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Edwards Campaign Press Release - Edwards Outlines Plan To Fight Terrorism

June 07, 2007

Lays out smart, mission-focused plan for shutting down terrorists

New York, New York – At a press conference today in New York City, Senator John Edwards outlined his plan to keep Americans safe and fight terrorists. With terrorism around the world on the rise, Edwards believes we need a change from the Bush "Global War on Terror Doctrine," which hasn't worked and has only been used to justify the worst abuses of his Administration. Edwards laid out a mission-focused plan to shut down terrorists and stand up for American values.

"For six years, George Bush has used the language of terrorism to force through an ideological agenda that undermines our values and does nothing to undercut terrorism," said Edwards. "By the Bush Administration's own admission, we are less safe today. We need a smart national security strategy to shut down terrorists, not a cynical political strategy to shut down debate. As president, I will strengthen our military to better address the threat posed by terrorist groups, and launch a sweeping global effort to ensure that terrorism does not take root in weak and failing states."

President Bush's "War on Terror Doctrine" has not made us safer—the State Department released a report a little over a month ago stating that there was a 29% increase in terrorism worldwide from 2005 to 2006, with most events in Iraq and Afghanistan, where thousands of Americans are at risk. It has also undermined the military strength that is America's greatest resource against terrorists. The policy has placed our service members under incredible stress and repeated deployments, while drawing down our resources and equipment.

Edwards will put America on an offensive footing against those who would harm us. In order to fight terrorism, Edwards will strengthen our military force structure and recognize what our military commanders have made clear military action is only one of the tools we have to stop terrorism; we have to supplant the lure of violent extremism with the hope of education, opportunity, and prosperity.

As president, Edwards will take the following six key steps to shut down terrorism both its effects and its root causes. The Edwards plan will:

  • Rebalance our force structure for the challenges of the new century to ensure the force structure of our military matches its mission. Edwards believes we need to ensure that our force structure is well-equipped for the challenges of the new century. We must have enough troops to rebuild from Iraq; to bolster deterrence; to decrease our heavy reliance on Guard and Reserve members in military operations; and to deploy in Afghanistan and any other trouble spots that could develop.
  • Ensure our intelligence strategy adheres to proven and effective methods and avoids actions that will give terrorists or even other nations an excuse to abandon international law.
  • Hold regular meetings with top military leadership. Edwards will also reinstate a basic doctrine of national security management—military professionals will have primary responsibility in matters of tactics and operations, while civilian leadership will have authority in all matters of broad strategy and political decisions.
  • Create a "Marshall Corps" of 10,000 professionals, modeled on the Reserves systems, to stabilize weak and failing states.
  • Re-invest in the maintenance of our equipment so our strategy against terrorists is as effective as possible.
  • Implement a new National Security Budget that will include all security activities by the Pentagon and the Department of Energy, and our homeland security, intelligence, and foreign affairs agencies.

For more details on Edwards' plan, please click here to read the fact sheet.

John Edwards, Edwards Campaign Press Release - Edwards Outlines Plan To Fight Terrorism Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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