Rumsfeld says civilian agencies play key role in war on terrorism

Civilian agencies will play just as critical a role in the war on terrorism as the Defense Department, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday at a Pentagon briefing. "Not one single thing" will win the battle against terrorists, Rumsfeld said. Rather, the operation will hinge on contributions from a variety of federal agencies and other nations. For example, Rumsfeld said the Justice Department has arrested or questioned hundreds of people in connection with the Sept. 11 terrorist hijackings; the Treasury Department has assisted in freezing millions of dollars in bank accounts linked to terrorists; the State Department has put diplomatic pressure on Afghanistan's ruling Taliban; and intelligence agencies have provided information from numerous sources. Rumsfeld said the participation of so many other agencies and the support of countries around the world signals that the war on terrorism is unlike any military operation previously undertaken by U.S. forces. Additionally, Rumsfeld announced that the allied air strikes in Afghanistan over the past three days have crippled Taliban forces to the point where the U.S. and its allies can carry out strikes "around the clock." Among the targets struck were terrorist training camps, antiaircraft radar systems, airfields and "hundreds" of Taliban-backed ground troops, he said. Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said 85 percent of the first 31 targets had been successfully struck. While the terrorist camps were largely empty, Myers said, the strikes eliminated key training facilities such as classrooms and firing ranges that would be the equivalent of destroying the Marine Corps training facility at Quantico, Va.
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