Bush To Activate Reserves


AvStop Magazine Online
Bush To Activate Reserves

President Bush will activate up to 50,000 members of the National Guard and Reserve to aid recovery and security efforts in the wake of terrorist attacks, The Associated Press has learned. Bush acted on the recommendation of Donald H. Rumsfeld, who presented the proposal during a Cabinet meeting at the White House Friday.

Bush had planned to announce the move after the Cabinet meeting, but the photo opportunity was canceled at the last minute. Two government officials familiar with the president's plans said he still planned to go forward with the move. They stressed that the call-up was not part of a military mobilization aimed at the terrorists who struck Washington and New York on Friday.

Instead, Rumsfeld wants the troops, the largest number called up since the 1991 Persian Gulf War, to support air patrols over New York and Washington and remain alert elsewhere in the country. The troops also would help with homeland defense, the officials said, such as recovery and security efforts in the affected areas.

The Pentagon is preparing for war as it heals from the attack. A top defense official says that the U.S. will retaliate until the roots of terrorism are destroyed. The Navy secretary says that it won't be a short military stint. Officials say that the U.S. could launch a lengthy land, sea and air mission.

Administration officials said that no military response was imminent, but that didn't prevent officials from discussing it. "I think Osama bin Laden ought to say his prayers," said House Speaker Dennis Hastert, shortly after the Bush administration publicly named the Saudi expatriate the main suspect in the attacks.

The Bush administration has asked Pakistan for permission to let U.S. military aircraft fly through its territory if airstrikes are ordered against terrorist targets in neighboring Afghanistan, a senior White House official says. The disclosure came after Secretary of State Colin Powell publicly acknowledged for the first time Thursday that the Afghanistan-based group led by alleged terrorist Osama bin Laden is suspected in this week's attacks.

Officials also said that President Bush is not expected to retaliate for Tuesday's attacks for weeks or perhaps months because he first wants to build a global coalition in opposition to terrorism.

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