Kerry on the War onTerror
|However, our methods
in this struggle must remain consistent with the demands of our Faith. Unlike
the terrorist who choose not to be guided by a noble conscience, it is imperative
that we conduct ourselves appropriately, or we then violate that which we
are protecting, our values.
We are united against terror, but in fighting this war against Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, we must maintain our integrity and values. It is not enough to simply win, we must win the right way or we lose.
In 1996 John Kerry wrote a book called The New War: The Web of Crime that Threatens America's Security in which he had the foresight that our new enemies were international criminal conglomerates and terrorist groups. It is foresight and vision like this that we need in the fight against terror if we are going to fight this war in accordance with out values. Our respect for life and humanity means that we fight smarter and have foresight. We need less of rhetoric and empty actions (e.g. placing a tank in front of an airport in the name of homeland security), to win this war we need a leader with foresight, strength, intelligence and competence. John Kerry has the experience, strength and competence to conduct the war on terror the in a smart way that is in accord with our values.
It is important
to note that right after Sept. 11, 2001, the immediate actions taken by
the Bush administration was to begin to freeze financial accounts and
assets held by known terrorist. Tracking down finances was considered
to the all important initial step. We also note terrorists do not amass
their resources through legitimate means, often there is a plethora of
criminal activity involved in acquiring finances and shielding them. Also,
in the case of North Korea, it is widely known that the country is involved
in the trafficking of illegal drugs in order to raise money because the
country is so cash strapped. The point here is that terrorism does not
exist in a vacuum and part a smart war on terror will first remove the
oxygen of finances acquired by criminal activity. John Kerry's foresight
deals with the whole range of terrorist concerns including the criminal
activity that is the bedrock of these groups.
Did you know that from 1987-1997 John Kerry was Chairman and/or the Democratic ranking committee member of the United States Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations?
John Kerry's National Security Credentials
|Click on the picture to read highlights of John Kerry's four years in the U.S. Navy, including two tours in Vietnam, for which he received three purple hearts, a bronze star, and a silver star.|
|United States Navy-fought in Vietnam, was highly decorated (1966-1970)|
|Prosecutor, Middlesex County, MA|
|United States Senate Committee on Intelligence|
|United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations|
U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Narcotics and International Operations
Strenghth and Security for a new world
was born in pursuit of an idea - that a free people with
diverse beliefs can govern themselves in peace.
Throughout our history, we have forged powerful alliances to defend, encourage, and promote that idea around the world. Through two World Wars, the Cold War, the Gulf War and Kosovo, America led instead of going it alone. We respected the world - and the world respected us.
Today, our leadership has walked away from more than a century of American leadership in the world to embrace a new - and dangerously ineffective - American disregard for the world. They bully instead of persuade. They act alone when they could assemble a team. They confuse leadership with going it alone. They fail to understand that real leadership means standing by your principles and rallying others to join you.
John Kerry and John Edwards believe in a better, stronger America - an America that is respected, not just feared. An America that listens and leads - that cherishes freedom, safeguards our people, uplifts others, forges alliances, and deserves respect. This is the America they believe in. This is the America they are fighting for. And this is the America we can be.
Today, we face three great challenges above all others - First, to win the global war against terror; Second, to stop the spread of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons; Third, to promote democracy, freedom, and opportunity around the world, starting by winning the peace in Iraq. To meet these challenges, John Kerry's national security policy will be guided by four imperatives:
And Lead A New Era Of Alliances
More than a year ago, President Bush stood on an aircraft carrier under a banner that proclaimed "mission accomplished." But today we know that the mission is not accomplished, hostilities have not ended and our men and women in uniform stand almost alone with the target squarely on their backs.
Our military performed brilliantly in the war's first mission: ending the regime of Saddam Hussein. Today, Americans share a desire for Iraqis to live with the blessings of democracy and security. John Kerry and John Edwards have a practical plan to win the peace in Iraq and bring our troops home.
We must change course in Iraq. Having gone to war, we cannot afford to fail at peace. The United States must take immediate measures to prevent Iraq from becoming a failed state that inevitably would become a haven for terrorists and a destabilizing force in the Middle East.
