U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, on a Middle East tour of four countries, stopped in Cairo to meet with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
Mr. Rumsfeld wants to form a consensus for battling international terrorism. In Cairo, he declared that while the U.S. is searching for suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden and factions of the Taleban he says were responsible for the terrorist attack in the United States, the ultimate goal, he said, is to wipe out the networks that support terrorism.
He indicated using bombs would not necessarily accomplish the desired goal. "The chances of any military action affecting any single terrorist, it seems to me, is modest. That's why the president has indicated that this is an effort that will have to be sustained over a long period of time and I have a feeling, rather than a cruise missile or a bomb, it's more likely that a scrap of intelligence information will be the thing that will help roll up these terrorist networks."
Mr. Rumsfeld held talks in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Egypt. Friday he travels to Uzbekistan.
Egypt's President Mubarak has said Egyptian troops would not become involved in any battle on terrorism outside of its borders. Mr. Rumsfeld said he was satisfied with the level of cooperation the U.S. has received from Egypt. He said the U.S. is not seeking to build one coalition, as was the case during the Gulf war, but rather many coalitions made up of countries that contribute in ways in which they deem appropriate.
Mr. Rumsfeld said President Bush is determined to fight terrorism with a sustained effort that includes political, diplomatic, military and financial aspects of countries suspected of harboring terrorists.
Mr. Rumsfeld warned terrorism should be a battle waged by all of the planet's people. "If one thinks about it thousands of people were killed in New York and Washington," he said. "At that point that terrorist networks get their hands on weapons of mass destruction it won't be thousands it'll be many more. And, people who are concerned about this planet and concerned about their countries and concerned about their people's must take notice."
With regards to the search for Osama bin Laden the defense secretary said he has an idea of his whereabouts but not an exact location.