Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich Addresses Terrorist Threats

“[T]ime is not on our side. . . .[W]e must confront the reality that we are not where we wanted to be nor where we need to be.”
--Newt Gingrich, 9/11/2006

In a speech given at AEI on the fifth anniversary of the events of September 11, AEI senior fellow Newt Gingrich provided an in-depth analysis of the global threats facing the United States today. The following are excerpts from his remarks:

  • The threat [from our enemies] is mortal, direct and immediate. In the age of nuclear and biological weapons even a few hateful people can do more damage than Adolph Hitler in the Second World War. The loss of two or three American cities to nuclear weapons is a real threat. The loss of hundreds of thousands or millions to a biological attack is a real threat.
  • The threat is global in nature and involves increasing cooperation among an emerging anti-American coalition. This is an emerging third world war and any look at the active players and the centers of violence indicates just how worldwide it is. . . . If you simply mark on the map every place where there are acts of terrorism or dictatorships actively engaged in strengthening themselves for a possible future confrontation with the United States you will unavoidably see how worldwide this threat is.
  • Our enemies are increasingly confident and increasingly direct and clear in their statements of what they intend to do to defeat us.
  • Despite these clear facts there is great confusion among our elites and in the news media, and therefore among the American people. Changing this is vital to the successful prosecution of the war. The key in this conflict, in military terms--the center of gravity, is the American people and secondarily all the free people of the world. We as a people have to decide that our survival is at stake and then we have to decide whether that survival is worth the price.
  • If the threat is truly this great then we have to confront the fact that while much has been accomplished in the last five years much more must be done if we are to win. Time is not on our side. We must confront the reality that we are neither where we wanted to be nor where we need to be. We have not captured Bin Laden. We have not defeated the Taliban in its sanctuaries in Northwest Pakistan. We have not stopped the recruitment of young fanatics into terrorism. We have not stopped either the Iranian or North Korean nuclear programs. We do not have a stable democratic Pakistan capable of securing its own nuclear weapons. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq is stable and secure. The United Nations is unreformed and we have failed to convince the people of America and of our fellow democracies of the correctness and necessity of what we are doing.

The full text and video of the speech are available here.

For media inquiries, please contact Veronique Rodman at vrodman@aei.org or 202-862-4870.

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