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18 May 2000

17 May 2000

Transcript: Clinton Adds $300 Million to Anti-terrorism Funds Request

(Cites measures to combat threats to security) (5020)

In response to the increasingly sophisticated and globalized nature of
terrorism, President Clinton May 17 announced that he is requesting an
additional $300 million to fund programs to expand intelligence
efforts; improve forensic abilities; track terrorists; and enhance
coordination among federal, state, and local authorities in case of

He said the new funds are in addition to the $9 billion that he has
already requested for counter-terrorism in the 2001 federal budget.

Speaking to graduating cadets at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in
Connecticut, Clinton listed a number of national priorities intended
to enhance national and global security, including protecting existing
nuclear weapons, joint research with Russia to help its scientists
"turn their expertise to peaceful projects," and steps to protect the
United States from cyber crime and cyber terrorism.

The president said that despite such measures, Americans must "face
the possibility that a hostile nation...may well acquire weapons of
mass destruction and the missiles necessary to deliver them."

That is what the debate over "whether we should have a limited
national missile defense is all about," Clinton said, adding that
later this year, he will "decide whether we should begin to deploy it
next spring."

He said the United States must do its fair share, "working with others
to secure peace and prosperity where we can, leading where we must,
and standing up for what we believe." In that context, he reaffirmed
his support for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, saying, "I
hope the Congress will ratify it next year."

The president discussed other world threats, including:

-- biological and chemical warfare;

-- narco-trafficking and drug use;

-- climate change and global warming; and

-- physical infections like malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS;

Following is the White House transcript of the President's address:

(begin transcript)

Office of the Press Secretary
(New London, Connecticut)

May 17, 2000


Cadet Memorial Field
U.S. Coast Guard Academy
New London, Connecticut

11:40 A.M. EDT


The very openness of our borders and technology, however, also makes
us vulnerable in new ways. The same technology that gave us GPS and
the marvelous possibilities of the Internet also apparently empowered
a student sitting in the Philippines to launch a computer virus that
in just a few hours spread through more than 10 million computers and
caused billions of dollars in damage.

The central reality of our time is that the advent of globalization
and the revolution in information technology have magnified both the
creative and the destructive potential of every individual, tribe and
nation on our planet.

Now, most of us have a vision of the 21st century. It sees the triumph
of peace, prosperity and personal freedom through the power of the
Internet, the spread of the democracy, the potential of science as
embodied in the human genome project and the probing of the deepest
mysteries of nature, from the dark holes of the universe to the dark
floors of the ocean.

But we must understand the other side of the coin, as well. The same
technological advances are making the tools of destruction deadlier,
cheaper and more available. Making us more vulnerable to problems that
arise half a world away: to terror; to ethnic, racial and religious
conflicts; to weapons of mass destruction, drug trafficking and other
organized crime.

Today, and for the foreseeable tomorrows, we, and especially you, will
face a fateful struggle between the forces of integration and harmony,
and the forces of disintegration and chaos. The phenomenal explosion
of technology can be a servant of either side, or ironically, both. Of
course, our traditional security concerns have by no means vanished;
still, we must manage our relationships with great and potentially
great powers in ways that protect and advance our interests. We must
continue to maintain strong alliances; to have the best trained, best
equipped military in the world; to be vigilant that regional conflicts
do not threaten us. ...

So your class will play an even larger role in defending and advancing
America's security. It is very important to me, as the Commander in
Chief, that each and every one of you understand the threats we face,
and what we should do to meet them.

First, international terrorism is not new, but it is becoming
increasingly sophisticated. Terrorist networks communicate on the
worldwide web, too. Available weapons are becoming more destructive
and more miniaturized, just as the size of cell phones and computers
is shrinking -- shrinking to the point where a lot of you with large
hands like mine wonder if you'll be able to work the things before
long. You should understand that the same process of miniaturization
will find its way into the development of biological and chemical, and
maybe even nuclear weapons. And it is something we have to be ready
for. ...

So the first point I wish to make is, in a globalized world, we must
have more security cooperation, not less. In responding to terrorist
threats, our own strategy should be identical to your motto: semper
paratus, always ready.

Today, I'm adding over $300 million to fund critical programs to
protect our citizens from terrorist threats; to expand our
intelligence efforts; to improve our ability to use forensic evidence,
to track terrorists; to enhance our coordination with state and local
officials, as we did over New Year's, to protect our nation against
possible attacks. I have requested now some $9 billion for
counter-terrorism funding in the 2001 budget; that's 40 percent more
than three years ago, and this $300 million will go on top of that. It
sounds like a lot of money. When you see the evidence of what we're up
against, I think you will support it, and I hope you will. (Applause.)