John Kerry and John Edwards will forge a new policy to promote stability, democracy, protection of minority and women's rights in Iraq, and peace in the region. John Kerry and John Edwards will work to gain new military and financial commitments from other nations so America isn't carrying the burden and risk virtually alone.
John Kerry and John Edwards will make the creation of a stable and secure environment in Iraq our immediate priority in order to lay the foundations for sustainable democracy. They will:
Persuade NATO to Make the Security of Iraq one of its Global Missions and to deploy a significant portion of the force needed to secure and win the peace in Iraq. NATO participation will in turn open the door to greater international involvement from non-NATO countries.
Internationalize the Non-Iraqi Reconstruction Personnel in Iraq, to share the costs and burdens, end the continuing perception of a U.S. occupation, and help coordinate reconstruction efforts, draft the constitution and organize elections.
Launch a Massive and Accelerated Training Effort to Build Iraqi Security Forces that can provide real security for the Iraqi people, including a major role for NATO. This is not a task for America alone; we must join as a partner with other nations.
Plan for Iraq’s Future by working with our allies to forgive Iraq’s multi-billion dollar debts and by supporting the development of a new Iraqi constitution and the political arrangements needed to protect minority rights. We will also convene a regional conference with Iraq's neighbors in order to secure a pledge of respect for Iraq's borders and non-interference in Iraq’s internal affairs.
Preventing Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Weapons Terrorism
|There is no greater
threat to America's security than the potential that terrorists could acquire
chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons. John Kerry and John Edwards believe
that preventing terrorists from gaining access to these weapons is our number
one national security priority.
Defeating this threat requires American leadership of the highest order - leadership that brings our allies to greater collaboration, our friends to greater vigilance, our partners to greater participation. Unfortunately, the Bush administration's policies have moved America in the opposite direction. They have weakened international agreements and initiatives to enforce non-proliferation instead of strengthening them. They have not done nearly enough to secure existing stockpiles and bomb-making materials. They have failed to take effective steps to stop the North Korean and Iranian nuclear programs. Our security requires an immediate change of course.
John Kerry has proposed a comprehensive strategy that uses all of our resources and the might of our alliances to:
Safeguard Existing Stockpiles of Dangerous Weapons and Materials including an acceleration of programs to secure all nuclear weapons and materials within the former Soviet Union, and at research reactors in countries outside the former Soviet Union, within 4 years.
End Production of New Fissile Material for Nuclear Weapons by negotiating a global ban on production of new material.
Reduce Existing Stocks of Nuclear Weapons and Materials by ending development of the new generation of nuclear weapons, accelerating reductions in U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals, and reducing stocks of dangerous highly enriched uranium in Russia.
End Nuclear Weapons Programs in Hostile States, including by prioritizing negotiations with North Korea to ensure the complete, irreversible and verifiable elimination of its nuclear weapons program, and leading a global effort to prevent Iran from obtaining the materials necessary to build nuclear weapons.
International Efforts to Eliminate Illegal Trafficking Networks
by toughening export controls, stiffening penalties, and strengthening
law enforcement and intelligence sharing as well as improving the proliferation
Defeating Global Terrorism
|John Kerry and John Edwards understand that America is
waging a global war against terrorists that are unlike any adversary our
nation has ever faced. This is not just a manhunt - we cannot rest once
Osama bin Laden is captured or killed. That day will mark only a brief victory
in the war on terror, not its end. We face a complex global jihadist movement
consisting of many groups - spanning at least 60 countries - with separate
agendas, but all committed to assaulting the United States and free and
open societies around the world.
Despite his tough talk, President Bush's efforts against terrorism have fallen far short of what is necessary to meet this threat. We are not safer and President Bush still has no comprehensive or long-term strategy for victory. After allowing bin Laden to escape from our grasp at Tora Bora, he diverted crucial resources from the effort to destroy al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan to fight the war in Iraq. And his go-it-alone approach to foreign policy has cost us the support of other nations - support that we need to defeat an enemy that is hidden in countries across the world.
As president, John Kerry will put in place a strong and smart strategy to win - an approach that recognizes the complexity of the challenge and uses all the tools at our disposal. He understands that the path to victory in the war on terror will be found in the company of others, not walking alone. A Kerry-Edwards administration will never, ever wait for a green light from abroad when our safety is at stake - but we will not alienate those whose support we should have, and must enlist, to help make America more secure.
