45th Academy Assembly
America's Challenges in an Unstable World:  Balancing Security with Liberty
General Ralph E. Eberhart
4 February 2003
ANNOUNCER:  This evening we are honored to have with us Commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. North Com, General Ed Eberhart.
GENERAL EBERHART: I think I've confused some of you with the rumor well, good evening.
AUDIENCE: Good evening, sir.
GENERAL EBERHART: Probably the first test this evening will be -- especially from those who joined us from the East Coast -- is staying awake because it's about 9:15 their time.  So, we'll try to make this as painless as possible.  My goal is to set the stage, framework, here for the discussion; the symposiums that will occur as this week unfolds.  My intent is to talk for about 20 to 30 minutes and use the remainder of the time for questions and answers. And if you want to talk about what I've talked about, that's great, or  I'll be glad to entertain any questions that you want to throw my way. If you don't want to ask your question in front of everybody in the room I'll be glad to talk to you at the reception afterwards or you can e-mail me if you prefer to do it that way.
Slide, please. I had a hard time convincing my wife to come listen to me speak.  Can you imagine that?  She -- it's not her first trip to Arnold Hall.  I think her first trip to Arnold Hall was about 1966 and she was about 10 years old at that time, at least that's her story and she's sticking with it, okay?   Balancing, as you refer to it in the title of this assembly, security and liberty; an issue that is not new to this great nation.  In fact, it was an issue that we struggled with in the 1770s and 1780s.  I've elected to call this presentation Securing Liberty because I would offer to   you that that's what men and women who serve this nation in our Armed Forces are all about; securing liberty.  Securing liberty in such a way where we guarantee that liberty and we don't infringe upon it or limit that liberty.  It is, asthe title of your assembly rightfully depicts, is a very careful balance.  A very careful balance. Our parochial, I believe, if any nation in the world understands that balance, is the United States of America.
Slide.  I've talked about those of us in uniform and the oath when we raise our right hand and pledge and reaffirm over the course of our career to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  Foreign and domestic.  I would offer to you that's what makes serving in our nation's Armed Forces, not a job; I would offer to you transcends even a profession.  It's a calling.  It's that important to the nation and to those who serve and as was so eloquently put in the preamble of our Constitution concerning our liberties.
Slide.  I always find it instructive to look at this day in history, draw analogies to learn from the past and as it says there on this day President Washington was elected by the electoral college.  Wasn't actually sworn in and inaugurated as President until the end of April; and then in 1861 seven states met to form the Confederacy and withdraw from the Union.  That is important, I think, given the framework of this discussion.  First of all the most pressing issues after the Continental Congress in 1787 and when the first Congress, the United States Congress convened in March, the most pressing issues were individual liberties.  In fact, at that Congress, this is when the first 12 Amendments to the Constitution were submitted.  All about individual liberties.   And then in December of 1791 10 of those were ratified, known now as our Bill of Rights.  And what was one of the major -- and what we remember as the major issue of the event in 1861?  Personal liberties.  Personal liberties.  We said we were the world's first democracy; all men created equal, but that wasn't the case, was it?  That wasn't the case.  It was too tough for the Continental Congress and all subsequent Congresses to deal with.  The closest we came to dealing with  it was the Missouri Compromise and it led to a war.
Slide.  For any nation the most important thing is homeland defense, homeland security.  That was obvious in 1775 and 1776.  Tragically, it was obvious again in the War of 1812 when, in fact, August of 1814 significant portions of Washington, D.C. were burned.  And then you fast-forward to the day that certainly lived in infamy, December 7th, 1941 and as the storm clouds developed over Europe and the western Pacific, we looked the other way  until when our homeland was at risk and been attacked.
Slide.  And then in the years after World War II we knew that we had two friendly neighbors and we were protected by two vast oceans so therefore our homeland was not at risk except from long-range aviation and ballistic missiles from the Soviet Union.  And we were looking out for this external threat, foreign and domestic, and what occurred in September of '01, 9-11, as we'll always refer to it.  We've been talking about asymmetrical threats to the homeland for nearly a decade when it occurred on 9-11.  We looked the other way as terrorists had attacked us. Beirut, Qatar, our embassies in Africa, the Cole incident.  But they crossed the line when they attacked us at home.
