WASHINGTON, March 21, 2003 -- Defense of the American
people is primary among the goals and objectives of U.S. actions
in Iraq, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said during a Pentagon
press conference today.
Further goals are to eliminate Iraq's weapons
of mass destruction and to liberate the Iraqi people.
To achieve these aims, the military coalition
is focused of specific goals.
Rumsfeld said the first is to end the regime of
Saddam Hussein "by striking with force on a scope and scale
that makes clear to Iraqis that he and his regime are finished."
The coalition will identify, isolate and eliminate
Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. It will also eliminate Iraq's
missiles and other delivery systems, the production capabilities
and distribution networks, he said.
Coalition military forces will search for, capture
or drive out terrorists who have found refuge in Saddam Hussein's
The coalition will also collect intelligence related
to terrorist networks in Iraq and beyond and will collect intelligence
on the global network of illicit weapons of mass destruction activity.
It will end sanctions and immediately deliver humanitarian relief
to the displaced and the many needy Iraqi citizens.
The coalition will secure oil fields and resources,
"which belong to the Iraqi people and which they will need
to develop their country after decades of neglect," Rumsfeld
Finally, the coalition will create the conditions
for Iraq's rapid transition to a representative government "that
is not a threat to its neighbors." The coalition is committed
to ensuring the territorial integrity of Iraq.
Rumsfeld also expressed his sympathy for the families
of 13 coalition service members who have died. Four U.S. and eight
British Marines died in a helicopter crash in northern Kuwait.
Another U.S. Marine was killed as his unit entered Iraq.
"We are grateful for their lives, their courage
and sacrifice, and our hearts go out to their families,"
he said. "The world will be a safer place because of their