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 You are in: Bureaus/Offices Reporting Directly to the Secretary > Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism > Releases > Remarks > 2006

The Role of Public and Private Partnerships in the Global War on Terrorism

Ambassador Henry A. Crumpton, Coordinator for Counterterrorism
Remarks to the 5th Annual International Counterterrorism Conference: Public and Private Partnerships
Washington, DC
April 20, 2006

As prepared for delivery

Thank you for the opportunity to address this conference, a forum where public and private partners can learn from each other, learn how together we can win this Global War on Terrorism. I am especially honored to be here with our distinguished Canadian partners and all of our international partners.

On behalf of the U.S. Government, Secretary of State Rice, and all those men and women in Federal service who are engaged in this conflict, I thank you for your interest, your efforts, and your partnership.

What does this Global War on Terrorism mean? Are we wining? If so, how? What are the roles for the private sector in this unprecedented, strange, global conflict? A conflict where battle lines are unknown, where enemy forces are often undefined, where our military power is unmatched, yet where non-military power is more important.

War has crossed a threshold. We have entered a stage that experts have been predicting: Fourth Generation Warfare. The elements are many and complex, so I will only stress three main trends:

  • Micro actors with macro impact.
  • The global battlefield.
  • The growing role of non-state actors.

The terrorist threat is constantly evolving, but in general terms we know that it arises from a loose confederation of extremist groups, that is targeting the international system of nation states and specifically focusing on the United States, our allies and interests.

The enemy–Al-Qaida and its affiliates–gains strength from making local conflicts their own, from aggregating conflicts, and from deploying operatives on a global scale. The enemy exhibits many of the characteristics of a global insurgency. They engage in intelligence collection, subversion, denial and deception, sabotage, terrorism, and even open warfare. We must, therefore, respond with a global counterinsurgency campaign with an extreme focus on three strategic targets: enemy leadership, enemy safehavens, and the political-economic-social conditions that the enemy exploits. We must employ all the instruments of statecraft, orchestrate them against these three strategic targets, and demonstrate the same degree of stamina and determination manifest during the Cold War.

In today’s increasingly interconnected world, we cannot draw neat, clear lines between security interests, development efforts, and our support for democracy. American statecraft must integrate and advance all of these goals together. In order to address the conditions terrorists exploit, the United States must work with our many partners around the world to build and sustain democratic, well-governed states that respond to the needs of their people and conduct themselves responsibly in the international system.

We can no longer assume that every state can control and direct threats emerging from its territory nor can we assume that weak and poorly governed states are merely a burden to their people or simply an international humanitarian concern. Technology is eliminating the distance that once clearly separated us across land and sea. Safehavens in cyberspace and the ability to transfer funds, materiel and people depend on existing regional underground networks (such as those that exist for narcotics trafficking, piracy or people smuggling).

We must, therefore, cut the links, material and ideological, from al-Qaida and its affiliates and prevent al-Qaida from recruiting more allies. The links that we must cut include ideology, finances, intelligence, communication, cultural affiliation, training, and other support infrastructure.

To counter this multi-layered threat, we must apply all elements of national power in conjunction with partners, allies and like-minded non-state actors. Our effort is structured at three levels–a global campaign to counter al-Qaida and associated networks, a series of regional campaigns to target and eliminate terrorist safe havens, and numerous local security and development assistance operations worldwide, designed to build liberal institutions, support the rule of law, and enhance our partners’ capacity to resist the threat. The underlying principle is unified statecraft, working by, with or through partners at every level–including the private sector–whenever and wherever possible.

The private sector offers enormous potential, such as economic might and efficiencies reflected in fast and flexible responses to market and security conditions. We need to find better ways to harness this power, to aim this energy at the enemy. The private sector, of course, has a vested interest, given that increasingly the terrorist enemy will target the private sector, for exploitation or destruction.

As you know, the Bush administration believes strongly in the need for public-private partnerships in the counterterrorism effort. There are some good examples.

The Overseas Security Advisory Council, OSAC, is a Federal Advisory Committee to promote security cooperation between American business and private sector interests worldwide and the U.S. Department of State. OSAC currently encompasses the 34 member core Council, an Executive Office, over 100 Country Councils, and more than 3,500 constituent members organizations. OSAC serves as a trusted, dynamic, global network where information, warnings, and recommendations flow. Only yesterday I heard a Regional Security Officer urge senior foreign government officials to provide better information in a timely manner, so he could post this information on the OSAC web. He explained that investor confidence depended on this. I am sure many of you are participating members in OSAC, and I thank you.