John Kerry and John Edwards recognize that victory in the war on terror requires a combination of American might, skill, and determination. We must also maximize international cooperation. Key elements of the Kerry-Edwards plan to win the war on terror include:
Directing Military Action to Destroy and Disrupt Terrorist Networks. Under John Kerry’s leadership, American military operations will be precise and deadly.
Keeping Weapons of Mass Destruction Out of Terrorist Hands. John Kerry and John Edwards will launch a new initiative to prevent the world's deadliest weapons from falling into the world's most dangerous hands. They have a plan to secure vulnerable bomb-making materials, prevent the production of new materials for nuclear weapons, and work to end nuclear weapons programs in hostile states like North Korea and Iran.
Strengthening America’s Intelligence Capabilities. John Kerry and John Edwards will restore the credibility of our intelligence community, strengthen accountability and leadership by creating a true Director of National Intelligence, maximize coordination and integration of resources and information, and transform our intelligence services to deal with today’s threats.
Leading Relentless Efforts to Shut Down the Flow of Terrorist Funds. America will crack down on nations or banks that fail to act against money laundering by strengthening our anti-money laundering laws and imposing tough financial sanctions against violators.
Preventing New Terrorist Havens. John Kerry and John Edwards will work with our allies and the international community to stabilize and secure Iraq and Afghanistan to ensure that these newly freed nations and other weak states around the world do not become havens for terrorists.
Recruitment of New Terrorists. John Kerry and John Edwards
will work to win the war of ideas and the future of a young generation
with a strategy to break down economic and cultural isolation in Arab
and Muslim countries and support local efforts to promote democracy, trade,
tolerance, and respect for human rights. The strategy includes a major
initiative in public diplomacy and an international effort to improve
Strengthening America's Military
|John Kerry and John
Edwards believe that we must strengthen our military to meet the new threats
of the 21st century. Today's American military is the best in the world,
but tomorrow's military must be better still - stronger, faster, better
armed, and never again stretched so thin. John Kerry and John Edwards will
send a clear message to every man and woman in our armed forces: You will
always be the best-led, best-equipped and most respected fighting force
in the world. You will be armed with the right weapons, trained in the right
skills, and fully prepared to win on the battlefield. You will never again
be sent into harm's way without enough troops for the task or asked to fight
a war without a plan to win the peace. And you will never be given assignments
which have not been clearly defined and for which you are not professionally
John Kerry and John Edwards have a specific plan to transform the world's most powerful military to better address the 21st century threats of terrorism and proliferation, while ensuring that America has enough properly trained and equipped troops to meet our enduring strategic and regional missions.
The Kerry-Edwards plan will:
Expand America's Active Duty Forces by 40,000 to relieve the strain on today's military.
Double America's Special Forces Capability and increase other specialized personnel to improve America's ability to conduct counter-terrorism operations, perform reconnaissance missions and gather intelligence.
Complete the Process of Technological Transformation by ensuring that our military has the most modern equipment and technology available.
Transform the National Guard for homeland security by assigning guard units to a standing joint task force that will prepare and execute homeland security strategies with state and federal governments.
Democracy, Development, Human Rights, and Rule of Law
Human Rights, Development & Rule Of Law
America was born in the pursuit of an idea - that a free people with diverse beliefs can govern themselves in peace. For more than a century, America defended, encouraged, and promoted that idea around the world. And over and over, we have done it by exercising American leadership to forge powerful alliances - with longtime allies and reluctant friends; with nations already living in the light of democracy and with peoples struggling to join them.
Support for democracy, human rights and the rule of law are among the most fundamental principles on which America was founded, and John Kerry and John Edwards will fight to restore America's longstanding, bipartisan commitment to supporting the spread of democracy, with the understanding that America will be safer in a world of democracies.
As president, John Kerry will uphold the international human rights standards that America helped establish and will return the United States to full membership in the international community. By working with those who share our values, we will isolate our enemies rather than ourselves. And under John Kerry, America will again practice at home what it preaches abroad, respecting the rule of law and the fundamental rights of all citizens.
