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What happens next? 9/10/01
Senator JOHN WARNER:
(Republican, Armed Services
I am an old marine. Boots on the
ground are often needed, but it
remains to be seen in this conflict.
You have to remember that this
thing is a political war, it's an
economic war, it's a cultural war.
We are feeding the people, we're
doing many things which hadn't
been done before in military
Also today there was the question
of Afghan opposition forces and
any degree of support you may
give them. Is it possible there
might be close air support?
Clearly. To the extent that we
can help them to achieve their
goals, which is just repressing this
terrible Taliban situation, that
government, you bet we'll support
But might that also be with
close air support as well as
I wouldn't try again to get into
tactical things, but, indeed,
Russia is supporting them. We
should support them to the extent
that they are willing to take that
support, and do it on their own
The US made it clear to the
UN Security Council that the
target may be broadened beyond
It was the United States and
Great Britain, as partners, that
went before the Security Council.
We have got to ferret out
terrorism wherever it is in the
world, because it's a challenge
to our security.
What if that weakens the
Let's take one step at a time.
The coalition is strong at this
point. I commend our President
for the ability to put it together,
together with your Prime
Minister. Take it a step at a
But if indeed the coalition was
to balk at the idea of taking the
conflict perhaps to another
country, another organisation,
Major Powell has said it doesn't
actually matter. "If the coalition
fails, we'll carry on".
I think keeping the coalition
together is very important. But
if there are other cells of
terrorism that had the potential
to strike out against the United
States, Great Britain or any other
freedom-seeking nation, you've
got to put them down.
So there wouldn't be unfinished
business? Does that mean you
might have to hit Iraq?
You're suggesting things that I
am not going to answer. I don't
know where those cells exist
to the extent they're active and
potentially able to strike us.
There's been increasing unrest
in Pakistan. How important is
it to keep stability in Pakistan,
if need be, to reduce US military
That's a story of true heroism.
The general who's in charge of
that country at this time, even
though he obtained that position
through a coup, is handling this
thing with tremendous courage.
At the moment, yes, some street
disruption, but by no means
ready to topple the government.
If, indeed, the Taliban say that
they are ready to have two
million more martyrs if necessary,
in order to conserve their
independence. It's a beautiful
sunny day here in Washington,
it seems a million miles away
from conflict, but if American
soldiers, British soldiers and
others start to lose their lives,
how are people going to look
at this conflict?
As a survival of freedom. Let
us not at this point in time
suggest that we're going to run
from anything. Our nation is
strong, it is united behind our
President, as your nation is
united behind your Prime
Minister. And we, together
with other coalition members,
must take those actions, those
risks necessary to stamp
Donald Rumsfeld said this is
about a sustained campaign.
In your assessment, is it years
rather than months?
I would not try to put a time
limit on it. Why play into the
hands of the terrorists? Keep
them guessing. Remain resolute,
remain strong, and take such
actions as necessary.
Also today, there was a feeling
from the administration that
there was a need to tighten the
loop of who actually knows
what goes on. You are clearly
in pole position here. Is there
a danger that too much
information is getting out?
You know, I've been in this
Senate 23 years. I've served
with many presidents. From
time to time, regrettably,
information does leak out. I
don't know all the facts about
this, but I was raised as a sailor
at the end of World War II.
The old slogan, I think it may
have originated in Great Britain,
"Loose lips sink ships". We
cannot allow that to happen.
At the same time, it is very
important in our form of
government where you have
two co-equal forms of branches,
President and Congress, unlike
your form, that we remain
informed so that we can be
full partners with the President.
Because if something goes
wrong, we have to accept
responsibility with the President,
not skip and run from him.
Thank you very much indeed.