Slide.  So this nation was mobilized much as it was after December 7th, 1941 to deal with the terrorist threat.  It took these actions, as depicted here on this slide, one of which we'll talk in more detail about and refer to the others.  A strategy for homeland security followed by standing up a unified command to focus on this area of responsibility much like we stood up other unified commands in 1947 with the National Security Act.  Then most recently in November of last year and January of this year the Homeland Security Department became a reality.
Slide, please.  And this certainly is inter-governmental team effort with Department of Defense agencies listed on your leftthere and other government agencies on the right.  According to the Constitution and the laws of this land, in almost every case, one of the organizations on the right will have the lead and your  military will be in support of that designated lead agency.
Slide.  The area of responsibility, AOR as we refer to it in the military, is depicted on this slide. Essentially 500 miles off our coast, and we have got the Pacific coast to the west, the European command to the east and southern command tothe south.  But there's a couple things that are different about this command.  First and  foremost our homeland is in our area of responsibility.  So secondly, as a follow-on all things aren't equal.  All things aren't equal in this area of responsibility.  Those things in green, the United States and its possessions -- specifically to read here Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands -- we show Hawaii here but Hawaii is actually part of the Pacific command and we would assist Pacific command as necessary to protect, defend and respond to support civil authorities in Hawaii.
Slide.  Back up one, I'm sorry.  The other thing that's important about this slide in my view is we're not  going to wait for aterrorist or a threat to cross those lines that we show there or we show there on that map.  The analogy I use, or the illustration I use is that if we know a terrorist is in Afghanistan we are going to go get them.  And that's why anything thathappens anywhere in the world that we view as a threat we will take action; we collectively, the United States with our friends and allies.
Slide.  We would like to defend as far forward as  possible.  We talked about that on the previous slide.  A sports analogy is we'd like to play, in this case, away games.  Not home games.  So we'd much rather fight the terrorist in Afghanistan or in Iraq or in Yemen or wherever we have the opportunity to engage them rather than engage them on our own soil. Therefore, it's increasingly important,  in our view, that we do this with our neighbors to the north and to the south.  I don't know how you defend this nation  with the borders that we share with Mexico and Canadawithout their cooperation.  Without their cooperation.
Slide.  Our missions.  When we look at the first bullet that could be the mission of Pacific command or European command or any other U.S. unified command out there around the world.  But as I said earlier this command is unique in that our homeland is in our area of responsibility, therefore we have that second bullet with very important caveats in accordance with our Constitution and the laws of the land.  So in most every case the governor needs to request assistance, the President decides that assistance is appropriate and tasks the Secretary of Defense who in turntasks us in Northern Command to provide that assistance.  It's not like the T.V. shows we've seen, or at least I saw when I was young, about the police standing around and bemoaning the fact that the Feds were there and they took over, okay?  That's not what this is about.  And as the bumper sticker at the bottom says, we want to get at the front end of this problem.  We want to deter, prevent, and  defeat that threat as opposed to just clean up afterwards.  We have to be prepared to mitigate whatever occurs but we need to get in on the front end of this problem.  That's what the American people expect and that's what they deserve.
Slide.  Those authorities are well established, as this slide says, and I've alluded to, in our Constitution and then statute.
Slide.  It's ironic as you look at this slide, but I think it's a good news story.  The reason we have a military is really that first bullet; to fight and win our nation's wars.  Make sure that external threat is defeated.  Provide for our homelanddefense.  The good news is we don't see a peer competition out there right now and we don't think anybody is going to go beak-to-beak with us, nose-to-nose  with us.  They're not going to meet at high noon on main street and draw guns withus. They're going to come in the back door, the side door, as asymmetrical threats.  So we  must be prepared, on a temporary basis -- read the Olympics, a special security event -- to provide assistance, as appropriate, to local authoritiesand other lead federal agencies -- read the State of the Union -- the most recent APEC, Asian Pacific Economic Conference in Mexico to provide assistance as the President directs.  And then finally, where we're going to be doingmost of our business for natural and man-made disasters when the local responders, when other state organizations and other federal agencies don't have the wherewithal, either in terms of capability or capacity to deal with the problem, whether it's a hurricane or whether it's a chemical biological attack.
Slide.  First of all, go back one.  I think that's a great quote.  It's one of those where you -- I wish I would have said, as the judge who sentenced Reed to his life term said upon sentencing.  As the President says, the ironic part about this is terrorists use the basic freedoms that we value, that we cherish, that we guarantee to gain access to us.