We also have to do all we can to protect existing nuclear weapons from
finding new owners. To keep nuclear weapons and nuclear materials
secure at the source, we've helped Russia to deactivate about 5,000
warheads, to strengthen border controls and keep weapons expertise
from spreading. But Russia's economic difficulties have made this an
even greater challenge.

The programs that we fund in joint endeavors to secure the Russian
nuclear force and the materials, and to do other kinds of joint
research, help to give such scientists a decent living to support
their families. And I think we have to do even more to help them turn
their expertise to peaceful projects. We shouldn't just depend upon
their character to resist the temptation to earn a living wage with
all of their knowledge and education. And we have asked Congress for
extra funding here to help Russia keep its arsenal of nuclear weapons

Still, we have to face the possibility that a hostile nation, sooner
or later, may well acquire weapons of mass destruction and the
missiles necessary to deliver them to our shores. That's what this
whole debate over whether we should have a limited national missile
defense is all about. Later this year, I will decide whether we should
begin to deploy it next spring, based on four factors that I will have
to take into account.

First, has this technology really proved it will work? Second, what
does it cost and how do we balance that cost against our other defense
priorities? Third, how far advanced is the threat; how likely is it
that another nation could deliver long-range ballistic missiles to our
shore within three years, five years, 10 years, what is the time
frame? And, finally, what impact will it have on our overall security,
including our arms control efforts in other areas, our relationships
with our allies in other countries around the world?

I also want you to know, as I said earlier, we've got to be ready for
the prospect of biological and chemical warfare. We saw that in the
sarin gas attack in Japan four years ago. We've established a national
defense preparedness office to train first responders, using new
technology to improve our ability to detect these agents quickly. And
we're doing all we can to see that poison gas and biological weapons
are, in fact, eliminated from the face of the Earth.

We have to do the same when it comes to problems in cyber security.
Today, critical systems like power structures, nuclear plants, air
traffic control, computer networks, they're all connected and run by
computers. Two years ago, we had an amazing experience in America and
around the world -- we saw that the single failed electronics link
with one satellite malfunction disable pagers, ATMs, credit card
systems and TV and radio networks all over the world. That was an
accident. The Love Bug was not an accident.

So to protect America from cyber crime and cyber terrorism, we have
developed a national plan for cyber security, with both public and
private sector brains putting it together. We're asking for increased
funding to implement this plan to protect our vital networks. That's
something else I hope you will support. ...

Let me say just this last point. We cannot accept the fact that the
burden of protecting America's security falls solely on the shoulders
of those who stand watch on our borders and coastlines, on the high
seas or our allies' home ground, that it involves only immediate
threats to our security.

Ever since the end of the Cold War, some people have been saying, we
don't need to play such an active role in the world anymore, or worry
about distant conflicts or play our part in international institutions
like the United Nations. I want to ask you what you think the
alternative is: a survivalist foreign policy, build a fence around
America and retreat behind it; a go-it-alone foreign policy, where we
do it our way, and if people disagree with us, we just don't do it at
all. I profoundly disagree with both.

Do you remember the story I told you about the millennium, and the
help we got from Jordan, and the work we did with Canada? It wouldn't
have mattered what we had done; if they hadn't helped us, we'd have
had bombs going off here as we celebrated the millennium. We have got
to be more involved in a cooperative way with other nations to advance
our national security.

America has been called a shining city on a hill; that doesn't mean
our oceans are moats; it doesn't mean our country is a fortress. If we
wait to act until problems come home to America, problems are far more
likely to come home to America. I hope when you leave here today as
new officers, you will be convinced that more than any previous time
in history, your nation must be engaged in the world -- paying our
fair share, doing our fair share, working with others to secure peace
and prosperity where we can, leading where we must and standing up for
what we believe.

That's why I support the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. I hope
the Congress will ratify it next year. That's why I've worked to
relieve the debts of the poorest nations of the world, and to help
them build their economies and their educational systems; why we have
worked to expand trade with Africa and the poor Caribbean nations, to
deepen our economic ties to Latin American and Asia; why we work for
peace in the Middle East and Northern Ireland, for democracy in Haiti,
and an end to ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Kosovo; for
reconciliation between North and South Korea, India and Pakistan,
Greece, Turkey and Cyprus. They may be along way from home but, more
and more, as the years go by, you will see that in an age of
globalism, our values and interests are at stake in these places as

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: