Asst. Sec. of Defense (Public Affairs) Rear Adm. Craig Quigley
Interview with George Rodriguez of KOGO Radio in San Diego
September 20, 2001
RODRIGUEZ: How are things holding up over there?
QUIGLEY: I think very, very well. We're making very good progress in recovering
from the attack on the building last Tuesday. Lots of remains have been removed,
and the weather has been very kind to us. It's raining today, but for the most
part it's been very kind to us and speeded up the process, the very important
process of identifying those unaccounted for to let their loved ones know their
RODRIGUEZ: How is morale there? That's got to be such -- the trauma is inconceivable,
and I'm sure there are a lot of personnel there that are still, will be greatly
affected for years to come.
QUIGLEY: I think you just can't go through a circumstance like this without
being affected by it, George.
I think the initial emotions, people's emotions have gone through several different
steps over the past ten days or so. Initially it was uncertainty, it was fear
of what was happening. As understanding sunk in I think it was anger and a lot
of grief for the individuals that we knew to be killed in the attack. And I
think subsequent to that, which is where we are today, I think it's just a very
quiet, determination to see this through.
RODRIGUEZ: And to go from something as just devastating as this, to have to
get right back to work and start working on a military response operation, Infinite
Justice, that's got to be tough, to jump from one thing to the other.
QUIGLEY: I think no matter what your responsibilities here at the Pentagon and
elsewhere around the world, but I think it's very healthy for individuals to
get back to a sense of normalcy, to be back in the company of friends and coworkers.
There's a lot of very good that can be done from just sharing your personal
experiences with those you're familiar with seeing every day.
We are -- the secretary, the president has indeed ordered the disposition of
some of our military forces outside of the United States to start the Defense
Department portion of the president's effort in the war on terrorism.
RODRIGUEZ: The president has really tried to impact this on everyone, that this
is not going to be a conventional war. And I'm still wondering, just listening
to people on the street, if people are really prepared for that, if they really
realize that this is not going to be the Gulf War.
QUIGLEY: I think you're absolutely right, George. This will be very different
from any war that America has ever fought. We're not talking about fighting
conventional armies and navies and air forces here. These are terrorists. They
fight in the shadows, they live in the shadows, and they have shown themselves
to be a very, very unconventional foe. So America needs to -- I think it's starting
to happen. I think Americans are starting to understand that this is going to
be different than anything we've ever done before. Very different from say Kosovo,
most recently, or the Gulf War ten years ago.
RODRIGUEZ: Historically, interesting, amazing when you think about it how we
opened the last century with World War I. That was a new sort of warfare in
the trenches, and now here we are in the 21st Century starting a new kind of
war, fighting shadows. Not fighting countries at all, but fighting almost an
QUIGLEY: There are many elements that need to be brought to bear here, much
more than just military force. They are diplomatic, financial, legal, economic,
and it goes not only against the network of terrorist organizations but also
the countries that provide them training support, weapons, just safe haven.
We want the day to come when a terrorist network can look all about itself and
can find nowhere for support, no nation, no individual to provide them money
or weapons or support of any kind and put them in complete despair. That's the
RODRIGUEZ: For so many years this country has been blessed with not experiencing
a war within its borders save the Civil War and of course Pearl Harbor. But
now the war has come home, and I think that's really made the difference. I
think it's made the whole world stand up and see the seriousness of terrorism.
QUIGLEY: I couldn't agree more. This is an assault on the very beliefs that
Americans hold dear, our personal freedoms, the freedom to walk the streets
of America without looking over your shoulder and worrying what's going to happen
next. That is the cause, and we will prevail.
RODRIGUEZ: All right, Admiral Quigley. Thank you so much for taking time out,
and good luck.