 Slide.  So how does this work?  I said earlier that in most cases we're not going to be in charge.  Oh, by the way, this is not about who's in charge. This is about doing what's right for the citizens of this great nation.  But this crisis management -- there's a threat, again, we want to deter, or better, defeat it.  In most cases the Department of Justice, read the FBI as part of the department, will have the lead.  They will be the lead federal agency and we'll provide the capabilities and capacities to them that they need to deal with that threat.  They're in charge.  We take tasking from them.  We command and control our own forces but they -- we do what they ask us to do according to the laws of this land.  If we miss this problem and we don't get out in front of it or if it's something we can't get out in front of and control we're in consequence management, mitigating the circumstances.  Trying to protect life and limb and limit damage.  In that case FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, would have the lead. And as you know they will soon be part of this new Department of Homeland Security.  And then you move to the right and you have a smorgasbord of lead federal agencies that we might be in support of from the Coast Guard to the Postal Service.  Coast Guard for port and maritime security and Postal Service, on occasion there's been a strike and federal forces have been called out to  deliver the mail.  So it's the entire spectrum of government activity. Not something I thought I'd be involved in.  
Slide.  One of the things that was very important to us as we stood up this new command was what's in and what's out, if you will.  What do we do and what don't we do?  And although this list is not all-inclusive it helps scope the missions.  It helps, frankly, stem expectations of the  American public and in some cases helps convince them that we're not out there infringing upon their liberties.  So these are the kinds of thing that we don't do.  Other people do those.  They're going to be in lead and would only use federal forces or military forces in extraordinary circumstances.  The people who have the lead -- and I apologize for the acronyms, but if you don't know these acronyms you ought to learn them -- those are the people who have the lead.  And, again, it's very important.  I can't sit there and decide that tomorrow I'm going to go help FEMA or I'm going to go help the Coast Guard or the Postal Service. First of all, they have to ask for help and then the President, and in turn the Secretary of Defense has to say, yes, we'll go do that.  It's legal.  It's something that we  ought to use our military forces for.
Slide.  I know that over the course of the next several days posse comitatus, essentially the law of the country if you will, will come up on many occasions.  I think it's instructive to look at the history all the way back to Shays Rebellion to theWhiskey Rebellion that was actually lead by President Washington to quell that rebellion. Mounted his horse, took the lead.  He was truly the Commander in Chief, if you will, literally and figuratively, during that rebellion and then up to thattime in the 1870s during  Reconstruction where people said time-out, uncle, this is too heavy-handed.  We ought not be using federal forces this way.  And posse comitatus became the law of the land.  It has been amended many times since, most recently I think about 1981.  When I'm out talking and posse comitatus comes up I usually get two questions thatcover the spectrum.  One who are so concerned that we are going to violate posse comitatus and infringe on personal individual liberties.  Another end of the spectrum people who are concerned that posse comitatus ties our hands and wecan't protect them and secure their liberties, if you will.  I can tell you that to date I do not see a mission or requirement for our command that we cannot execute within the framework of the laws of the land specifically to posse comitatus.
Slide.  When the President needs to, there are adequate provisions in law to use federal forces to protect our citizens and limit property damage.  Listed here, I'm sure you'll discuss many, if not all these as the week unfolds along with historical examples.  The most familiar to many of us in the room will be in the '50s and '60s having to do with desegregation in the South, specifically Arkansas and Alabama.
Slide.  So, 30 minutes.  Gives us 20 minutes for questions and answers.  Hopefully some questions.  I guarantee you there will be answers if there are questions and I may not have the approved solution but I'll tell you what I think about them and I have Teres Sandborne here and her team of legal experts to keep me out of trouble, make sure I don't say anything I'm not supposed to and Colonel Sandborne is a Brigadier General Select in the United States Air Force and she will pin on the 14th of March. (Applause) That's if she does well this evening.  That's if she does well this evening.  Okay. 
Questions?
QUESTION: General, I'm from Squadron 33.  I wondered if you -- I knew you suggested some of the things that North Com should not be used for. My mother and I had an argument on one point and I was hoping you might be able to back me up.
GENERAL EBERHART: That is a basic flaw.  Do not argue with your mother.
QUESTION: It was a soft discussion, sir.
GENERAL EBERHART: Don't argue with your mother. Just say uncle. Get it over with.
QUESTION:  I figured you're at least on par with her command so....
GENERAL EBERHART:  That's a compliment. That's a compliment.