John Kerry and John Edwards will restore America's ability and commitment to act as a credible force for democracy and human rights, starting in Iraq. Torture is unacceptable. John Kerry and John Edwards share the American people's revulsion at the incidents at Abu Ghraib and other detention facilities. These acts endangered the lives of our soldiers, made their mission harder to accomplish, and contradict everything that the brave men and women of our armed forces are fighting to defend. As Commander in Chief, John Kerry is determined to provide the leadership needed to make sure that such behavior does not happen again.
will be freer and stronger when we break our dependence on foreign oil.
Today, we consume 2.5 million barrels of oil per day from the Middle East, where instability has pushed prices to record highs. These soaring energy costs are burdening middle-class families with higher gas prices, and our dependence on Middle East oil is putting our national security at risk.
America will be safer and freer when the resources that fuel our economy are in our own hands, when we develop new energy sources right here in America.
John Kerry and John Edwards will put America on the path towards energy independence. They will harness the full force of American optimism and ingenuity to invest in new technologies and alternative fuels, create tax incentives that help automakers produce more fuel efficient cars, and reward the consumers who buy them. We invented and built the cars we drive today - we can invent and build the cars we drive tomorrow, too.
The Kerry-Edwards plan will increase energy conservation and create clean, renewable sources of energy that no terrorist can sabotage and no foreign government can seize. Their plan will also save billions by cutting waste and pork-barrel spending in Washington.
John Kerry and John Edwards believe that achieving an energy independent America - an America strong at home and secure in the world - is the great project for our generation.
To create an energy independent America, John Kerry and John Edwards will:
And Develop New Energy Sources
Tomorrow's Technology Today
America Energy Independent Of Middle East Oil
New Strategies to Meet New Threats
|Remarks of John Kerry
This weekend, thousands of men and women and children lined the streets in Florida to watch the Memorial Day Parades. They waved flags. Sons and daughters sat on their fathers’ shoulders and cheered as high school marching bands and bands of brothers—and sisters—marched passed them with their heads held high.
It is a great time in America—a common scene to honor uncommon valor. Every year we gather in our cities and towns to remember. We praise our fathers and mothers. We mourn lost brothers and sisters. We miss best friends. And we thank God that we live in a country that is good as well as great.
In America, we are blessed to have World War II veterans like Debra Stern to lead us in the “Pledge of Allegiance.” We are blessed that hundreds gathered at Royal Palm Memorial Gardens to dedicate a memorial to our most recent veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq. We are blessed that so many in Florida could stop and pause to remember their neighbors and friends and the 35 who have fallen in Iraq.
In America, we are blessed. When you stop and think about what it takes for people to risk their lives, say good-bye to their families, and go so far away to serve their country – it is a profound gesture of honor.
It symbolizes the spirit of America – that there are men and women who are ready to do what it takes to live and lead by our values. I met so many of them when I fought in Vietnam and I have met them since from Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Their love of country is special. And we will never tire of waving a flag, saying a prayer, or laying a wreath for those who fell to lift the cause of freedom.
Their sacrifice calls us to a higher standard. In these dangerous times and in our determination to win the war on terror, we need to be clear about our purposes and our principles. When war and peace, when life and death, when democracy and terror are in the balance, we owe it to our soldiers and our country to shape and follow a coherent policy that will make America safer, stronger, and truer to our ideals.
Last week, I proposed a new national security policy guided by four imperatives: First, we must lead strong alliances for the post 9/11 world. Second, we must modernize the world’s most powerful military to meet new threats. Third, in addition to our military might, we must deploy all that is in America’s arsenal -- our diplomacy, our intelligence system, our economic power, and the appeal of our values and ideas. Fourth, to secure our full independence and freedom, we must free America from its dangerous dependence on Middle East oil.
These four imperatives are a response to an inescapable reality: the world has changed and war has changed; the enemy is different – and we must think and act anew.
These imperatives must guide us as we deal with the greatest threat we face today—the possibility of al Qaeda or other terrorists getting their hands on a nuclear weapon. We know what al Qaeda and terrorists long to do. Osama bin Laden has called obtaining a weapon of mass destruction a sacred duty.
