THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. I want to report to you on the progress being made on many fronts in our war against terrorism. This is a different kind of war, which we will wage aggressively and methodically to disrupt and destroy terrorist activity.
In recent days, many members of our military have left their homes and families and begun moving into a place for missions to come. Thousands of Reservists have been called to active duty. Soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardmen are being deployed to points around the globe, ready to answer when their country calls. Our military families have accepted many hardships, and our nation is grateful for their willing service.
The men and women of the Armed Forces are united in their dedication to freedom and they will make us proud in the struggle against terrorism.
International cooperation is gaining momentum. This week, I met with the Prime Ministers of two of America’s closest friends: Canada and Japan. Other countries, from Russia to Indonesia, are giving strong support as the war against terrorism moves forward. America is grateful to the nations that have cut off diplomatic ties with the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, which is sheltering terrorists.
The United States respects the people of Afghanistan and we are their largest provider of humanitarian aid. But we condemn the Taliban, and welcome the support of other nations in isolating that regime.
We have also launched a strike against the financial foundation of the global terror network. Our goal is to deny terrorists the money they need to carry our their plans. We began by identifying 27 terrorist organizations, terrorist leaders and foreign businesses and charities that support or front for terrorism.
We froze whatever assets they had here in the United States, and we blocked them from doing business with people, companies or banks in our country. Many governments and financial institutions around the world are joining in this effort to starve terrorists of funding.
This week I visited the headquarters at the FBI and the CIA. Their agents and analysts have been on the case around the clock, uncovering and pursuing the enemy. In the long campaign ahead, they will need our continued support, and every necessary tool to do their work.
I’m asking Congress for new law enforcement authority, to better track the communications of terrorists, and to detain suspected terrorists until the moment they are deported. I will also seek more funding and better technology for our country’s intelligence community.
This week, we also took strong steps to improve security on planes and in airports, and to restore confidence in air travel. We’re providing airlines with federal grants to make cockpits more secure through measures including fortified doors and stronger locks. And we’re dramatically increasing the number of federal air marshals on our planes.
Americans will have the confidence of knowing that fully equipped officers of the law are flying with them in far greater numbers. I’m also working with Congress to put federal law enforcement in charge of all bag and passenger screening at our airports. Standards will be tougher and enforced by highly trained professionals who know exactly what they’re looking for. To enhance safety immediately, I’ve asked governors to place National Guardsmen at security checkpoints in airports.
As all these actions make clear, our war on terror will be much broader than the battlefields and beachheads of the past. This war will be fought wherever terrorists hide, or run, or plan. Some victories will be won outside of public view, in tragedies avoided and threats eliminated. Other victories will be clear to all.
Our weapons are military and diplomatic, financial and legal. And in this struggle, our greatest advantages are the patience and resolve of the American people.
We did not seek this conflict, but we will win it. America will act deliberately and decisively, and the cause of freedom will prevail.
Thank you for listening.