Friday, May 27, 2005

From the President's address at Naval Academy Commencement:
Today, I'm going to talk about our strategy for victory in this war, what we've accomplished to make our nation more secure, your crucial role in this struggle, and why we need you to fight the war on terror and transform our military at the same time. In the 21st century, America will be prepared to answer any challenge, and defeat any adversary.

Our nation is pursuing a clear strategy for the war on terror: We're using every available tool to disrupt terrorists and their organizations. We are taking the fight to the enemy abroad so we do not have to face them here at home. (Applause.) We're denying the terrorists sanctuary, and making clear that America will not tolerate outlaw regimes that provide safe haven and support to terrorists. We're using all elements of national power to deny terrorists the chemical, biological and nuclear weapons they seek. We will not allow mass murderers to gain access to the tools of mass destruction. And we're stopping terrorists from achieving their ideological victories they seek, by working to spread the hope of freedom and reform across the broader Middle East. We understand that free nations do not support terrorists or invade their neighbors. We understand to make the world more peaceful and our country more secure, we will advance the cause of liberty. (Applause.)

Thanks to the men and women of the United States military, our strategy is working -- we are winning the war on terror. Since September 11, 2001, we've removed brutal regimes in Kabul and Baghdad that supported and harbored terrorists. We helped launch Afghanistan and Iraq on the path to lasting freedom by liberating over 50 million people. (Applause.) Both these nations have now chosen their leaders in free elections, and their courage is inspiring democratic reformers across the broader Middle East to rise up and claim their liberty.

To stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction, we broke up the world's most dangerous nuclear trading network. We convinced Libya's leader to give up his country's chemical and nuclear weapons programs, as well as his long-range ballistic missiles. Two years ago, we launched the Proliferation Security Initiative, an effort supported by 60 nations to stop shipments of weapons of mass destruction on land, at sea, and in the air. We have gone after al Qaeda and other terrorists with relentless determination, disrupting their communications, planning, training, and financing. We have put the enemy on the run, and now they spend their days avoiding capture, because they know America's Armed Services are on their trail. (Applause.)

And we will stay on their trail. The best way to protect our citizens is to stay on the offensive. In the last few weeks, we've dealt the enemy a series of powerful blows. In Afghanistan, we brought to justice scores of terrorists and insurgents. In Pakistan, one of Osama Bin Laden's senior terrorist leaders, a man named al-Libbi, was brought to justice. In Iraq, we captured two senior operatives of the terrorist Zarqawi. And in recent days, our forces have killed or captured hundreds of terrorists and insurgents in Baghdad and Western Iraq and near the Syrian border. Across the world, our military is standing directly between the American people and the worst dangers in the world, and Americans are grateful to have such brave defenders. (Applause.)

Difficult and dangerous work remains. Suicide bombers in Iraq are targeting innocent men, women and children, hoping to intimidate Iraq's new leaders, and shake the will of the Iraqi people. They will fail. Iraqis are determined, and our strategy is clear: We will train Iraqi forces so they can take the fight to the enemy and defend their own country, and then our troops will come home with the honor they have earned. (Applause.)