QUESTION: You mentioned elements -- as far as terrorism through our southern and northern borders through Mexico, should the military ever be used to augment on the regular basis decisions like the Tech Support Patrol and that sort of thing in order to keep terrorism from coming through those areas?
GENERAL EBERHART:  Let me start off by saying that I firmly believe that right now we are looking at our borders incorrectly.  When we look at our borders we are looking at them through the eyes of the decade of the '70s, '80s, and '90s when our primary concern was illegal aliens and drug trafficking.  Now I'm not sure, and I realize those are very significant and important threats we must counter and deal with, but they pale compared to terrorism, especially weapons of mass destruction, chem, bio, and radiological threats.  So I think we need to start looking at the borders more in terms of a broader homeland security and homeland defense perspective than illegal aliens and narco traffic. I believe that instead it's predominantly a law enforcement issue and we have law enforcement organization  agencies that are charged with that mission.  Border Patrol, INS, Customs, Coast Guard to some extent.  And that we ought to fund, equip and man those agencies to deal with this threat and we should use military forces only when we have a specific threat that they don't have the capability to deal with. However, when it comes down to we don't have that capability today and we need it then I think the President was right after 9-11 to deploy forces to the border to protect this nation because why else would you have armed forces other than to protect the citizens of this nation? But I think it ought to be temporary in nature and we ought to put that mission back where it belongs with law enforcement. So who won, you or your mother?
QUESTION: I'm going to tell my mom she's wrong.
QUESTION:  Good evening, General. My name is cadet Buchanan and first I'd like to say it's an honor to hear you speak. My question is a little in-depth but you had spoken  in the presentation about securing liberty with our neighbors, Canada and Mexico.  And most recently in President Bush's speech, State of the Union address not once was Latin America or Mexico specifically discussed. It has made it clear that he would like to establish stronger ties with the United States but our administration is not reciprocating.    My question to you is how does the United States go about securing stronger ties with Mexico as we move forward in securing liberty?
GENERAL EBERHART:  Obviously as we look at our history with both of our neighbors, Canada and Mexico, we have a long history of cooperation, both north and south of the border.  In most cases it's been driven in times of need.  There still exists a relationship with Mexico that was in  fact developed in 1942 because of German activity in the Gulf of Mexico.  That relationship still exists out there today. It's atrophied. It's not real active but the paperwork is still good, if you will.  The relationship with Canada really developed in 1940 on the eve of World War II between Mackenzie King and President Roosevelt to decide how we were going to join together to defend our homelands just like we did with Mexico and then with the advent of the Soviet Union, long-range aviation, and ICBMs came NORAD. So the bottom line, in my view, is that both nations first have to see a need and most -- both nations have to be willing to join in whatever arrangement they decide to concoct to protect those two nations.  There are some sensitivities because alot of people view us, refer to us as the big brother to the north or to the south and they do not believe that a relationship with us will be equitable and will be a two-way street.  We have to assure them and demonstrate otherwise that it's goodfor both of us. They're worried about the S-word, sovereignty.  Their sovereignty. We have to convince them that thesetypes of agreements, arrangements, do not infringe, impinge upon their  sovereignty.  But, again, I think, given the asymmetrical threats we face in North America that these will best be addressed by these three nations working together to counter those threats, but we have to proceed slowly and cautiously. In fact they're even talking about entering legislation in Mexico that precludes the Mexican Armed Forces in dealing with North Com.  So we have to show valueadded here. But I'm convinced it's the right thing to do. In fact, my long-range vision says that one day we'll get our geography right and when we talk about North American defense it will truly be North America.  As you know Mexicohas sort of been assigned to southern command for years and years and that's not the way the geography is.  It's in North America not South America. Now, that is my view.  That's not -- that is not a government position at this point.  That's myview of the world.
QUESTION: Good evening, sir. I'm Cadet from the 34th Squadron. This question is going to piggyback on the last two questions, although it has more of  a future outlook. The INS recently released a report that said there is somewhere in the range of eight million illegal immigrants in the United States.  With such porous borders such as those in Arizona and Canada taking a laxadaisical and inefficient approach to their immigration standards, what do you think the future is, especially with the INS being adopted through the Office of Homeland Security, of immigration in America and Cartien taking somewhat of an adversarial standpoint with the war in Iraq;  how do you think that's going to affect what kind of border control and what kind of relations we can have with them?
