ROSWELL, NM (Talon News) — On Thursday, President George W. Bush said the attacks of September 11, 2001 affected the way he thinks about foreign policy, because “we can no longer take gathering threats for granted.”
“If we see a threat gathering overseas, the lesson of September the 11th says, we must pay attention to it,” Bush said. “We cannot assume that oceans protect us anymore.”
Speaking at the New Mexico Military Institute, President Bush reminded the audience that the war on terror is a “different kind of war.”
“Sometimes you’d see action, and sometimes you wouldn’t,” Bush said. “[The war on terror] would require a different kind of attitude about chasing these people down. I also knew that time would pass and people would take the comfortable position of saying the dangers had passed, as well. That’s just not reality. I wish it was reality, but it’s not reality.”
The president said that his administration “will continue our vital work to protecting American people, by protecting our ports and borders and safeguarding infrastructure, preparing for the worst.” Bush praised the work of first responders and the “coordination now between the federal government, the state government, and local governments for preparing our homeland.”
“I’m going to submit a budget to Congress next month, which will include spending of $30 billion for homeland security,” Bush said. “That’s … almost three times the amount that we were spending prior to September the 11th, 2001.”
According to information supplied by the White House, the 9.7 percent proposed increase in FY 2005 funding for the war on terror will include increasing counterterrorism funding through the Department of Justice to $2.6 billion, a 19 percent increase over FY 2004 levels. The additional DOJ resources will put more FBI agents to work on counterterrorism activities, the White House says.
According to the White House, the proposed increase will bring overall FBI funding to $5.1 billion — a $1.9 billion (60%) increase over FY 2001 levels.
The additional resources will also strengthen the FBI’s intelligence capabilities and support the interagency Terrorist Threat Integration Center (TTIC), the White House says. The TTIC is responsible for integrating and analyzing terrorism threat-related information collected domestically and abroad, and ensuring that intelligence and law enforcement entities are working in common purpose.
“We understand our obligation in Washington,” Bush said. “Our obligation is never to forget what happened on September the 11th. And our obligation is to support the homeland security people, those on the front lines, to prepare for a potential threat.”
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