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Retaliation: Rumsfeld seeks support for coalition

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SUMMARY:

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is in the Middle East on a four-day trip to solidify support for the U.S.-led war on terrorism. U.S. officials also released details of two previous efforts during the Clinton administration to capture or kill suspected terrorist Osama bin Laden.

UPDATE:

The CIA trained and armed about 60 Pakistani commandos in 1999 with plans for them to enter Afghanistan and capture or kill bin Laden, U.S. officials confirmed to CNN Wednesday. U.S. officials also confirmed that in 1996, when bin Laden was living in Sudan, the government in Khartoum offered to turn him over to Saudi Arabia for trial. But the Saudis decided to decline to accept bin Laden, and he was allowed to go to Afghanistan instead. (Full story)

Rumsfeld will meet with political and military leaders in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Egypt, and Uzbekistan during his trip. Rumsfeld said he will not be negotiating with any of the other countries, saying his mission is to solidify old relationships and, in the case of Uzbekistan, forge a new one. (Full story)

Russia and the EU have agreed to hold monthly consultations on foreign and defense policy in a boost to their political relations in the wake of the U.S. terror attacks. (Full story)

The head of Afghanistan's ruling Taliban has warned that anyone supporting an opposition government, including one headed by the country's former king, will be considered traitors punishable by death. (Full story)

Familiarity with the terrain and fighting on home soil may not be substantial advantages for Afghanistan's government in a face-off with modern weaponry, according to military analysts. (Full story)

KEY QUESTIONS:


  •  Summary

  •  Update

  •  Key questions

  •  Who's who

  •  Impact

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

Will the resources in place to deal with the humanitarian crisis of the Afghan refugees be enough? Click here for more

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

How will retaliation affect Americans at home and abroad? Click here for more

Will NATO play a role? Click here for more

Will this crisis lead to a new role in U.S.-Russia relations? Click here for more

WHO'S WHO:

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 of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. Click here for more.

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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. 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.

IMPACT:

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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