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Thinking and Acting Anew
Remarks of The Honorable Gordon R.
England, Secretary of the Navy, International Seapower Symposium Naval War
College, Newport, R.I. October 28, 2003.
Source: Navy Office of Information, Washington D.C.
First, a few
"thank-you's" and "welcomes".
Route, thank you for this exciting opportunity to join you and the
representatives of 75 navies from around the world here today. Oceans may
separate us, but unshakable bonds unite us. Here at the magnificent Naval War
College in Newport, the "thinking capital" of the U.S. Navy.
that we also have 55 Navy and 5 Coast Guard chiefs in attendance here today.
Thanks to each of you for being here. I know that most of you have traveled a
particularly noteworthy that we have a number of Middle Eastern naval chiefs
with us, some attending for the first time. As you may likely know, this past
Sunday was the first day of the holy month of Ramadan.
guidance to Muslims during Ramadan is that they should spend this time with
family members. Therefore, special thanks to all our friends from the Middle
East who have selected all of us to be their family during the first week of
Ramadan. Thank you for letting me be part of your family.
And a very
special thanks for a very special leader. And a very special personal friend.
And someone that I have the privilege and honor to serve with every day. The CNO
of the U.S. Navy, Admiral Vern Clark.
you've heard that in recognition of his outstanding leadership in these
challenging times, President Bush has nominated Admiral Clark to extend his tour
in office for another two years. Only the legendary Admiral Arleigh Burke has
had such an honor bestowed upon him.
Clark, we're very proud of you. The entire world will benefit from your
experience, leadership and commitment. Thank you for your sacrifice, service and
especially for your friendship.
It is indeed
an honor and a great privilege for me to be here at the sixteenth Annual
International Seapower Symposium. This is a great forum for all of us to come
together and discuss shared interests and issues that we face as naval services.
It's also an
opportunity for us to demonstrate our commitment to the security and welfare of
our shared world.
The world has
definitely changed since the last time this symposium was held four years ago.
we are different nations from all over the globe, we are now united in a common
mission – the war on terror. We will fight together and we will prevail
where you're from, all Americans and most people throughout the world will never
forget where they were or what they were doing on 9/11 2001. The World Trade
Center was aptly named, for on that tragic day, 219 citizens from 35 countries
other than America, were killed.
Not only was
America attacked that day, we all were. There are probably only a handful of
other memories in your entire life that are remembered by so many.
important to understand the challenge before us. In my judgment, terrorism in
its modern form is one of the greatest threats to a civilized world. The causes
of international terrorism are likely diverse and many, but, whatever the
causes, they are enabled by new characteristics of our modern world.
there are five fundamental characteristics of our modern world that make
international terrorism so threatening and potentially so deadly:
access to and an accelerating rate of change in technology
information age and all it portends
5. Conventional and unconventional threats to include weapons of mass
Our CNO was
right on target when he spoke here yesterday, saying:
terrorism is a world problem
- That naval
powers must unite for one fight
- And that
Sea Power 21 can help transform the way we act.
Permit me to
complement the CNO's view with my own view and my somewhat broader strategic
2002 a new national security strategy for the United States was published, with
three key themes – generally referred to as the "Bush Doctrine." These three
themes are as follows:
1. We will
take the fight to the enemy – pre-emptively if we have to.
2. We will
fight this war with our world partners – but we will act alone if necessary.
3. We will
use all means --diplomatic and economic to fight terror – but we will use
military methods if that is the final option.
big "ifs" are often the only part of the strategy highlighted by the press and
analysts, but I would emphasize the three main themes themselves to you.
this doctrine assertive unilateralism, but none of us can any longer wait as
danger gathers. The best defense is generally a swift and devastating offense.
It is an
emphasis on action – broad based to include all means. Military, economic and
is that our national security strategy is exactly on target.
States of America doesn't fight for land. We don't fight for money; and we won't
fight simply to impose our will.
