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Defeating International Terrorism: Campaign Objectives

Defeating International Terrorism: Campaign Objectives

Source: 10 Downing Street, London, November 1, 2001.

Our overall objective is to eliminate terrorism as a force in international affairs. There are immediate objectives relating to Usama bin Laden, his organisation and Afghanistan and wider objectives relating principally to the campaign against international terrorism more generally.

The immediate objectives are:

  • to bring Usama bin Laden and other Al Qa'ida leaders to justice;
  • to prevent Usama bin Laden and the Al Qa'ida network from posing a continuing terrorist threat;
  • to this end to ensure that Afghanistan ceases to harbour and sustain international terrorism and enables us to verify that terrorist training has ceased and that the camps where terrorists train have been destroyed;
  • assuming that Mullah Omar will not comply with the US ultimatum we require sufficient change in the leadership to ensure that Afghanistan's links to international terrorism are broken.

The wider objectives are:

  • to do everything possible to eliminate the threat posed by international terrorism;
  • to deter states from supporting, harbouring or acting complicitly with international terrorist groups;
  • reintegration of Afghanistan as a responsible member of the international community and an end to its self-imposed isolation.

The immediate objectives will be achieved by all available means, including both political and military:

  • isolating the current Taliban regime from all international support.
  • unless the Taliban regime complies with the US ultimatum, taking direct action against Usama bin Laden, the Al Qa'ida networks and the terrorist facilities in Afghanistan, and where necessary taking political and military action to fragment the present Taliban regime, including through support for Pushtoon groups opposed to the regime as well as forces in the Northern Alliance.
  • providing economic and political support to Afghanistan's neighbours to help with the burden of this conflict.
  • building the widest possible international coalition, with maximum UN support.
  • taking immediate steps to deal with the humanitarian crisis confronting Afghanistan and to help neighbouring countries deal with the refugee problem.

The wider campaign will be conducted on a broad front:

  • to make a step change in international efforts to change the climate in which terrorists operate.
  • This will be a complex campaign including strengthening domestic legislation and national capabilities and working through the United Nations, European Union and G8 to cut off the terrorists' funds and make it easier to trace terrorists and bring them to justice;
  • reconstruction of Afghanistan. Realistically it will be difficult for this to start until there is a secure environment within Afghanistan. But a programme of emergency relief will have to be available early. The cost of reconstructing Bosnia was $5bn and Afghanistan has four times Bosnia's population. Reconstruction of Afghanistan could take 5-10 years to complete. Only sustained international development effort has any chance of ridding Afghanistan of heroin and domination of war lords;
  • assisting Afghanistan, including through the United Nations, to establish a broadly based government representative of all groups in the country.
  • a positive political agenda of engagement with Arab countries and the Islamic world.
  • a strategy to deal with the wide number of sometimes small groups of terrorists who flourish in states across the world and the linkages between them. This will include sustained pressure on those states that aid and abet terrorism. Where states are powerless to put a stop to terrorism on their territory assistance will have to be made available. Where states are unwilling to take effective action they will face a vigorous response from the wider international community.
  • renewed efforts to resolve the conflicts which are among the underlying causes of terrorism; and renewed efforts to bear down on Weapons of Mass Destruction proliferation.

Any action taken to achieve our objectives will need to be in conformity with international law, including the UN Charter and international humanitarian law.




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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).