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Rice: Terrorism fight a new kind of war

Condoleezza Rice
National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice spoke Wednesday about the unconventional nature of the fight against terrorism.  

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush's top national security advisor said Wednesday the war on terrorism would not be like previous conflicts and that the United States would have to fight and build coalitions in new ways.

"This is not the Gulf War coalition, where we all mobilize our military forces and march off to war after 100 days," said National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.

She said the U.S. would be facing an unconventional foe that did not have territory to invade or a well defined leadership.

Rice said military forces would not be the only weapon used in the fight against terrorism.

"This is also of a war of will and mind. It is a war in which information may be the most important asset that we have. So we're asking a lot of countries to help us with information," she said.

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Rice said the president would use his speech to a joint session of Congress on Thursday night "to talk to the American people about the kind of enemy we face."

She said Bush would not use the speech to announce military action.

"I think the president is going to use this as an opportunity to talk about the sustained nature of this campaign," Rice said. "I think he will use it as an opportunity to urge patience and reason."

Bush is scheduled to speak at 9 p.m. EDT.

She also said the president would discuss the nature of support the United States has received throughout the globe.

"Everybody understood that this was not just an attack on America. This was an attack on freedom," she said.

Bush met on Wednesday with Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri, the leader of the world's largest Muslim country. The meeting was scheduled before the September 11 attacks, but Rice said it gave Bush a chance to stress that this is not a campaign against Arabs or Islam.

"We have a lot of friends around the world who are Muslim. We have countries that are long friends of the United States who are of the Islamic faith," Rice said.

"This is a war against people who in many ways pervert what Islam stands for. Islam stands for peace and stands for nonviolence, and he (Bush) wanted to make that very, very clear."

Bush also met Wednesday with the Russian and German foreign ministers and spoke by telephone with South African President Thabo Mbeki and South Korean President Kim Dae-jung.

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