Take away politics, strip away the labels, the honest questions have to be asked. Since that dark day in September have we done everything we could to secure these dangerous weapons and bomb making materials? Have we taken every step we should to stop North Korea and Iran’s nuclear programs? Have we reached out to our allies and forged an urgent global effort to ensure that nuclear weapons and materials are secured?
The honest answer, in each of these areas, is that we have done too little, often too late, and even cut back our efforts or turned away from the single greatest threat we face in the world today, a terrorist armed with nuclear weapons.
There was a time not so long ago when dealing with the possibility of nuclear war was the most important responsibility entrusted to every American President. The phrase “having your finger on the nuclear button” meant something very real to Americans, and to all the world. The Cold War may be over, the nuclear arms race between the Soviet Union and the United States may have ended, but the possibility of terrorists using nuclear weapons is very real indeed. The question before us now is what shadowy figures may someday have their finger on a nuclear button if we don’t act. It is time again that we have leadership at the highest levels that treats this threat with the sense of seriousness, urgency, and purpose it demands.
I can think of no single step that will do more to head off this catastrophe than the proposal I am laying out today. And that is why I am here today to ask that America launch a new mission, that America restore and renew the leadership we once demonstrated for all the world, to prevent the world’s deadliest weapons from falling into the world’s most dangerous hands. If we secure all bomb making materials, ensure that no new materials are produced for nuclear weapons, and end nuclear weapons programs in hostile states like North Korea and Iran, we can and will dramatically reduce the possibility of nuclear terrorism.
We can’t eliminate this threat on our own. We must fight this enemy in the same way we fought in World War I, World War II, and the Cold War, by building and leading strong alliances. Our enemy has changed and is not based within one country or one totalitarian empire. But our path to victory is still the same. We must use the might of our alliances.
When I am president, America will lead the world in a mission to lock up and safeguard nuclear weapons material so terrorists can never acquire it. To achieve this goal, we need the active support of our friends and allies around the world. We might all share the same goal: to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism, but we can’t achieve it when our alliances have been shredded.
It will take new leadership—the kind of leadership that brings others to us. We can’t protect ourselves from these nuclear dangers without the world by our side.
Earlier this year, my colleague Senator Joe Biden announced the results of a challenge he issued. He asked the directors of our national laboratories whether terrorists could make a nuclear bomb. The bad news is they said “yes” – and when challenged to prove it, they constructed a nuclear bomb made entirely from commercial parts that can be bought without breaking any laws, except for obtaining the nuclear material itself. The good news is the materials—the highly enriched uranium and plutonium needed to detonate a bomb—do not occur in nature and are difficult for terrorists to produce on their own—no material, no bomb.
The weapons are only in a few countries, but the material to make a bomb exists in dozens of states around the world. Securing this material is a great challenge. But as President Truman said, “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.”
We know how to reduce this threat. We have the technology to achieve this goal – and with the right leadership, we can achieve it quickly.
As president, my number one security goal will be to prevent the terrorists from gaining weapons of mass murder, and ensure that hostile states disarm. It is a daunting goal, but an indisputable one—and we can achieve it.
I think of other great challenges this nation has set for itself. In 1960, President Kennedy challenged us to go to the moon. Our imagination and sense of discovery took us there. In 1963, just months after the Cuban Missile Crisis nearly brought the world to nuclear disaster President Kennedy called for a nuclear test ban treaty. At the height of the Cold War, he challenged America and the Soviet Union to pursue a strategy “not toward …annihilation, but toward a strategy of peace.” We answered that challenge. And in time, a hotline between Moscow and Washington was established. The nuclear tests stopped. The air cleared and hope emerged on the horizon.
When America sees a great problem or great potential, it is in our collective character to set our sights on that horizon and not stop working until we reach it. In our mission to reduce the threat of nuclear terrorism, we should never feel helpless. We should feel empowered that the successes in our past will guide us toward a safer, more secure world.
Vulnerable nuclear material anywhere is a threat to everyone, everywhere.
We need to employ a layered strategy to keep the worst weapons from falling into the worst hands. A strategy that invokes our non-military strength early enough and effectively enough so military force doesn’t become our only option. America must lead and build an international consensus for early preventive action.
