Oct. 7, 2001: President George W. Bush announces first strike on Afghanistan

President George W. Bush addressed the nation about Operation Enduring Freedom's first strike on Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001.
6:33 | 08/21/17

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Transcript for Oct. 7, 2001: President George W. Bush announces first strike on Afghanistan
Good afternoon. On my orders the united states military has begun strikes. Against al-Qaeda terrorist training camps and military installations of the Taliban regime and Afghanistan. These carefully targeted actions are designed to disrupt the use of Afghanistan. As a terrorist base of operations. And to attack the military capability. Of the Taliban regime. We are joined in this operation by our staunch friend Great Britain. Other close friends including Canada Australia Germany and France have pledged forces as the operation unfolds. More than forty countries in the middle East Africa Europe and a crossed Asia have granted air transit or landing rights. Many more have shared intelligence. We are supported by the collective will of the world. For the two weeks ago. I gave Taliban leaders a series of clear and specific demands. Close terrorist training camps. Hand over leaders of the al-Qaeda network. And return all foreign nationals including American citizens unjustly detained in your country. None of these demands were met. And now the Taliban will pay a price. By destroying camps and disrupting communications we will make it more difficult for the terror network to train new recruits and coordinate their evil plans. Initially the terrorists may burrow deeper into caves and other entrenched hiding places. Our military action is also designed to clear the way for sustained. Comprehensive. And relentless operations to drive them out. And bring them to justice. At the same time the oppressed people of Afghanistan will know the generosity of America and our allies. As we strike military targets we will also drop food medicine and supplies to the starving and suffering men and women and children of Afghanistan. The United States of America is a friend to the Afghan people. And we are the friends of almost a billion worldwide who practice the Islamic faith. The United States of America is an enemy of those who aid terrorists. And of the barbaric criminals who profane a great religion. By committing murder in his name. This military action as a part of our campaign against terrorism. Another front in a war that has already been joined through diplomacy. Intelligence. The freezing of financial assets and the arrests of known terrorists by law enforcement agents in 38 countries. Given the nature and reach of our enemies. We will win this conflict by the patient accumulation of successes. By meeting a series of challenges with determination. And will and purpose. Today we focus on Afghanistan. But the battle is broader. Every nation has a choice to make. In this conflict. There is no neutral ground. If any government sponsors the outlaws and killers of innocents. They have become outlaws and murderers themselves. And they we'll take that lonely path. At their own pero. I'm speaking to you today from the treaty room of the White House a place where American presidents have worked for peace. Where a peaceful nation. Yet as we have learned so suddenly and so tragically. There can be no peace in world of sudden terror. In the face of today's new threat the only way to pursue peace is to pursued those who threaten it. We did not ask for this mission. But we will fulfill it. The name of today's military operation is enduring freedom. We defend it not only our precious freedoms but also the freedom of people everywhere to live and raise their children free from fear. I know many Americans feel fear today. And our government is taking strong precautions. A law enforcement and intelligence agencies are working aggressively. Around America around the world and around the clock. In my request many governors have activated the National Guard to strengthen airport security. We have called up reserves to reinforce our military capability. And strengthen the protection of our homeland. In the months ahead our patience will be one of our strengths. Patients with a long waits that Reza will result from tighter security. Patience and understanding that it will take time to achieve our goals. Patience and all the sacrifices that may come. Today those sacrifices are being made by members of our armed forces. Who now defend us so far from home. And by their proud and worried families. A commander in chief sends America's sons and daughters and who battle in a foreign land only after the greatest care. And a lot of prayer. We ask a lot of those who Wear our uniform. We asked them to leave their loved ones to travel great distances. To risk injury. Even to be prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice of their lives. They're dedicated. They are honorable. They represent the best of our country. And we are grateful. To all the men and women in our military every sailor every soldier every airman every coast guardsman every marine. I say this. Your mission is defined. Your objectives are clear. Your goal is just. You have my full confidence. And you will have every tool you need to carry out your duty. I recently received a touching letter that says a lot about the state of America in these difficult times. A letter from a fourth grade girl. With a father in the military. As much as I don't want my dad to fight she wrote I'm willing to give in to you. This is a precious gift. The greater she could give. This young girl knows what America's all about. Since September 11 an entire generation of young Americans. Has gained new understanding of the value freedom. And it's cost in duty and sacrifice. The battle is now joined on many fronts. We will not waver. We will not tire. We will not falter. And we will not fail. Peace and freedom will prevail. Thank you. May god continue to bless America.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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