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Retaliation: Prepping for a long campaign

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The U.S. government continued hammering away at its theme that the campaign against terrorism will take time, telling NATO defense ministers that a military response may not be imminent.


NATO defense ministers reiterated a commitment to a "long, arduous" campaign in response to the U.S. terrorist attacks after a briefing by U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz. NATO has already agreed to treat the September 11 attacks as an attack on the alliance, enacting the self-defense clause in NATO's charter for the first time in its history. (Full story)

The abandoned U.S. Embassy in Kabul was set on fire during an anti-U.S. demonstration in the Afghan capital. Believed to be the largest protest in Afghanistan since the U.S. threatened to attack the ruling Taliban government, thousands of demonstrators torched buildings and vehicles in the embassy compound. (Full story)

After Iranian officials initially signaled a measure of cooperation, the country's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said "America does not have the competence to guide a global movement against terrorism, and the Islamic Republic of Iran will not participate in any move which is headed by the United States." (Full story )

Refugees are continuing to try to leave Afghanistan as fear grows of possible U.S. strikes. Aid agencies are warning of a "humanitarian catastrophe" if, as predicted, some 1.5 million Afghans attempt to cross the border into neighboring Pakistan or Iran. (Full story)


Whom will the United States retaliate against?

  •  Summary

  •  Update

  •  Key questions

  •  Who's who

  •  Impact

What form will the retaliation take? Click here for more.

Will the retaliation include an immediate response and a long-term plan to root out terrorists?

What countries have joined the U.S. anti-terror coalition? Click here for more

Is the United States willing to violate the sovereignty of other nations to get at terrorist networks?

How will retaliation affect Americans at home and abroad?

Will NATO play a role? Click here for more


George W. Bush: U.S. president

Osama bin Laden: A wealthy Saudi expatriate living in Afghanistan who U.S. authorities cite as one of the primary suspects in masterminding the attacks. Click here for more.

Colin Powell: U.S. secretary of state. A former Army general, Powell also served as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Click here for more. Click here for more.

Condoleezza Rice: U.S. national security adviser. Click here for more.

Gen. Richard B. Myers: chairman-designate of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. Click here for more.

Saudi exile Osama bin Laden is considered a prime suspect in the September 11 attacks.  

Donald Rumsfeld: U.S. secretary of defense. Click here for more.

George Tenet: CIA director. Click here for more.

Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden: Director of the U.S. National Security Agency, responsible for gathering intelligence on terrorist cells.

Gen. Pervez Musharraf: The military ruler of Pakistan, one of two countries that officially recognizes the Taliban, the ruling militia of Afghanistan harboring bin Laden. The others are Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Click here for more.

Mullah Mohammed Omar: The Muslim cleric who leads Afghanistan's ruling Taliban. Taliban officials say they have played host to bin Laden but do not allow him to engage in terrorist activities. Click here for more.

Northern Alliance: A group of former mujahedeen fighters, mainly from minority ethnic groups, that oppose the Taliban. The group controls about five percent of northern Afghanistan. Click here for more


The attacks on the nation's landmarks of power and security signal the start of a protracted battle on terrorism that could permanently alter core U.S. military and diplomatic strategies.

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