USIS Washington File

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;

On the issue of permanent normal trade relations for China, Clinton
said he believes that "a no vote" on PNTR "invites a future of
dangerous confrontation and constant insecurity."

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 PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Secretary Slater, Admiral Loy,
Rear Admiral Teeson, Captain Dillon, Senator Dodd, distinguished
members of the Diplomatic Corps, Dr. Haas, members of the faculty and
staff and honored guests; the friends, family and members of the Class
of 2000.

I want to begin by complimenting Cadet Christopher Burrus on what I
thought was a remarkable speech, showing the devotion to the Coast
Guard and the country that every American can be proud of. (Applause.)

I would also like to thank the family members who are here for
standing behind these cadets for four years, and for making it
possible for them to be here.

This is a highly appropriate place for me to give what is, for me, a
very nostalgic address. It is the last speech I will ever give as
President to a graduating class of one of our military service

This class came to Washington and marched in my second inaugural
parade. I pledged to use this term to build a bridge to the 21st
century. And in so many ways, the first class of the 21st century
represents that bridge.

I have been personally deeply indebted to the Coast Guard because of
the military aides I have had every year I've been President through
the Coast Guard office. The last one, Pat DiQuattro, Class of '88, is
here with me today. They have all been outstanding people, and it made
me think more and more of the Coast Guard.

You can be proud of the road you have traveled from Swab Summer to
today. You've survived academic rigors, countless games of football
and volleyball against officers. Even golf balls and dog food in the
wardroom. For those of you who, like me, are somewhat less literate in
these matters, that is cadet-speak for hard-boiled eggs and corned
beef hash. (Laughter.)

You have, as we have heard, done extraordinary volunteer work. You
placed first among universities at one of America's most prestigious
national science competitions. You engineered Solar Splash, the
top-ranked solar-powered boat of the nation this year. Four of your
classmates were All-American athletes, and one of your classmates even
found fame and fortune on "The Price is Right." (Laughter.)

I can't help noting that you were also the first class in history to
have an advisor who had a recurring role on Baywatch. (Laughter and
applause.) Now, Eric Kowack chose to give up that difficult duty, come
back and teach classes on personal finance for those of you who don't
become TV stars. (Laughter.)

I have been told that your spirit as a class is so strong that this
class received more letters from opposing class presidents complaining
about heckling at soccer games, than any other class in the history of
this academy. (Laughter and applause.) It's really nice to know you
feel bad about it. (Laughter.) I don't know if any of you got in
trouble for that, but pursuant to long-standing tradition, I hereby
grant amnesty to all candidates marching tours or serving restrictions
for such minor offenses. (Applause.)

As the first Coast Guard class of the 21st century, you will face a
new set of challenges to America's security, values and interests,
though your mission will be consistent with the long and storied
history of America's defenders. The waters off this shore have seen a
lot of that history.

In the West Wing of the White House, just a few feet from the Oval
Office, there's a painting of the first naval battle of the War of
1812. It happened off the coast of New London. That day, a British
frigate called the Belvidera was chased by five American warships. You
might be interested to know that three of those ships were named The
President, The United States and The Congress. History tells us the
President was the fastest ship. (Laughter.) But, unfortunately, the
Belvidera got away anyway, because at a crucial moment The President
suffered significant damage. We're not sure exactly what caused it,
but I am curious to know where Congress was at the time. (Laughter.)

I ask you to compare that picture with the picture to be painted in
these same waters this summer, when the Eagle leads ships from more
than 60 nations -- including our adversary in 1812, Great Britain --
into New London Harbor. The biggest, broadest gathering of its kind in
history, a strong symbol of the global age in which you will serve.

It is a wonderful sign of these times that two of the cadets who
graduate in this class today come from Russia and Bulgaria, nations
that were our adversaries when they were in elementary school -- and
neither they nor we think twice about it; we know it's a good thing.

Globalization is tearing down barriers and building new networks among
nations and people. The process is accelerated by the fact that more
than half the world's people live in democracies for the first time in
history; and by the explosive advance in information technology that
is changing the way we all do business, including the Coast Guard.

Just for example: a mere decade ago a cadet assigned to a buoy tender
had to go through an elaborate process to place the buoys. Three
people would stand back-to-back, tracking horizontal sextant angles
and then comparing those readings to hand-drawn navigational grids --
with a lot of yelling back and forth. Today, all that work is done
instantly by satellites and computers through the Global Positioning

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.

In this scenario, one of the biggest question marks of the 21st
century is the path China will take. Will China emerge as a partner or
an adversary? Will it be a society that is opening to the world and
liberating to its people, or controlling of its people and lashing out
at the world?

