The Global Campaign on Terrorism: Next StepsAmbassador Francis X. Taylor, Coordinator for Counterterrorism
Remarks to Lord Robertson and a Meeting of the NATO Ambassadors at the Department of State
June 21, 2002
It’s been nearly 10 months since September 11, and we’ve conducted a very successful campaign:
Those are just a few of the successes we have achieved. And it has truly been a tremendous international effort.
It is now nine months since the tragedy has occurred, and we are moving beyond immediate responses. The easy victories have been won; we’ve frozen the assets, gained a military victory, but we have several more theoretical challenges that will require us to change our thinking. I don’t have all the answers to the next challenges but welcome your thoughts and want to encourage your dialogue on these issues. The four main issues I see are:
Sustaining Political Will
As the memory from September 11 fades, we must remember that this campaign will take many years.
Each country is facing tough decisions; our own government is undergoing the most massive reorganization since World War II. If Congress passes the President’s plan, the new Department of Homeland Security will be the second-largest department, next to the Pentagon.
We also must be careful not to let terrorism be a panacea for every ill of the world.
Next phase is much less about dropping bombs, but reforming institutions to close the seams where international terrorists hide.
Investing in Capability – Improving Capacity
Defining Success: How do we do it?
We will have succeeded when terrorism is no longer a legitimate form of political expression.
But success must also be in improving cooperation, shoring up your infrastructures to fight terrorism, reconfiguring your structures to fight terrorism.
Success will also be full implementation of UNSCR 1373, and building capacity around the world.
I think just how great our public diplomacy challenge has become was one of the surprises to the American public after the attacks. There can be no better way to fight the public diplomacy campaign than by having a transparent process, a just legal system and an open airing of differences.
The terrorists attacked the values we hold most dear; we cannot let them win by changing those guiding moral principals that have made our country what it is -- what we are.
Communication and cooperation can always be improved.
The International Counterterrorism (CT) community in the United States Government was one of the most connected and coordinated operations in the Federal Government. But information sharing must constantly be examined, practiced at a policy level, and shared across governments. I remind everyone that we are in this campaign together, and that coordination, intelligence sharing, and communication are vital to counter this threat.
These arrests in Morocco of the Saudi Arabians who were planning on blowing up several military warships are crucial in stopping the next wave of attacks.
While we may have dismantled key al-Qaida leadership, the Richard Reids and Ahmed Ressams are still out there.
I get asked a great deal, what’s next? And I always respond what’s next is what’s now and that is closing the seams where international terrorists hide.
Released on June 21, 2002