Here’s what we must do. The first step is to safeguard all bomb making material worldwide. That means making sure we know where they are, and then locking them up and securing them wherever they are. Our approach should treat all nuclear materials needed for bombs as if they were bombs.
More than a decade has passed since the Berlin Wall came down. But Russia still has nearly 20,000 nuclear weapons, and enough nuclear material to produce 50,000 more Hiroshima-sized bombs.
For most of these weapons and materials, cooperative security upgrades have not been completed – the world is relying on whatever measures Russia has taken on its own. And at the current pace, it will take 13 years to secure potential bomb material in the former Soviet Union. We cannot wait that long. I will ensure that we remove this material entirely from sites that can’t be adequately secured during my first term.
It is hard to believe that we actually secured less bomb making material in the two years after 9/11 than we had in the two years before.
At my first summit with the Russian President, I will seek an agreement to sweep aside the key obstacles slowing our efforts to secure Russia’s nuclear stockpiles. But this threat is not limited to the former Soviet Union.
Because terror at home can begin far away, we have to make sure that in every nation the stockpiles are safeguarded. If I am president, the United States will lead an alliance to establish and enforce an international standard for the safe custody of nuclear weapons and materials.
We will help states meet such standards by expanding the scope of the Nunn-Lugar program passed over a decade ago to deal with the unsecured weapons and materials in the former Soviet Union. For years, the administration has underfunded this vital program. For a fraction of what we have already spent in Iraq, we can ensure that every nuclear weapon and every pound of potential bomb material will be secured and accounted for.
This is not just a question of resources. As president, I will make it a priority and overcome the bureaucratic walls that have caused delay and inaction in Russia so we can finish the important work of securing weapons material there and around the world.
The Administration just announced plans to remove potential bomb material from vulnerable sites outside the former Soviet Union over the next ten years. We simply can’t afford another decade of this danger. My plan will safeguard this bomb making material in four years. We can’t wait—and I won’t wait when I am president.
The second step is to prevent the creation of new materials that are being produced for nuclear weapons. America must lead an international coalition to halt, and then verifiably ban, all production of highly enriched uranium and plutonium for use in nuclear weapons -- permanently capping the world's nuclear weapons stockpiles.
Despite strong international support for such a ban, this Administration is stalling, and endlessly reviewing the need for such a policy.
In addition, we must strengthen the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty to close the loophole that lets countries develop nuclear weapons capabilities under the guise of a peaceful, civilian nuclear power program.
The third step is to reduce excess stocks of materials and weapons. If America is asking the world to join our country in a shared mission to reduce this nuclear threat, then why would the world listen to us if our own words do not match our deeds?
As President, I will stop this Administration’s program to develop a whole new generation of bunker-busting nuclear bombs. This is a weapon we don’t need. And it undermines our credibility in persuading other nations. What kind of message does it send when we’re asking other countries not to develop nuclear weapons, but developing new ones ourselves?
We must work with the Russians to accelerate the “blending down” of highly enriched uranium and the disposition of Russian plutonium stocks so they can never be used in a nuclear weapon.
We don’t need a world with more usable nuclear weapons. We need a world where terrorists can’t ever use one. That should be our focus in the post 9/11 world.
Our fourth step is to end the nuclear weapons programs in states like North Korea and Iran.
This Administration has been fixated on Iraq while the nuclear dangers from North Korea have multiplied. We know that North Korea has sold ballistic missiles and technology in the past. And according to recent reports, North Korean uranium ended up in Libyan hands. The North Koreans have made it clear to the world – and to the terrorists – that they are open for business and will sell to the highest bidder.
We should have no illusions about Kim Jong II, so any agreement must have rigorous verification and lead to complete and irreversible elimination of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. For eighteen months, we’ve essentially negotiated over the shape of the table while the North Koreans allegedly have made enough new fuel to make six to nine nuclear bombs.
We should maintain the six party talks, but we must also be prepared to talk directly with North Korea. This problem is too urgent to allow China, or others at the table, to speak for us. And we must be prepared to negotiate a comprehensive agreement that addresses the full range of issues of concern to us and our allies.