Next week, the Congress of the United States will have a once in a
lifetime opportunity to influence that question in the right way.
There are brave people in China today working for human rights and
political freedoms. There are brave people within the government of
China today willing to risk opening the Chinese economy knowing that
it will unleash forces of change they cannot control.

For example: in a country of 1.3 billion people two years ago, there
were just 2 million Internet users; last year there were 9 million.
This year there will be over 20 million. When over 100 million people
in China can get on the Net, it will be impossible to maintain a
closed political and economic society.

If Congress votes to normalize trade relations with China, it will not
guarantee that China will take the right course. But it will certainly
increase the likelihood that it will. If Congress votes no, it will
strengthen the hand, ironically, of the very people the opponents of
this agreement claim to fight. It will strengthen the hands of the
reactionary elements in the military and the state-owned industries
who want America for an opponent, to justify their continued control
and adherence to the old ways and repression of personal freedom.

I believe that a no vote invites a future of dangerous confrontation
and constant insecurity. It also, by the way, forfeits the largest
market in the world for our goods and services and gives Europe and
Japan all those benefits we negotiated to bring American jobs here at

Granting China permanent normal trading relations, it's clearly in our
economic interests. But from your point of view, even more important,
it is a national security issue for stability in Asia, peace in the
Taiwan Straits, possible cooperation with China to advance freedom and
human rights within the country and to retard the proliferation of
dangerous weapons technology beyond it. It is profoundly important to
America's continued leadership in the world. That's why all former
Presidents, without regard to party, as well as former Secretaries of
State, Defense, Transportation, Trade, National Security Advisors,
Chairs of the Joint Chiefs of Staff support this legislation.

It illustrates a larger issue I want you to think about today, which
is the importance of a balanced security strategy with military,
diplomatic and economic elements. I have worked hard to adapt our
security strategy to the 21st century world, with all its
possibilities and threats. Last year, as part of that effort, I asked
the task force to conduct a fresh look at the roles and missions of
the Coast Guard. What are you going to do in this new world, anyway?
The task force found that a flexible, highly-motivated Coast Guard
continues to be vital to our security.

We often see personally our reliance on the Coast Guard. During floods
in North Carolina, after Hurricane Floyd; after the tragedies of Egypt
Air and Air Alaska. Today, in the average week, you and your fellow
Coasties will seize more than $60 million worth of dangerous drugs;
board 630 vessels for safety checks; intercept hundreds of illegal
immigrants; investigate 119 marine accidents; respond to more than 260
hazardous chemical spills; assist more than 2,500 people in distress;
and save 100 lives. And the more we travel, and the more we are
connected together, the more those responsibilities and opportunities
for service will rise.

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

As borders fade and old regimes struggle through transitions, the
chance for free agents looking to make a profit on weapons of
destruction and personal chaos is greater. In this sort of
environment, cooperation is profoundly important -- more vital than
ever. We learned that in the days leading up to the millennium.

We are joined today by the Ambassador from Jordan to the United
States, Dr. Warwan Muasher. He's sitting here behind me; he's an
excellent representative of his country. And I want to tell you a
story that, unfortunately, will not be the last example you will have
to face.

Last December, working with Jordan, we shut down a plot to place large
bombs at locations where Americans might gather on New Year's Eve. We
learned this plot was linked to terrorist camps in Afghanistan, and
the organization created by Osama bin Ladin, the man responsible for
the 1998 bombings of our embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, which cost
the lives of Americans and hundreds of Africans.

A short time later, a customs agent in Seattle discovered bomb
materials being smuggled in to the U.S. -- the same materials used by
bin Ladin in other places. Thankfully, and thanks to Jordan, New
Year's passed without an attack. But the threat was real, and we had
to cooperate with them, with the Canadians, with others throughout the

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.

Just for example, I know you know that when you decided to become a
Coast Guard officer, you made a decision that you would not be
wealthy. But let me give you some basis of comparison. The average
salary today of a highly-trained weapons scientist in Russia is less
than $100 a month. Needless to say, there are a lot of people who'd
like to develop nuclear weapons capability who are ought there trying
to hire those folks.

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.

We talk about computer viruses and often forget the world is also
threatened by physical infection like malaria, TB and AIDS. Some
people questioned me when our administration announced a couple of
weeks ago that we considered the AIDS crisis a national security
threat. But let me just give you a couple of examples.

In Africa alone, there are 70 percent of the world's AIDS cases. The
fastest growing rate of AIDS is in India, which happens to be a
nuclear power. In Africa, some countries are actually hiring two
employees for every job, on the assumption that one of them is going
to die from AIDS. In other African countries, 30 percent of the
teachers and 40 percent of the soldiers have the virus. In addition,
millions of people suffer from malaria; and about a third of the world
has been exposed to TB, a disease that can reach our shores at the
speed of jet travel.

