Four More Years: Bush Remains Commander in Chief
By Mr. Jim Garamone
| | November 3, 2004
WASHINGTON -- President George W. Bush will remain the commander in chief of the U.S. military for four more years.Massachusetts Sen. John F. Kerry of conceded the election in a phone call to the president this morning, and was expected to do so publicly this afternoon in Boston. Bush was scheduled to speak later in the day here.During the campaign, Bush vowed to continue to take the war to the terrorists. He pointed to the successful elections in Afghanistan as proof his policy against terrorists was working.The next foreseeable major milestone in the war on terrorism is the January elections in Iraq. Iraqis will elect representatives to write the country's constitution.Under Bush, more than 75 percent of the known al Qaeda leaders have been killed or captured. A number of terrorist cells in Europe, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Asia have been disrupted or destroyed.U.S. military personnel will continue to be an important part of the war on terrorism. Servicemembers in Iraq will work to train the Iraqi Army, Iraqi police and Iraqi National Guard. There are now about 110,000 members of the Iraqi security forces trained and equipped. Officials expect that by the elections in January, the number of trained and equipped forces will be over 145,000.Those forces, under the command of the Iraqi interim government, will continue to work closely with coalition forces to maintain security and extend the central government into all parts of Iraq, officials said.In Afghanistan, the United States will continue to work with allies from around the world to hunt down the remnants of al Qaeda and the Taliban still intent on stopping progress in the country. Coalition forces are bringing jobs, money and hope to a region that three years ago was foundering under an extremist, totalitarian rule.But the war on terrorism is not just a military operation. Bush also has vowed to address the problems that lead people to terrorism in the first place. The United States is working with friends and allies around the world to promote democracy and export freedom.The president promised to continue the transformation of the U.S. military to a force capable of besting the threats of the 21st century.