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US can’t win ‘war on terror’ by itself: Rumsfeld

May 26, 2005

WASHINGTON, May 25: US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Wednesday the United States cannot win the ‘war on terrorism’ by military means alone or without the support of other countries. “Despite the successes, new terrorist leaders continue to step forward, and new networks emerge,” he said in a speech prepared for delivery before a foreign affairs group in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

“Madressahs around the world continue to turn out new recruits from the ranks of the misguided and the misled,” he said.

To win, the United States must find ways to reduce the ideological appeal of violent extremism, he observed.

“This is a chief motivation behind President Bush’s strategy of promoting political and economic freedom,” he said.

“When people have more control over their own lives, and have civil outlets through which to air and remedy grievances, they are far less likely to be attracted to the appeals of extremists,” he said.

Besides confronting extremists “where they live and operate,” Mr Rumsfeld said a global coalition was needed to deny them the resources the need to operate and survive.

Those resources include ideological support; leadership and command structures; a regular flow of recruits; safe harbours to train, plan and operate; weapons, potentially including chemical, biological or nuclear weapons; financial support; communications networks; and access to targets, he said.

“In considering their requirements, two realities become apparent. First, that this conflict cannot be won by military means alone. And second, that this struggle won’t be won by any single country,” he said.

He noted the rise of democracy movements in countries like Georgia, Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan, and movements toward democracy and human rights in Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority.

“These developments are steps in offering would-be terrorist recruits and sympathizers another way of life,” he said. —AFP