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The United States and terrorism



Worldwide terrorism is now a major concern of the US government. Yesterday there were three conferences on it. One was at the State Department, the speaker being Paula Dobrinsky, the Undersecretary of State for Global Affairs. It would be a full-time job to follow changes in the US government structure, and I do not know when this job was created. "Global Affairs" are clearly the domain of the Secretary of State, so this is presumably a euphemism for terrorism. A determined, youngish lady, the Undersecretary spoke of reorganization in the department and of the money the US was giving to help countries fighting terrorism. The implication was that the aid was meant to help in that fight.

At the Pentagon, Army Secretary Thomas White spoke of the Army's role in domestic security. There is now a cabinet-level Secretary for that. The implication was that he would have to coordinate his activities with the Defense Department, but how was not clear to me. Finally, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta spoke of the difficulty of inspecting all vehicles to control shipments which might be used in terrorist attacks. Clearly terrorism is a hot topic in Washington today.

Ronald Hilton - 10/27/01


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