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Bush: Terror Fight Requires 'New Thinking' for Military - 2001-12-11

President Bush says the war on terrorism requires a "new way of thinking" for U.S. armed forces. Mr. Bush spoke to military cadets on Tuesday, three months to the day after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

While the threats to America have changed since those attacks, President Bush says the need for victory has not.

"An illusion of immunity was shattered," said Mr. Bush. "A far-away evil became a present danger. And a great cause became clear: we will fight terror and those who sponsor it to save our children from a future of fear."

The President spoke Tuesday to students at The Citadel, a private military college in the state of South Carolina. He said winning this war against terrorism means defeating a different kind of enemy. "To win this war we have to think differently" he said.

President Bush said this new way of thinking includes greater use of military technology with forward troops calling in precision air strikes on enemy targets. Combining unmanned aerial reconnaissance with the knowledge of local fighters on the ground, Mr. Bush says American troops in Afghanistan are learning more about military technology than they could in years of controlled tests.

The President vowed to rebuild America's network of intelligence agents by promising to attract the best people with what he called "the training they need and the compensation they deserve." Mr. Bush said it is also time to move ahead with plans for a controversial missile defense system to protect the country from terrorists seeking weapons of mass destruction.

"Our enemies seek every chance and every means to do harm to our country, our forces, and our friends," said the president. "And we will not permit it. Suppose the Taleban and the terrorists had been able to strike America or important allies with a ballistic missile. Our coalition would have become fragile, the stakes in our war much, much higher."

President Bush says he planned to make these changes when he came to office less than one year ago. Now, he says, there is no time to lose. "It's like overhauling a car engine while you are going at [130 kph]. Yet we have no other choice. ...For states that support terror, it's not enough that the consequences be costly. They must be devastating."

President Bush says there is no negotiating with the terrorists. All they want is power, he said, and they must be defeated.