This Day in the Law
October 7

President Bush Declares War on Terror

On October 7, 2001, President George W. Bush addressed the American people from the Treaty Room of the White House. He proceeded to announce that American troops had begun attacks against the al-Qa’eda terrorist training camps and the Taliban command in Afghanistan.

Just two weeks prior to this televised address, President Bush had given the leaders of the Taliban regime a list of demands, which included closing terrorist training camps, returning all foreign nationals, and surrendering the leaders of the al-Qa’eda system. When none of those demands were met, President Bush announced that the Taliban would suffer very serious consequences.

This televised announcement came less than a month after September 11th, the day on which al-Qa’eda terrorists flew commercial airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. This announcement marked the true birth of the campaign against terror, and this day’s military operation was dubbed Enduring Freedom. Together with Great Britain, and with help from Canada, Australia, Germany, and France, American troops were engaging in carefully targeted strikes in order to destroy the military capability of the terror network. In addition to the help provided from those countries, there were an additional 40 nations across the world providing help in the form of travel rights and intelligence.

It was during this presidential address that Bush warned the American people that the war in Afghanistan was only the beginning, and that the road ahead would likely be a struggle. He declared that they would destroy terrorism, provide aid to the oppressed people of Afghanistan, and build a world where people could raise their children free from fear.