President Bush's National Security Adviser, Condoleeza Rice, says the objective of the U.S.-led war on terrorism is to make the world not only safer but better.
Condoleeza Rice says last September's terrorist attacks revealed what she described as "a fundamental divide between the forces of chaos and those of order."
She says the Bush administration's war on terrorism has a much broader goal than simply targeting terrorists and the regimes that harbor them. "We seek not merely to leave the world safer," she says, "but to leave it better. To leave it a world that makes it possible for all men and women to experience the exhilaration and the challenges of freedom. This mission, to leave the world safer and better, is more important than ever in the face of September 11."
Ms. Rice spoke to students and faculty at the Advanced School of International Studies at Johns Hopkins University here in Washington.
She says the Bush administration is committed to speaking and acting with what she called "moral clarity" in confronting nations that pose a threat to the United States. "America cannot impose its vision on the world. Yet," she continued, "we will use our influence to favor freedom. There are right and wrong choices, and right and wrong acts. We must recognize that truly evil regimes will never be reformed and we must recognize that such regimes must be confronted, not coddled."
She also says that while the current world situation is rife with dangers, it also presents enormous opportunities for the United States and its allies to create what she calls a "new balance of power that favors freedom."
When one student suggested that it was hypocritical for the United States to enlist non-democratic allies in the fight against terrorism. Ms. Rice replied that the administration continually urges some of those countries offering help to adopt economic and political reforms.