With malaria, people now discuss in common parlance, airport malaria
-- something people can get in any international airport in any
country in the world because we're all traveling around and bumping
into people from other countries. These diseases can ruin economies
and threaten the very survival of nations and societies. I think
meeting this public health challenge is a moral imperative and a
national security concern.

I issued an executive order last week to help make AIDS drugs more
affordable to people in poor countries. I propose that we give a
generous tax credit to our private pharmaceutical companies to give
them an incentive to develop vaccines for things like AIDS, malaria
and TB, because the people who need it most can't afford to pay for
it. If we help them pay for it, we can save millions of lives and
strengthen our security; if we don't, we will dramatically increase
the chances of chaos, murder, the abuse of children, the kind of
things we have seen in some of the terrible tribal wars in Africa in
the last couple of years.

Finally, there's one more global challenge I want you to think about
that I think is a security challenge. The challenge of climate change.
Nine of the 10 warmest years since the 15th century were recorded in
the 1990s -- nine of the 10 warmest years since the 15th century.
Unless we change course and reverse global greenhouse gas emissions,
most scientists are convinced that storms and droughts will intensify
as the globe continues to warm. Crop patterns will be disrupted, food
supplies will be affected; the seas will rise so high they will
swallow islands and coastal areas -- and if that happens, all the
Luders training in the world won't save us. (Laughter.)

I want you to laugh, but I want you to listen. This is a huge
challenge that can become a national security challenge. If we value
our coastlands and farmlands we must work at home. If we value the
stability of our neighbors and friends, and the rights of people
around the world, particularly in island nations, to live their lives
in peace according to their cultures and religious faiths, we must
work with other nations. This is a global challenge.

And the good news is, we don't need to put more greenhouse gases in
the atmosphere anymore to grow the economy. All we need is the vision
and will and discipline to do the job.

Finally, we have to deal with the global challenge of
narco-trafficking and drugs. We have to do a lot here at home: zero
tolerance for drug use, treatment for those who suffer, punishment for
those who profit. But we also have to fight these big drug cartels,
and the criminal empires they finance. Ninety percent of the cocaine
consumed in America, two-thirds of the heroin seized on our streets
comes from our through just one country: Colombia.

Now, Colombia has a courageous new President, Andreas Pastrana, who
has asked for our help to finance his comprehensive "Plan Colombia" to
fight drugs, build the economy and deepen democracy. I've asked
Congress to give $1.6 billion to pay our share of Plan Colombia over
the next two years. The House has passed a bill; I hope the Senate
will do so as soon as possible. It is a national security issue.

For Colombia, Latin America's oldest democracy, is not just fighting
for its peoples' lives and its way of life, it's fighting to preserve
stability in the entire Andean region, and it's fighting for the lives
of our kids, too. So, again, it's not in the Department of Defense
budget in a direct way, or in the Department of Transportation budget
in a direct way, but it directly affects our national security and I
hope you will support it.

In all these challenges, the Coast Guard will play a vital role. You
always have. In the 18th century, the predecessor to today's Coast
Guard manned anti-slavery patrols and coordinated tariff collection
for a young nation. In the 19th century, you assumed responsibility
for search and rescue, marine inspection and quarantine laws.

In the last century, the 20th century, you arrested rum-runners during
Prohibition, enforced environmental laws, interdicted drugs and even
delivered Marines to the beaches at Normandy. We're trying to make
sure you can do your job in the 21st century. My 2001 budget requests
another $376 million for the Coast Guard, the largest one-year
increase in 20 years, including a 34 percent increase to buy ships.

I will also recommend to the next President that America continue to
support the Coast Guard's Deep Water Project, so you have the ships
and planes you need to meet challenges that face us. (Applause.) We
cannot meet threats to the future with a Coast Guard fleet from the

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

Almost 40 years ago, President Kennedy stood on the deck of the Eagle,
and that day, he said this: "There is not a single person who has
sailed any of our lakes or oceans, who has not at one time or another
been the beneficiary of the faithful service of the Coast Guard."

Today, that great tradition falls to you in the greatest age of
possibility in human history. You are the generation chosen by
providence to lead the Coast Guard into the new century. Your class
motto says: Ducentes viam en millennium -- leading the way into the
new millennium. Now you have the preparation to do it. You clearly
have the courage and character to do it. I pray you will also have the
vision and wisdom to take your motto and truly make it your own.

Good luck, thank you for your service, and God bless you. (Applause.)

(end transcript)

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