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US Forces Prepare for Missions - 2001-09-17

U.S. forces are preparing for military action in response to last week's terrorist attacks.

For obvious security reasons, no one at the Pentagon is talking about any specific operations now being planned. But Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral Craig Quigley says it is no secret U.S. forces are getting ready for whatever types of missions they may be called upon to carry out.

"I think you will see all military units around the world taking a good hard look at their internal readiness to support the President's objectives here of going after terrorism," he said.

Adm. Quigley says the preparations include calling on troops to get their personal lives in order in case they are called away on short notice.

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has already said the key military units like to see action against terrorist networks are the country's elite Special Operations forces from the Air Force, Army and Navy.

There are some 46,000 active duty and reserve special operations forces. Mr. Rumsfeld says that they are capable of dealing with unconventional threats. But he also suggests the number of these commando-like units may have to be increased. He says such antiseptic warfare tactics as using cruise missiles and planes dropping bombs will not work with terrorists.

And while Mr. Rumsfeld acknowledges ground actions may mean U.S. casualties, in his words, "this war is about our way of life and our way of life is worth losing lives for."