Disarmament DiplomacyIssue No. 34, February 1999
US Remit to Respond to TerrorismOn 8 February, Richard Clarke, President Clinton's chief advisor on counter-terrorism policy, was quoted in an interview apparently announcing a broadening of targets which the United States considers legitimate subjects of reprisal attacks by its forces. Clarke told the Associated Press: "We may not just go in a strike against a terrorist facility; we may choose to retaliate against the facilities of the host country, if that country is a knowing, cooperative sanctuary... Countries that persistently host terrorists have no right to be safe havens."
In August, the US attacked what it described as terrorist/weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities in Afghanistan and Sudan. Referring to these attacks, Clarke insisted: "We did not go after those Governments' facilities, but those Governments need to know that if they continue to be a sanctuary that they are now at risk, not just the terrorist facilities in those countries..."
Report: US warns terrorist-harbor nations, Associated Press, 8 February.© 1999 The Acronym Institute.