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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 11, 2001

President Speaks on War Effort to Citadel Cadets, tells the ABM Treaty has become an obstacle to peace


The attacks on our nation made it even more clear that we need to build limited and effective defenses against a missile attack.  (Applause.)  Our enemies seek every chance and every means to do harm to our country, our forces, and our friends.  And we will not permit it.

Suppose the Taliban and the terrorists had been able to strike America or important allies with a ballistic missile.  Our coalition would have become fragile, the stakes in our war much, much higher.  We must protect Americans and our friends against all forms of terror, including the terror that could arrive on a missile.

Last week we conducted another promising test of our missile defense technology.  For the good of peace, we're moving forward with an active program to determine what works and what does not work.  In order to do so, we must move beyond the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, a treaty that was written in a different era, for a different enemy.  (Applause.)

America and our allies must not be bound to the past.  We must be able to build the defenses we need against the enemies of the 21st century.