeda's leadership, isolated those that remain, destroyed its 005 Brigade, decimated its host government (The Taliban), liberated Afghanistan and prosecuted a global war against Al Qaeda cells and networks across six continents. In internet technology terms, we have destroyed the servers and forced Al Qaeda into a peer-to-peer distributed network. By polluting the peer networks with disinformation and distrust, we have largely disabled their ability to strike targets here in the United States.

In addition, we have overthrown the most heinous tyrant in the Middle East and begun the difficult process of rebuilding Iraq. The progress reports on that effort are mixed but probably better than one might have expected.

By invading and occupying Iraq, we have attracted a deranged gaggle of terrorist groups to that country, and established what the President describes as the "central front" in the War on Terror. This is a good thing. We want to fight them in Iraq. Our military is the most efficient killing machine in human history.

The central achievement of these last two years is the shift in our national security strategy. The United States is waging an offensive, pre-emptive war against our enemies. Since Al Qaeda's fondest wish is to place a nuclear bomb in Manhattan, waging an offensive, pre-emptive war is essential to our survival. We must not only kill every last Al Qaeda cell, we must also deny them access to weapons of mass destruction; nuclear, radiological, biological, chemical or EMP.

In this endeavor, the President has been bold and steadfast. We are where we are today in large measure because of his leadership. On this September 11th, two years later, things are better. That, I think, is the only way to measure. We're taking the fight to them. We're hunting them and tracking them and compromising their networks and support systems. They're on defense.

Never forgive, never forget, never ever relent.