Project for the New American Century
1150 17th St NW
Washington, DC 20037
George W. Bush
President of the United States
We write to
endorse your admirable commitment to "lead the world to victory"
in the war against terrorism. We fully support your call for "a
broad and sustained campaign" against the "terrorist organizations
and those who harbor and support them." We agree with Secretary
of State Powell that the United States must find and punish the
perpetrators of the horrific attack of September 11, and we must,
as he said, "go after terrorism wherever we find it in the
world" and "get it by its branch and root." We agree
with the Secretary of State that U.S. policy must aim not only at
finding the people responsible for this incident, but must also
target those "other groups out there that mean us no good"
and "that have conducted attacks previously against U.S. personnel,
U.S. interests and our allies."
In order to
carry out this "first war of the 21st century" successfully,
and in order, as you have said, to do future "generations a
favor by coming together and whipping terrorism," we believe
the following steps are necessary parts of a comprehensive strategy.
We agree that a key goal, but by no means the only goal, of the
current war on terrorism should be to capture or kill Osama bin
Laden, and to destroy his network of associates. To this end, we
support the necessary military action in Afghanistan and the provision
of substantial financial and military assistance to the anti-Taliban
forces in that country.
We agree with Secretary of State Powell's recent statement that
Saddam Hussein "is one of the leading terrorists on the face
of the Earth
." It may be that the Iraqi government provided
assistance in some form to the recent attack on the United States.
But even if evidence does not link Iraq directly to the attack,
any strategy aiming at the eradication of terrorism and its sponsors
must include a determined effort to remove Saddam Hussein from power
in Iraq. Failure to undertake such an effort will constitute an
early and perhaps decisive surrender in the war on international
terrorism. The United States must therefore provide full military
and financial support to the Iraqi opposition. American military
force should be used to provide a "safe zone" in Iraq
from which the opposition can operate. And American forces must
be prepared to back up our commitment to the Iraqi opposition by
all necessary means.
Hezbollah is one of the leading terrorist organizations in the world.
It is suspected of having been involved in the 1998 bombings of
the American embassies in Africa, and implicated in the bombing
of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983. Hezbollah clearly
falls in the category cited by Secretary Powell of groups "that
mean us no good" and "that have conducted attacks previously
against U.S. personnel, U.S. interests and our allies." Therefore,
any war against terrorism must target Hezbollah. We believe the
administration should demand that Iran and Syria immediately cease
all military, financial, and political support for Hezbollah and
its operations. Should Iran and Syria refuse to comply, the administration
should consider appropriate measures of retaliation against these
known state sponsors of terrorism.
and the Palestinian Authority
Israel has been and remains America's staunchest ally against international
terrorism, especially in the Middle East. The United States should
fully support our fellow democracy in its fight against terrorism.
We should insist that the Palestinian Authority put a stop to terrorism
emanating from territories under its control and imprison those
planning terrorist attacks against Israel. Until the Palestinian
Authority moves against terror, the United States should provide
it no further assistance.
A serious and victorious war on terrorism will require a large increase
in defense spending. Fighting this war may well require the United
States to engage a well-armed foe, and will also require that we
remain capable of defending our interests elsewhere in the world.
We urge that there be no hesitation in requesting whatever funds
for defense are needed to allow us to win this war.
There is, of
course, much more that will have to be done. Diplomatic efforts
will be required to enlist other nations' aid in this war on terrorism.
Economic and financial tools at our disposal will have to be used.
There are other actions of a military nature that may well be needed.
However, in our judgement the steps outlined above constitute the
minimum necessary if this war is to be fought effectively and brought
to a successful conclusion. Our purpose in writing is to assure
you of our support as you do what must be done to lead the nation
to victory in this fight.
William J. Bennett
Reuel Marc Gerecht
Bruce P. Jackson
Eli S. Jacobs
William Schneider, Jr.
Richard H. Shultz
Stephen J. Solarz