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Pentagon Takes Action to Sustain 'American Way of Life' - 2001-09-24


Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the United States cannot eliminate global terrorism but will take action to prevent it from affecting the American way of life and U.S. interests.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says the eradication of world terrorism is too lofty a goal for U.S. action in the wake of the bloody and devastating attacks on New York and Washington.

But speaking to reporters at the Pentagon, Mr. Rumsfeld says the Bush administration is considering a whole range of options, military and otherwise, aimed at protecting the American way of life and U.S. interests globally. The defense secretary said, "What we need to do is deal with terrorism so that it does not threaten our way of life. I think that trying to stamp it out in every single locale all across the globe in perpetuity sounds like a pretty big task to me."

Mr. Rumsfeld says the United States is positioning its forces worldwide so that when President Bush decides on military action, defense authorities will be able to launch attacks.

But in keeping with the Pentagon's policy of not discussing operational matters, he declined to offer any details of the latest U.S. troop movements.

Mr. Rumsfeld appeared at a news conference with Housing Secretary Mel Martinez to announce home mortgage interest rate cuts and other concessions for reserve troops who have been called to active duty since the terrorist attacks.

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