- The Washington Times - Friday, October 5, 2001

CAIRO Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said yesterday the U.S.-led war against international terrorism will be similar to the long struggle against communism during the Cold War.
"It undoubtedly will prove to be a lot more like a cold war than a hot war," Mr. Rumsfeld told reporters after meetings here with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
The Cold War took 50 years and did not involve major battles, he said.
"It involved continuous pressure. It involved cooperation by a host of nations. It involved the willingness of populations in many countries to invest in it and to sustain it," he said. "And when it ended, it ended not with a bang, but through internal collapse. That threat to the world just disintegrated from inside."
The defense secretary made his comments during a coalition-building trip to four nations in the Middle East, Europe and Central Asia. Mr. Rumsfeld is seeking support for anticipated military strikes against Afghanistan's Taliban militia, which has harbored Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Of his meetings with Mr. Mubarak in the presidential palace, Mr. Rumsfeld said: "My message was the fact that this is enormously important to the entire world. And he knows that. He's lived in a neighborhood where terrorism has been a problem longer than it has been in the United States."
The Egyptian leader "shares" U.S. concerns about the problem, he said, noting that Mr. Mubarak agrees with President Bush's plan for a "sustained effort over time" against terrorism.
Mr. Mubarak yesterday backed the U.S. anti-terror campaign, but ruled out sending troops for any military action.
"We support resisting terrorism and [are] against terrorism but we do not participate with troops anywhere because the Egyptian army is there to defend Egyptian lands," Mr. Mubarak said on Egyptian television.
The two leaders also discussed the large-scale U.S.-Egyptian military exercises under way here, known as Bright Star.
Earlier, on his way here from Oman aboard a U.S. Air Force C-32 jetliner, Mr. Rumsfeld told reporters that it is important for leaders such as Mr. Mubarak and the sultan of Oman to speak out against terrorism.
Terrorist acts against innocent people "is not something that has anything at all to do with Islam," Mr. Rumsfeld said.
"It is simply what it is: It is people who are out there attempting to advance themselves by killing innocent people and no one in any religion contends that it's appropriate to do anything other than condemn such acts."
The war against terror will involve a broad effort based on secret intelligence and "making life uncomfortable" for terrorists and their supporters, said Mr. Rumsfeld when comparing what he expects to be a lengthy conflict to the Cold War.
"It is completely unpredictable as to which event, or which scrap of information or which potential military activity, or which diplomatic activity might lead to the turning up of information that would lead to a single arrest or a single apprehension of a terrorist," he said.
What is important is to put pressure on terrorists through various means over a long period "so they have to alter their behavior, they have to move from where they are and they have to try to do things differently," Mr. Rumsfeld said.
The pressure will discourage people from helping and financing terrorists and joining their ranks, he said.
Mr. Rumsfeld arrived here last night after first meeting with officials in Oman, on the Persian Gulf. Mr. Rumsfeld met Oman's Sultan Quaboos, who has pledged backing the anti-terrorism campaign. The sultanate is within three hours' striking range of Afghanistan.
Hours after Mr. Rumsfeld left Oman, the Defense Department said it planned to sell $1.12 billion in F-16 fighter jets, laser-guided bombs and other arms to Oman. The Defense Department said: "Oman has requested the possible sale" of 12 F-16C/D model fighters along with engines, radar targeting pods used for all-weather attack and several different kinds of air-to-air missiles and bombs.
Mr. Rumsfeld leaves today for Turkey, a NATO ally, and Uzbekistan, where U.S. special operations forces likely will be based as part of efforts to strike terrorist targets in Afghanistan. He declined to characterize what Uzbekistan's role will be, saying it was up to the former Soviet republic to reveal its involvement.
U.S. warships and warplanes are being deployed in large numbers to bases in the region, including B-52 and B-1 bombers, four aircraft carrier battle groups and special operations commandos.
British military forces in Oman currently are conducting war games involving some 30,000 troops and numerous ships.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide