Cheney to new officers: United States will not live at mercy of terror. (Around the Fleet).
Cheney told the class of 2002 in Annapolis, Md., that the United States would depend on them to help lead the nation in the first war of the 21st century.
"Deliverable weapons of mass destruction in the hands of terrorists would expose this nation and the civilized world to the worst of wars, and we will not allow it. We will not live at the mercy of terrorists or terror regimes."
He told the 965 new Navy and Marine Corps officers that the war against global terror will take years. "The terrorists who struck America are ruthless, they are resourceful, and they hide in many countries," Cheney said. "They came into our country to murder thousands of innocent, unsuspecting men, women and children -- including 14 graduates of this Academy.
"There is no doubt they wish to strike again and are working to acquire the deadliest of all weapons."
Cheney said this new type of war has accelerated military changes already being contemplated. He mentioned President Bush's wish to redefine war on American terms. "That means that our armed services must have every tool to answer any threat that forms against us," he said. "It means that any enemy conspiring to harm America or our friends must face swift, certain and devastating response."
Cheney wished the graduates Godspeed and told them that as they begin their naval service, "you can be certain that wherever you are sent, you will have from your Commander in Chief consistent orders, clear direction and every possible ounce of support required for the missions ahead."
For more information on America's war against terrorism, go to www.defendamerica.mil.
Story by Jim Garamone, American Forces Press Service