The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT) is one. Over 5,800 U.S. businesses, including most major U.S. importers, participate in this program. Under the initiative, private-sector leaders such as General Motors, Ford, Target, Motorola and others are working with U.S. Customs to assume greater responsibility for the promotion of homeland security. They are improving baseline security standards for supply chain and container security, and focusing on high risk containers. About 90% of the world’s trade is transported in such cargo containers; more than nine million cargo containers arrive by sea and are offloaded at U.S. seaports each year.

Another example: On January 30, 2006, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Hamid Karzai launched an initiative, to highlight the importance of the private sector in the reconstruction of Afghanistan: "Businesses Building Bridges." Recognizing that one of the keys to success in Afghanistan is a robust Afghan private sector, the BBB initiative, a public-private partnership with U.S. business leaders, will help forge relationships between the U.S. and Afghanistan private sectors. BBB will help train Afghan entrepreneurs, mentor the local business community, improve the investment climate, and increase confidence within the marketplace. Remember, denying enemy safehaven is only the first step. We must replace the enemy’s political power with trusted networks of liberal institutions, that include the rule of law and the power of free markets.

The U.S. also strongly supports an initiative by the Russian Federation, as part of its year-long Presidency of the Group of Eight, to foster an on-going dialogue between the public and private sectors on fighting terrorism. This will culminate in a high-level meeting in Moscow in November of leaders from governments, business, and civil society to maximize our effectiveness in fighting terrorism.

Recently the State Department brought together university presidents for their first ever summit in Washington and are working with them and the Commerce Department to better market American higher education to students around the world. We started the Fortune Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative, which brings women business leaders from around the world to America to work with women at Fortune 500 companies. Microsoft and the International Institute for Education are training 1,000 women in the United Arab Emirates in information technology. Major corporations including Pfizer, Citicorp, Xerox, GE, UPS, Pepsico, John Deere, American Electric Power, and Asset Management Advisors raised more than $100 million to help victims of Pakistan’s earthquake and flooding in Central America. The Aspen Institute has partnered with us on journalism schools to bring international journalists here for work-study programs. All of these partnerships are helping to advance our goals and we look forward to further discussion, collaboration and development.

These partnerships also build trusted networks of allies and partners–state, non-state, and multilateral–who support the rule of law and oppose the use of terrorism to resolve grievances. All human beings belong to networks of trust, based on family, societal, religious, cultural and economic links. Attempting to destroy terrorist networks is ultimately meaningless unless we can replace them with something better. We must replace an ideology of hatred with an ideology of hope.

Practically, our most important task in the war on terrorism is not the temporary "destructive" task of eradicating enemy networks, but the enduring "constructive" task of building legitimacy, good governance, trust and the rule of law. Systems that are characterized by an absence of political choice, transparent governance, economic opportunities and personal freedoms can create incubators for extremism. Ignoring human development problems is no longer an option.

Jumpstarting agriculture in areas of post conflict or areas that are considered safe havens offer alternatives to employment in terrorist movements and offer decommissioned soldiers and irregulars routes to returning to civilian life. Development projects are not only good for the world’s poor but also good for our national security. When the U.S. carries out successful development projects and helps local populations with jobs and an economic future in known terrorist safe havens, we make it more difficult for the enemy to operate. As an example, in Colombia, right-wing paramilitary terrorist groups, the AUC, have reached an accord with the government. There are now 28,000 demobilized, former combatants, average age 20 with 8 years of combat experience and minimal education, seeking employment. The Colombian Government has a window of opportunity, but needs private sector assistance. Development projects in certain contexts, like in Columbia, bring a national security dividend. I ask you as Americans, as company managers, NGO leaders, or philanthropists to consider partnering with the USG on development projects in frontline states. USAID has the "Global Development Alliance," an outstanding public-private partnership for transformational development. Since 2002, USAID used this program to invest $1.4 billion across nearly 400 alliances in every region and sector, leveraging over $4.6 billion in partner resources. This is all about development, free markets, profit, and in the long-term, counterterrorism.

My office hopes to provide more information to you. We have rebuilt our website; you may go to the main Department of State website and locate the Office of Coordinator for Counterterrorism. Next week we will release the 2005 Country Reports on Terrorism, that will include a new chapter, a net assessment, plus a chapter on enemy safehavens. We, of course, will also address the challenge of terrorism in each country of the world. Our website will include a link to this report.

We must find ways to encourage and nurture democracy in societies where a lack of freedom destroys hope and leaves some feeling that individuals have no choice but to lash out in rage and frustration at those they have been led to believe are responsible for their plight.

President Bush declared, "when the entire region sees the promise of freedom in its midst, the terrorist ideology will become more and more irrelevant, until that day when it is viewed with contempt or ignored altogether."


I hope that the corridors of this conference are filled with brainstorming, so private-public ideas can help in the counter terrorism fight, so we can foster emerging economies, civic institutions, and democracy. The government needs the private sector. We all need each other, to build trusted, enduring, global networks.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you.



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