GENERAL EBERHART:  Well, you go all the way to our very beginnings as a nation and you're there in New York City and you see the Statue of Liberty and I truly believe, and I don't think it's a bumper sticker, I don't think it's something that we just -- it's a fact of life so that we play on it. I think our strength is in our diversity and I truly believe that we have torepresent a land of opportunity for those out there who want to come and be part of this great nation.  And to lock downour borders and to put severe limits on immigration that is targeted based on race, religion, country of origin or whateverelse is a mistake.  I think is a mistake.  But at the same time, I think all governments have a responsibility to control and toknow and have the situation awareness to know who comes in and who goes out and who's been here longer than they're supposed to and all those kinds of things and we've lost the bubble on that, is the report in the article that you referencehave shown.  And that's not because we don't care.  That's not because we don't have good people working the problem.  It's because we've not resourced them correctly.  So in INS and in State Department we don't have the right numbers of people properly trained and the right resources to keep book on this problem.  And that's where we have to start. How do I think being part of Homeland Security will affect this?  I personally believe that now there will be moremoney to move across these different agencies to work those kinds of problems rather than a fairly small, stovepipe budget that they've had heretofore.  The war with Iraq, if we go to war with Iraq, obviously, that's a difficult issue as you've read in the papers.  People are concerned about the Iraqi intelligence service, Iraqi sympathizers but my caution is proceed very, very carefully. For those of you who have read about World War II regardless of what that book may be, and know what we did in particular with Japanese Americans; shame on us.  Shame on us.  So we have to be very, very careful as we proceed here in terms of what actions we take to secure our liberty and balance our security within individual liberties.
QUESTION:  A final question.  You mentioned having more money into the agency to control immigration more.Currently illegal immigration is already costing the United States billions of dollars. In California alone illegal immigrants represent 10 percent of the prison population.  Do you think that America's going to be supportive of pumping money into controlling the immigration problem when they are already taking lots of our money from Social Security, Welfare and then the prison system, as I talked about earlier, and do you believe that the American population will be supportive of a more significant presence of military forces on the border if they think they could curtail that economic situation?
GENERAL EBERHART:  Hard questions here.  I personally believe that more money is needed and as the American people become more aware of how porous our borders are today -- if you see the night infrared films on the border whether it's Arizona or whether it's California or whether it's Texas, at many of those crossings you'll see anywhere from 20 to a hundred people cross every night that the Border Patrol cannot deal with, every night.  So if I'm a terrorist that's how I'm going to enter this country.  I'm not going to enter it on an airliner or on a ship and then if I can prove that I'm in fact Mexican from Mexico I get a get-out-of-jail card free.  I go back and I could try the next night. So I think as American people become more cognizant of that they'd be willing to spend more money for security of our borders.  It's the American people's decision.  Obviously as long as it complies with the Constitution and the laws of the land or they can change that or the role of the military.  I don't think that's why we decided that we were going to have a standing Army and later made the Air Force, Marine Corps., etc. to do, what I think is law enforcement work. But the nation and the people of this great nation decided that's the way to go then we'll salute and do that as we're here to support and defend.
QUESTION:  General, I'm Cadet Matt Novotny from  CSO5.  My question is dealing with homeland defense and the creation of Northern Command. Are we going to become more isolationists, do you think, or do you think we'll begin preempting other countries in wars, maybe not so much in Iraq but to secure our own borders outside of our borders?
GENERAL EBERHART:  I don't think so.  As you look at our history both in the (inaudible), if you will, in terms of isolationism and globalism, although we didn't have that term until about five years, eight years ago, at least that I was aware of, but I don't think you can walk this cat back down the road. I don't think you can become isolationists.  I don't think that's one of the multiple answers we can pick.  I mean regardless of the book that you might read a lexis in the olive tree, guns, germs and steel, I mean there's a long litany of books there that I don't think, back it away in thisinformation age, becoming an isolationist is an option.  I don't know of a better way to ruin our economy, putting our national security in all facets of the instruments of power at risk.  I would think that the cooperation of other nations is more important than it ever has been before as we root out and deal with these asymmetrical threats.  So I don't think that is what North Com is all about or what North Com and the office, Department now, of Homeland Security will lead to.
QUESTION:  Good evening, General.  I'm Cadet Second Class Squadron 36.  Sir, I have a question on intelligence support for Northern Command, the laws against collecting intelligence on American citizens.  How do you balance yourintelligence needs with all the command against privacy of American citizens?