But we do
take up arms to secure this country and defeat evil when it threatens our lives
and our liberty. We do fight for freedom, and we will finish the job once
in the National Security Strategy wrote, "History will judge harshly those who
saw this coming danger but failed to act. In the new world we have entered, the
only path to peace and security is the path of action."
emphasizes the first imperative of all of our governments – protecting our
of this strategy is to provide a stable environment for peoples and governments
to flourish. We need to recognize that security and economic development are two
sides of the same coin. Security is necessary for economic development, but, in
the long term, economic development is needed for security. In all cases,
security comes first, and that is the fundamental objective of the Bush
Doctrine. Peace and prosperity are not ordained, but earned.
on our inherent strengths. Navies fight away games – it doesn't matter if it is
10 or 10,000 miles offshore. We're the first defense so that the last defense
may not be needed.
bring our sovereignty with us, naval forces are the only part of the larger
force that is able to act around the world, around the clock, to execute the
the sea, coupled with our long-reaching capabilities enabled by technology, make
naval forces especially unique and essential.
redouble our efforts to harmonize navies and coast guards and other coastal
We need to
build or strengthen our channels of communication. The rapid and accurate flow
of information is the foundation of actionable intelligence. We then need to
link our terrorist-related intelligence with the appropriate law enforcement and
the use of the sea to transfer arms, or to move WMD components or ingredients,
or drugs, is an endless challenge. Just as we use the seas to defend our
interests, our adversaries use it to attempt to advance theirs.
will always turn to all of us to keep the lines of communication and commerce
open in its vital geographic straits. Can you imagine the impact on
globalization if the Straits of Hormuz, Gibraltar or Malacca were closed for
just a matter of a few days?
The Suez and
Panama canals are two of the greatest gifts from the industrial age, which allow
free commerce across the world, begetting more freedoms that orderly countries
cherish. With every gift comes a responsibility, and that is our responsibility
– to keep the great oceans, seas and straits flowing freely and safely.
As you know,
I previously served as deputy to Secretary Tom Ridge at Homeland Security. That
fascinating experience has strongly influenced my thinking about what kind of
systems approach will be effective in the global war on terrorism.
Bush's urging, in November of 2002, the Congress approved the largest
reorganization of the U.S. government since 1947.
Department Of Homeland Security has about 180,000 employees and a budget of some
thirty-seven billion dollars.
President's national strategy for homeland security identifies six critical
mission areas for the new department:
intelligence and warning;
and transportation security;
protection of critical infrastructure and key assets;
against catastrophic threats; and finally
preparedness and response.
In just about
any complex endeavor, goals are easier to accomplish through partnerships and,
in this case, international partnerships are essential.
Department of Homeland Security, our international objectives are to:
information and education exchange with friendly nations;
sharing of best practices and technologies, including exchange of information on
r&d on homeland security technologies;
training exercises of first responders;
of expertise on terrorism prevention, response and crisis management.
We will also
seek to identify areas for homeland security information and training exchange
where the United States has a relative weakness, and another friendly nation or
nations have a demonstrated expertise.
Customs Service is establishing international partnerships with the 20 largest
ports in the world within the construct of the contain security initiative.
These 20 ports account for two-thirds of our maritime trade.
We are also
working with international organizations such as the international civil
aviation organization and international maritime organization to establish
standards, processes, and systems that will ensure collective security.
is to closely align the department of defense with the department of homeland
security and to establish international coalitions for mutual, shared security.
Bush is right. It will take the international community working together to
defeat terrorism. It will also take the international navies, represented here
today, to make this objective possible.
against terrorism will be a thousand fights across the globe and across the
years. Together, our navies can help to defeat terrorism.
should not be the avoidance of another 9/11 2001, but rather a freedom from fear
of another 9/11 anywhere in the world. This is now our battle, and together, we
will be victorious.
I would like again to thank Admiral Route and the Naval War College for giving
me the opportunity to speak here today and to thank all the Navy Chiefs and
representatives for your commitment to securing freedom and liberty throughout
I am proud to
stand with each of you for freedom and liberty for all peoples throughout the
Thank you for
the privilege and honor to be with you today.