We must also meet the mounting danger on the other side of Asia. While we have been preoccupied in Iraq, next door in Iran, a nuclear program has been reportedly moving ahead. Let me say it plainly: a nuclear armed Iran is unacceptable. An America whose interest and allies could be on the target list must no longer sit on the sidelines. It is critical that we work with our allies to resolve those issues.
This is why strengthening the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is so critical. The Iranians claim they’re simply trying to meet domestic energy needs. We should call their bluff, and organize a group of states that will offer the nuclear fuel they need for peaceful purposes and take back the spent fuel so they can’t divert it to build a weapon. If Iran does not accept this, their true motivations will be clear. The same goes for other countries possibly seeking nuclear weapons. We will oppose the construction in any new countries of any new facilities to make nuclear materials, and lead a global effort to prevent the export of the necessary technology to Iran.
We also need to strengthen enforcement and verification. We must make rigorous inspection protocols mandatory, and refocus the mission of the International Atomic Energy Agency to stop the spread of nuclear weapons material.
Next, we must work with every country to tighten export controls, stiffen penalties, and beef up law enforcement and intelligence sharing, to make absolutely sure that a disaster like the AQ Khan black market network, which grew out of Pakistan’s nuclear program, can never happen again. We must also take steps to reduce tension between India and Pakistan and guard against the possibility of nuclear weapons falling into the wrong hands there.
So let it be clear: finally and fundamentally, preventing nuclear terrorism is our most urgent priority to provide for America’s long term security. That is why I will appoint a National Coordinator for Nuclear Terrorism and Counterproliferation who will work with me in the White House to marshal every effort and every ally, to combat an incalculable danger.
We have to do everything we can to stop a nuclear weapon from ever reaching our shore—and that mission begins far away. We have to secure nuclear weapons and materials at the source so that searching the containers here at the Port of Palm Beach isn’t our only line of defense—it is our last line of defense.
This is not an easy topic: it can be frightening. At this hour, stockpiles go unguarded, bomb making materials sit in forgotten facilities, and terrorists plot away. They sit in unassuming rooms all across the globe. They have their technology. They have their scientists. All they need is that material. But we can stop them. Remember. No material. No bomb. No nuclear terrorism.
We are living through days of great and unprecedented risks. But Americans have never surrendered to fear. Today, we must not avert our eyes, or pretend it’s not there—or think that we can simply wait it out. That is not our history—or our hope.
Last Saturday, I attended the dedication of the World War II memorial. I had the honor to sit next to a brave man, Joe Lesniewski, who was one of the original “Band of Brothers” from the ‘Easy Company” of the 101st Airborne Division. He’s part of the Greatest Generation and jumped into enemy territory during the invasion of Normandy. Like so many other young men that day, he looked fear in the face and conquered it. June 6th—this coming Saturday—marks the anniversary of that day which saved the free world.
Sixty years ago, more than 43,000 young men were ready to storm Omaha Beach. Their landing craft were heading for an open beach, where they faced a wall of concrete and bullets. They knew there was an overwhelming chance that they might die before their boots hit the sand.
But they jumped into the shallow waters and fought their way ashore. Because at the end of the beach, beyond the cliff was the hope of a safer world. That is what Americans do. We face a challenge—no matter how ominous—because we know that on the other side of hardship resides hope.
As president, I will not wait or waver in the face of the new threats of this new era. I will build and lead strong alliances. I will deploy every tool at our disposal. I know it will not be easy, but the greatest victories for peace and freedom never are. There are no cake-walks in the contest with terrorists and lawless states.
We have to climb this cliff together so that we, too, can reach the other side of hardship and live in a world that no longer fears the unknowable enemy and the looming mushroom cloud on the horizon.
We must lead this effort not just for our own safety, but for the good of the world. As President Truman said, “Our goal is collective security…If we can work in a spirit of understanding and mutual respect, we can fulfill this solemn obligation that rests upon us.”
Just as he led America to face the threat of communism, so too, we must now face the twin threats of nuclear proliferation and terrorism. This is a great challenge for our generation—and the stakes are as high as they were on D-Day and in President Truman’s time. For the sake of all the generations to come, we will meet this test and we will succeed.