by Selwyn Manning – information provided by US Department of Defence and other sources.
United States military forces are positioning in strategic zones around the world so that when US President George W Bush decides on action the military is in a position to “carry those things out”.
That was the message US Defence Secretary Rumsfeld gave Americans this afternoon on CBS’s current affairs programme Meet The Nation.
Rumsfeld told interviewers in the live broadcast that from day one of the attack on the United States his forces have been locating to cover 60 countries that are suspected of holding, harbouring, or of having contacts with the al Qaeda and other terrorist networks.
Rumsfeld said: “What we have been doing since the day of the attack is getting our forces positioned in various places around the world. This is not an Afghan problem. This is a worldwide problem of terrorist networks. And let there be no doubt about it the -- the al Qaeda network is in at least 60 countries, and they are just one of many networks. And what we've been doing is getting our capabilities for -- located, positioned, arranged around the world, so that at that point where the president decides that he has a set of things that he would like done, that we will be in a position to carry those things out.”
The terrorist attacks on the United States, he said, were certainly linked to Osama bin Laden’s terrorist organisation, but that it did not act alone. Nations, corporations, non-government organisations and financiers all contributed to the scale of attack.
Rumsfeld told CBS: “I've never been convinced that that is the case [of the terrorists working solely for bin Laden]. There is no way in the world that a network can function as effectively over such a long period of time, with such excellent finances, and false passports, and all of the intelligence information they had to have, without the being fostered, and facilitated, and assisted, and financed by states, and by businesses, and by non-governmental organizations, and by corporations. It is a… it is a large network.”
Iraq, Syria, North Korea, Cuba and Libya were singled out as nations on a USA terrorist-list.
“Those states have over a
period of time harboured [sic] and assisted terrorist
organizations to engage in terrorist acts in other
countries. That we know of certain knowledge. As the
president said, what we're looking at today is what… how are
those states going to behave going forward?” Rumsfeld said.
The United States: “to my knowledge, has never ruled out the use of nuclear weapons,” Rumsfeld said.
“We have always said, if you'll think back to the Cold War, that we would not rule out the first use of nuclear weapons because there was overwhelming conventional capability that we felt that it would add to the deterrent, and so we have never done that.
“What we need to do, it seems to me, as a country, is to recognize how different this situation is, and then the traditional, think of it. The deterrence that worked in the Cold War didn't work. We were just hit by an asymmetrical attack that President Bush, in his Citadel speech, before he was ever sworn into office, cautioned the world about and said we must transform our military. He was right,” Rumsfeld said.
The United States is also wary of biological and chemical weapons being used against it inside the United States and against its troops.
Rumsfeld: “We can't know that for certain. We can suspect it. And one of the other pieces of evidence that is clear in open publications, we know that the countries that I just listed, that have sponsored terrorism for decades, are countries that have very active chemical and biological warfare programs.
“And we know that they are in close contact with terrorist networks around the world. So, reasonable people have to say to themselves that when you find that kind of information, it ought to cause us to recognize that those are dangers that we need to worry about.
way we worry about them, it seems to me, one way is to, is
to re-energize our effort against the proliferation of these
weapons of mass destruction throughout the globe. It's a
terribly important effort, and we've got to get other
countries to start working with us to a much greater extent
than they are,” Rumsfeld