Rumsfeld changes tune on terror

Donald Rumsfeld has stressed the need for diplomacy in the fight against terror, in a rare admission that American fire power alone may not do the job.

    Rumseld is known to be a hawk in the present US administration

    In an article written for The Washington Post, a more moderate-sounding US Defence Secretary argued the challenge is "to stop the next generation of terrorists from forming."

    Hitherto known for his strong advocacy of pre-emptive strikes and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Rumsfeld surprisingly struck a conciliatory note and instead stressed on winning the war of ideas as well.

    "For every terrorist whom coalition forces capture, kill, dissuade or deter, others are being trained," the secretary of state wrote.

    "To win the war on terror, we must also win the war of ideas –the battle for the minds of those who are being recruited by terrorist networks across the globe."

    Turnaround

    Rumsfeld's turnaround comes amid growing scepticism over the US-led war in Iraq. 

    "To win the war on terror, we must also win the war of ideas"

    Donald Rumsfeld
    US Secretary of State


    He has argued it is critical for Americans to recognise that the war on terrorism "will be long, difficult and dangerous," and as the military deals with the immediate terrorist threats, "we also need to find ways to stop the next generation of terrorists from forming."

    Pondering lessons of a 1983 attack on the US Marine barracks in Beirut that left more than 240 US troops dead, Rumsfeld said building concrete barricades across buildings and surrounding them with wire fences could hardly be the answer because "for every defence, the terrorists moved to another avenue of attack."

    "Terrorists have a sizeable advantage," Rumsfeld wrote. "A terrorist can attack any time, in any place, using virtually any technique. And it is not possible to defend every potential target at all times in every place against every form of attack."

    "The task is to stop terrorists before they can terrorize," the secretary of state said. "And even better, we must lean forward and stop them from becoming terrorists in the first place," he wrote.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Pakistan's tribal areas: 'Neither faith nor union found'

    Residents of long-neglected northwestern tribal belt say incorporation into Pakistan has left them in a vacuum.