U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today stressed that the United States has made an important strides after the 9/11 terror attack.
In her speech entitled “Smart Power Approach to Counterterrorism,” Ms. Clinton emphasized that U.S. government is better organized and its defenses are safer now ten years after the 9/11 attack.
“Ten years later, we have safer defenses. We still face real threats, as we see today, and there is more work to be done. As the members of the 9/11 Commission recently reported, a number of their major recommendations remain unfulfilled.” – Ms. Clinton
Ms. Clinton cited that the news last night of a specific credible, but unconfirmed, report that al-Qaida again is seeking to harm Americans and, in particular, to target New York and Washington.
“This should not surprise any of us. It is a continuing reminder of the stakes in our struggle against violent extremism no matter who propagates it, no matter where it comes from, no matter who its targets might be. We are taking this threat seriously. Federal, state, and local authorities are taking all steps to address it.” -Ms. Clinton
She highlighted that for decades, the U.S. government has trained many of New York’s leaders in law enforcement and public service, including those who are working right now around the clock to keep the cities safe and secure during this anniversary weekend.
“And that is what emerged so powerfully on September 11th and all the days that followed – compassion, courage, and character as strong as one can imagine and even stronger than the steel that were in the towers. We learned something about what makes this city great and what makes this country exceptional.” -Ms. Clinton
She stressed that Americans today pledged to do everything in their power to prevent another attack and to defeat the terrorists responsible.
“The United States has thrived as an open society, a principled nation, and a global leader. And we cannot and will not live in fear, sacrifice our values, or pull back from the world. “ -Ms. Clinton
She pointed out that before 9/11, the commission found that America did not adapt quickly enough to new and different kinds of threats, and it is imperative that they not make that mistake again. She said it is also imperative that Americans adapt just as quickly to new kinds of opportunities, that they not be paralyzed or preoccupied by the threats they face, that they not squander their strengths.
“So we keep our focus not only on what we are fighting against – on the terrorist networks that attacked us that day and continue to threaten us – but also on what we are fighting for – for our values of tolerance and equality and opportunity, for universal rights and the rule of law, for the opportunity of children everywhere to live up to their God-given potential. That’s a fight we can be confident of and a mission we can be proud of.” -Ms. Clinton
She stressed that the Americans have seen that precise and persistent force can significantly degrade even an enemy as elusive as al-Qaida. She noted that the United States will continue to go after its leaders and commanders, disrupt their operations and bring them to justice.
“To achieve these ends requires smart power, a strategy that integrates all our foreign policy tools – diplomacy and development hand-in-hand with defense – and that advances our values and the rule of law. We are waging a broad, sustained, and relentless campaign that harnesses every element of American power against terrorism.” -Ms. Clinton