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Sunday, 16 September, 2001, 21:36 GMT 22:36 UK
Profile: Bush's fighting team
President Bush which members of his cabinet
Cheney, Bush Jnr and Powell - 10 years after the Gulf War
By the BBC's Paul Reynolds in Washington

As President George W Bush told reporters at Camp David on Saturday that the United States was " at war", it was striking to see those sitting next to him.

On his right, Vice President Dick Cheney. On his left, Secretary of State Colin Powell.

They were his father's men, the men who fought and won the Gulf War.

This is a war-fighting administration and its hour has arrived. The key figures are:

Vice-President Dick Cheney

Vice-President Dick Cheney
He was Defence Secretary during the Gulf War under George Bush senior.

A hawk without the flashy feathers, Mr Cheney is both a strategist and a man for detail.

He is the rock of the team. His age and experience complement the youth and more human touch of the president.

Secretary of State Colin Powell

Secretary of State Colin Powell
As Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he led the Gulf War coalition to victory against Iraq in 1991.

He invented the Powell Doctrine, the application of overwhelming force. This time, though, there is no clear enemy, so how will that doctrine apply?

As chief diplomat, he has to deliver a coalition of international support, no easy task and rather different from leading an army.

But his expertise on the military will count for much.

Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
He is the dark horse in this line-up and might easily emerge as the most controversial figure.

He speaks his mind more than the others, but this might just catch the public mood.

A Washington veteran and a man described - by Henry Kissinger no less - as the most ruthless man he knew.

A hands-off leader

After an unsteady start President Bush has steadied himself and ended the week with a strong performance among the firefighters and rescue workers at "ground zero" - the site of the World Trade Center.

He followed this up with forceful words at Camp David. The fashionable view that he would be putty in the hands of Mr Cheney and Mr Powell is, it seems, gone.

And Mr Bush has done what he likes to do. He has set the framework of policy which others can work on. Quite different from his predecessor, Bill Clinton.

If clashes occur, as they will, they are likely to be between the secretary of state and the others.

Mr Powell is cautious until convinced - Mr Rumsfeld takes less convincing.

Mr Cheney might have to adjudicate and only then will issues be presented to the president.

See also:

13 Sep 01 | Americas
Q&A: Military options
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