by SFC Kathleen Rhem
WASHINGTON � A good-sized chunk of the $20 billion in emergency funds President George W. Bush requested Sept. 12 to deal with the terrorist attacks in New York City Sept. 11 will go to preparing the military for a possible counterattack, the Defense Department�s No. 2 man said Sept. 13.
"(The request) is government-wide. It�s not just (for) the Defense Department," Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said in a Pentagon press briefing. "But obviously a very great portion of those needs are to prepare our armed forces for whatever the president may ask them to do."
Wolfowitz couldn�t elaborate on what portion of the money would go to the military. "I don�t think we know the breakdown yet, partly because the needs are so enormous," he said. The military�s share would include the cost of recovery efforts at the Pentagon and current support operations, but much would go to beefing up the services for the weeks and months ahead, he remarked.
"A significant piece of this is going to be to bring our armed forces to the highest level of preparedness," Wolfowitz said. He added he hoped the enormity of the amount sends a message to the world that the United States is serious about stopping terrorism.
"(Terrorists) try to hide, but they won�t be able to hide forever. They think their harbors are safe, but they won�t be safe forever," he said. "It�s not simply a matter of capturing people and holding them accountable, but removing the sanctuaries, removing the support systems, ending states who sponsor terrorism.
"And that�s why it has to be a broad and sustained campaign," he continued. "It�s not going to stop if a few criminals are taken care of."
The deputy secretary acknowledged $20 billion is a lot of money, "but for this country, it is just a downpayment on what we�re going to do."
|An estimated 200-foot section of the Pentagon�s west wall lies in ruins following the crash of a hijacked airliner into the building Sept. 11.|
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