National Security Strategy 2006

 

Democracy is the opposite of terrorist tyranny, which is why the terrorists denounce it and are willing to kill the innocent to stop it. Democracy is based on empowerment, while the terrorists’ ideology is based on enslavement. Democracies expand the freedom of their citizens, while the terrorists seek to impose a single set of narrow beliefs. Democracy sees individuals as equal in worth and dignity, having an inherent potential to create and to govern themselves. The terrorists see individuals as objects to be exploited, and then to be ruled and oppressed.
Democracies are not immune to terrorism. In some democracies, some ethnic or religious groups are unable or unwilling to grasp the benefits of freedom otherwise available in the society. Such groups can evidence the same alienation and despair that the transnational terrorists exploit in undemocratic states. This accounts for the emergence in democratic societies of homegrown terrorists such as were responsible for the bombings in London in July 2005 and for the violence in some other nations. Even in these cases, the long-term solution remains deepening the reach of democracy so that all citizens enjoy its benefits.
The strategy to counter the lies behind the terrorists’ ideology is to empower the very people the terrorists most want to exploit: the faithful followers of Islam. We will continue to support political reforms that empower peaceful Muslims to practice and interpret their faith. The most vital work will be done within the Islamic world itself, and Jordan, Morocco, and Indonesia have begun to make important strides in this effort. Responsible Islamic leaders need to denounce an ideology that distorts and exploits Islam for destructive ends and defiles a proud religion.
Many of the Muslim faith are already making this commitment at great personal risk. They realize they are a target of this ideology of terror. Everywhere we have joined in the fight against terrorism, Muslim allies have stood beside us, becoming partners in this vital cause. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have launched effective efforts to capture or kill the leadership of the al-Qaida network. Afghan troops are in combat against Taliban remnants. Iraqi soldiers are sacrificing to defeat al-Qaida in their own country. These brave citizens know the stakes – the survival of their own liberty, the future of their own region, the justice and humanity of their own traditions – and the United States is proud to stand beside them.
The advance of freedom and human dignity through democracy is the long-term solution to the transnational terrorism of today. To create the space and time for that long-term solution to take root, there are four steps we will take in the short term.
• Prevent attacks by terrorist networks before they occur. A government has no higher obligation than to protect the lives and livelihoods of its citizens. The hard core of the terrorists cannot be deterred or reformed; they must be tracked down, killed, or captured. They must be cut off from the network of individuals and institutions on which they depend for support. That network must in turn be deterred, disrupted, and disabled by using a broad range of tools.
• Deny WMD to rogue states and to terrorist allies who would use them without hesitation. Terrorists have a perverse moral code that glorifies deliberately targeting innocent civilians. Terrorists try to inflict as many casualties as possible and seek WMD to this end. Denying terrorists WMD will require new tools and new international approaches. We are working with partner nations to improve security at vulnerable nuclear sites worldwide and bolster the ability of states to detect, disrupt, and respond to terrorist activity involving WMD.
• Deny terrorist groups the support and sanctuary of rogue states. The United States and its allies in the War on Terror make no distinction between those who commit acts of terror and those who support and harbor them, because they are equally guilty of murder. Any government that chooses to be an ally of terror, such as Syria or Iran, has chosen to be an enemy of freedom, justice, and peace. The world must hold those regimes to account.
• Deny the terrorists control of any nation that they would use as a base and launching pad for terror. The terrorists’ goal is to overthrow a rising democracy; claim a strategic country as a haven for terror; destabilize the Middle East; and strike America and other free nations with ever-increasing violence. This we can never allow. This is why success in Afghanistan and Iraq is vital, and why we must prevent terrorists from exploiting ungoverned areas.
America will lead in this fight, and we will continue to partner with allies and will recruit new friends to join the battle.

Afghanistan and Iraq: The Front Lines in the War on Terror
Winning the War on Terror requires winning the battles in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In Afghanistan, the successes already won must be consolidated. A few years ago, Afghanistan was condemned to a pre-modern nightmare. Now it has held two successful free elections and is a staunch ally in the war on terror. Much work remains, however, and the Afghan people deserve the support of the United States and the entire international community.
The terrorists today see Iraq as the central front of their fight against the United States. They want to defeat America in Iraq and force us to abandon our allies before a stable democratic government has been established that can provide for its own security. The terrorists believe they would then have proven that the United States is a waning power and an unreliable friend. In the chaos of a broken Iraq the terrorists believe they would be able to establish a safe haven like they had in Afghanistan, only this time in the heart of a geopolitically vital region. Surrendering to the terrorists would likewise hand them a powerful recruiting tool: the perception that they are the vanguard of history.
When the Iraqi Government, supported by the Coalition, defeats the terrorists, terrorism will be dealt a critical blow. We will have broken one of al-Qaida’s most formidable factions – the network headed by Zarqawi – and denied him the safe haven he seeks in Iraq. And the success of democracy in Iraq will be a launching pad for freedom’s success throughout a region that for decades has been a source of instability and stagnation.
The Administration has explained in some detail the strategy for helping the Iraqi people defeat the terrorists and neutralize the insurgency in Iraq. This requires supporting the Iraqi people in integrating activity along three broad tracks:

Political: Work with Iraqis to:
• Isolate hardened enemy elements who are unwilling to accept a peaceful political process;
• Engage those outside the political process who are willing to turn away from violence and invite them into that process; and
• Build stable, pluralistic, and effective national institutions that can protect the interests of all Iraqis.

Security: Work with Iraqi Security Forces to:
• Clear areas of enemy control by remaining on the offensive, killing and capturing enemy fighters, and denying them safe haven;
• Hold areas freed from enemy control with an adequate Iraqi security force presence that ensures these areas remain under the control of a peaceful Iraqi Government; and
• Build Iraqi Security Forces and the capacity of local institutions to deliver services, advance the rule of law, and nurture civil society.

Economic: Work with the Iraqi Government to:
• Restore Iraq’s neglected infrastructure so that Iraqis can meet increasing demand and the needs of a growing economy;
• Reform Iraq’s economy so that it can be self-sustaining based on market principles; and
• Build the capacity of Iraqi institutions to maintain their infrastructure, rejoin the international economic community, and improve the general welfare and prosperity of all Iraqis.

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