U-S Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld says U-S forces are deploying around the world for what he says will be a sustained campaign against terrorism.
Speaking at the Pentagon, Mr. Rumsfeld said U-S ships, planes, and troops are already on the move. He says U-S forces are being arranged around the world where they can of the most use to carry out orders from President Bush.
Mr. Rumsfeld says the war on terrorism will be unlike previous wars because it will not be a campaign against a specific country. He says the effort will require patience and international support. He describes the anti-terrorism campaign as "a marathon, not a sprint."
Mr. Rumsfeld says last week's terrorist attacks in New York and Washington underscored the importance of non-proliferation efforts. He said thousands of people were killed, and that Washington must make sure its enemies do not get and use weapons that can cause even greater loss of life -- an apparent reference to weapons of mass destruction. Army Secretary Thomas White said earlier that U-S ground troops are ready to conduct what he called "sustained land combat operations." He provided no details, but said it is the beginning of a broader military plan that will unfold in the coming weeks.
About 100 U-S warplanes are reportedly being sent to the Persian Gulf region, where there is already a strong U-S military presence.
In addition, the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier U-S-S Theodore Roosevelt was dispatched from Norfolk, Virginia Wednesday -- bringing to five the number of U-S aircraft carrier battle groups at sea.
The Roosevelt is accompanied by guided missile cruisers, destroyers and submarines -- as well as by a three-ship amphibious assault group that includes over two thousand Marines.
The deployments are in support of efforts to identify, locate and hold accountable those responsible for last week's terrorist attacks on New York and Washington and those who support and harbor them. U-S officials say the network controlled by suspected terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden operates in scores of countries.