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Rumsfeld:  US Strikes Part of Larger Anti-Terrorist Effort - 2001-10-08

U.S. forces are staging another round of air-strikes against Taleban military and al-Qaeda terrorist targets inside Afghanistan.

The latest air-strikes involve 10 land-based bombers and 10 carrier-based fighters as well as an undisclosed number of cruise missiles. The latest targets include airfields and air defenses, command and control facilities, terrorist training camps as well as both Taleban and terrorist ground forces.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Monday in Washington that while the U.S. raids are capturing global attention, they are just a small part of a much larger effort to eliminate terrorist networks.

"These raids are one small part of the entire effort. The cruise missiles and bombers are not going to solve this problem. We know that," the secretary said. "What they can do is to contribute by adding pressure, making life more difficult, raising the cost for the terrorists and those that are supporting the terrorists, draining their finances and creating an environment that is inhospitable for the people that are threatening the world. It is not simple. It is not neat. There is no silver bullet. It is a problem that is going to take continuous pressure."

A recurring question is whether U.S. ground forces will be deployed for mopping up operations against targets not destroyed by the air strikes.

Mr. Rumsfeld declines to answer. But he and other senior defense officials have said there will be unseen, secret operations.

Mr. Rumsfeld does say that the United States is working with anti-Taleban opposition forces. But again, he will give no details.

In addition to the latest wave of air strikes, U.S. aircraft are carrying out another round of airdrops of humanitarian relief supplies.