GENERAL EBERHART:  First of all, although there are restrictions and laws, statute, I think there's a lot of myth out there about what we can and cannot do.  And so I guess one of the things I would encourage you to do is to really delve into this.  We can help about what we can and cannot do in terms of gathering intelligence.  I will also refer you to the Patriot Act of last fall and what the Patriot Act provided in terms of intelligence sharing.  I'd also refer you to what the President talked about in his State of the Union about this intelligence sharing between justice, read law enforcement, the CIA, the national intelligence communities, i.e., the Department of Defense. There are restrictions, and rightfully so.  But I   think we'll find that we have the wherewithal in law to do the intelligence sharing we need to protect our citizens.  Not to go peek in the living room but to do the intelligence sharing we need and in fact, if you go to our intelligence briefing tomorrow morning at Northern Command we have the CIA there, we have the National Security Agency there, we have the Defense Intelligence agents there, we have the FBI there; showing -- sharing intelligence that emanates from all of those different collection sources. But we in Northern Command are not out there collecting intelligence.
QUESTION: General, I have a question about the war on terrorism.  With regard to terrorism and especially like terrorism based in religious fundamentalism do you believe that deterrents work with people who have proven time and time again that they're not afraid of death and if you do --
GENERAL EBERHART:  I'm sorry -- you have to -- I lost you about based in religious whatever.
QUESTION:  I'm sorry.  Terrorism that is based in religious fundamentalism, do you think deterrents can work even though people have shown over and over that they're not afraid to die for their cause and if you do think it works do you think that we should have taken a stronger response to, for example, the Embassy bombings and earlier less drastic acts of terror?
GENERAL EBERHART:  I think, I think we have to look at deterrents differently and we're struggling with that. I think deterrents in terms of the deterrents that we used in the Cold War, if you hit us, we're going to hit you harder.  I don't think that deterrent is effective against the suicide   bomber.  But I do believe that a different version, if you will, of that deterrence is appropriate and will work. What we have found is that the suicide bomber, as they'reapproaching their target and they don't think they're going to be successful, they turn around and go back.  They are willing to give their life so you're not going to scare them by saying you're going to die. They're going to die.  But if they're not going to be successful, or less of a martyr if you will, so there is deterrence of that sort. So  in fact if they know they're not going to be successful they'll return but we've won the battle, if you will, not the war. Secondly, you may not, in fact, deter the suicide  bomber.  But you may deter the people who provide them sanctuary.  Funding, support.  I'll bet the Taliban wished they had not supported al-Quaida right now.  Don't you agree?  I bet they wish, well, we made a mistake. We were doing some outrageous things, the world was watching.  We know -- we restricted, took away all the privileges and rights of women who had enjoyed a fairly good life in Afghanistan.  We defaced all these religious icons and symbols and the world sat and watched.  But what happened?  9-11.  And we went downtown Afghanistan to uproot the Taliban. So that type of deterrence will work.   So we have to look at it differently. My view, and this is easy to say, very philosophical and very academic in nature, we have to get at those basic roots of why do these people not like us and what we stand for and how can we deal with that issue?  Very, very difficult.  And we are impatient.  We are Americans.  We want to do that this week or next or, if not, in our five-year plan.  But it's goingto take generations to do that.  Generations to do that.  And we need to get started. Is that okay?
QUESTION:  One more question.  Do you think that some of the mistakes we've made, I mean, accidentally bombing pharmaceutical plants and mistakes made in Afghanistan, do you think those are hurting us in terms of public image?
GENERAL EBERHART:  I believe those in fact, work against us.  There's no doubt about that.  War is ugly.  War is always going to be ugly. That's not an excuse to hide behind but it's less ugly today than it was 10 years ago or 30 years ago or 50 years ago. We know a little bit more about it today because CNN and others are with us and that's not bad. That's not bad.  But we will continue to make mistakes and when we make mistakes like that they're going to cost us.  And they should cost us. It should not be okay. But at the same time that's not a reason to take your ball and go home.  Because there is no doubt in my mind, despite those mistakes, those errors, Afghanistan is better today than it was a year ago.
(Applause.)

            




 

 

U.S. Air Force Academy, USAFA, CO 80840, (719) 333-1110 DSN: 333-1110, Updated: 30 Aug 14
Privacy & Security Notice   |   External Link Disclaimer   |   Contact Us / Submit Feedback / Webmaster | Accessibility/Section 508